How to Fix a Washer That Won’t Drain: Troubleshooting Guide

Check for Clogs in the Drain Hose

When your washer won’t drain, one common culprit is a clog in the drain hose. Clogs can prevent water from properly flowing out of the machine, leading to drainage issues. Here’s what you can do:

  • Inspect the Drain Hose: Check the drain hose for kinks, bends, or obstructions. Ensure it’s properly connected and not twisted.
  • Remove the Drain Hose: Detach the hose from the washer and sink to inspect it more closely. Look for any debris or blockages that could be causing the problem.
  • Clear the Clog: Use a bent wire hanger or a pipe cleaner to carefully dislodge and remove any clogs from the hose.
  • Run Water Through the Hose: After clearing the clog, run some water through the hose to ensure that water flows freely without any obstructions.

Regularly checking for and clearing clogs in the drain hose can prevent drainage problems and keep your washing machine running smoothly.

Inspect the Pump for Blockages

When your washer won’t drain, one of the common culprits could be a blockage in the pump. The pump is responsible for removing water from the machine during the drain cycle, so any obstructions can lead to draining issues.

Key Steps:

  • Locate the pump: Depending on your washer model, the pump is usually found at the back of the machine.
  • Disconnect the power: Prior to any maintenance, ensure your washer is unplugged or the power source is switched off.
  • Check for blockages: Inspect the pump to see if any objects like clothing items, lint, or debris are obstructing its operation.

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How to Inspect:

  1. Access the pump area: Depending on the design, you may need to remove a panel or access hatch to reach the pump.
  2. Visual inspection: Look closely for any visible blockages inside the pump or its connecting hoses.
  3. Clearing obstructions: Use a flashlight to get a better view and carefully remove any debris using gloves or tools like tweezers.
  • Spin the impeller: Gently turn the pump’s impeller to ensure it moves freely without any resistance.
  • Reassemble and test: Once you’ve cleared any blockages, reassemble the pump, and test the washer to confirm if the draining issue has been resolved.

Regularly inspecting the pump for blockages can help maintain your washer’s performance and prevent drainage problems in the future.

Test the Lid Switch Assembly

When your washer won’t drain, the lid switch assembly could be a culprit. Here’s what you can do:

  • Locate the Lid Switch: Find this essential component near the door frame of the washer.
  • Check for Obstructions: Ensure that the lid switch is not obstructed by debris or misaligned.
  • Testing the Lid Switch: Use a multimeter to check for continuity and make sure the switch is functioning correctly.
  • Replace if Necessary: If the lid switch is faulty, consider replacing it to fix the drainage issue.

Regularly checking the lid switch assembly is crucial for smooth washer operation.

Examine the Drain Pump

When your washer won’t drain, one vital component to inspect is the drain pump. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Locate the drain pump: It’s typically found at the bottom of the machine.
  • Check for blockages: Remove any debris causing clogs that could impede water flow.
  • Test the pump with a multimeter: Ensure it’s receiving power and functioning correctly.
  • Replace if necessary: If the drain pump is faulty, a replacement might be needed.

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Remember, a malfunctioning drain pump can be a common reason for drainage issues in washers. Regularly cleaning and maintaining this part can help prevent future problems.

Important Note
Drain pump location Bottom of the machine
Common issue Blockages causing clogs
Action Test with a multimeter
Preventive maintenance Regular cleaning

Contact a Professional for Repairs

If you’ve gone through the troubleshooting steps and the washer still won’t drain, it might be time to seek the expertise of a professional. Here are a few reasons why it’s advisable to contact a repair technician:

  • Specialized Knowledge: A professional will have the skills and experience to diagnose the issue accurately.
  • Safety First: Dealing with appliance repairs can be risky. A technician can ensure the job is done safely.
  • Save Time: Instead of spending hours trying to fix the problem yourself, a professional can quickly identify and resolve it.

Remember, it’s essential to choose a reputable repair service for your washer needs. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and inquire about their experience with washing machine repairs.


That wraps up our guide on troubleshooting a washer that won’t drain. Remember, examining the drain pump, testing for blockages, and considering professional help are key steps. Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your washing machine in top condition. If you’re still facing issues, it’s best to reach out to a trusted repair service. By taking these steps, you can ensure your washer functions efficiently and smoothly for years to come. Stay proactive in maintaining your appliances for hassle-free laundry days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is examining the drain pump important when troubleshooting a washing machine that won’t drain?

Regular examination of the drain pump is crucial as it helps in identifying and resolving blockages and malfunctions that may be causing the drainage issue.

What are the steps involved in checking the drain pump of a washing machine for blockages?

To check for blockages in the drain pump, you can inspect the hoses, filter, and impeller for any debris or clogs that may be inhibiting proper drainage.

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How can a multimeter be used in testing the drain pump of a washing machine?

A multimeter can be used to test the drain pump for continuity, helping to determine if the pump is functioning correctly electrically.

When should the drain pump of a washing machine be replaced?

The drain pump may need to be replaced if it is damaged beyond repair or if testing reveals electrical faults that cannot be resolved.

What should be done if troubleshooting the drain pump does not resolve the washing machine drainage issue?

If troubleshooting does not solve the problem, it is advisable to contact a professional repair service to diagnose and fix the problem efficiently.

Why should one consider hiring a professional for washing machine repair?

Hiring a professional for washing machine repair is beneficial due to their specialized knowledge, ensuring safety, and saving time compared to DIY attempts.

How can one find a reputable repair service for washing machine issues?

To find a reputable repair service, it is recommended to read online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends or family, and verify the credentials and experience of the service provider.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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