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Reasons Your Washers Not Draining

If your washing machine isn’t draining it can be a stressful experience. Even more so if you have a big event coming up and you need your favorite dress. Identifying the problem may not be easy, but if you know where to start you may be able to salvage the situation, finish your laundry and get your big night back on track.

Clogged Drain Hose

The drain hose that sends the water from your dryer to the laundry room tub is one of the first places to look if your washer won’t drain properly. There may be some small clothes such as socks or underwear that have made their way into the hose. It’s actually surprising how often these types of issues crop up.

Broken Pump

The washing machine pump is one of the most important components of your machine. If it stops working it can’t turn the impeller which forces water through the cycle. Without this motion, your machine stops spinning and pumping water properly. The end result is a back up of water and it’s one of the main reasons why your washing machine won’t drain.

Broken Lid Switch or Belt

The pump is just one of several possible reasons why your washing machine is not draining. Another cause may be a broken lid switch. Almost all top load washing machines have a switch underneath the lid that is pressed down when you lower the lid. That action sends a signal to your machine to begin its spin cycle and eventually drain when it’s time. If this switch stops working for any reason your machine will stop working and it will fill with water.

It could also be your machine’s belt that’s causing the buildup of water. Washing machines are actually fairly simple devices. Inside there’s a motor which drives a belt and that in turn turns the agitator and the pump. If your pump isn’t spinning there’s a good chance your belt is slipping.

How to Fix a Washer That Won’t Drain

So now we’ve identified some of the main reasons your washing machine doesn’t drain, it’s time to look at how you can fix them. The best way to do that is to look at each of the issues we’ve identified above on a case by case basis.

How to Test the Lid Switch

If a faulty lid switch is the reason your machine isn’t working it could be an easy fix. A broken switch is what causes a washing machine not to drain in many cases. First, take a look at the switch, if it’s clearly broken it’s probably the cause of your drainage issue. If it looks okay try pushing it down manually — if the machine springs to life and the water level goes down then the lid switch is not making contact with the washing machine lid when you close it.

You’ll need to purchase a replacement lid switch from your local hardware store. If you’re not confident in your ability to replace the switch contact a qualified technician for help washer repair.

Examining the Drain Hose

Another reason your machine may have stopped draining is because of an issue with the drain hose. First, look for any kink in the hose that could be obstructing the flow of water. If there is one, straighten out the hose to remove the kink, start the washer and check to see if it starts to drain normally.

If there aren’t any kinks the issue may still be a problem with the drain hose, but it could be a clog instead. In order to remove a clog from a hose you’re going to have to disconnect it from the washing machine first and that will cause the water in the drum to pour out. If you want to avoid a flood in your laundry room, you’ll need to drain the drum with a bucket before attempting this fix.

How You Can Tell if It Could be the Pump or Drive Belt

If you’ve ruled out the lid switch and the drain hose, your washer may not be draining because of a problem with the pump or the belt which drives the pump. Fixing these types of issues is a bit more complicated so if you’re not at least a little bit mechanically inclined it’s probably time to call in the technician.

For those that have a mechanical background, it may be possible to identify and fix these problems on your own. Start by removing the panel that encases the pump, motor, and drive belt. Look for any obvious signs of wear or broken parts. If there is something identifiable it will need to be replaced. It’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional help before moving forward.

I’ve Tried Everything — the Water Won’t Drain from the Washing Machine

If you’ve considered all of the reasons above and you still don’t know what causes your washing machine not to drain, it’s time to seek outside help. For the lucky few that have a professional appliance repair technician in the family, you may be able to turn to them, for most of us that’s not an option.

Call a Service Technician

If you’re ready to call in a professional to help diagnose and fix a washing machine that’s not draining we encourage you to contact MAAR24 today. Our technicians are fully certified to service all major appliance brands on the market.


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