What to Do If Your First Apartment Washer Won’t Drain

Learning how to handle small household repairs and leaks is an important part of living on your own for the first time. A common household problem you might not have dealt with before is a clogged washing machine, so read on to learn how to handle it.

Take a look at the drain hose

The first thing you should do is inspect the drain hose, as this is a common source of a clogged washer and can be easy to fix. If the hose is obviously kinked anywhere, you can easily straighten it out. Often, that’ll fix your problem, and the washer will start to drain.

If the hose isn’t kinked, you’ll want to remove the hose to check for any blocks in it. Scoop as much water as you can out of the washer and place a bucket under the hose connection so you don’t make a huge mess. Remove the drain hose and check it for anything that could be clogging it up, and then replace it if you don’t find anything.

Inspect the drain pump filter

Many washing machines have a drain pump filter in the bottom that’s intended to stop foreign objects from flowing into the drain pump and breaking it. To clean out the drain pump filter, first, unplug your washing machine or turn the circuit breaker off for safety. The drain pump is typically located behind a panel on the bottom front of the machine, but if you can’t find it there, you can check your washer’s user manual online.

Take the cover off the filter and remove the hose that’s connected to the filter. Then, remove the filter itself – it’s the round dial next to the hose. You should be able to rotate the dial counterclockwise until the filter disconnects. Take the filter to your kitchen or bathroom sink and rinse out any debris trapped in it. It can help to scrub it with a washcloth to free up any gunk that’s been there for a long time.

Check your drain pump

If you’ve checked the drain hose and drain pump for clogs and the washer still isn’t draining, there’s a good chance your drain pump is malfunctioning or broken. Repairing this unit is best left to a professional, but you can at least test it to see whether that’s the problem or not.

Replace the drain pump filter and hose, and turn on your washing machine to a high spin speed cycle. Once the washing machine begins drain mode on the cycle, listen for a humming sound produced by the drain pump. If there isn’t a humming sound, that means your drain pump isn’t working, and odds are it’ll need to be replaced.

Call your landlord before attempting any major repairs

Whether you’ve found out your drain pump needs replacing or you’re still unsure of what the issue is, contact your landlord to find out what to do next. The landlord will probably be more comfortable sending a repairman to your apartment to fix the washer, and you’ll save yourself from the risk of accidentally breaking it.

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