Why Isn’t My Washing Machine Draining?

Fred's Appliance
February 19, 2014

According to EnergyStar.gov, the average American family washes approximately 300 loads of laundry each year. Depending on the size of your family, this amount can grow even higher. When the water doesn’t drain from the washing machine, however, it can place a serious burden on the family’s normal day-to-day functions. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common problem that families experience, but there’s hope on the horizon. If you’re stuck with a washing machine that doesn’t drain properly, keep reading to learn some potential solutions.

The most common cause of a non-draining washing machine is a blockage in the drain tube. If the tube responsible for transporting water from the washing machine to the home’s septic tank or sewer system is blocked, the water will remain stagnant and cease to drain. This is why it’s important to always check the pockets of your clothes before tossing them into the washing machine. Loose items such as wallets, pens, notepads, keys and pocket change can easily clog the drain tube.

Even if you double check your pockets before washing clothes each and every time, the washing machine’s drain tube could still get blocked by small articles of clothing. Socks and underwear, for instance, can get sucked into the drain where they create a serious blockage. It only takes a single sock to create a world of chaos for you and your family.

Drain tube blockages are the easiest problem to fix, as it doesn’t involve any mechanical work with the actual washing machine. If you believe a blocked drain tube is to blame, closely inspect it with a flashlight to see if you notice any items stuck inside. Depending on the severity of the blockage, you may be able to pull the items out with a pair of needle-nose pliers. If they are lodged deep inside the drain line, you should contact a professional plumber to service the system. They have a variety of tools, such as the snake, used to dislodge items from plumbing systems.

Washing machines use powered pumping mechanisms to drain the water.  If the pump is damaged or broken, the water won’t be able to drain. You really have two different options available if a damaged pump is to blame: you can either attempt to fix it, or you can replace it with a new one. It’s important to note that some of the pumps for older model washing machines are difficult to find.

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