When washing machines won’t drain: 3 C’s to finding the clog

December 23, 2014

Ever used your washing machine only to find the water didn’t drain? Before you call a repairman, check these three things for the cause of the clog and how you might fix it.

When washing machines won’t drain: 3 C’s to finding the clog

Have you ever washed a load in your washing machine and in the process, the water didn’t drain? Did you scoop the water out yourself? Or did you continue to wash the clothes with the existing water? Here are the three C's for understanding where the clog is located and how to solve the problem.

1. Check the drain tube

If something is clogging the drain tube, then it’s stopping the water from coming out.

  • To check whether this is the case, first make sure the tube is clear and remove it. Then blow air into it to see whether anything is clogging inside.
  • If you find nothing clogging inside, then the next step is to check your pump.

2. Check the pump

When water remains inside the washing machine and the drain tube isn’t the problem, then the pump likely isn’t working.

  • The water remains because the pump is not properly ejecting the water into the drain. In that case, unless you're brave enough to replace the pump yourself, you may need to call a repair appliance shop to assess the problem.

3. Check for water on the floor

When water is spilling out of the machine or drain and you see it on the floor, then the problem is likely a clogged drain standpipe.

  • Blockage in the drain standpipe will prevent the water from the machine to empty out. Clearing the clogged standpipe should fix the problem.

Look for your washing machine hose, which goes down about two feet into the plumbing drain standpipe.

  • To locate the clog, determine whether it is located in the trap area of the plumbing drain standpipe or whether it is further down the pipe.

At this point if you find the clog is in the drain standpipe itself, you will need either a small-top snake or a medium drain snake, depending on where the clog is located.

  • If the clog is closer to the top of the drain standpipe, you can use a small-top snake. If it is further down the drainpipe, you will need the medium one.

As a last resort...

If you are in a scenario where the clog is located in the drain standpipe, it is admittedly a daunting and handy task.

  • If you are unsure of how to do it, always consult a plumbing professional to take care of the issue.

Just knowing and understanding the problem is worth the effort in trying, and you can now talk to a professional plumber and determine whether they are assessing the issue correctly.

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