Running washing machines make several different noises. They range from the gentle humming of components to the whirring of the spinning drum. Those sounds are normal, but any loud and unusual ones that happen when the washer is draining suggest a problem.
A loud draining noise can come from a pump that’s jammed by a foreign object. Other noises can also come from the pump’s impeller, especially if foreign objects damage it as they pass through. Besides that, a clogged drain filter, damaged or dirty pulleys, and a fault in the gearcase can also produce loud and unusual noises.
Loud noises from your washing machine can cause concern. But don’t worry. In this guide, you’ll understand why those noises are happening and what you can do about them.
Why Is My Washing Machine Making A Noise When Draining?
When your washing machine makes loud noises only while draining, there’s a strong chance it has something to do with the drain pump.
The drain pump could have a foreign object stuck in it, a clog, or damage to its impeller.
Besides that, some of the washer’s pulleys could also be blamed.
Let’s look at each of those possibilities and what you can do about them.
Foreign Object In Drain Pump
When you begin the troubleshooting process, the first thing you should look for is a foreign object that found its way into the drain pump.
Typical examples are pens and other hard objects from inside the washer. Unfortunately, people often forget to empty their clothes pockets before throwing them in the wash. So, things like pens and other hard objects can fall out from clothes pockets.
The hard object gets washed into the drain pump and prevents the impeller from turning when that happens. The pump will try its best to turn that impeller, and that will cause it to make loud noises.
You may or may not be able to free the foreign object from inside the pump. Firstly, you’ll have to remove the pump entirely to inspect it closely. Then, you can try to remove the thing if it’s still in one piece.
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However, if the pump breaks the object into many smaller pieces, it might not be practical to try and get all of them out. At that point, a much more straightforward solution is to replace the pump with a new one.
Damaged Drain Pump Impeller
Loud noises while draining can also happen when the drain pump impeller suffers damage. This is because the impeller turns to drive water in one direction. Doing so forces the dirty water to exit the appliance through the hose at the rear.
Any foreign objects that pass through the pump can cause damage to the impeller. The impeller will become loose, misaligned, or have deformed vanes when that happens.
Those problems will cause the impeller to grind against the drain pump and damage it from within.
As those parts grind against each other, they’ll create the loud noises that you hear. So, for instance, there might be a loud screeching or grinding noise coming directly from the drain pump section of the appliance.
Depending on your washing machine brand and model, you might be able to remove and replace the drain pump impeller separately. However, if your washer brand doesn’t allow for that, you’ll have to replace the pump entirely.
Clogged Drain Pump Filter
After ruling out parts of the drain pump, the next part you’ll want to check is the drain pump filter. This filter is separate from the drain pump, though it’s typically nearby.
Here’s how it works.
As the drain pump forces water out of the washer tub, it’ll drive that water through a filter. That filter is there to remove any lint, dirt, debris, and small foreign objects like coins and paper clips.
When the filter isn’t cleaned regularly, a buildup will form inside and prevent drain water from flowing through. When it becomes severe enough, you’ll find that it clogs the drain entirely.
Unfortunately, clogs will make your drain pump work harder than usual to force water out. As that happens, you’ll start to hear loud noises coming from the pump that only occurs when the washer is trying to drain.
Thankfully, the solution to this problem is incredibly straightforward. To resolve it, you’ll have to twist the filter open and remove all dirt and debris inside. Then, you can screw it back into place, and water will flow normally.
Dirty Or Damaged Pulleys
Suppose you hear a squealing or thumping noise, particularly when draining the washer. Another possibility you must investigate is that a pulley is dirty or damaged when that happens.
Washing machines rely on several types of pulleys, so this part of the process will likely take a fair bit of your time.
The three pulleys that you’ll want to look at (if your washer model has them) are:
- The drive motor pulley: This pulley helps the motor turn the washer drum.
- The transmission pulley: The gearcase or transmission also has a pulley that you must check for dirt and damage. This one helps the transmission turn the drum one way or the other.
- The pump pulley: Some washing machine models also have a pump pulley. That’s because they rely on pulley-powered drain pumps instead of standalone electric pumps.
When you investigate each pulley, you’re looking for accumulations of dirt around the pulleys or visible signs of damage.
If you find any, a replacement is likely needed for the affected pulley and the belt that wraps around it.
Spin Gear in Gearcase/Transmission is Faulty
Last but not least, the sounds you’re hearing from your washing machine can also come from another mechanical part, namely the gearcase.
Since you only hear the sounds when the machine drains (which tends to happen during the spin cycle), the spin gear in the transmission is likely the affected part.
Gearcase problems can be costly to resolve. Your first option is to get a qualified technician to take it apart and see if they can save the affected gear. However, if the gear cannot be saved, you’ll have to replace the gearcase with a new one.
A new gearcase is a significant investment. So, suppose your washing machine is already pretty old. In that case, you should consider whether it’s better to replace your washer with a more recent model.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some other answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) that you’ll find helpful in troubleshooting those noises you hear.
How Do I Know If My The Drain Pump Is Going Bad?
Aside from making unusual noises, a lousy drain pump will also fail to remove all water from the washing machine. So, you’ll likely see a puddle in the washer drum even after the wash program has ended.
How Do I Know If My Drain Pump Is Clogged?
You’ll know that there’s a clog if you can hear the drain pump running but see that no water is flowing out of the drain hose. Typically, you’ll hear a strong humming noise coming from the pump as it tries to function but can’t because of the clog.
What Triggers A Drain Pump To Fail?
Washing machine drain pumps can fail because of electrical or mechanical reasons. Electrically, the pump could suffer a short circuit or damage from a power surge. Mechanically, however, a clog or jam involving foreign objects and debris will also cause it to break.
How Long Do Washing Machine Pumps Last?
Depending on the drain pump quality, you can expect it to last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. However, it’s not uncommon for drain pumps and other washer components to last upwards of 10 years. All of it depends on how much wear and tear it experiences during its useful lifespan.
How Do I Make My Washing Machine Drain Quieter?
Your washing machine will always make a little noise when it drains. That typically consists of a gentle humming from the pump and the sound of water flowing out the drain hose. To minimize those noises, make sure that your pump and its supporting parts are in excellent condition. Plus, the drain hose should lead directly into a standpipe to reduce the noise of flowing water.