A washing machine’s job is to take dirty clothes and create clean ones, but if your washing machine not draining properly, it’s not doing anything at all. Whether your washer won’t drain or is draining slowly, there are a few things you can do to get it back up to speed. Draining problems are either caused by a buildup of soil, excess lint, or something actually blocking the drain line.
When your washing machine begins to give you problems, it can be a nightmare. Even though your washing machine is probably one of the least expensive appliances to replace, that doesn’t mean you should have to.
There are several common reasons why a washing machine won’t drain. One of these is caused by clogged hoses or hoses with kinks, which can restrict water flow and cause the machine to overflow. Another issue is broken parts, such as bad hoses or defective drain pumps. By running some simple tests on your own, you may be able to quickly diagnose the problem and solve it.
1. Clogged Drain Hose
If your washing machine isn’t draining, the most likely culprit is a blocked drain hose. The drain hose is the rubber tube located behind your washing machine. When lint or other debris accumulates in this tube, it can hinder water flow and affect the performance of your washer. If the water is draining slowly or not at all, you may have a partially clogged drain hose.
In the event that a Washer’s Drain hose gets clogged, just remember: you’re lucky. It’s a simple fix, and won’t take long at all to resolve. Just shut the machine off, remove the hose, and clear out fibers that have gathered inside it. Then, attach the hose again and your Washer should be good as new.
To check the drainage hose for any clogs, make sure you turn off the washing machine and move it so you can access where the hose connects to the machine. Once you disconnect the hose from the washing machine, remove it from the basin or washtub.
If you think there is something inside your hose, run water through it to check. If it doesn’t flow out the other end, try to find something long enough to shove down inside the hose to clear whatever might be blocking it. Once you unblock everything, put the hose back on and turn the washer back on again.
2. Improper Drain Height
Washers need to be installed at a certain height from the floor. If you’re too high, your washer may not be able to drain water well. Before you install your brand-new washing machine, check the instruction manual for details on drainpipe height and how it can impact your drainage rate.
3. Poor Load Distribution
An unevenly distributed load can throw off your washer’s balance, causing it to vibrate when it spins, which prevents the clothes from being cleaned properly. Unbalanced loads can also damage components of the machine, resulting in costly repairs.
To keep your washer running smoothly, consider balancing the load in the drum. Do not overload your washing machine, but avoid completely empty cycles either. Check to make sure that the feet beneath the machine are properly adjusted when leveling it, to reduce the vibrations which can cause wear and tear on other parts and prevent the Washing machine not draining problem.
4. Clogged Drain Pump Filter
The drain pump in all washing machines is designed to evacuate the water from the tub after cycles of washing and rinsing. However, if during one of these draining cycles you hear that the pump appears to be running but water is either going down slow or not at all, then this usually indicates a problem with this pump.
If it is not working, you will need to take apart your washer to check for damage or clogs in the pump itself.
Unplug the washing machine from the outlet. Pull the machine away from the wall so that you can access the back panel. On most front-loading machines, the drain pump filter is located behind the washer, but check your owner’s manual to be sure.
Unplug the washer and open it up, then remove the access panel. Look for the drain pump and hose. Disconnect the hose from the water inlet, then check the filter screen for any debris that might be clogging it. Clear away any blockage you find, then reattach the hose and replace the access panel. Plug it back in and run a cycle to see if it drains properly now.
5. Check Lid Switch
The most important part of any washing machine safety system is the lid switch. This system prevents damage or injury by stopping the machine immediately if the lid is open. This is especially important for children playing with your washing machines, since most top-loading washing machines are tall enough for a child to climb inside, potentially damaging their internal components or getting hurt.
If you suspect the lid switch maybe not working, follow these instructions to test it out. First, open the lid and locate the switch, then push down on it to activate it. If your washing machine is still not working after you complete this step, you will need to replace the switch.
The lid switch can also be tested with a multimeter. If it fails this test, it will need to be replaced, Follow below steps:
- You’ll need to unplug the washer and remove the top cover before doing so.
- Find and remove the wires that connect the lid switch to the control panel — they should just pull off — and then detach the old switch from its mounting bracket.
- Install your new switch according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model.
6. Faulty Drain Pump
If you notice water still sitting in the washer tub after washing a load of laundry, check to see if there are any obstructions blocking the drain line or if the pump itself has failed. A failed pump will likely have an audible issue, such as a grinding or whirring sound that may have started slowly and steadily increased over time. If you’re unsure, call a plumber to investigate further.
To replace your drain pump, first you’ll need to empty all the water from the washer. Next, unplug the power cord from the wall. It’ll make it easier for you to remove and disconnect the pump. Move the machine out from the wall, and remove its back panel — this will make access to the pump easier.
- Remove the hoses from the inlet and outlet of the drain pump.
- Unbolt and remove the pump from the washer.
- Replace it with the new pump that you received from the manufacturer.
- Reattach the hoses to the inlet and outlet of the drain pump.
- Bolt everything back into place, plug in your washer, and turn it on to test it out!
7. Worn Out Drive Belt
If the water isn’t draining during a wash or rinse cycle, it could be because of a few different reasons. If the problem isn’t the drain pump, it may be the drive belt. Located at the bottom of the machine, this belt helps operate the pump. If it’s torn or damaged, the pump will not be able to work properly.
If you think the washer drive belt is causing your problems, you need to contact the manufacturer to get a replacement. To replace this belt, unplug the machine and turn it so you can access the back panel. Open the panel to find where the bottom of the drum is, then slide out the old belt. Attach the new belt according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Clogged Drain Line
A clogged drain is the most common issue with washing machines. Before you make any repairs or replacements, make sure to check your drain line. It’s usually caused by mineral build-up in the pipes; it’ll require some cleaning to clean up.
There’s a clog somewhere in your home’s drain system. To fix the issue, you have two options: you can use a small hand-held drain snake to remove the clog or you can call a plumber. Either way, once the issue is resolved, run the washer again to make certain everything is running smoothly.
9. Reset the Washing Machine
When the washer stops draining, it can be due to an internal error code or control panel malfunction. Resetting the machine to factory settings can resolve issues like these and get the washer working again.
Make sure to read your household appliance’s manual before trying anything else! Many modern washers have a reset button that you can access by pressing the panel’s buttons. Older top-loading washer models require you to unplug the device for one minute, then plug it back in.
Hi there! I’m Sam Hendricks, and I’m a repair technician and expert. I created this website to help people like you save money and time by fixing your own appliances.
Over the years, I’ve seen people spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or replacements. That’s why I decided to share my expertise and create easy-to-follow guides for fixing appliances on your own.