An annoyingly common fault you can have with your washing machine is that it no longer drains.
You can set it going and it will appear to be making all the right noises but you come back expecting to find cleaned clothes and you’re met with a drum full of water.
This is clearly annoying the short run, as you now have to deal with that water yourself, but also in the long run as you will need to find the cause and fix for your washing machine.
There are a number of possibilities for why your washing machine won’t drain properly. These can range from clogs in various parts of the appliance to various components actually failing, such as the pump. Fortunately, some of these problems are possible to fix yourself without calling an engineer.
There are plenty of ways to troubleshoot a washing machine that is having this kind of problem, as well as some simple fixes you can try.
Before doing anything though, you’d better get the water out of your drum!
The only way to do this really is to open the door with a tray or bucket underneath to catch the water.
If the door lock won’t disengage then you can switch the washing machine off to reset it.
Common Reasons Why Your Washing Machine Won’t Drain
There are a bunch of different causes for a washing machine that won’t drain.
Some of the more common ones often involve, unsurprisingly, the drain itself.
Drain blockage: If the drain at the back of the machine is blocked then the washing machine won’t drain properly.
Any number of things could cause a blockage in the drain. If you have left tissues or other objects in the pockets of your clothes then these could get swept into the drain hose and block the water.
Blockage could also occur if the drainage hose has become bent.
Just like with a garden hose, a kink in the hose will obstruct water flow, which can prevent proper drainage from the washing machine.
The drainage pump is also susceptible to blockage in the same ways and this will inhibit the removal of water from the drum of the washing machine.
Solenoid valve: This usually leads to finding some leftover water in the drum, but not necessarily a full drum of water.
The solenoid controls the flow of water in and out of the drum.
If this valve is not closing properly, then the water flow won’t be quite right and this can lead to water being left in the drum after a wash cycle.
Detergent blockage: There’s a reason that washing machine instructions tend to have advice on which type of detergent is best and how much to use.
If you end up using too much detergent, the amount of suds can start to cause a problem.
This will start to cause deposits and build ups on the filter for the drain hose, which can lead to blockages.
The wrong type of detergent can also cause this same issue. If you get a detergent that isn’t compatible with the water type in your area (hard or soft), then it might not properly dissolve, which will definitely cause blockages at the back of the drum.
Now that you know which problems can occur, let’s look at how to identify which issue is the culprit.
How to Troubleshoot a Washing Machine That Won’t Drain
The very first thing you can do is check the programme that you set when you put your laundry on.
Not every programme includes a spin cycle at the end to drain the water, so make sure that the one you selected does.
If not, you should be able to set a quick spin and drain cycle to get rid of any water leftover.
Another simple test you can do is reduce the amount of detergent you use in a cycle, based on the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
This may reduce the amount of suds produced, which can sometimes solve issues related to drain blockage.
Some more technical troubleshooting can be done as well.
Master reset: You can unplug your washing machine from the mains then plug it back in.
This will sometimes tell the machine to reset everything to the default settings, which might solve issues with water retention.
Check the filter: This is one of the most common culprits. This is designed to filter out small objects from the water to stop them from entering the drain hose.
The result of this is that the filter will then get blocked by these small objects, blocking the hose anyway.
It’s good practice to check this semi regularly and clean it if needed.
As well as this, it’s definitely a good idea to check the pockets of all your clothes before washing them, as small objects in the pockets can lead to blockages.
The best way to clean the filter is hold it under running water, with the water running through from back to front to get rid of any dirt on it.
Check the water level sensor: Most washing machines have a control that detects the level of the water inside the drum.
This can become clogged as well and this will mean it can no longer detect the water level properly.
If this is the case the water will no longer drain out of the drum correctly.
To get to this part, open the front control panel of the washing machine and find a plastic tube attached to the water level valve.
If this tube is clogged then you can clean it out with some vinegar. If vinegar on its own doesn’t do the trick, then a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in water will usually clear it out.
If the part itself has become corroded, though, then there will be no option except to replace it.
These are some of the fixes you can do yourself and most them are relatively simple to perform. Diagnosing the issue is usually the most time consuming part.
There are plenty of fixes you can do yourself to solve the issue of a washing machine not draining properly.
Usually this will be to do with blockages in some of the inner workings which just require cleaning.
If you’re unsure about how to proceed then always consult with a professional before attempting anything yourself.
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