6 Reasons Why Washing Machine Not Draining

When it comes to the major appliances in your home there is almost never a good time to find out that you have a problem with the washing machine that won’t drain.

While having a problem with a small appliance is not much of a problem because most of them don’t cost much to replace.

There are several reasons why a washing machine won’t drain. But most common of them are: drain pump filter clogged with debris or hair, bad drain pump, lid switch is broken or drain hose clogged.

The purpose of this article is to help you, the reader to be able to possibly do some troubleshooting and discover the likely cause of the problem.

6 Common Causes For Washing Machine Not Draining

Clogged drain hose

Part of several of the cycles of the washing machine it is necessary for the water to be removed from the drum of the washing machine.

The way this is usually accomplished is by using a water pump the sucks the water from the drum through the drain by using a hose.

If you are washing a load of close and you hear the drain pump kick on to start the draining process but nothing happens.

There could be a problem with the rubber hose that runs from the washing machine drain to the laundry room drain is clogged.

To check the hose of any clogs, be sure that you turn off the washer and move the washer so that you can gain access to where the drain hose connected to the washer.

Once you have the hose disconnected from the machine you should remove it from the washtub or basin.

Once you have the hose completely disconnected check to see if there is anything lodged inside the hose.

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Try to run water through it and it does not come out the other end, you may need to find something long enough to shove down inside the clear the blockage.

Once you clear the blockage and water run through it, you can put the hose back on and turn the washer back on to see if it drains.

Clogged drain pump filter (most common for Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Bosch, etc)

All washing machines have a water drain pump that is designed to evacuate the water from the tub after cycles of washing and rinsing the clothes.

However, if during one of these draining cycles you hear that the pump appears to be running but water is either going down slow or not at all.

Chances are there might be a clog in the pump filter that is restricting or completely preventing the water from going through the pump.

If you suspect a problem with the pump, you will need to gain access to the inside of the washer to check the pump filter.

So, the first thing you need to do is unplug the washer from the outlet and pull the washer away from the wall so that you can gain access to the back panel if the drain pump filter located behind the machine, but on the most of the front-loading machine filter located on the front.

Remove the access panel and locate the drain pump and remove the hose from the inlet side and check the filter for any debris that might be clogging it.

If you find any debris, clear it all away and reattach the hose.

Button up the back access panel and plug the washer back in and check to see if it drains properly.

Read Also: Hotpoint Washer Not Draining- How to Fix It

Problem with the lid switch (Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag)

The lid switch is an important part of the safety system that is builtin in all washing machines.

If the top lid is open the machine will stop running immediately and will not operate until the lid is closed again.

This is to prevent anything from accidentally falling inside and causing damage.

If you suspect that the lid switch maybe not working and therefore keeping the machine from working even though the lid is actually closed.

washing machine not draining
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If you suspect the lid switch you test it in a couple of different ways. You can open the lid, locate the lid switch and push down on the switch and listen for the telltale clicking sound.

You can also double-check and test the lid switch with a multimeter to see if there is continuity.

If the switch is bad you can purchase a new one and then replace the faulty switch.

Be sure that you unplug the washer from the outlet. Gain access to the top of the washer underneath the top cover and disconnect the power leads running to switch.

Remove the old switch and replace it with the new one.

Bad drain pump

If notice that the water is not draining out of the tub and the drain pump does not seem to be working at all.

There is a very good chance that the pump itself is bad and you will need to investigate.

After checking to see if there are no obstructions and that the pump is not even making any noises, then there is a strong chance that the pump itself is bad. Replacements can be purchased on Amazon for around $30. Check model number before ordering.

Get A Drain Pump For Your Washer Here (affiliate link)

If it is necessary to replace the drain pump then you will first need to drain all of the water from the washer.

Then you will need to unplug the power cord from the wall to allow you to disconnect and remove the drain pump from the washer.

Move the washer away from the wall in order to make it possible to get at the back access panel.

Once inside you will need to remove the hoses from the inlet and outlet of the drain pump.

