Modern washers and dryers are sold in sets, which allows the manufacturers to design them for working together. Ideally, washers dispense clothing that is just the right amount of damp to tumble dry in a timely manner in the dryer. The high-speed spin cycle of your washing machine essentially wrings the water out of your clothes, which is why they are only mildly damp when you open the washer instead of soaked with wash water.
So if your clothes are swimming or still sopping in water, something has gone wrong. It takes forever to dry clothes that are still soaked via tumbling and you shouldn’t have to hand-wring laundry washed in a machine. That’s half the purpose of your washer. So what has gone wrong when your washer stops draining water or wringing clothes? Let’s explore the options.
Clogged Drain Hose
The single most common reason for wet clothes in the washer is a drain clog. If water can’t drain out of the washer, it can’t leave the drum, and it can’t drain or spin out of the clothes. Even if your washer is otherwise functioning normally, a clog can cause soaked clothes or clothes to swim in water when you open the washing machine.
The first place to check for a clog is the drain hose. This is the line from the washing machine to the home’s integral drain behind or below the washer. This line can be clogged with buildup, a kink in the hose, or sometimes a delicate piece of laundry. Turn off the water and detach the drain line. Make sure it is clean and unblocked, then reattach it and try again.
Clogged House Drain
The next place to look for a drain problem is the home’s drain system. Behind your washer is a drain that leads to the municipal sewer pipes below. If the washer drain pipes or the home’s main drain line are clogged, then your washer may be backing up for that reason instead. Investigate by using a residential grade pipe snake. You can thread the snake deep into the pipes and spin the end to break up any clogs you find. If the clog is too deep or too sturdy to snake on your own, you will need to call for a plumber or drain service. You may also see other symptoms of a home drain clog like sinks and tubs backing up.
Broken Drain Pump
If your drain lines are clear but the washer isn’t draining, it’s time to investigate the drain pump. This is inside the washer housing, near the back and floor of the cabinet. You will need to unplug the washer and wear work gloves for safety. Open up your washing machine and locate the drain pump. First, check to see if any small laundry items have gotten stuck in the drain mechanism. Then test the leads with a multimeter to see if the drain pump can still run a currnent.
If the pump is hindered, clear it. If it is broken, you will need to replace it.
Overfull Coin Trap
Some washing machines have a special mechanism to catch items that try to flow out through the drain. This is often done with a basket and leads to a small compartment with an externally accessible panel called the coin trap. If your coin trap becomes too full of caught items, it can function as a clog or partial blockage in the drain mechanism. Check to see if your washing machine has a coin trap, there should be a small access panel on the side or back to retrieve lost items. If there is a coin trap, empty it and discover what has been blocking your washing machine drain.
Door Lock or Lid Switch
Most appliances are designed not to run when the door is open. This is a safety precaution to prevent fingers or pets from getting caught in anythings hot or spinning. This is also true of draining. If your washer thinks that the door or lid is open, then it may stop draining until the door is officially closed again. Assuming your washer door is properly closed, you will want to look into the door lock and the lid switch. Both can be damaged by impact or age. If either has stopped working, your washer may not function properly either. It is also possible for the door or lid to shake loose while running. You may need to install a replacement door lock or lid switch.
Cycle Control Error
One option is that your washer is not properly moving through the wash cycles. There may be an issue with the timer knob or the control panel that controls the cycles of your washing machine. Depending on the type of controls you have, you can determine if the error is occurring in the execution of the wash cycles. listen carefully for mode changes or for the sounds of a cycle not doing what it’s supposed to do.
Spinning Speed is too Slow
Sometimes, your clothes don’t get wrung out because the spin cycle meant to wring them does not go fast enough. The spin cycle relies on the centrifugal force which means very fast, well-balanced spinning that forces the water out of clothes through velocity. In other words, it spins the water right out of the clothes. But to pull the water out for draining, you need a lot of spinning force. If the belt, the motor, or any of the supporting components are not in full working order, your washer drum might not be able to spin fast enough to drain the clothes. Investigate the spin and any problems that may happen along those lines and repair them to repair your washer.
If your washing machine is not draining, we can help. Contact us today to consult with a skilled appliance repair-person on the right fix for your washer. This might be something easy to resolve like clearing the drain hoses or more complicated like changing out the drain motor. Let us help keep your washing machine performing in a well-balanced and convenient fashion.