If your washer won't drain, check these:It spins, but doesn't pump It doesn't spin or pumpIt pumps, but the water returns
It spins, but doesn't pump
If your washer spins but doesn't pump the water out, the drain line is probably clogged. In many washers, a small sock or other piece of clothing can get between the clothes tub and the outer tub that holds the water. If the clothing gets between the tubs, it may then get into the drain hose that's attached to the pump--or even into the pump itself. If it's in the pump, you need to remove the hoses from the pump and pull the item out.
To remove the sock from the outer tub port, open the washer's main access panel and remove the large-diameter rubber hose that connects the pump to the bottom of the outer tub. Then, using needle-nose pliers, try to grab and remove the clothing through the port.
Sometimes you can't remove the stuck clothing from below. Then you have to remove the agitator, top of the outer drum shield, and inner clothes tub. This isn't easy to do--and you may need special tools--so you might be happier getting a qualified appliance repair technician to do the job.
If the drain line isn't plugged, the problem may be with your pump. Even if the pump appears to be turning, the internal impeller may be broken. If so, you need to replace the pump.
It doesn't spin or pump
If your washer doesn't spin or pump water out but the motor is running, your washer probably has a frozen pump pulley. If so, you need to replace the pump. To check the pulley, remove the pump from the washer and try to rotate the pulley manually. If it doesn't turn freely--if it's frozen or stiff--replace it.
It pumps, but the water returns
If the water that pumps out of the machine goes back into the machine after the spin cycle, your washer may be siphoning the water from a laundry tub that has a slow drain, back into the washer. The usual remedy for this is to improve the draining of the laundry tub. (Is something stuck in the drain?) Also, check for these problems:
It doesn't spin
- If the drain hose reaches more than about 4 inches into the laundry tub, cut off the excess.
- If your drain hose is lower than the washer's cabinet, install an air gap/siphon break assembly.
If your washer won't spin, check these:It doesn't pump or spinIt pumps, but doesn't spinIt spins only with the lid closed
It doesn't pump or spin
If it doesn't pump water out or spin, check to see if the motor is running, then proceed as follows:
It pumps, but doesn't spin
- If the motor is running, your washer probably has a frozen pump pulley or a broken pump belt. To check the pulley, remove the pump from the washer and try to rotate the pulley manually. If it doesn't turn freely--if it's frozen or stiff--replace it. If the pump belt is broken or looks quite worn, replace it--but be sure to check the pump pulley before you change the belt.
- If the motor isn't running, the lid switch may be defective. If so, the washing machine can't spin and may not function at all. The switch is inside the washing machine main housing near the door frame. Often you have to raise or open the top or front of the washing machine to get to the switch. If it's defective, you need to replace it.
If your washer pumps out the water but doesn't spin, check these:
It spins only with the lid closed
- The lid switch may be defective. If it is, the washing machine doesn't spin. The switch is inside the washing machine main housing near the door frame. Often you have to raise or open the top or front of the washing machine to get to the switch. If it's defective, you need to replace it.
- The motor coupler may be broken. Many Whirlpool®-manufactured washers use a small, relatively inexpensive motor coupling. It's plastic and rubber and is mounted to the shaft of the motor on one side, and to the transmission on the other. Over time, the coupler wears out and fails. You may need to replace it.
- A belt may be broken. Many washing machines have one or two belts. If a belt is broken or badly worn, you need to replace it with a genuine belt from the manufacturer. (Some washing machine belts are designed with special characteristics not found in automotive belts.)
- The clutch may be worn. If your washer is a GE, it may use a clutch to come up to the proper spin speed. As the clutch wears out, it may prevent the unit from spinning well or at all. If the clutch is worn, you need to replace it. For this job, you probably want to hire a qualified appliance repair technician.
- The drive motor may be defective. Many washer brands use a reversing motor. For agitation the motor runs in one direction, for spinning and draining, the other. It's possible for a motor to burn out in one direction and continue to operate in the other. If this happens, you need to replace the entire motor.
- The transmission may not be shifting properly. Older washers produced by Whirlpool® have a transmission with an electro-mechanical shifter. If the shifter becomes even partially defective, the unit may drain the water but not spin. This is a complex system, if your washer has a shifter problem, you may want to hire a qualified appliance repair technician to repair it.
- The spin bearing or basket drive may be worn or seized. These components allow the inner tub to spin freely inside the outer tub. When this is the problem, you usually hear a loud sound during the spin cycle. Call a qualified appliance repair technician.
For safety, washing machines are made so that they spin only with the lid closed. The lid switch prevents the spinning action when the lid is up.