Diagnosing Washing Machine Drain Problems

Diagnosing the Problem

Make sure to consult your washing machine's owner's manual. The troubleshooting section may give you suggestions for some reasons for drain problems. Some modern washing machines display error codes that will identify the problem for you. If this doesn't identify the problem, observe your washing machine as it runs through one of its drain cycles. As you watch the machine in action, some of the following problems could be identified:

Plumbing System Problems

If water is successfully pumping out of the machine but is then spilling out of the drain stand tube or backing up in the washtub, then the problem is likely a traditional drain clog. Because small fabric fibers routinely are flushed through the system, it's common for drain clogs to occur in the plumbing pipes into which the washing machine drains. A clogged drain causes water to back up into the standpipe and spill on the floor. Clearing the clogged drain will usually resolve the problem.

The washing machine drain hose goes down about two feet into the plumbing drain standpipe. From there, the water then goes into a drain trap. The clog could either be in this trapped area, or it could be further down the drain line.

To determine where the clog is located, first, fill the washing machine with water. Turn the dial to the spin/drain setting and get ready to drain it. Position yourself where you can see the drain standpipe while still having access to the washer dial. By watching the standpipe, you'll be attempting to see how long it takes the water to back up and out of the drain pipe.

Drain Pump Problems

If you can hear the pump operating but it sounds like it is laboring, there may be a piece of fabric or another item obstructing the pump mechanism. To remedy this, you'll need to shut off and drain the machine, then remove the washing machine panel to examine the water pump. The pump itself may be clogged, or the clog might be in the corrugated tube that leads to the pump.

Most pumps have removable covers, and inside you will find a filter screen on the pump. If this screen is clogged with debris, cleaning it and reassembling the pump will likely fix the problem.

On top-loading washing machines remove any visible lint from the filter screen and rinse it in water. Also, check the impellers on the pump and make sure they move freely and are not jammed with any obstruction. Reassemble the pump and cover panel, then test the machine.

If the pump is making no operating noise at all, or if you find no obstructions in the pump or drain hose, it is possible that your water pump has failed and will need to be replaced. This is normally a job for an appliance repair person, although it's possible for a skilled homeowner to order the part and perform the replacement.

Drain Hose Problems

If you hear the washing machine's pump operating but no water is leaving the machine, it is likely that the rubber drain hose running from the back of the machine to the drain standpipe or washtub is clogged with cloth fibers. This can sometimes happen after you wash items like rugs, which may shed a lot of fabric fibers, or if the drain hose is pinched. If the hose is clogged, it can prevent the water from being pumped out of the machine.

Troubleshoot Whirlpool Cabrio Washer Problems and Do Your Own Repairs

To test this, remove the drain hose attached to the washer and make sure it is clear. An easy way to check that the drain hose is clear is to blow air through it. If nothing is obstructing the drain tube, the problem is most likely at the washing machine pump. If the hose is worn or badly kinked, replacing the hose may improve the ability of the machine to pump water.

JCN Plumbing is a licensed and insured plumbing company servicing the Miami Dade and Broward area.

Call today for a free estimate - (305) 770-6860