How to Repair a Washing Machine That Will Not Drain

Fred's Appliance
May 6, 2018
Washer Repair
Do your clothes seem wetter than usual after pulling them from the washer?
Are your clothes taking longer than usual to dry?
If you are experiencing either of these symptoms, it could be an indication that the washing machine is not completely draining.

How to Test a Washing Machine That Does Not Drain

Read on as this may not be as serious a problem as it appears. Let’s try a simple test to determine your washer’s drain speed.
  • With the washtub full of water and clothes – maybe it already is – set the cycle timer to final spin.
  • Shut the lid and let the final spin cycle run for at least 90 seconds. Please note that the length of time it takes a washer to drain will vary from one model to another. The important thing is to run as complete of a cycle as possible.
  • Open the lid and check the tub.
  • If it is not completely empty, the machine may have a clogged or kinked drain hose line.

How to Inspect, Repair or Replace Drain Hoses

Tools Needed: Spring Clamp Pliers or Channel Lock Pliers
  • Before beginning any work, unplug the washer from its power source and shut off both the hot and cold water.
  • Remove the rear panel which will give you access to the drain hose.
  • The hose you are looking for is attached to the water pump and the bottom of the frame of the washer.
  • Have a small bucket ready to capture any water remaining in the hose and pump.
  • Remove the top spring clamp first with either the spring clamp or channel lock pliers. Be aware that water remaining in the pump and hose will leak out.
  • Remove the bottom part of the hose.
  • Inspect the hose and if it is in good condition, manipulate and reshape the hose back on to the water pump fitting in such a way as to ensure there are no kinks.
  • If the hose is worn or damaged, replace it.
  • Ensure the hose does not rub against the transmission pulley.
Fill the tub with water and set the timer to final spin. The washer should drain all of the water but in case this did not solve the problem or that your machine did not have a kinked hose, let’s take a look at another troubleshooter. The above repair was performed on a Whirlpool top-loader, belt-driven, washing machine.

Drain Clogged or Defective Water Pump?

The following troubleshooter guide is for the Whirlpool Cabrio, model # WTW6400SW3. The machine will not drain because either the drain is clogged, or the water pump has failed.
The tools you will need for this inspection are a putty knife, flat-head screwdriver, pliers, 7/16 socket, and a ¼ inch nut driver for your drill.
Remember to unplug the machine from its power source!

How to Gain Access to the Water Pump Drain

  • Using the putty knife, release the tabs that hold the top in place.
  • Tape the lid shut to prevent it from flopping around and banging into the wall.
  • Lift the top up
  • Release the tabs that hold the round band that sits on top of the tub. Remove and place aside.
  • Remove the agitator by popping off the center cap at the bottom of the tub.
  • Using a 7/16 socket, remove the nut that holds the agitator in place. Remove the agitator and set aside.
  • Lift the tub out of the unit and lay aside. Now you have access to the drain and pump area.
  • Reach through the water and begin searching for foreign objects. The pump and drain sit mostly in the upper right-hand corner.
  • If you were able to remove any foreign objects from the drain area, start suspecting that it’s the water pump that needs to be replaced. But wait because you need to perform one more test before you know for sure.
  • Plug the machine back in. On the control panel, set to final spin and push the drain button.
  • If the water pump comes back on and the water drains from the tub, then you have solved your problem. Button up the machine and do a load of laundry!
  • But if the water did not drain, and the pump still sounds like it’s trying to activate but doesn’t, you need to replace the water pump.

How to Remove and Replace a Water Pump in a Whirlpool Cabrio Top-Loader

Removing and replacing a water pump may seem like an intimidating project but it is actually a lot easier than it sounds.
When working on any appliance, remember to use common sense safety procedures. Common hazards to be aware of when replacing a water pump are such things as sharp edges, electrical, gas and fire, heavy lifting, water leaking, and working around fragile components.
The tools you will need for the following repair are a #2 Phillips screwdriver, ¼ inch flat head screwdriver, channel locks or the spring clamp pliers.

Removing the Water Pump

  • Locate the two screws to the upper rear of the unit, one on each side just behind the control panel.
  • Using the #2 screwdriver, loosen but don’t remove, the two screws.
  • Tilt the control panel.
  • Disconnect the black wire harness from the lid switch.
  • Locate and release the two clips, one on each side on top of the unit.
  • Open the washer lid and grasp the middle base of the cabinet and pull it towards you.
  • The water pump is located at the bottom of the machine under the washing basket.
  • With the flat head screwdriver, release the two pump retainers that hold the cover over the water pump.
  • Pull retainers from the pump and set aside.
  • Release and slide the spring clamps about 4 inches down each hose so they are positioned off the pump flanges.
  • Before removing the hoses completely from the water pump, place a bucket under the water pump and hoses.
  • Pull and twist hoses off the pump.
  • Drain all the water from the pump and hoses into the bucket.

Replacing the Water Pump

  • Note that the inner notch on the water pump is keyed to fit one-way only.
  • Slide the larger hose on to the larger port of the water pump. Should be the top hose and port. Ensure the hose is flush against the stop on the water pump motor shaft.
  • Do not replace spring clamps until the water pump is securely in place.
  • Do not force the water pump on to the shaft or you may cause damage not covered by any warranty.
  • Secure the pump in place with the pump retainer clips.
  • Ensure the hoses are not kinked or twisted in any way.
  • Reapply clamps and ensure they are securely placed in the water pump ports.
  • Reinstall the cabinet and control panel and you are ready to go!
Now that you’re getting to know your Whirlpool washing machine, maybe there is something else we can help you with. We love to interact with our visitors so give us a shout sometime.
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