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Why Your Top-Loading Washer Doesn't Drain And How It Can Be Fixed

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Has your top loading washing machine suddenly stopped draining properly? If so, you may need to unclog a blocked hose or replace a faulty pump or impeller. Before you can make the repair or replacement, a repairman may need to troubleshoot to determine if this is the problem. In some cases, the problem may easily be solved by some minor adjustments.

Before You Call for Service

Sometimes, a very heavy or bulky item causes the washer to become overloaded and "off balance." Check the item label for washing instructions. If it is too bulky for your machine, the cycle may stop and the unit may shut down to prevent mechanical failure.

If you are certain that your washer can handle a particularly bulky item or large capacity of garments, you may simply need to redistribute the wash load. Lift the items and distribute them evenly throughout the basket to balance the load evenly. Now run the spin and drain cycle once more.

The problem may simply be caused by the use of an extension cord. Using an extension cord minimizes the voltage supplied to the unit. This may cause your machine to shut down before the rinse cycle has completed.

Understanding the Drain Pump and Hose Function

During the spin cycles, your top-loading washer will extract detergent and water from the clothes and machine. This is done with the use of a drain pump. If your machine uses a belt driven pump for this function, the belt might be torn or have come loose. Perhaps the pump has simply become worn, causing it to malfunction.

In some cases where the washer will not fully drain, the drain pump is not faulty at all. The washer that doesn't drain might be due to a problem with the hose. Maybe something has blocked the outlet hose. The way to determine this is by disassembling the parts and checking inside the hose.

How Your Repairman Will Troubleshoot

Your service repairman may check the drive belt located inside the pump drive pulley of your top-loading washer. The condition of the belt could be the reason for the no-drain symptoms. Sometimes the tension is not tight enough. The serviceman may remove the belt from the pulley, turning the pulley to check the tension. Debris inside the pump drive may have caused the belt to slip, and this may be fixed by clearing out the blockage.

If the pump drive pulley seems to be fine, the repairman may examine the hose for the entry and exit points of the pump hose. Are there objects that have become lodged inside the hose? This is a common problem that causes no-drain symptoms.

This issue occurs when metal objects such as coins, small plastic objects or even articles of clothing become stuck inside the drain hose. If the hose seems to be unrestricted and clear of objects, the repairman will check the outlet pump to note whether something has become lodged. If nothing can be found, your service repair person may turn the washer on and let it run through the cycles.

Normally, when objects or clothing becomes wedged inside the drain pump, you will hear odd sounds or vibration noises while the washer is in operation. The serviceman will listen for any such noise coming from within the machine. In some cases, the pump impeller may come loose from wedged objects banging against it as the washer is in operation.

What If the Pump Impeller Became Loose?

When the pump impeller has loosened or come completely off the pump, the pump will most likely need to be replaced. Your repairman will note the specific model number of the replacement part. If your washer is an older model, you may need to order the part directly through the appliance company.

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