Washer: Won't drain

After the wash cycle ends and before the spin cycle starts, the water should drain from the washer. If water remains, first check for a kink or clog in the drain hose, a backup in the house drain system or in a drain hose lower than the water level in the drain tub. If the drain path is clear, the drain pump might have failed or the water-level pressure switch might not sense how much water is in the washer. In a top-load washer, a failed lid switch can keep the washer from advancing to the drain and spin cycle. A failed timer or problem with the drive motor can also prevent a top-load washer from draining and spinning. On a front-load washer, a bad main electronic control board or failed motor control board can prevent the washer from draining and spinning.

Many washers won't spin if they're not level, so performing preventive maintenance checks that include leveling the washer may help you get your washer draining and spinning.

If you have a top-load washer, this video has additional troubleshooting tips to get your washer draining and spinning again.

Cleaning a clogged drain pump filter on on a front-load washer without a drain pump access door often gets the machine draining and spinning again.

washer

These repairs may help solve your washer problem

Repair or replace the washer drain pump

Repair or replace the washer drain pump

The drain pump removes water from the washer at the appropriate times during the wash cycle. The pump's bearing can seize, the seal can fail or the impeller blades can break. The belt on a belt-driven pumps can break, and the pulley can shear off. A humming noise when the washer is full of water is a common symptom of a failing pump. In some cases, you can repair the pump by clearing it of debris, fixing wiring failures or replacing a seal. If the pump can't be repaired or rebuilt, replace it.

How to replace the drain pump in a top-load washer

Is your top-load washer not draining? A faulty drain pump could be to blame. This repair guide and video show how to easily replace the drain pump in a top-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the drain pump on a front-load washer

Is your front-load washer not draining? The drain pump might be the problem. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to easily replace the drain pump in a front-load washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer lid switch

Replace the washer lid switch

The lid switch on a top-load washer is a safety switch that detects whether the washer lid is closed. The lid must be closed when the basket spins; some top-load models require that the washer lid be closed before the washer drive motor runs. An open lid prevents some top-load washers from filling. If the lid switch isn't detecting whether the lid is closed, replace the switch.

How to replace the lid switch/lock assembly on a top-load washer

When a top-load washer won't start or won't spin, it could mean a broken lid switch/lock assembly. This DIY repair guide and video show how to easily replace the lid switch/lock assembly on a top-load washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the lid switch in a direct-drive top-load washer

If your top-load washer won't spin, the lid switch might be broken. This repair guide and video explain how to replace the lid switch in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer water-level pressure switch

Replace the washer water-level pressure switch

The water-level pressure switch detects the water level in the wash tub. If the water-level pressure switch is defective, the washer won't fill properly. It could not fill at all or it could overfill even to the point of overflowing. If the pressure switch doesn't accurately detect and control the water level in the washer, replace it.

How to replace the water level pressure switch on a direct-drive top-load washer

When a top-load washer overfills with water, or when it won't fill at all, the water level pressure switch might have given out. This repair guide and video show how to replace the water level switch in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer main control board

Replace the washer main control board

The main electronic control board, also called the mother board, governs the timing and execution of the washer component functions. It controls the fill valves, the drive motor and the drain pump.

How to replace the electronic control board on a top-load washer

A failed top-load washer electronic control board can cause multiple problems, from no display lights to the washer not filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the electronic control is faulty, this repair guide and video show how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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How to replace the machine control board in a front-load washer

A failed front-load washer machine control board has several symptoms, including the washer not starting, filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the machine control board has failed, this repair guide shows how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer timer

Replace the washer timer

The timer controls the component functions in the washer. Also called a cycle selector, the timer has a motor that advances the internal cams inside the timer body. The cams open and close electrical contacts to energize and de-energize components during the wash cycle. A control knob on the stem of the timer lets the user select cycles on the timer. If the timer motor does not advance or the contacts are defective in the timer, replace it.

How to replace the timer in a direct-drive top-load washer

If your top load washer doesn't advance through the cycles or gets stuck in one cycle, it's likely the timer has failed. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace the timer in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer drive motor

Replace the washer drive motor

The washer's drive motor provides the force to rotate the spin basket. It also drives the shaft of the gearcase to move the agitator in a top-load washer. It's either attached to a drive pulley with a belt or is directly attached to the drive shaft. If the motor windings fail or the bearings on the motor lock up, the motor won't run. Replace the drive motor if it's defective.

How to replace the drive motor in a top-load washer

Top-load washer won't spin or agitate? Might be the drive motor. This washer repair guide and video explain how to replace the drive motor in top-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the direct-drive motor on a front-load washer

When a direct-drive front-load washer won't spin and displays an error code, it could mean the drive motor has failed. This DIY repair guide shows how to replace the motor on a direct-drive front-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer motor control board

Replace the washer motor control board

The motor control board is a circuit-control board in a front-load washer that's usually in the bottom of the washer next to the drive motor. It monitors and controls the drive motor speed and direction for the tumble and spin actions during the cycle. If the motor doesn't run, the motor control board might need to be replaced.

How to replace a motor control board on a front-load washer

If your front-load washer doesn't spin or spins at the wrong speed, the problem could be the motor control board. This repair guide explains how to replace the motor control board in 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Regular washer preventive maintenance check

Regular washer preventive maintenance check

A service technician does a regular preventive maintenance check, examining the washer for potential problems and testing the functions of the washer. The technician makes adjustments to maximize the efficiency and ensure smooth operation of the washer.

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

Main causes: leaky water inlet valve, faulty water-level pressure switch, bad electronic control board
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system
Main causes: worn agitator dogs, bad clutch, broken motor coupler, shifter assembly failure, broken door lock, suspension component failure
Main causes: no water supply, bad water valves, water-level pressure switch failure, control system failure, bad door lock or lid switch
Main causes: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
Main causes: water heater failure, bad water temperature switch, faulty control board, bad water valve, faulty water temperature sensor
Main causes: unbalanced load, loose spanner nut, worn drive block, broken shock absorber or suspension spring, debris in drain pump
Main causes: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
Articles and videos common to all washers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your washer.

February 1, 2018
How to read a wiring schematic video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.

December 1, 2017
Wiring schematic symbols explained video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn some of the most common symbols found in a wiring diagram and what they mean.

October 26, 2016
How to repair broken or damaged wires video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.