How to Fix a Whirlpool Washer Not Draining

Appliance Express
August 2, 2021
Washer Repair

Whirlpool has been making washers since 1906. Since then, their washer range has grown to include front-loaders, gas washers, high-efficiency washers, and now smart washers that can be operated with your phone. Of course, the type of washer you have is not going to matter if it does not drain!

If your Whirlpool washer is not draining, the drain hose, drain pump, door lock, or lid switch are likely causing the issue. If these components are working correctly, the control panel or timer may be causing the issue. First, there are some simple solutions to check that may solve the issue.

This guide applies to the following models:






















1. Simple Solutions

Whirlpool offers the following advice if the washer will not drain.

  • Check the spin speed. Selecting a slow spin speed or the “delicate” or “hand wash” cycle can cause the washer to leave excess water in the tub. Make sure to select the correct cycle based on the fabric and size of the load.
  • Similarly, if you are washing a bulky item, the washer’s sensors may lower the spin speed to balance the load. Again, this can leave excess water in the tub. Add some items to balance the load.
  • Use a high-efficiency detergent to reduce soap suds, as suds can also lower the spin speed.

2. Kinked or Blocked Drain Hose

If the washer will not drain, the drain hose may be kinked, pinched, or obstructed by a small object. If you are unable to straighten the hose or clear an obstruction, you will need to replace the hose. Also check the height. Whirlpool advises that the height of the drain hose should not exceed 96 inches, as this will cause water to flow back into the tub.

The drain hose can be checked for a blockage by disconnecting it from the washer at the rear of the machine. On most models, it can be unscrewed, or pliers can be used to remove the clamp that secures it. The hose can be unblocked with a drain snake tool and washed with a mixture of hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda. The washer’s internal drain hose can also be checked by following the drain pump instructions below.

3. Defective Drain Pump

If the drain hose is not blocked, a defective drain pump may be causing the issue. A small object, article of clothing, or damaged impeller could be causing the pump to fail mechanically. If the impeller is not damaged and the pump is not being obstructed, it may have failed electrically.

To check the drain pump:

  1. Disconnect the washer from the power source.
  2. Disconnect the water supply to the washer.
  3. On a front-load washer, remove the rear access panel. For a top-load washer, first secure the lid with tape so that it will not open. Then, lay the washer on its front to access the drain pump underneath the washer.
  4. Disconnect the drain pump wire connector.
  5. Use pliers to release the clamps that secure the drain hose to the pump. Remove the drain hose.
  6. Use a 5/16 inch socket to remove the drain pump mounting screws.
  7. Remove the pump from the washer.
  8. Check the pump for damage or obstructions.
  9. Test the pump for continuity with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the drain pump.

If the pump does not appear to have any damaged components and is free of obstructions, the pump may have failed electrically. You can use a multimeter to determine if the drain pump motor has continuity (a continuous electrical path present in the motor). If the motor tests negative for continuity, the pump will need to be replaced.

4. Defective Door Lock (Front-Loader)

If you have a front-load Whirlpool washer, a defective door lock may be causing the washer not to drain. However, it is less common, so make sure to check the above issues first. On most models, the door boot will need to be pulled back to access the door lock. The boot is held in place by a metal ring clamp with a spring. Use a flat-head screwdriver to reach underneath the door seal to remove the tension and lift it off.

To check and replace the door lock:

  1. Disconnect the washer from the power source.
  2. Pull the door boot back to access the door lock.
  3. Remove the screws holding the door lock assembly in place.
  4. Reach inside the washer and carefully lift the door lock assembly off the mounting bracket.
  5. Disconnect the wires attached to the door lock assembly, and remove it from the washer. Some models may have a shield over the connectors that can be removed by popping it out with a flat-head screwdriver.
  6. Test the door lock for continuity with a multimeter. If it is defective, replace the door lock.

On some models, the top panel on the washer may need to be removed to access the door lock.

5. Defective Lid Switch (Top-Loaders)

The lid switch is a safety measure that prevents the washer from spinning while the lid is open. A defective lid switch can stop the washer from draining. However, if the washer spins but does not drain, the lid switch is unlikely to be the cause of the issue.

To check and replace the lid switch:

  1. Unplug the washer from the power source.
  2. Locate the two screws holding the lid switch in place (usually in the top right corner where the lid would close).
  3. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver (most models) to remove the two screws that hold the lid switch in place. On other models, the top control panel may have to be removed to access the lid switch. If you are still unable to access the lid switch, the washer cabinet may need to be taken off.
  4. Remove the lid switch from the washer.
  5. Test the lid switch for continuity with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, it will need to be replaced.

6. Defective Timer or Control Board

If the above solutions have not solved the drainage issue, the timer or control board may be defective and not sending a signal to the drain pump to pump out the water. Depending on the model, the timer may be able to be removed and tested with a multimeter. It is recommended to get a trained professional to check the control board.


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