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My Washing Machine Wont Drain

When you finally gather the energy to tackle a big stack of laundry and are ready to begin loading your washing machine with loads of clothes, life can throw an unexpected wrench in your plans. Suddenly, your washing machine won’t drain.

Before you throw in the towel and declare your washing machine a lost cause, we are here to help. Uncover a few techniques you can use for your washing machine to drain appropriately and how to prevent this issue in the future.

In this guide, you will learn interesting facts about the inner workings of your washing machine, such as:

  • Common reasons why washing machine drain issues occur
  • Few ways to prevent water from backing up again
  • Step-by-step guide on to pump water out or drain the washer efficiently

Common Reasons Why A Washing Machine Won’t Drain

washing machine wont drain

There are various possible reasons why your washer won’t drain. Most washers with draining issues are due to the following common causes:

Reason #1: Clogged Drain Hose

As time progresses, clogged debris can accumulate in your washer’s drain hose and impede its ability to drain properly.

A kinked or coiled hose will also restrict the flow of water. To counteract these issues, inspect behind the washing machine for any bends or twists in the drainage pipe and straighten them out accordingly.

Reason #2: Broken Pump Belt or Pump Filter

If the spinning of the drum is not working, then the belt most likely needs to be replaced. This will require a professional plumber to fix it as it requires removing and replacing parts inside the washer.

You can also inspect the pump filter for any clogs or obstructions, as sometimes dirt and debris can accumulate here, which can cause water not to drain properly.

Reason #3: Defective Lid Switch Assembly

This can be an issue if the washer lid isn’t closed properly. The lid switch assembly detects when the washer lid is open or closed; if it’s defective, your washing machine will not drain water.

Reason #4: Poor Load Distribution

The number of clothes you add to the washer can affect how much water can be drained. If your washing machine has too many heavy items on one side, it can cause an imbalance in the load and will prevent the washer from draining properly.

Reason #5: Faulty Drive Belt

To ensure your belts are in good condition, unscrew the washing machine access panel and examine the main and pump belt.

Reason #6: Issues with Your Home’s Plumbing System

The drain hose in a front-loading machine is connected to your home’s plumbing system. As such, any issues with the plumbing could lead to prolonged drainage or an inability for it to drain at all from your washing machine.

3 Ways to Drain Water From Your Washing Machine

drain water from washing machine

1. Determine the Issue

  • Check the lid switch: If your washing machine detects that the lid is not properly closed, it won’t drain, no matter how hard you try. To fix this and return to a successful spin cycle, open and close the lid several times.
  • Unplug your machine: To ensure safety, turn off the power switch and unplug your appliance before working on it. Additionally, make sure you close the water pump behind it to guard against any potential water leakage or electric shock while working on the washing machine.
  • Utilize a bucket to remove the remaining water from the washer: Place a bucket beneath the drain pipe. With this, you can easily siphon off as much water as possible.
  • Determine if your washer has a back or front panel: Accessing your washer’s pump filter and the belt is essential to solve any draining issue. This will require you to remove your washing machine’s back or front panel, depending on its model.
  • Utilize needle nose pliers to remove screws: You can locate the screws at the corners of the panel close to its base. Also, some washers feature a small black panel or flap to gain access to your pump without having to eradicate any part of it.
  • Take the panel off: After unscrewing the fasteners or lifting open the cover, cautiously lift off the panel and find your washer’s pump filter. It can often be hefty, so make sure you firmly grasp it.
  • Check the washer drain hose for leak water and other damage: Look for any kinks in the hose, as it might have been twisted when you first set up your washer. Additionally, inspect if any holes or tears that may be causing water to leak out of the hose.
  • Check the drain pump connected to the drain pipe: The pump is typically located at the rear or front of the machine, making it easily accessible. When you’ve found it, try to turn it and make sure it moves freely. If you need help, you should contact an appliance repair person who can help replace or repair your washer.
  • Check if the water pump is clogged: Inspect the hose and pump for any blockages. If nothing appears, use your fingers to probe around, as these clogs are usually a small piece of clothing or lint wads.
  • Check if the pumps have other damage: Carefully examine your pump for any splits, curves or broken components. If damage is visible on the surface of the pump, it should be replaced immediately.

2. Remove the Clog

  • Eliminate visible clogs using a plumber’s snake: To start, insert your pliers into the pump or hose and slowly pull on it until you can extract whatever item has been blocking the drainage system.
  • Find a pulley under the pump and twist it to unclog: If you can see a pulley under the pump, grab hold of it and twist it to help loosen any trapped objects in your washer.
  • Disconnect the washing machine drain hose from the plumbing pipe: You can find this at the back of your washing machine. You will need to unscrew it manually and pull out the hose to remove any clogs from the drainpipe.
  • Reconnect the hose after removing the clog: After eliminating whatever is causing the blockage, securely screw the hose to its original position.
  • Plug in the washer and see if it is working properly: Turn on the power switch and plug in your washer. Try running a short cycle to see if the spin is now successful.
  • Replace the access panel if the washer is completely fixed: After you are sure that the washer usually drains the water, you can start putting back the panel. Screw in all the fasteners properly and make sure they are tight.

3. Replace a Damaged Pump

  • Find your model number: To ensure that you install the correct replacement pump for your washing machine, first reference its model number. This will ensure that when replacing an old and faulty pump, you select the appropriate one for your washer.
  • Disconnect the belt from the bottom of the pump: Locate the belt and remove it from the pump. You might need to use a screwdriver for this task.
  • Remove the screws at the pump’s base: Secure the screws to the uppermost part of the base, then thread them down to its bottom. After that, gently lift out your broken pump and dispose of any old parts it contains.
  • Attach the pump inside the washing machine: Use your screwdriver to replace the old pump with the new one in your washing machine, then carefully secure it into place by reinserting the removed screws.
  • Install the new pump: Reattach the belt that drives it once it is securely in place. Also, make sure to tighten any fasteners near its base.
  • Test it by turning your washing machine on: Once you have followed all the steps, switch on your washer and inspect if it is now spinning correctly. If it usually resumes spinning, then you’ve successfully replaced the pump.


If your washing machine won’t drain, it is important to troubleshoot the problem as soon as possible. After identifying any potential blockages and completing basic maintenance, contact a professional for more complex repairs if needed.

Although the task may seem daunting at first, diagnosing the issue and inspecting the appliance can provide helpful insight into the cause of the issue. With a reliable washer in full working order operating correctly again, you can go back to enjoying clean laundry and other services provided by your washing machine!

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