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Investing In Better Appliances

When our dishwasher sparked a major flood in our home, we realized it might be wise to invest in better kitchen appliances. Unfortunately, we had no idea where to start. We started shopping around, but we were frustrated with the selection because we didn't understand the need for some of the features. After a lot of research, we were able to track down appliances that would fit into our kitchen, improve the appearance, and work well for our needs. I wanted to create a website for other people who might be in the market for home appliances sometime soon.

Investing In Better Appliances

Front Load Washer Won't Drain? How To Clear The Drain Pump

by Julia Wood

You may love everything about your front-loading washer, including the 40 to 60 percent reduction in water it uses over a standard top-loading machine. But if you have noticed that your washing machine eats socks, you may be right. It may also consumes coins, bobby pins and other small objects that you or your family members have accidentally left in their pockets. 

The problem is that, over time, these missing items make their way into the coin trap by your washer's drain pump or into the pump itself, clogging it. The pump is located in the lower front of your machine, and the good news is that you may be able to drain it yourself. The newest front-loading washer models even have special doors to access the coin filter. Even if you have an older machine and you're not comfortable trying to do the work, the fix will only require a short service call from your appliance repair specialist.

Under What Conditions Can You Unclog the Drain Pump Yourself?

In order for you to tackle this fix yourself, your front-load washer must have a smaller, removable front panel at the bottom. Some models require you to remove the entire front of the machine in order to access the drain pump. This may be more than you want to do yourself. A few other models have just a small access area beneath the washer; for someone who hasn't done this before, you might have trouble feeling your way through the fix. And if you fail to reconnect hoses and clamps properly because you can't see them, you may be worse off than when you started. Call a professional if you can't easily access your washing machine's drain pump in the lower front.

How Do You Know the Problem is the Drain Pump?

There are few symptoms you'll spot if the washer is not draining properly. 

  • Clothes are still sopping wet at the end of a cycle.
  • Water is sitting in the tub of the washer after a cycle.
  • The washer is noisier than usual combined with slow drainage.
  • Your newer washer is showing an error code for slow drain or no drain.

What are the Steps for Unclogging the Drain Pump?

You'll need to be comfortable using pliers and a Philips-head screwdriver to remove clamps. Always be sure to unplug the machine before you begin working on it.

  1. Tip the machine against the wall to access the screws that hold on the lower panel. Most models have two, one on each side. Remove these and pull the lower panel away from the machine.
  2. Look for the black rubber boot. Inside this boot is the coin trap, a plastic tube with holes that is designed to catch small objects before they can interfere with the drain pump. The boot will be connected to the tub with a hose clamp; use your screwdriver to loosen this clamp. It will also be connected to the drain pump with a tension clamp; use pliers to remove this clamp. You won't remove the boot fully from the machine because it will also be connected to a pressure switch tube, and dissembling this will be more trouble than it is worth.
  3. Squeeze the boot from the bottom to gently remove the coin trap. Empty any items in the trap.
  4. Reach into the drain pump itself and spin the small propeller that is inside to make sure nothing is stuck. If the propeller won't spin, try to use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to remove anything inside.

You may be able to remove the drain pump if you still can't get the propeller to turn, but this may be a job for a professional. Once you have the propeller spinning and the coin trap cleared, reassemble the rubber boot and tighten the clamps. Re-attach the front panel and slide the washer down and into place.

You'll want to run some water into the tub and let it drain to make sure you have removed the clog. If you have questions, run into problems or don't want to take this job on yourself, contact a company like Affordable Appliance Repair.