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How to Drain a Washing Machine?

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Uh-oh. We’ve heard you sigh loudly and ask, “Why isn’t my washing machine draining?” You’ve come to the right place for the answer. If your machine doesn’t drain because of a clogged pile, a kink in the drain hose, or an unauthorized sock in the drain pump, we’ll teach you how to drain your washing machine safely, without a mess.

Supplies Needed for Manually Draining a Washing Machine

  • Bucket (preferably a five-gallon bucket)
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Watersnake
  • Screwdriver
  • Towels
  • Shallow container, such as a baking mould (front-loading machines only)
  • Owner’s manual (optional, but helpful)

How to Drain a Top-Loading Washing Machine Manually?

Before trying to drain a top-loading washer, make sure the lid is securely closed. Top-loading washing machines will only drain and rotate if the lid is completely closed (often, the lid also locks). In this case, the problem may be a faulty lid switch. Try pushing down hard on the lid and see if it starts to drain.

If not, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Turn off the power and put down the towels

Unplug the machine for safety’s sake. If it’s still plugged in, switch off the appropriate circuit breaker. This will eliminate the danger of electric shock by shutting off the power to the appliance. Keep towels on hand in case of a spill.

Step 2: Locate the drain hose in the back of the washing machine.

Move the washer away from the wall to make room. There are usually three hoses in the back of the machine, and they are typically colour-coded: red for hot water and blue for cold water; the drain hose is usually gray. You can disconnect the water supply to the hot and cold water hoses as an extra precaution. Later on, disconnect the drain hose from the pipe and hold it over the washer to keep the water. Unplug the machine for safety’s sake. If it’s still plugged in, switch off the appropriate circuit breaker. This will eliminate the danger of electric shock by shutting off the power to the appliance. Keep towels on hand in case of a spill out.

Step 3: Drain the water

Take the bucket, carefully lower the drain hose into it, and let gravity do its work. Once the bucket is full, connect the drain hose back to the pipe so you can drain the water into the sink or pool. Repeat until the barrel is empty.

How to Manually Drain a Front-loading Washing Machine

Step 1: Turn off the power and put down the towels

For safety, unplug the machine. If it is plugged in, turn off the appropriate circuit breaker to eliminate the risk of electric shock. Place towels around the washer in case of a spill.

Step 2: Locate the drain hose

Front-loading washing machines have a separate drainpipe filter or a drain pipe filter and a separate drain hose. Either way, it’s usually accessible behind a panel on the bottom, front of the machine. Check the instructions on how to open the panel. Some machines require a screwdriver to do this.

Step 3: Drain the water

If you only have a filter with a drain pump installed, place a shallow container in front of the machine, directly under the filter, to collect the water. Slowly turn the handle until the water starts to come out. Fill the container, turn off the handle, pour the water into a sink or basin and repeat until the water is completely drained.

If you have a filter and drain pump tube, disconnect the drain tube and unscrew the cap when you are ready to drain. Reinstall the cap when you have drained all the water, and secure the hose in place.

Step 4: Clean the filter

Remove any visible debris from the filter. Rinse the filter with warm water and brush lightly with a soft-bristle brush or your hand.

What’s Causing the Draining Problem?

After you’ve drained the machine, check the usual suspects that may have caused the problem:

  • A clog in the drain hose

There is likely a clog if water didn’t squirt out of the hose when you lowered it into the bucket. Use a plumber‘s snake to remove the clog.

  • Drain pump clog

This clog can be a little more difficult to remove. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on accessing the drain pump. The drain pump is usually located behind a removable panel in the front or back of the machine. Use needle-nose pliers to clear any clogs.

Need Professional Help? Contact Plumber Etobicoke Pro

If you’re still having trouble, give Plumber Etobicoke Pro a call. Allow your local plumbers to examine your washing machine‘s plumbing and get your laundry room back on track.