How to Drain a Washing Machine?

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A regular washing machine might have some issues to stop the draining function during a particular wash cycle. This might be due to several reasons. They include clog of fibres or lint, a piece of clothing clogging the drainpipe, or a link in the drain hose.

Luckily, these inconveniences can be fixed easily. Actually, the most difficult part might be figuring the cause of the problem. Another problem is to drain the water out of the washing machine so that there is no mess during the repairs.

Any laymen’s first instinct would be to collect as much water as possible in a bucket directly from the machine by opening the door. If you are going for this method, you can use towels to soak the water and collect in a bucket.

But the experts suggest using a drain hose and siphon the water into a bucket. In this article, we have discussed ways to tackle this problem. To figure out a solution, read on.

Why Won’t My Washing Machine Drain Water?

There can be various reasons as to why the washing machine might not be able to drain. The pump may be broken or the water might be clogged.

A broken belt or lid switch can also cause the problem. It might also be caused due to a simple fact that drain hose is clogged due to a piece of cloth or accumulation of dust or dirt. Whatever the reason might be, the water needs to be drained out before any diagnosis or work for the problem is done.

What Does the Drain Function of the Washing Wachine Do?

The drain function of the washing machine is just as the name of the function suggests. The job of the drain function is to drain the water during the spin cycle of the machine. The pump washer lets the water out from the drain hose at the bottom of the machine.

The drain hose then goes to the top of the machine. It then goes to the drain at the bottom. This enables the tub of the machine to fill. The water then goes out of the drain when it reaches at the bend made by the hose.

How to Drain Water out of My Washing Machine?

This function works differently for the different loads of machines. Both the loads are listed below.

Top load

All the steps for top load are listed below.

  • Switch the power off: You need to switch the power connection off. You have to do this by unplugging the washing machine from the power source. Then, to avoid any splashing of the water in plug, you can tape it to the top of the machine.
  • Check the water supply hose and drain hose: Move the washing machine if necessary to access the drain hose. Generally, you will find the drain hose at the back of the machine. You will also notice two water supplies, one hot and one cold. The water supply provides water required for the washing and the drain hose takes the dirty water out of the washing machine. The drain pipe is usually grey in colour. While the hot and cold water supply is red and blue in colour respectively. For safety, you should turn off the water supply from both the pipes by rotating it anti-clockwise.
  • Drain all the water out of the machine: The drain hose of the machine might drain the water to a drain pipe in the wall, a utility sink or a standpipe. Take a large bucket to drain the water and disconnect the hose from the pipe. Be aware that you hold the pipe upwards before you are ready to fill the bucket. You need to lower the pipe as low to the ground so that water can flow out easily. If the bucket fills midway, hold the hose up and empty the bucket to refill again. You need to repeat the process till the entire tub runs out of water.
  • Remove the clog in the drain hose: You might experience that when you lower the pipe, no or little water comes out of it. This can be caused due to a blockage in the drain hose. You need to use a plumber snake to release it. You need to push the coil in till you can feel the blockage. Then, you need to manually turn the handles till you get through the blockage. Beware that the water will start flowing as soon as you get rid of the blockage.
  • Get rid of the pump clog: If your drain hose seems to work fine, the problem might be in the drain pipe. The drain pipe can be found either in the front or at the back of the machine. It can also be at the bottom of the machine. You can consult the user manual to locate it. Once you have found the pump, you need to remove the spring clamps with the help of the pliers. The clogs can be formed of lint or hair. You need to remove the clog with needle-nosed pliers and then attach back the hoses.


The steps to drain the water out of the front load machine are listed below.

  • Switch the power off: You need to switch the power connection off. You have to do this by unplugging the washing machine from the power source. Then, to avoid any splashing of the water in plug, you can tape it to the top of the machine.
  • Identify the drain tube or drain pump filter: You can find two kinds of drainage systems in the front load machines. Either you will locate a drain hose or drain pump or you can find one drain pump filter. Usually, you will find this filter on the bottom of the front of any machine behind the access panel. According to the type of your machine, you need to unclip, unscrew or flip the access panel to reach it.
  • Empty the water from the tub: The water can be drained in two ways depending on the drain pipe.

If the machine has a drain pump filter, then you need to place a towel or a container just against the washing machine to collect all the water without a mess. You need to remove the filter by turning the drain pump knob in an anti-clockwise direction. The water will start flowing. The filter should be removed gradually. If the container fills before the water is drained out, empty it and place the container repeatedly till the tub is empty.

If the machine has both a drain tube and a filter, then you need to place a towel and a low container beneath the drain hose. Then, you need to unclip the drain hose and open the drain cap. This will release the water. You should keep the cap close so that you can put it back if the container fills before the water is drained out. Then, after the water is drained you can clip back the hose.

  • The filter needs to be cleaned: After you have drained the machine, you need to clean the accumulation of any material on the filter with your hands. Then, you can gently clean it with warm water and a soft brush. If the things are still not working, you might need to replace the filter and the access panel.
  • Call for technical help: After trying everything, if you still cannot figure what is the problem that the machine is not draining water properly. It is advised to call for professional help.

Tips to do When your Washing Machine won’t Drain

There are some tips to do when the washing machine won’t drain and the above problems are not the problem with your machine.

  • Master reset: You need to unplug the switch and plug it back in. Then, you should open and close the door of the machine several times. Then, you need to reset everything. This simple procedure might solve your issue.
  • Test that all the doors are closed: In several machines, the water can only be drained if all the lids and doors are closed. You need to check if there is any problem with the lid switch. If there is a problem, you might have to replace it.
  • The water level might be faulty: This might be one of the reasons for the machine to not drain. You need to check the water level valve for this issue. If the valve is corroded, you need to replace it.

Final Word

We hope that all the questions regarding water drainage issues are answered. If you have any doubts, do mention in the comments section below and come back later for the solutions.

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