Washing Machine Not Draining

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There is nothing worse when, after your washing cycle has passed, your washer refuses to drain. Whether it isn’t draining properly or at all, there are many reasons why your cleaning appliance may not be performing well. You turn on the spin cycle, thinking that will help, but the water just doesn’t budge. Instead of adding more to your frustration, there is a simple solution for this problem.

Troubleshooting Your Washing Machine

Start by unplugging your washer for about a minute. After one minute has passed, plug it back into your power socket and open and close your washer door six to twelve times for an instant reprogramming. Top-load washers are typically compatible with this technique, but if you own and operate a front-loading washing machine, then just stick to unplugging and plugging it back in before moving on to the next steps. Do this by: 

Checking Your Lid Switch (and Replacing It)

  1. Press it with your finger to see if the washer starts to drain.
  2. Listen for a click sound or a “lid closed” indicator on your washer’s screen. If successful, then simply extend the stem located on the lid to depress the switch automatically and let the washer drain normally.
  3. If nothing happens when you depress your lid switch manually, then consider replacing your lid switch assembly altogether. Luckily, you can order a replacement online and install it yourself.

Replacing the Lid Switch (Optional)

You can replace the lid switch if necessary by unplugging the washer and switching off the hot and cold valves. Disconnect your control console by removing the holding screws, found either at the front/back ends of the panel or beneath the panel.

Then, simply:

  1. Expose the lid switch wire harnesses and cabinet clips. Do this by rotating the control panel to the back of the washer. Squeeze the sides of the wire harness and pull it apart.
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cabinet clips. Use a “down and out” motion to remove these clips.
  3. Grab and lift the washing machine cabinet, and pull it out of the frame.
  4. Spread a towel out onto the floor in case water spills. Lie in front of the washing machine so you can have easier access to the lid switch.
  5. Release the lid switch by opening your washer’s lid and removing the two screws holding it in place.
  6. Pry open the metal retaining clips that hold the lid switch wires using the same flathead screw from earlier. Remove the wires with pliers, and squeeze the sides of the cabinet harness as you pull for safe removal.
  7. Insert your replacement wire harnesses into the cabinet opening. Similarly, take your replacement lid switch wires, and insert them beneath the retaining clips.
  8. Line the replacement switch up with the top of the cabinet and screw them in. Secure the ground wire to the cabinet as well, using a hex-head screw.
  9. Pop the washing machine cabinet back into the frame, and ensure the bottom front slides beneath while the sides rest in the frame.
  10. Secure the rear panel of the washing machine by reinstalling the cabinet clips. Plug the connector back into the lid switch harness.
  11. Place the control console back onto the washing cabinet. Reconnect it simply by reversing the steps you took to disconnect it. Then plug the washing machine back into the power outlet, and reconnect the water valves, both hot and cold.

Checking Your Drain Hose for Clogs and Kinks

Check if your drain hose is blocked and/or kinked. This is crucial, as you may face expensive damages from a blocked drain hose.

To do this check:

  1. Locate your drain hose, which can be found behind the washer.
  2. Adjust it so water can flow smoothly through the drain hose. If your hose is kinked or dented, then it can hinder an otherwise normal and functioning cleaning appliance.
  3. If it is blocked, remove your washer’s front panel, and check for damages or loose items that may have gotten inside.
  4. Remove what you find and see if this starts the draining process. Be careful with this process—you will want to remove as much water as possible before checking for obstructions. This is because removing the hose beforehand can cause water to flood out. To avoid water from spilling all over your laundry room, get a bucket and use it to scoop excess water that may remain in your washing machine.

Checking Your Water Level Control

Another common issue is your water level controls. If your washer won’t drain, then it may be that your water controls are faulty or otherwise damaged. If this is the case, to fix it:

  1. Open the machine’s control panel.
  2. Look for the plastic tube that can be found attached to the water inlet valve.
  3. If simply clogged, then get a small mixture of water and vinegar, and clean the control valve thoroughly. Use a small rag or cloth to wipe it through after direct application, before drying the remnants off with a dry towel. If your control valve is corroded or otherwise damaged, and not clogged, then you will need to replace the valve with another.

If All Else Fails, Hire a Repairman

If you have tried all of these steps and your washer still refuses to work, then you may have a broken pump or drive belt. These require professionals to repair or replace, as they are easily mishandled when inserted into the washing machine.

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