Why Won’t My Washer Drain?

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You load your washing machine and start the wash cycle like any other day.  It fills, agitates, but doesn’t drain, leaving you with a washer full of water and wet clothes.  If you’ve found yourself in this situation, there is a good chance that you can repair this yourself by checking a few common areas on your washer.

WARNING: Before attempting to work on any appliance, make sure that all power (electricity) and utilities (water and gas) have been turned off and/or disconnected on the appliance. Read more

The Outer Drain Hose 

The Outer Drain Hose will usually be the larger hose on the back of your washer.  One end will be connected to the Drain Pump and the other will typically be in a designated drain or sink.

Unplug the appliance and disconnect the water supply.  If your washer is still full, remove the wet clothes and bail as much of the water as possible with a bucket or container to make it easier to move away from the wall and access the back.

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On some models, you may have to first remove a panel to access the hose connection.  With a bucket and towel ready, disconnect the drain hose from the washer (you may need channel locks to remove the clip securing it).  There will likely be some water in the hose so hold the end upright as you move it to the bucket.  Let the water drain out of the hose and check for any  kinks or bends that may have been preventing the washer from draining properly.  Straighten them out if possible, if not you may need to replace the hose.

Once you have done this, take a flashlight and check to see if anything has lodged itself inside the hose.  Small articles of clothing, pieces of fabric, or built up lint can sometimes make their way into the drain hose.  Clear out any blockages if necessary with a drain snake or (very carefully) using an opened wire coat hanger to push/pull it out.

After removing any blockages, run water through the hose to completely clear it out.  Reattach the hose, reconnect the water supply, and plug the appliance in.  Run the drain cycle on your washer.

The Lid/Door Lock Assembly

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Whirlpool Washer Lid Lock/Latch Assembly  – Locks the lid strike into place when the lid is closed so that it cannot be opened 

If the Lid Latch Assembly or Door Lock is malfunctioning, your washer will sometimes still fill and begin the wash cycle, but will not drain.  To determine if it is malfunctioning, unplug the appliance and remove the part to check it for continuity using a multimeter.

If there is a problem with it, replacing the lock assembly may solve your draining problem.

The Drain Pump

If the problem persists, you could have a clogged Drain Pump. If something is caught in the pump preventing the impeller from rotating or blocking it, the pump won’t work.  Again, disconnect the washer.  Once you have located the drain pump in your washer remove any lint, fabric, coins, or debris that may have collected in the pump and empty the screen/trap if applicable.

If you went through all of these troubleshooting tips and your washer still will not drain you might have an issue with your Drive Belt (depending on the model) or the Drain Pump may need to be replaced entirely.

For help replacing the Drive Belt or Drain Pump, check out these videos:


Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or additional tips below.  You can find Washer Parts and many other replacement parts at www.pcappliancerepair.com.

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One thought on “Why Won’t My Washer Drain?

  1. Pingback: Why Won’t My Washer Drain? | Mike's Heating & Cooling

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