How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won’t Drain – 6 Simple Solutions

As someone who's faced the frustration of a washing machine refusing to drain, I'll tell you this—there's a peculiar sense of dread that accompanies the sight of soggy clothes in a pool of stagnant water. It disrupts my daily routine, leaving me with piles of unwashed laundry and a pressing problem to solve.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The most common reasons for a washer not draining include a clogged drain hose, a faulty drain pump or a malfunctioning lid switch—usually solved by thorough inspection and cleaning, or replacement if necessary.
  2. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the drain pump and filter, can prevent future drainage issues.
  3. If all else fails, it's advisable to contact a professional technician for assistance, ensuring a thorough washer repair without risking damage to the machine or personal safety.

Now, if you're keen on avoiding the headache of a malfunctioning washing machine, stick around. There's plenty more to learn about maintaining and troubleshooting your washing machine.

How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won't Drain

Is your washing machine refusing to drain? It can be frustrating to have a load of laundry sitting in a pool of water. But don't worry, with a few simple steps, you can fix this issue and get your machine back up and running. In this section, we will guide you through the process of troubleshooting and resolving the problem efficiently.

1. Resetting your washing machine

Sometimes, a simple reset can solve the issue of a washing machine not draining. Start by shutting off the power to your machine for a minute. Then, open and shut the door six times within a 12-second period. This process will reset the machine's internal systems and may resolve the problem.

2. Verifying the proper closure of the lid

For top-loading washing machines, a faulty lid switch assembly could be the cause of the drainage problem. To check if the lid switch is the culprit, press the lid switch while the machine is in operation. If pressing the lid switch causes the drum to drain, then the lid switch assembly is unlikely to be the cause of the problem. However, if nothing happens when you press the lid switch, it may need to be replaced.

3. Inspecting for any twists in the drainage tube

One common reason for a washing machine not draining is a kink or twist in the drainage tube. Start by checking the drainage tube for any bends or kinks. If you find any, straighten the hose to allow the water to flow freely. In some cases, the drainage tube may have come loose from the machine or the drainage system. Ensure that the hose is properly connected to both the washing machine and the drainage system.

4. Looking for obstructions in the drainage tube

Blockages in the drainage tube can also prevent the washing machine from draining properly. If you suspect a clog, start by scooping out any water from the barrel. Then, disconnect the drainage tube from the machine and inspect it for any debris or blockages. You can run water through the hose or use a long object like a wire or pipe cleaner to remove any clogs. Be careful not to damage the hose while removing the blockage.

5. Assessing the drain pump

If the issue persists after checking the drainage hose, the drain pump may be the culprit. The drain pump is responsible for removing the water from the machine. To locate the drain pump, refer to your washing machine's manual. In most cases, the drain pump is located at the bottom of the machine or behind an access panel.

Inspect the drain pump for any clogs, debris, or damage. Use a flashlight to get a clear view of the pump. If you find any blockages, carefully remove them using pliers or by hand. In some cases, the drain pump may be damaged or faulty, and it will need to be replaced with a compatible new one. Contact the manufacturer or a professional technician for assistance with replacing the drain pump.

6. Searching for a blockage in the coin catcher

Some washing machines have coin catchers or lint traps to prevent foreign objects from entering the drain. These coin catchers can become clogged over time, leading to drainage issues. To access the coin catcher, you may need to remove a panel or use a screwdriver to open it.

Once you have located the coin catcher, clean out any debris or blockages. This simple step can often restore proper drainage and prevent future issues. Regularly cleaning the coin catcher can help maintain the efficiency of your washing machine.

By following these steps, you can identify the cause of your washing machine not draining and take appropriate actions to fix the issue. Remember to refer to your washing machine's manual for specific instructions and guidelines. If the problem persists or if you are unsure about performing the repairs yourself, it is always a good idea to seek professional assistance.


What are the common causes of a washing machine not draining?

There are several common causes for a washing machine not draining:

  1. Clogged or blocked drain hose: This is the most common reason for a washing machine not draining. Check the drain hose for any kinks, twists, or clogs. Straighten the hose if necessary and remove any obstructions.

  2. Faulty drain pump: If the drain hose is clear, the problem may lie with the drain pump. The drain pump may be faulty or clogged. Inspect the drain pump for any debris or foreign objects that may be blocking it.

  3. Malfunctioning lid switch: Another possible cause of a washing machine not draining is a malfunctioning lid switch. The lid switch is a safety mechanism that prevents the machine from spinning or draining when the lid is open. Inspect the lid switch for any damage or loose connections. Replace the lid switch if necessary.

  4. Clogged filter or lint trap: It is also essential to check the washing machine's filter or lint trap. A clogged filter can prevent proper drainage. Locate the filter, typically found at the bottom front of the machine, and clean or replace it as required.

  5. Water pump belt: In some cases, the issue may be with the water pump belt. Inspect the belt for any signs of damage or wear. Replace the belt if needed.

Why is my washing machine not draining and locked?

If your washing machine is not draining and locked, it could be due to a malfunctioning or faulty door lock. The door lock mechanism ensures that the door remains locked during the wash cycle to prevent water from leaking. If the door lock is not functioning correctly, the machine may not drain or unlock.

To resolve this issue, start by checking the door lock for any visible damage or loose connections. If necessary, replace the door lock mechanism with a compatible new one. If the problem persists, it is recommended to contact a professional washer repair service for further assistance.

Remember to always exercise caution and ensure the washing machine is disconnected from the power source before attempting any repairs. If unsure, consult a professional technician.

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