Washing Machine isn't Draining

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What to do if your washing machine isn’t draining properly?

Possible Causes: Filter/Sump Pipe/Pump


Disclaimer and Safety Warning[edit]

Disclaimer: Any persons attempting to reproduce the acts represented in this article or any other repair information/article on the Repair Cafe Wiki site, either wholly or in part must be aware that they do so at their own risk. Neither the Author/s or contributing Repair Cafes accept liability or responsibility for any loss, damage, injury or any other unexpected consequences as a result of any attempt to replicate the actions in any article.

This information is intended for sharing between experienced and competent repairers. If you are not technically competent then seek professional advice. You may also invalidate the manufacturers warranty.

Safety Warning: Always check that electrical items are fully disconnected from the mains supply before opening enclosures, and be aware that some items retain charge even when physically disconnected from the mains supply. Always read and comply with safety warnings on the product/appliance and within the manufacturer's documentation; on repair substances, replacement parts, materials and tools used. Always take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety and that of those around you when undertaking fault diagnosis, repair and subsequent testing of any product.

Difficulty level & repair time[edit]

Partshub UK
Difficulty Time
Simple Easy Moderate Tricky Advanced 1 hour


Help! My machine won't drain[edit]

Is your machine not draining properly, either very slowly or worse not at all? If so, this can completely disrupt the spin cycle also as this won't start until the machine is fully dry. This could cause a nightmare laundry session when your clothes come out sopping wet, or you find yourself with a machine full of water.


1: The Filter[edit]

The best place to start looking for a blockage is the filter. If you’ve ever left a coin, hair grip, or something of that nature in your load, and this has managed to fall down the side of the drum then it’s the filter’s job to catch these items. To access the filter, you will usually find a flap at the bottom of your machine. Be careful though, as any water left in your drum will be released once you take out the filter. So don’t pull the plug without being prepared!

Clean out your filter of any major blockages and rinse it with warm water to make sure it’s all clear. Doing this often can help keep your machine draining efficiently.


2: The Sump Pipe[edit]

Sump Pipe

However, if your filter was relatively clean, then it may not be the root cause of your problem. This may lie with the hose leading to the drainage pump (sump pipe), or even the pump itself. To check these for issues, it is best to turn the machine on its side to be able to access underneath. Here, you should be able to see both the sump pipe and drainage pump. First, check the sump pipe by squeezing along the tube to feel for any blockages. If you can detect an obstruction, you will need to remove the sump pipe and clean it out to allow the machine to drain.

3: The Pump[edit]

Washing Machine Pump

If you can’t detect any blockages, or have cleared the sump pipe and the machine is still not draining, then it may be the pump at fault. This could be due to it being burnt out and need replacing. However, it could simply be something caught up in the impeller of the pump - like a piece of plastic or an elastic band. If this is the case, simply remove the debris and hopefully your pump will get back to draining your machine once more.

4: Kitchen Spigot[edit]

Kitchen Spigot Connection

If the machine is still not draining, then it could be a blockage in the pipes. If your machine is connected to a spigot in a kitchen, for example, this could itself be blocked with food or fat debris. To identify this, remove the drainage pipe and see if the machine will empty then (into a bucket to avoid a mess!). If this happens, then it is advised to clean your sink and drain before reconnecting the machine so it is able to drain efficiently.

Comments[edit]

Looking after your machine could save you expensive electrician bills, prolonging the life of your machine so as to save your wallet having to splurge on a new machine.

Repairing your machines yourself can save you money, head to Partshub - a proud partner of the Repair Cafe - for a wide range of spare parts and more information on how you can best care and maintain for your favourite household appliances.


Useful links[edit]

Partshub.co.uk