Why GE Washer Is Not Draining – Troubleshooting Guide

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GE washing machines work efficiently, as long as enough water comes in and goes out. Unfortunately, a failure to drain water from the machine will affect your laundry, even if it’s already completed all other stages in the wash program.

Your GE washer fails to drain if there’s an unbalanced load or the lid switch is faulty. Besides that, a failed drain pump or clogs at the drain filter or drain hose can also cause the same problem.

As frustrating as clogs are, you probably won’t need to call a technician to sort it out for you. In this guide, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot and resolve this issue. You’ll get your GE washer up and running again in no time!

Why Is My GE Washer Not Draining?

It won’t take you much time to figure out why your GE washer isn’t draining. The troubleshooting process is pretty straightforward, allowing you to solve it quickly and get back to doing your laundry.

As you troubleshoot your GE washer, you should start with the quickest parts to check and rule out. Then, you can move on to the more complex aspects of the appliance.

Here are the 5 possible reasons your GE washer isn’t draining.

Unbalanced Load

What’s happening: Before you start troubleshooting specific components in your GE washer, you must first consider if you’re loading the appliance correctly.

An unbalanced load is one where there’s too much weight on one side of the washer drum. Ideally, you should distribute the weight evenly throughout the drum to spin with perfect balance.

That unbalanced load can cause all sorts of issues with your washer. One of them is that the load will prevent the washer from draining completely. 

How to fix it: You can fix this problem and prevent it from happening by ensuring that your laundry load is always balanced.

Firstly, you can spread your clothes out by hand. It’s also essential to note long-sleeved clothes and pants, as they can get tangled and cause too much weight on only one side.

A laundry load with too few items can also be unbalanced. In those instances, you’ll want to add a towel or two into the mix, so there’s more weight keeping everything balanced.

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Read: GE Washer Code 26 – Troubleshooting Guide

Faulty Lid Switch

What this part does: Top-loading GE washers will have a lid switch. The name pretty much says it all; the component is a switch that’s under your washing machine’s lid.

The switch senses when the lid is closed to signal the appliance that it’s safe to operate.

On the other hand, the switch also senses when the lid is open. So when that happens mid-cycle, the switch will trigger the washer to stop working immediately.

What’s happening: When your top-loading GE washer fails to drain, the lid switch has likely become faulty. That will cause the washer to think that the lid is open and prevent itself from moving on to the drain stage of the wash program.

How to fix it: Firstly, find the lid switch and inspect it closely. A little bit of dust and debris could cause the switch to get stuck in the open position, even when you close the lid.

If it still doesn’t work, then you’ll need to replace the switch with a new one. That’s pretty straightforward to do by disconnecting the existing switch and installing a new one in its place.

Read: Why Does Washing Machine Make A Squeaking Noise When Agitating?

Failed Drain Pump 

What this part does: Next, it’s time to check the drain pump. All the water in your washing machine can’t flow out by itself, and certainly not quickly enough. That’s why GE washers have a drain pump that drives all the water out of the machine.

The drain pump runs a few times throughout the wash program. It’ll turn on whenever the washer wants to flush out used water to replace it with clean water. 

Also, the pump turns on at the end to remove all remaining water in the drum.

What’s happening: After you finish ruling out the first two possibilities above, the most likely cause is now a failed drain pump. The pump can either fail mechanically or electrically.

Mechanical failures in drain pumps include:

Electrical failures, on the other hand, include:

  • A short-circuit inside the pump.
  • Loose or damaged pump wiring.

How to fix it: The most practical solution to a failed drain pump is a complete replacement. However, in some cases, you might be able to remove an item clogging the inside of the pump. 

However, that clog might have also caused the pump to overheat or damage itself as it tries to force its impeller to turn.

So, if you have to replace it, you can find the drain pump underneath the sump. The drain pump will be at the lowest part, no matter your GE washer model.

Read: Why Washing Machine Makes Loud Noise When Draining?

Clogged Drain Filter Or Drain Hose

What these parts do: Besides the drain pump, there could also be a clog somewhere else. The two most common choke points where clogs form are the drain filter and the drain hose.

The drain filter is sometimes known as the foreign object or coin trap. Its primary purpose is to capture things that fall out from clothes pockets inside your laundry.

Beyond the drain filter, the water flows out of the machine through a drain hose. The drain hose is an external part, though it connects to the washer to carry wastewater out of the machine.

What’s happening: Unfortunately, washing machine clogs tend to set off a chain reaction. For instance, a pen or a bunch of coins might fall out from your laundry pockets and get stuck inside the drain filter.

As those objects stay there, they also help trap lint, dirt, and other debris in the filter. So, it doesn’t take long for a total clog to form in that part of the washer.

The same is also true about the drain hose. Even if foreign objects don’t make it that far into the hose, lint and dust can still form clogs inside.

The chances of that happening are even higher when the drain hose has many bends and turns instead of providing a straight path for drain water to flow.

How to fix it: Thankfully, you can unclog these parts incredibly quickly. Both of them are designed so that you can remove them with just a twist.

Firstly, you’ll have to unclog the drain filter. You’ll typically find it on the front of the washer, hidden behind a little door. If there’s still plenty of water inside the machine, you’ll want to drain it using the auxiliary hose first.

Then, twist the drain filter to remove it and wash it thoroughly in the kitchen sink.

Unclogging the drain hose also follows a similar process. You can detach the hose from the back of your GE washer and flush it out using a garden hose outside.

Read: Why Is Washing Machine Spin Cycle Is Very Loud?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Dealing with clogs in your GE washer can be pretty frustrating. But don’t fret! Here are some additional questions and answers you’ll find helpful.

How Do You Force A GE Washer To Drain?

You can force the GE washer to drain manually using the auxiliary drain hose. You’ll find it directly next to the drain filter. Opening that hose will give the water a path to flow out, so be sure to have a bucket or tray nearby.

Can Vinegar Damage Your Washing Machine?

Yes, vinegar and other acidic substances can damage some parts of your washing machine. Those substances cause damage mainly to the rubber parts of the washer. So, it’s best to avoid using vinegar to remove or prevent clogs.

What Causes A Washing Machine Drain To Clog?

The washing machine drain will clog if you do not clean it regularly. In addition, small buildups of lint, dirt, and debris will build up quickly the longer you delay cleaning the washer’s drain system.

How Do You Prevent Clogs In A Washing Machine?

You should remove the drain filter and drain hose for cleaning once every 6 months to prevent clogs. Most washers these days also have Auto Clean functions, which can help prevent clogs if you use them regularly.

How Do You Know If Your Washing Machine Isn’t Draining?

You’ll know your washing machine isn’t draining if the drum has any water inside even after the wash program ends. A washer full of water is an obvious sign of a drain failure. However, washers shouldn’t even have a small puddle of water in the drum when it’s done with your laundry.

Read: How To Stop A Washing Machine From Moving When Spinning

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