Troubleshooting Difficult Home Appliances

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2 Reasons Your Top-Load Washing Machine Isn'T Draining

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Top-load washing machines make your laundry chores more efficient and less straining on your joints as you don't need to crouch to load the machine. Modern top-load machines are designed to remain fairly low maintenance but, like any appliance, the unit can still experience issues from time to time.

If your top-load washing machine has suddenly stopped draining at the end of the wash cycle, there are a few potential causes. Some of the fixes you can do on your own while others might require the assistance of a washer repair technician.

Drain Hose Issues

The drain hose connects the tub of the washing machine to a nearby drainpipe. Problems with the hose can impede its ability to drain properly or at all.

The problem is likely the hose itself if you have owned the unit for a while and the drainage issues only started recently. Scoot your unit out from the wall and find the drain hose where it comes out the back of the machine. Look to see if there are any kinks in the line and straighten where necessary.

If your basement or laundry room is frigid, check for signs that draining water has frozen inside the hose. Melt the water with a hair dryer and then wrap the drain hose with insulating tape found at most hardware stores. The tape should prevent the freeze from happening again.

The hose can also simply be clogged with detergent or mineral deposits. If this is the problem, there should be some drain water sitting in the hose while the rest looks empty but healthy. Consult your owner's manual for details on how to remove the drain hose. Make sure you turn off all water to the unit before you unhook and have a large bucket handy to catch any water lingering in the hose. You can then use a commercial drain cleaner to clear out the line.  

Suds Lock

Using too much or the wrong kind of detergent for your water type can lead to a condition called suds lock. The washing machine's pump runs during the wash cycle to remove excess water and detergent. If the detergent is too heavy or prominent in the water, some detergent can stay behind even after the carrying water drains away. This lingering detergent can start to weigh down the washer's tub and prevent the pump from working efficiently.

You can clear up minor suds lock by simply pouring more cold water into the basin and then running the machine through a wash cycle without any clothing inside. Moderate to severe suds lock might require the services of a washer repair tech, who can perform a deeper clean as well as check for other areas down the line where the soap can be causing a blockage.