How to Fix a Non-Draining Washer: Expert Advice for Troubleshooting

Ever had that sinking feeling when your washer just won’t drain? Picture this: a pile of wet clothes sitting in a pool of water, and you’re left scratching your head wondering what went wrong. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But fear not, because in this article, we’ve got your back! We’re here to guide you through the steps to tackle this common household hiccup.

Check for clogs in the drain hose

When your washer isn’t draining properly, the first thing to check is the drain hose. Often, clogs can develop in this part of the system, causing water to back up and prevent proper drainage.

  • Unplug your washer and locate the drain hose. It’s usually found at the back of the machine.
  • Inspect the hose for any kinks, twists, or obstructions. Clear out any debris that may be blocking the flow of water.
  • Detach the hose and check for clogs both inside the hose and where it connects to the machine.
  • Use a pipe cleaner or plumber’s snake to remove any stubborn clogs.

Taking the time to check for and clear any clogs in the drain hose can often resolve the issue of a washer that isn’t draining properly.

Inspect the drain pump

When your washer isn’t draining properly, another common culprit to investigate is the drain pump. The drain pump’s function is to remove water from the washer during the draining cycle. Over time, the drain pump can get clogged with debris like lint, coins, or small objects. This can impede the water flow, causing drainage issues.

To inspect the drain pump, you’ll typically need to access it by removing a panel on your washing machine. Check the pump for any visible obstructions. If you spot debris, you can carefully remove it with gloves or a tool to prevent damage to the pump.

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If clearing the visible debris doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to check the pump’s impeller. The impeller is a small component that helps move water through the pump. Sometimes, the impeller can get jammed or damaged, leading to drainage problems.

Remember to disconnect your washer from the power source before attempting to inspect or work on the drain pump. Safety first!

Once you’ve inspected the drain pump and addressed any issues, test your washer to see if the problem has been resolved. If the washer is draining properly again, you’ve likely tackled the issue successfully.

Examine the lid switch

If your washer isn’t draining, the lid switch could be a potential culprit. The lid switch is a safety feature that prevents the washer from spinning when the lid is open. If this switch is faulty, it may also stop the drain cycle. Here’s what you can do:

  • Check the lid: Ensure that the lid closes properly and activates the switch when shut. A misaligned or broken lid might not engage the switch correctly, causing draining issues.
  • Test the switch: Use a multimeter to check if the lid switch is functioning correctly. A faulty lid switch will need to be replaced to restore proper drainage.

Remember to always put safety first – unplug the washer before inspecting the lid switch to avoid any risks of electrical shock. Testing and replacing the lid switch can often resolve draining problems efficiently.

Important Note
Check the lid functionality and test the lid switch for proper operation to address drainage issues efficiently.

Test the belt and pulley

When dealing with a washer that’s not draining, another crucial component to check is the belt and pulley. The drive belt connects the motor to the washer drum via the pulley, helping to run the washing and spinning cycles smoothly.

To inspect the belt and pulley properly, you can follow these steps:

  • Unplug the washer from the power source before proceeding to avoid any accidents.
  • Locate the belt and pulley underneath the washer. They are usually found at the bottom of the machine.
  • Check for any visible signs of wear or damage on the belt, such as cracks or fraying. If you notice any issues, it may be time to replace the belt.
  • Test the tension of the belt by pressing down on it. It should have just a little give, not be too loose or too tight.
  • Inspect the pulley for any debris or obstructions that could be affecting its rotation. Clean it if necessary.

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By examining the belt and pulley for wear, tension, and obstructions, you can ensure that these components are in good working condition and not contributing to your washer’s draining problems. Remember to plug the washer back in and test it after completing these checks to see if the issue has been resolved.

Contact a professional if the issue persists

In some cases, despite conducting thorough checks and following the recommended troubleshooting steps, your washer may still not be draining properly. When you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to seek professional help.

Here’s why contacting a professional is beneficial:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and resolve complex washer issues effectively.
  • Specialized Tools: They have access to specialized tools needed for diagnosing and repairing washer drainage problems.
  • Warranty: If your washer is still under warranty, hiring a professional ensures that any repairs needed are conducted in a way that maintains the warranty validity.

Remember, attempting to fix intricate washer problems without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage. Professional technicians can accurately pinpoint the root cause of the issue and provide a lasting solution.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable appliance repair service to ensure that your washer is back to optimal performance.


Remember, if your washer is still not draining properly even after you’ve checked everything, it’s best to call in a professional. They have the knowledge, tools, and expertise to get to the bottom of the issue. Trying to fix it yourself could make matters worse. Contact a reliable appliance repair service to accurately diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring your washer works efficiently.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I seek professional help if my washer still has drainage issues after I’ve checked everything?

Yes, it is important to seek professional help if your washer continues to have drainage issues despite your checks. Professionals have the expertise and tools to diagnose and fix the problem correctly. It is also advisable to maintain the warranty validity by relying on professional assistance, especially if your washer is still under warranty.

What are the risks of trying to fix complex washer issues without professional help?

Attempting to fix complex washer issues without professional help can lead to further damage. Without the necessary expertise, you may end up causing more harm to your washer. Instead of risking further damage, it is recommended to contact a reputable appliance repair service to accurately diagnose and resolve the root cause of the issue.

How can a professional appliance repair service help in optimizing washer performance?

A professional appliance repair service can help optimize your washer’s performance by accurately diagnosing and resolving any underlying issues. Their expertise ensures that the problem is fixed correctly, preventing further complications. By relying on professionals, you can enhance the efficiency and longevity of your washer, ensuring optimal performance in the long run.

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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