Washing Machine Not Draining [6 Proven Fixes]

When a washing machine not draining, it can cause a lot of stress and inconvenience for the homeowner.

It might seem like a small problem but, when you add up all the time and energy involved, it can really mount up.

Common reasons for the washing machine not draining is that lint, dirt, or some foreign object has blocked the drain. Open the drain plug, clean it using the drain snake tool & your problem is solved.

Most of the time, these issues are not serious and may be resolved without the need for a professional. Let’s find out how.

How to Fix Washing Machine Not Draining?

To help you identify the problem and fix it quickly and easily, we have listed down the most common reasons why a washing machine will not drain.

Washing Machine Not Draining

1. Check the Drain Hose:

The drain hose should be inspected first. Is it kinked? Are there any holes in it?

A kinked hose will stop water from flowing smoothly and can cause a stoppage.

Also, if the hose is cracked, it may leak allowing whatever is clogging the drain to stay put.

Inspect the entire hose carefully and make sure it is not damaged in any way.

Pouring a cup of water into the bottom of the washer is a simple way to check this. If the water remains there, then the drainage hose is probably clogged.

If the water drains out, then there is probably nothing wrong with the drainage hose.

If it appears to be OK, then simply disconnect it from the faucet and move on to the next step.

2. Inspect the Drain Pump Filter:

washing machine drain Filter

The second thing to check is the drain pump filter. This is a simple device that looks like a coffee filter and fits into the drain pipe just above the drain pump.

It is usually made of paper and acts as a final filter before the water is sent down the drain.

If the filter is clogged, this will cause the drain pump to work harder which can lead to overheating and eventual failure.

Also, if the filter is clogged with hair or other foreign material, it can actually block the drain completely. In this case, you will need to replace the filter.

How can I check the drain pump filter? Here is how.

  • Remove the cap from the top of the drain pipe.
  • Look inside the cap and remove the metal filter.
  • If there is nothing in it, then it is clean and should be replaced.
  • If there is hair or something else in it, then it needs to be cleaned out.
  • Use a plastic spoon or some other utensil and carefully remove the debris.
  • Then, re-install the drain pump cap and give your washing machine a good scrubbing with a stiff brush.

3. The Lid Switch Has A Problem:

The third possibility is the lid switch. This is a little plastic thing that is attached to the underside of the washer lid.

It sends a signal to the control panel indicating that the washer lid is closed.

The lid switch has two main functions.

The first is to keep the control panel from trying to operate the machine when the lid is open.

For example, if you are not present to start the washing machine, the control panel will not try to spin the drum or agitate the clothes unless the washer lid is closed.

The second function of the lid switch is to activate certain functions of the machine.

If this switch is not working properly, it can prevent the motor from starting.

This could be caused by a broken wire connecting the switch to the wiring harness, or it could be caused by a mechanical problem such as bad contact with the switch itself.

Here is how to check the lid switch:

  • Unplug the washer from the outlet.
  • Remove the access panel on the front of the machine and inspect the connections under the control panel for any loose or broken wires.
  • Also, check the switch itself for bad contact. For example, if there is a small metal tab that has come off the switch and is not making electrical contact with the other parts of the switch.
  • If everything looks OK, then simply replace the switch. It is an easy job and will take only a few minutes.

4. Broken Drain Pump:

drain pump of washing machine

The next possibility is that the drain pump is malfunctioning. If this pump is not working correctly, then the water in the washing machine will not drain out.

This can be caused by several things including a cracked motor or pump, a clogged filter, or a problem with the electrical connections.

To check the drain pump:

  • Remove the top cover from the washer and inspect it for any cracks or damage.
  • Look underneath the washer to see if there are any electrical problems.
  • Remove the access panel on the front of the machine and check the drain pump itself for a cracked or bent impeller.
  • If all looks OK, then replace the drain pump. (For this you may need to hire a professional)

5. Replace the Drive Belt:

The final thing you can do is replace the drive belt. This is the belt that drives the motor shaft which in turn turns the drum.

Normally, this belt should last for at least five years. However, if you are doing a lot of heavy washing or using bleach or other harsh chemicals, then this belt will likely need to be replaced more often than once every five years.

Also, washer drive belts last longer when they are maintained properly.

If you do not know how to maintain a washer belt, then you should check your owner’s manual or call an authorized repair person. 

How to replace a washing machine’s drive belt?

  • Remove the access panel on the front of the machine.
  • Loosen the four screws that hold the panel in place.
  • Remove the panel.
  • Remove the old belt.
  • Attach the new belt to the appropriate pulleys.
  • Re-attach the panel and replace the four screws.
  • Scrub the machine well with a stiff brush, and you are done. 

6. Check the Water Level Control:

The water level control is the next thing to inspect. This is a sensor that lets you control the amount of water in the tub.

If the water level control isn’t operating properly, this could cause problems in several areas.

For example, the controller may allow too much water into the washer, causing the drain pump to work overtime.

Also, if the control is malfunctioning, the washer could not drain completely, causing more problems in the future.

To check the water level control:

  • Unplug the washer from the outlet.
  • Lift up the lid and look at the bottom of the tub.
  • If there are any bubbles, it means there is water in the tub and the water level control is not working properly.
  • If there are no bubbles, then the water level control is probably working fine.


Final Thoughts:

Hopefully, you have been able to use this article to determine the cause of your washing machine not draining problems, and repair it yourself.

If you are not sure how to perform the repairs, then you should always consult a professional.

The best way to ensure that your washing machine lasts for years and years is to maintain it properly.

In addition to keeping up with the regular maintenance, you should also follow these suggestions:

  • Maintain the machine by using a non-abrasive detergent.
  • Always rinse the inside of the machine before starting to wash clothes.
  • Do not overload the machine with items.
  • Ensure that all the components are working properly.

These suggestions will help to keep your washer running like new.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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