My Front Load Washer Is Not Draining
Front Load Washer
Front Load Washer Complications
Traditionally found in Europe and Asia, front load washers have become very popular in North America. They are classified as being energy efficient due to the fact that they use less water than top load washers and they spin and extract more water enabling for less energy to dry. However, they are not without their fair share of technical problems one of which is the problem of not always draining properly.
Usually, when a front load washer is not draining properly the problem could be one of two things. Either the user has put in too much soap or the pump is blocked. As stated before front load washers use very little water so care must be taken to use the proper amount of soap. There are special low sudding soaps specifically designed for front load washers. They are marked with a (He) on the label.
You can tell when your washer is oversudded when it goes through the rinse cycles and you still see a lot of soap suds inside. The washer will continue to the end of the cycle without spinning. The door probably will not open either due to the fact that there is still water inside the machine.
Start the washer again but do not add any more soap. Place the setting on "Cold Water Only." When it gets to the rinse cycle simply pour a cup of fabric softener into the soap compartment so that it goes down into the tub right away. Fabric softener is designed to neutralize the chemicals in the soap when in cold water.
If the problem is not over sudding and the washer is still not draining then the problem could be a water pump blockage. Front Load washers are different than top load washers in that they generally use an electric pump instead of a belt-driven pump. Electric pumps are less rugged than belt driven pumps, therefore, it doesn’t take much to jam the impeller inside.
Large items such as sox and underwear cannot pass through the seals of a front load washer but smaller items such as hairpins, buttons, and coins can. Also, lint and loose fibers from clothes will also build up inside the pump and eventually jam it. Most manufacturers of front load washers recommend regular pump cleaning for optimum washer performance.
Most front load washers are designed with a pump access panel in the front of the washer. Unplug the washer before proceeding. Pop open the panel and unscrew the pump cover by hand. You might want to have some rags and a small bucket on hand when you do as the water in the tub will come out when you open the valve. Once you unscrew the pump valve and pulled it out you should see whatever is blocking the impeller inside. Properly clear the inside of all debris then use your finger to make sure the impeller turns freely before re-assembling the valve cover.
On rare occasions, the pumps impeller might be damaged or broken off. In this case, you will need to replace the entire pump assembly. For situations like that, you might want to call an expert. If you still wish to continue yourself I would recommend that you remove the pump and take it with you along with the model # of the washer to your local appliance parts retailer.
For models that do not have a pump access cover, you will need to unscrew the front or the back panel of the washer depending on where the pump is situated. Once you locate the pump the procedure is the same in most cases. Some models do not have an unscrew-able valve so you will need to remove the hoses in order to access the blockage inside.