How to tell if washing machine drain pump is bad quickly

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There are a couple of issues that occur if the drain pump in your washing machine is broken..from spinning fault to  the washer leaking.

And usually the best solution for a bad washing machine drain pump is swapping it out..

But before that, you want to be sure that the drain pump is actually damaged..

With that in mind, below is how to tell if washing machine drain pump is bad (starting with the simplest way –I shall also tell you about the telltale signs to be on the lookout for)


How to tell if washing machine drain pump is bad

To begin with, you can do this to ‘test’ the drain pump..

  • Get the drain pump out of the washer
  • Try to spin the spindle.
  • If it is easy to turn(rotates easily) and is a bit flexible, then it is usually the clearest sign it is worn out and bad.

That is because a good pump should be difficult to turn both counterclockwise and clockwise(and also fairly rigid).

So replace it, if it is easy to turn(it is likely fine if it is turning tightly).


How to tell if washing machine drain pump is bad – symptoms to be on the lookout for

Another way you can tell if your washing machine drain pump is bad is by looking for the following telltale signs:

Washer is leaking..

A small leak particularly in front of your washer could be due to a defective drain pump so see if water is leaking at the front of your machine(water could be weeping past the O-ring).


Washer is draining..

Now, if the machine is not draining properly, chances are the pump is clogged(a small object could be clogging it), damaged, or completely defective.

It follows that you may want to try and unclog it before you think of getting a replacement drain pump.


Washer is showing a few error codes

If you’re getting a few error codes(different) and your washer won’t drain- and you have cleaned the filter to no avail (and even checked the hose for clogs), then it could be that the drain pump is dying.

Test it and swap it out quickly, if the results indicated that it is dead and see if everything will go back to normal.


Washer is noisy

Put the washer on a rinse cycle and listen out for grinding noise originating from the pump.

Replace it if it is making terrible noises/ really bad rasping noises when draining.


A word on washing machine drain pump replacement

The pump is pretty easy to replace as long as you lay the washing machine on its back.

And you can replace the part from the bottom – or if you don’t mind a bit more work, you can remove the cabinet then change it from the front.

To be clear, just remove the few screws to be able to tip the washer’s cabinet forward then remove it.

Of course, you have to disconnect the two large hoses – remove the clips first and you’ll be on your way.


Important tips to keep in mind

  • The pump typically mounts directly to the machine’s motor with 2 clips.
  • Consider changing out the motor coupling as well while you have your washing machine’s cabinet off if you’re troubleshooting problems such as the washer not filling, not agitating, or spinning (but drains the water from tub). These won’t go away if the coupler(between motor and transmission) has failed- The good thing is that the coupler is an inexpensive part.
  • You might have reuse parts from the old drain pump- a good example is your original mounting bracket as the new pump might not come with one.
  • For Whirlpool and a few other models, get a screw-type hose clamp when you’re installing your new pump as the pinch style “o.e.” clamp might not bite that well after several years of use.
  • Be sure to search for and watch a few washing machine drain pump replacement tutorials on YouTube before changing out the part(if you found it broken)- the videos will help you save time and do the replacement correctly.


How to tell if washing machine drain pump is bad – Recap

Can you spin/turn the spindle manually(by hand) easily after taking the pump off of the washer?

If yes, swap out the drain pump as it should be difficult to turn if okay.

Otherwise, the issue is probably caused by another part.

Shop OEM replacement drain pump for Maytag, LG, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung, and more washing machines on Amazon



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