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What to Do if Your Washing Machine Is Not Draining?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Igal Geiler

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufactures

If your washing machine is not draining, it may be due to various factors that can affect its drainage system. Blockages in the drain hose or pump filter, improper hose positioning, damage to the drain hose, debris in the pump, or uneven washer placement could cause this issue. If you encounter this problem, it’s advisable to consider these potential causes and take appropriate action to resolve the drainage issue, which may include seeking professional assistance for more complex problems.

There’s a long list of potential causes for why your washing machine has stopped draining. You may be able to fix some of them on your own, and others may be outside your comfort zone. Below, we look closely at potential causes and the best way to address them.

Reasons Your Washers Not Draining

If your washing machine isn’t draining, it can be a stressful experience, even more so if you have a big event and need your favourite dress. Identifying the problem may not be easy, but if you know where to start, you can salvage the situation, finish your laundry and get your big night back on track.

Clogged Drain Hose

The drain hose that sends the water from your dryer to the laundry room tub is one of the first places to look if your washer won’t drain properly. Some small clothes, such as socks or underwear, may have made their way into the hose. It’s surprising how often these types of issues crop up.

Broken Drain Pump

The washing machine pump is one of the most important components of your machine. If it stops working, it can’t turn the impeller, which forces water through the cycle. Without this motion, your machine stops spinning and pumping water properly. The result is a backup of water, and it’s one of the main reasons why your washing machine won’t drain.

Broken Lid Switch or Belt

The pump is one of several reasons your washing machine is not draining. Another cause may be a broken lid switch. Almost all top-load washing machines have a switch underneath the lid that is pressed down when you lower the lid. That action signals your machine to begin its spin cycle and eventually drain when it’s time. If this switch stops working for any reason, your machine will stop working, and it will fill with water.

It could also be your machine’s belt that’s causing the buildup of water. Washing machines are actually pretty simple devices. Inside is a motor that drives a belt and turns the agitator and the pump. If your pump isn’t spinning, there’s a good chance your belt is slipping.

How to Fix a Washer That Won’t Drain

So now we’ve identified some of the main reasons your washing machine doesn’t drain, it’s time to look at how you can fix them. The best way to do that is to look at each of the issues we’ve identified above on a case-by-case basis.

How to Test the Lid Switch

It could be an easy fix if a faulty lid switch is why your machine isn’t working. A broken switch is what causes a washing machine not to drain in many cases. First, take a look at the switch. It’s probably the cause of your drainage issue if it’s broken. If it looks okay, try pushing it down manually — if the machine springs to life and the water level goes down, then the lid switch is not making contact with the washing machine lid when you close it.

You must purchase a replacement lid switch from your local hardware store. If you’re not confident in replacing the switch, contact a qualified technician or appliance repair company for help.

Examining the Drain Hose

Another reason your machine may have stopped draining is an issue with the drain hose. First, look for any kink in the hose that could obstruct the water flow. If there is one, straighten out the hose to remove the kink, start the washer and check to see if it starts to drain normally.

If there aren’t any kinks, the issue may still be a problem with the drain hose, but it could be a clog instead. To remove a clog from a hose, you must disconnect it from the washing machine first, which will cause the water in the drum to pour out. If you want to avoid a flood in your laundry room, you’ll need to drain the drum with a bucket before attempting this fix.

How You Can Tell if It Could be the Pump or Drive Belt

If you’ve ruled out the lid switch and the drain hose, your washer may not be draining because of a problem with the pump or the belt which drives the pump. Fixing these issues is a bit more complicated, so if you’re not at least a little bit mechanically inclined, it’s probably time to call in the technician.

For those with a mechanical background, it may be possible to identify and fix these problems independently. Start by removing the panel that encases the pump, motor, and drive belt. Look for any obvious signs of wear or broken parts. If there is something identifiable, it will need to be replaced. It’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional help before moving forward.


I’ve Tried Everything — the Water Won’t Drain from the Washing Machine

If you’ve considered all of the reasons above and you still don’t know what causes your washing machine not to drain, it’s time to seek outside help. For the lucky few who have a professional appliance repair technician in the family, you may be able to turn to them. For most of us, that’s not an option.

Call a Professional Service Technician Near Me

If you’re ready to call in a professional to help diagnose and fix a washing machine that’s not draining, we encourage you to contact FIX Appliances CA today. Our technicians are fully certified to service all major appliance brands.

We’ve been helping people all over Canada with their appliance repair needs for more than 15 years, and we have a record of success that speaks for itself. Call us today at 1-888-242-0777 or contact us through a quote page. We’ll have your washing machine humming and cleaning the dress for that big event in no time!

Date of page creation: October 01, 2020

Page update date: February 26, 2024


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From O., Oakville
February 27, 2024

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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

If your washing machine isn't draining, it can be due to several reasons. The most common causes include a clogged drain hose, a broken drain pump, a malfunctioning lid switch, or a damaged belt.
To identify the issue, you can start by checking the drain hose for clogs, testing the lid switch, examining the drain hose for kinks or clogs, and inspecting the pump and drive belt for damage.
If the lid switch is the issue, you can try pushing it down manually to see if the machine starts to drain. If it does, you may need to replace the lid switch, which you can typically find at your local hardware store.
If there are kinks in the drain hose, straighten them out to ensure proper water flow. If there are no kinks and you suspect a clog, you will need to disconnect the hose from the machine and clear the clog.
If you've ruled out the lid switch and the drain hose, the issue may be with the pump or drive belt. This can be more complicated to fix, and it's recommended to seek professional help if you're not experienced with appliance repair.

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