How to fix a washing machine that won’t drain
My washing machine is a bit dated. Probably one of the first front load washers. From early 2000s. So help forums and repair tips online were limited and extremely unhelpful. The problem I was having is my clothes would come out either sopping wet or smelling foul. I never paid any attention to the cycles of the washing machine until I noticed the washing machine wasn’t making the gurgling sound of water draining. So I grabbed a bucket and began draining the water out of the washing machine manually. Then I’d start the washer again and pay more attention. I noticed that when the washer would get to the drain cycle, instead of the water draining I’d hear a grinding noise.
At about the third day worrying I’d have to go buy a new washing machine I started Googling the symptoms and just tried everything. Even if it was for newer machines. Most said hose was probably clogged or water drain pump would need to be replaced. I found a replacement pump for $90. And I found a newer but used washing machine for $175. I did not want to spend even $30..
Frustrated on day four I once again drained the washer, then I took the back off and followed the drain hose. I unclasped the drain hose clamps and ran a coat hanger through the drain hose at both ends. No clogs.
The device that the drain hose was connected to was the water drain pump. So I take all hoses off of the drain pump and unscrew it from the floor of the washer and take the pump to the sink and began inspecting. I can see what looks like shop fan style blades inside and decided to see if the fan will spin. It did not. On further inspection I notice a bit of lint. I grabbed some needle nose pliers and pulled. What came out was a large mass of fuzz/hair/lint/fur. Then I tried to spin the fan blades. Success. The blades turned.
I re-install the pump and all hoses and gave the washing machine a test run. Power it on and let the washer fill with water then unplug the machine and crank the dial forward to skip ahead to drain mode. Success. The water drained completely as the washer is supposed to do.
The fix – Short version
- Drain washer and hose.
- Remove hose and check for clogging of the hose.
- Check water pump and see if blades/fan moves. If blades do not move, clean fuz and debris from pump until blade turns.
FYI, those pictures are of the drain pump sitting in the sink. What you see in the needle nose pliers is a big wad of lint, hair,fur etc..
The pump still worked even after I pulled that nasty glob out. The pump had two screws holding it down, and two clamps holding two hoses on. Very simple quick procedure. Well that is, after all of the water was drained out of the washer and hose.
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