How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won’t Drain
Washing machine not draining? Here's the fix!
IntroductionWashing machine not draining? If the washer won't drain or spin, either something is stuck in the washing machine drain hose or pump, or the pump is broken. If a washer won't drain or spin, the fix is simple if you're even just a little bit handy with tools.
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Nut driver
- 5-gallon bucket
- Paint cans or 2x4 scraps to prop up the machine.
Note: We’re showing the repair on a Maytag washing machine. Some details may be different depending on the brand and model of your washer.
Project step-by-step (4)
Remove the Front Panel Screws
Start by unplugging the machine and emptying the water.
- Bail the water out of the tub.
- Pro tip: Drain the tub using gravity by placing the washer drain hose on the floor near the drain or in a bucket. Clamp the hose to prevent any remaining water from running out.
- Once the washer is empty, support the front of it on paint cans or stacked 2x4s.
- Prop up the washer and remove the two screws that secure the front panel. The photo below shows where to find the screws that hold the front panel in place.
Open Up the Washer
Before you do any work on the inside of the washing machine, make sure that the machine is completely unplugged.
- Pull the lower edge of the panel outward and "unhook" the top.
- Pro tip: On some kinds of washers, you'll have to remove the entire shell to access the pump.
Look for the Clog and Pull It Out
The pump has a translucent housing, so you might even see the offending piece of clothing wrapped up in the pump.
- Loosen the clamp that holds the hose to the bottom of the tub and remove the hose.
- Pro tip: Have a bucket and sponge handy. Any water that's left in the machine will run out.
- Remove the belt from the pulley on the bottom side of the washing machine water pump, and if the clog is visible, pull it out.
- Twist the pulley to unwind the fabric as you pull it out.
- Pro tip: If you don't see the clog in the pump or in the washing machine drain hose near the pump, then it could be stuck in the outlet where the hose connects to the bottom of the tub.
If There's No Clog, Check the Pump and Remove It
If nothing is clogging the washing machine drain hose or pump, the pump could be shot. In most cases you'll hear noise from a bad pump, and it'll start to leak if you don't replace it right away. To do so, unscrew the three screws that hold the pump to the washer and remove it from the machine.
How to Replace the Pump
Buy a new one to match.
- You can find a new pump by searching for your washing machine's brand and model number online.
- Pro tip: Model numbers are usually stamped on a small metal plate located under the tub lid or on the top, side or back of the machine. Copy down all the plate information and use it to access online parts suppliers, or take it along to the parts distributor.
- Install the new pump. Attach it with screws and connect it to the washing machine hoses, then reinstall the belt.