My Washing Machine Won’t Drain

Top Load Washing Machines

While front-loading clothes washing machines have recently gained in popularity, top-loading washers have been a common feature in many homes for decades. Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Maytag and Kenmore continue to produce top-loading machines, including, and the washers are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. If your washing machine will not drain or spin, you may wish to perform some troubleshooting efforts. This may help identify the source of the issue and possibly help determine a solution.

How to Troubleshoot Why Your Top Load Washing Machine Isn’t Draining:
  1. Open the washer lid and move the clothing items around so the load is evenly distributed, as the washing machine may not be able to spin or drain properly if the items are not balanced. Do not under- or overload the washer, and maintain moderate load size.
  2. Avoid connecting the washing machine to an extension cord, as most extension cords provide insufficient power supply and may result in problems with the washer spinning or draining.
  3. Lower the drain hose if the end of the hose is set more than 8 feet above the ground. This can redirect water back into the washing machine instead of draining as expected.
  4. Clean and straighten the drain hose. Make sure the washing machine is only operated in above-freezing temperatures, as the pipes may freeze when the weather is extremely cold.
  5. Open the lid and look closely to see if a clothing item has gotten stuck in between the inner and outer tubs inside the washing machine. If so, turn off and unplug the washing machine and remove the item with a pair of pliers.
  6. Contact an authorized service technician for assistance if the methods described here do not resolve the problem, as other potential reasons for the issue (such as a broken pump pulley or motor coupler) may require professional.

Why a Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, Frigidaire, Inglis or Speed Queen Top Load Washing Machine May Not be Spinning:


The lid switch is activated by the lid striker when you lower the lid. These machines will normally fill and wash without needing the lid closed but when it gets to spinning and draining the lid must be closed, so the machine is acting as though the lid is open. The lid has probably been dropped or slammed shut and this can break the lid switch from where it mounts .

Motor Coupler

Many washers produced by Whirlpool use a motor coupling. It’s plastic and rubber and is mounted to the shaft of the motor on one side, and to the transmission on the other. Over time, the coupler wears out and fails. If this happens, you need to completely replace it.

Broken or Badly Worn Belts

Frigidaire,  Maytag and Speed Queen washing machines have one or two belts. If a belt is broken or badly worn, you need to replace it with a genuine belt from the manufacturer. West LA Washer and Dryer Repair Service uses only genuine factory parts (Some washing machine belts are designed with special characteristics not found in automotive belts.)


If your washer was made by GE or Whirlpool, it may use a clutch for agitating the clothes. As the clutch wears out, it may prevent the washer from agitating well or at all. If the clutch is worn, you need to replace it.

Drive Motor

Many washer brands use a reversing motor. For agitation the motor runs in one direction, for spinning and draining, the other. It’s possible for a motor to burn out in one direction and continue to operate in the other. If this happens, you need to replace the entire motor.

Drive Pulleys

The motor or transmission drive pulley may be worn and unable to turn the drive belt. If so, replace the pulley.


The transmission could have either of these problems:

  • Older washers produced by Whirlpool have a transmission with an electro-mechanical shifter. If the shifter becomes even partially defective, the unit may not agitate properly or at all.
  • The transmission may have a worn or broken gear, or some other internal problem.

For other related questions about Washer and Dryer Repair and Maintenance in Los Angeles

Please visit our Washer & Dryer Repair Frequently Asked Questions Page →.

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West LA Washer and Dryer Repair Service: Service Areas

Need more specific location information?

Here are is a list of just some of the Zip Codes West LA Washer and Dryer Repair Service provides service to in Los Angeles:

90039    90028   90029    90038    90068    90003    90045    90012    90056    90027
90049    90019   90046    90404    90405    90025    90272    90034    90293    90026
90077    90291   90016    90048    90025    90024    90010    90265    90266    90292
90210    91402   90293    90094    90211    90211    90212    90049    90067    90064
90019    90275   90717    90732    90230    90232    90013    90014    90015    90007
90021    90041   90245    90027    90254    90401    90402    90403

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