When your washing machine won't drain!

Photo by Cali2Okie

While I was doing some research for my musty smelling washing machine (post coming soon) I came across a lot of other interesting washing machine information. As it happens -I have a friend whose machine won't drain after a wash so I gathered information to help them out. Here is the information I found on that topic:
It seems the most probable issues are that the pump is broken or that there is some kind of blockage preventing the water from draining from your machine. Some washing machines have a pump filter you can inspect for blockages and debris and you should check the hoses leading to and from your machine for any blockages as well.

Before you do anything
  • Unplug your washer
  • Turn off the water to your washer

Check the hoses:
  • Follow the hoses from the tap to the back of your washer and unscrew the hoses from the back of your washer, have a bucket nearby to place the hoses in, and run the water to push out any debris
  • Hoses may have filters in the ends that CANNOT be removed -be careful with them while you inspect and remove build up, debris or blockages often caused by undissolved powdered laundry detergent!
Clean the pump filter:
  • Locate it -it should be at the front left or right bottom of your machine, it should be evident behind a small flap, but could be hidden behind a solid panel you may have to pop out and down using a screw driver to pop the panel out from the top -be careful as some are cheap and will break
  • Once you have the filter exposed you should find a retractable hose or pipe that you can pull out  and allow remaining water to drain into a bowl (if you have a huge amount of water in the machine this may take a long time)
  • Grab a towel and place under the pump
  • Unscrew the pump filter counter-clockwise 1/4 turn and try to pull out or keep unscrewing until it comes out BE CAREFUL IF YOU HAVE SOME WATER STILL IN YOUR MACHINE -if this is the case have a large strong bowl ready to catch the water as it will pour out -push the filter back in and screw it on to stop the flow while you empty the bowl -repeat until the drum is empty
  • Once the pump filter is out -remove any blockages, shine a flashlight inside to inspect and reattach securely to the washer
Please read here for more complete details on these steps.

Inspect the pump:
  • See this for instructions as this can get complicated and you may not want to do this yourself

Many people swear that using powder detergent; alone and particularly with cold water washes, will clog your pump eventually and prevent the water from draining.

Links for more information:
Washer troubleshooting tool
How to clean washing machine filters 
Washing machine wizzard

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