Troubleshooting A Washer That Refuses To Drain

Few things are more unpleasant than reaching into the washing machine to put your clothes in the dryer and instead dunking your hand into a pool of cold, standing water. Besides potentially leading to mildew issues, a washer that refuses to drain also wastes time and energy as you are forced to either wring out your clothes by hand or leave your dryer to pick up the slack. Thankfully, this issue can typically be resolved through some simple repairs or a quick visit from your local plumber. 

Checking for Lost Socks and Quarters

If you've ever wondered where all of your left socks have been disappearing to over the years, the answer might be closer than you think. The drain hose that is responsible for carrying water from your washer may have become clogged by a spare sock, loose change, hair or any other small objects that tend to clump up in tight spaces. Be ready for spilling water when you disconnect the drain hose to check it for obstructions. Attempting to run water through it with a faucet or garden hose should tell you right away if there is a blockage.  

Inspecting the Pump and Drive Belts

Most washing machines rely on two or more belts to function as intended, and just like in cars, those belts will eventually wear away and fail. Read your washer's manual to learn the locations of its pump and drive belts and how to access them safely. If one of them has in fact snapped, it may be wiser to call in a professional plumber to replace it, particularly if you are still under warranty. 

Testing the Lid Lock and Switch

Your washer should use a lid lock and switch mechanism to detect when the lid is closed and it is safe to begin a drain and spin cycle. Sometimes, however, either the lock or the switch it activates breaks after repeated use, and your washer can no longer recognize when it can begin to drain. Find the lid switch, often located on the underside of the lid, and listen for a clicking sound as you push it down. If it doesn't click, it is likely in need of repair. 

Calling in a Professional Plumber

After you have examined the most likely culprits and still not found a solution, or if you are not sure you can carry out the repairs on your own, it is time to call in a plumber, like those at Marcum Plumbing Services, Inc., to take a deeper look at the washer. Your plumber should be familiar with how washers operate and able to begin troubleshooting more advanced issues related to the pump or the surrounding pipes. With a bit of luck and a professional on your side, you'll never need to pull a dripping load of laundry from your washer again.