How to Fix Washer That Won't Drain | Washing Machine Repair
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How to Fix A Washer That Won't Drain

About this repair:

  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 3048 repair stories
  • 22 step by step videos

Drain Pump

Washing machines use pumps to drain the water from the outer tub. Depending on the model of washing machine the pump may be connected directly to the drive motor or by a belt from the drive motor or the washer may use a self contained electric pump. This pump has a motor driven impeller that rotates the water in the appropriate direction. If the impeller in the pump is defective an unusual noise may be heard when it’s operating. The pump can also become clogged or blocked by a small article of clothing, which can prevent water from draining out of the washing machine as well. If your washer does not drain you should first verify that the drain hose is not kinked or restricted. Check the input port of the pump to insure that the impeller turns freely and remove any foreign object that might be impeding movement or restricting the water flow. Verify that power is being supplied to the pump motor. This is a live voltage test and should only be performed by a qualified person.

Pump Belt

Some models of washing machines use a belt driven pump. The pump belt connects the motor to the water pump in the washing machine. If the belt becomes stretched or worn it may not drive the pump efficiently. Check the belt for signs of glazing or wear and verify that the tension is correct for that model. Ensure that the motor and pump pulleys are clean and not worn. Replace belts with the exact manufacturer’s specifications.

Direct Drive Pump

Some models of top load washers use a drain pump that is directly coupled to the drive motor. If your washer uses this style of pump you may need to remove the cabinet to gain access for repair. Remove the retaining clamps and pull the pump away from the drive motor. Try turning the impeller by hand. If the impeller does not turn freely, remove the inlet and outlet hoses and check for a foreign object caught in the impeller. If the impeller is seized or does not turn easily then you will need to replace the pump. Remove power from the washer before attempting this repair.

Lid Switch

A safety feature found in top load washing machines is the lid switch. The lid switch is normally located beneath the main top and is in series with the motor circuit and must be activated for the motor to operate. When the lid is closed a pin or projection on the lid pushes against the lid switch lever and closes the switch. If your washer does not drain and the drive motor is not getting any power, you should check the lid switch. Remove power from the appliance and check the switch for continuity with a multi-meter. If the lid switch has continuity then you will need to look at the rest of the motor circuit including the timer and the selector switch.

Washer Timer & Electronic Control Board

The drive motor is controlled by the timer, lid switch, water level switch and sometimes the selector switch. The function of the timer is to supply the correct power to turn the motor on in the right direction for spin and drain. If the drive motor on your washer does not receive power during the spin and drain portion of the cycle, then the timer may be at fault. You can check the timer contacts for continuity with a multi-meter. You will need to determine the correct terminals that control the motor with the aid of the wiring diagram. Remove power from the appliance before attempting this repair.

On models that use an electronic control, the main electronic control board will supply power to the drain pump motor. If the drain pump on your model does not receive power, then the control board may be at fault. Check the wiring diagram to ensure that the wiring harness has continuity before replacing the control board. Continuity can be checked with a multi-meter after removing power from the appliance. Live voltage checks should only be performed by a qualified person.

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