Unbolt and remove the pump from the washer and replace it with the new pump that you received from the manufacturer.

Once you have the new pump in place you can close everything up and plug the washer back in and test it.

Read Also: Maytag Washer Not Draining- How to Fix it

A damaged or worn belt (for some old washer models)

If the drain pump is not damaged or clogged by the water still does not seem to be draining during the wash or rinse cycles.

The problem could be a worn or damaged drive belt.

This belt is what operates the pump and is located at the bottom of the washing machine.

If you suspect the belt is the problem you need to contact the manufacturer to get a replacement drive belt.

To replace the worn belt you will need to first unplug the washer and pull it away from the wall so that you can get to back access panel.

Open the access panel and locate where the bottom of the tub is at and you will find the belt.

Remove the old, worn-out belt and install the brand new belt. After it is in place, button everything back up and plug the washer in to see if the tub drains. 

Clogged drain Line

If you have checked all of the possible things that could be wrong with the washer and it is still not draining.

The last possible thing you can check is that you have a clog in your drain system.

Just a little hint, if that was the case chances are you would have noticed a whole lot of water was all over your floor.

It is highly possible that small amounts of fibers or other debris could have caused a clog in your home’s drain system.

You can try using one of the small handheld drain snakes or you might have to call in a plumber.

Once you get that clog taken care of, you should run the washer just to be sure that everything is working again.

Reader Comments (13)

  1. My daughters washing machine is very loud. Her clothes are still wet after a cycle but when she spins it it’s very loud but it does spin clothes better but not perfect. I turned drum by hand and it seems ok. No noise.plus her clothes smell ok when first come out of machine but dry smelly.

  2. Hi Eugene, thanks for your post. I had this problem with my Bosch that I’d had for about 12 years. Not drawing or spinning. Did all recommendations, filter etc, checked u bend etc.
    Couldn’t fix it so thought I’d get a new machine. First wash -same problem!!

    I filled the sink with water – twice – it uses same drain pipe as machine – it drained quickly. So concluded it wasn’t the drain. What do you possibly think is going on?
    The shop said they’d replace the brand new machine but if sink is draining quickly could it still be the drain?

    Please help . Kind regards Anne

  3. Eugene,
    Thank you for your educational posts! My problem is that I’ve already checked the six common causes for the LG front loading washing machine not draining, and I replaced the pump, checked al the drain pipes for clogs and still my washer won’t drain. Do you have any ideas about what to check next. Model number WM2688HNM

    • Make sure you have replaced the right pump )) MAny people make a mistake by changing pump on the right side (once you disassemble machine) cause they are looks identical. You need to replace the pump on the left side. Is this what you have replaced?

  4. I have a kenmore elite top load washing machine and I got an error code “drn”. After a quick google search- drain clog or something of the sort. But today I plugged it back in and ran a clean washer cycle and everything went fine? Should I still have a tech come out to double check?

    • probably not.. if everything is working now, what tech will need to fix? he will only charge for the service call and do nothing (in most cases)

  5. I got my daughter an indesit washing machine for moving into her first property,but due to covid daughter decided to stay at home as was pregnant at the time so long story short appliance was never opened.My daughter moved into her property a week ago got machine plumbed in put on first load of washing and it will not drain. Any advice would be a great help.

    • 1. Check drain pump filter
      2. Try different cycles
      3. Listen for the drain pump. Does it make any sound?

  6. Hi,

    I have a Samsung 8kg top loader washing machine and the cycle stops at spin and it won’t drain at all. It all started a few weeks ago with a burning smell. A guy had come through to hv a look and said it’s the draining pump tht needs to be replaced and the motherboard. Now, I contacted another place and was told tht you can nly kno if the motherboard needs replacement is if you 1st fit in the draining pump. All this guy did was switch the machine on and he said tht he can hear the suction sound it makes when switching it on which tells him it’s the motherboard. Please advise as I do not want to be ripped off as his costing R1500 for this repair?


    • I doubt that its the problem with control board. That tech guy probably do not know, what he is doing )))

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