Why Won’t My Washing Machine Drain?

Why Won’t My Washing Machine Drain?

. 4 min read


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A broken washing machine that’s backed up or won’t drain can lead to major hassles for homeowners. Best case scenario, your laundry loads sit soaking wet and unfinished. Worst case scenario, your washing machine overflows leading to an entire load’s worth of soapy, dirty water pouring out onto the floor.

Learning how to diagnose your machine’s drainage problems can help prevent major hassles and prolonged downtime. The better you understand how the system works, the better you can attempt to pinpoint the problem. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the various issues that can cause your washing machine to stop draining.

When it’s time to address your washing machine woes, book washing machine repair with a Jiffy Pro. Book instantly on your phone, fill in your order details and we’ll dispatch a Pro to help get your machine up and running.

How a Washing Machine Drains

Washing machines use a pump system to drain water from the main drum during the laundry cycle. This pump system can vary depending on the type of washing machine you have. Depending on the model, the pump system can either be:

  • Directly attached to the washing machine’s central drive motor (the motor that controls the drum).
  • Connected to the central drive motor via a belt.
  • A self-contained electric pump that’s controlled by an electronic control board.

Regardless of what pump system your machine uses, it will have an inlet hose that connects to the washing drum. Water drains from the drum into this inlet hose once the draining process starts. The water will then move through an outlet hose, which connects to a drain standpipe. This standpipe connects the washer unit to your home’s broader plumbing system. This is how properly functioning drain systems operate.

Where the Problems Can Arise

Washing machine drainage issues can be boiled down to three main problems:

  1. A pump system malfunction
  2. A blockage
  3. A faulty lid switch

Issue: The Pump System is Defective

As mentioned earlier, your washing machine can either use a pump system that’s attached directly to the drive motor, one that’s directly connected to the drive motor via a belt, or a self-contained electronic system. This distinction is important because unique problems can affect components in each of these systems. When it comes to pump issues, you’ll often be able to hear the mechanism struggling to operate. Many modern units also have warning lights that will come on to identify a specific issue.

Pump Belts: Washing machine models that use a belt-driven pump system can run into issues when the belt itself becomes stretched or worn over time. As the belt wears down, it will be unable to drive the pump system effectively. The belt can also simply come loose, which will lead to improper draining.

Direct-Drive Pumps: Direct drive pumps are ones that are coupled directly to the washing machine’s motor. These pumps often run into problems when the impeller seizes up and ceases to move water through the system. The impeller is a central part of the pump that circulates water as it rotates. In addition to mechanical failures, small objects can also get caught in the impeller, restricting its motion.

Self-Contained Electronic Pumps: Self-contained electronic pumps operate separately from the machine’s main drive motor and they have their own electronic control board. When these types of pumps are not performing properly, it often comes down to an electrical issue with the control board. Because issues with these pumps are often electrical in nature, it’s especially crucial to leave these types of repairs to a professional.


Issue: A Blockage in the System

If the pump seems to be running fine, but no water is draining from the main drum, the problem could be an obstruction in one of the hoses. It’s very common for collected fibres, coins and small articles of clothing to get caught in the system, obstructing the flow of water through the inlet hose leading to the pump, the outlet hose leading to the standpipe or through the pump mechanism itself. These hoses can often become pinched, or they will clog after laundering items that shed large amounts of fabric during a wash cycle.

Issue: A Faulty Lid Switch

In top-load washing machines, the lid switch sits just beneath the lid and works in conjunction with the main motor. In front-load washing machines, the lid switch is located on the inside of the door. When it clicks into place, the switch sends a signal to the motor to begin the cycle. A faulty lid switch can disrupt the wash in the middle of its cycle, which will often cause the drum to not drain properly.

Jiffy Can Help Fix Your Faulty Washing Machine

With so many different makes and models of washing machines available, and so many potential causes for drainage issues, it’s important to leave washing machine repair to the Pros. Jiffy works with appliance repair service professionals that will help you get your washing machine draining properly.

Booking with Jiffy couldn’t be simpler: fill in your order details and location, identify the timing that works best for you and we will dispatch the nearest Pro at the requested time. You can even track your Pro en route to your home. After the job has been completed, you can pay seamlessly and rate your Pro based on your overall satisfaction with the job.

Book Washing Machine Repair With Jiffy Today >>