If you need help on how to manually drain a washing machine, look no further! Sometimes, it’s as simple as needing to re-secure the lid, while other times call for a little elbow grease. This step-by-step guide from Top Shelf Services will guide you through draining your washing machine.
This is a task within reach of most homeowners, and it’s a necessary one. Standing dirty water in your washer can cause odors and create a breeding ground for mold inside your machine. Here’s how to get rid of it.
What do I Need to Drain a Washing Machine?
Draining a washing machine will require a few tools. Before you get started on a DIY washer drain, make sure you have:
- The appliance’s owner’s manual
- A bucket
- A soft-bristled brush
- An additional shallow container if you have a front-loading machine
- A screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- A plumber’s snake (only for really bad clogs)
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How to Drain a Top-Loading Washing Machine
Top-loading washing machines have lids on the top of the machine. First, open the lid and pull out any wet clothing before proceeding. Then shut the lid and try to run the drain cycle again. If it still won’t drain, follow these instructions.
1. Turn Off the Power and Water
Before servicing any appliance, you must turn off the power. It’s best to do this at the breaker, especially if there are leaks around your washer. Turning off the power will prevent you from getting electrocuted.
Then, turn off the water supply to the house or to your laundry room. Your laundry room may have a shut-off valve where the hoses go into the wall. This will keep more water from flooding your machine and your home.
2. Locate the Drain Hose
Pull away your washer so you can see the hoses, then lay towels around to soak up any spilled water. There should be three color-coded hoses in the back of the unit:
- Red hose = hot water
- Blue hose = cold water
- Gray hose = drain hose
3. Drain Excess Water from the Washing Machine
Use your needle-nose pliers to disconnect the clamp around the drain hose at the wall, or unscrew it if it has a washer connection. Hold it with the mouth facing upward to avoid spilling before placing the end of the hose into a bucket to drain.
If it doesn’t drain, read below to see what the problem might be. Also, pull out the hose and hold it up every so often so someone can dump the bucket. Dump the dirty water down any large drain in your home. Showers and bathtub drains work well.
4. Reassemble the Machine and Test
Once the water has drained, reconnect the drain hose and turn on the water and power. Leave the unit where it is and run a rinse and drain cycle to see if the problem is fixed. If not, drain it once more and continue on to further diagnose the problem.
How to Drain a Front-Loading Washing Machine
Front-loading washing machines are a bit more difficult to drain, but it’s still fairly simple. Here are the basics.
1. Turn Off the Power and Water
To err on the side of safety, unplug the washer or switch the circuit breaker off to prevent electric shock. Turn off the water supply at the wall and place towels around the machine.
2. Locate the Drain Hose
Locate the panel at the bottom front of the washer to access the drain for your front-load washer. There are two kinds. One has just a drainpipe filter, and the other has a drain hose with a filter.
3. Drain the Water
If you only have a filter with no drain hose, align a shallow container to fit directly under the filter in order to catch the water. Slowly turn the knob near the filter to drain the system. Your owner’s manual should tell you where this knob is. Once the container is full, turn the knob off and discard the water. Repeat until empty.
If your system has a hose, detach the drain hose and release the water from the end cap as instructed in your owner’s manual. Once all the water is drained, reattach the hose.
4. Scrub the Filter
While you have the system open, remove debris and residue from the filter by rinsing it with water and scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush. Replace the filter before reassembling the machine.
5. Reassemble the Machine and Test
Make sure to reinstall all hoses and filters, then turn on the power and water. Try running a test rinse and drain cycle to see if the problem is fixed. If it doesn’t drain again, read below.
Why Isn’t My Washing Machine Draining?
Now that you’ve learned how to drain a washing machine, investigate the cause of why it’s not draining or spinning by administering the following tasks:
Clogged Drain Pipe
Water should have evenly flowed out of the hose or from the outlet valve. If it didn’t, there’s likely a blockage that can be removed using the plumber’s snake. Be prepared for a rush of water if you break through the clog.
Inspect for Pump Blockage
If the pipe feels clear, the next check is the water pump. Use the owner’s manual to access the drain pump. There should be hose clamps on each side of the pump. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the clamps and any clogs.
You may wish to remove as much water from the drum by hand as you can before you release these clamps, especially the one between the drum and the pump. All the water may rush out suddenly once it’s released if the clog is inside the pump.
Still Can’t Get the Washing Machine to Drain?
If you’re still unable to drain your washing machine after these steps, you’ll need to contact a professional. Your local appliance repair technicians at Top Shelf Services can drain and fix your washing machine to get you back on schedule. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
To prevent clogs in the future, read the owner’s manual for recommendations on the amount and type of detergent to use to keep your appliance at optimal performance. You can also review our guide of preventative tips for washer maintenance as well.
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