4 Reasons Your Washing Machine is Not Draining

washing machine full of water

It can be frustrating when your washing machine suddenly stops draining the water from the drum.

If your machine has stopped mid-cycle full of water, then it’s usually something that can be repaired with the correct knowledge.

Most of the time it’s caused by a blockage somewhere in the machine and can be fixed quite easily.

We have put together a checklist of the 4 most common reasons why your washing machine would stop draining.

1) The drain pump filter is blocked

If your machine is making a humming noise but will not drain the water, it’s likely that the drain pump is blocked and the impeller on the pump can’t turn.

washing machine drain pump blocked

The drain pump is responsible for pumping the water out of the machine. Most washing machines will have a plastic panel at the bottom and on the right-hand side, which is the drain pump filter flap.

If you take a look behind the plastic flap, you will find the drain pump filter. Be careful when removing the filter because if your machine is full of water and you remove the cap, it will flood out all over the floor.

Washing machines are prone to blockages from small items that you forget to remove from your pockets and clothing such as socks and small baby clothes.

2) The water waste pipe has a blockage

The water waste pipe on a washing machine is usually grey and comes out from the bottom of the machine at the back.

washing machine water waste pipe

If your washing machine will not drain the water away but you can’t find any blockages in the drain pump, then it’s a good idea to inspect the waste pipe.

The waste pipe connects to the pump housing and then runs from the pump through the back of the machine all the way to where it’s connected to your plumbing.

Coins that are left in your clothes during a wash cycle are the perfect size to escape the drum and get lodged in the waste pipe.

You should first remove the pipe from the spigot under the sink and make sure there are no blockages at that end, as that’s usually where they are.

washing machine waste pipe that is blocked near the plumbing

If you can’t see anything blocked up there, then you can remove the pipe from the drain pump housing and check all the way through.

3) Look inside the drain sump hose for blockages

The final place that you should look for blockages is in the drain sump hose.

The sump hose pipe is located between the drum and the drain pump housing. It’s common for socks and tissue paper to get stuck at the sump hose filter ball, which is at the top of the pipe.

To look inside the pipe, you will have to disconnect it from the drum, which is tricky if the machine is full of water.

If the machine has water in the drum and you remove the sump pipe, it will flood out. You will have to find a way to remove as much water as you can out from the drum before removing the pipe.

Make sure to check both ends of the pipe, from the drum and the drain pump housing.

4) The drain pump has broken

If your washing machine is not draining the water and you can’t seem to find any blockages in the machine, it’s probably because the drain pump has failed and needs to be replaced.

The drain pump has an impeller which turns so that the water is pumped away. If the impeller has had to clear a blockage in the past, it might have become damaged.

washing machine drain pump with a blockage

Also, if your machine is quite old, the drain pump may have just worn down over time.

Before replacing the drain pump, you will have to source the new pump. You can find lots of online retailers that will match you to the correct part by using the model number of your machine.

Replacing the drain pump is usually a straightforward job. Here’s a quick guide on how to swap the pump:

  1. Isolate the washing machine from the electrical supply.
  2. Remove the kickplate at the bottom of the machine and then lean the machine back so it’s accessible.
  3. Unscrew the drain pump housing and let it drop down.
  4. Remove the electrical connections to the pump.
  5. Unscrew the drain pump and twist it off.
  6. Attach the new drain pump and screw it to the drain pump housing.
  7. Refit the drain pump housing to the front of the machine and screw it to the front of the machine.
  8. Refit the kickplate and test the machine.

It’s important to pay special attention when tightening the drain pump filter back up. If you leave it loose then it can cause your washing machine to leak.

washing machine drain pump filter being removed

It’s important to remember that most drainage faults on a washing machine are caused by users not removing items from their pockets while loading the machine.

By making sure to check your pockets, you can save yourself repair costs in the future.