If your GE washer is not draining properly, you most likely found out when you noticed your washed clothes submerged in water after the wash cycle finished. I appreciate this can be extremely frustrating, but it can usually be narrowed down to one of five potential reasons.
In this troubleshooting guide, I will walk you through a sequence of checks to help you accurately identify the root cause, so you can take action to repair the problem. In most cases, you should be able to carry out this level of repair at home without the need to call out an appliance technician.
5 Reasons Your GE Washer Won’t Drain Fully
Your washing machine may not be draining due to an obstruction in the drain hose, or pump filter, or a faulty drain pump may not be able to pump water out efficiently. Or in some cases, a faulty door or lid switch could be preventing the washer from advancing to the next stage of the spin and drain cycle.
Below you will find listed in order, the most likely causes with a troubleshooting guide showing you how to diagnose and fix the problem.
1. Drain Hose Kinked Or Blocked
The washer and the drained paper are connected by the drain hose, so it makes sense to start by inspecting this component. The hose can get blocked after some time due to a buildup of debris and lint. In case the hose is only kinked because of a debris buildup, you’ll only have to straighten it to allow a free flow of water. If it’s completely blocked, you will need to clean it.
Clean the Hose in Your GE Washer
- Turn off the power supply: Before starting, ensure that the washer is unplugged and there is no electrical connection.
- Locate the Drain Hose: The drain hose is located at the back of your washing machine. It’s usually connected to a drain pipe or a standpipe.
- Remove the Hose: Unscrew any clamps or brackets holding the hose in place, then gently pull it out from its connection point.
- Clean the Hose: Using a bucket or basin, pour hot water through the hose to flush out any debris or residual dirt inside. You can also use a long brush or pipe cleaner to scrub away any buildup.
- Reconnect the Hose: Once you’re done cleaning, reattach the hose by screwing it back into place and tightening any clamps or brackets that were removed earlier.
- Test for Leaks: Before using your washer again, turn on the power supply and run a quick cycle to check for any leaks from the hose connection points.
2. Clean Drain Pump Filter
If the drain hose is not causing problems, then the pump filter might be. It’s common for items such as coins, receipts, and anything else you might’ve left in your pockets to get clogged in the pump filter. This blockage will prevent the water from draining as the drain pump attempts to draw away wastewater from the washer drum.
How To Clean the Pump Filter
- Turn off the power supply by unplugging the washer from the power outlet.
- Locate the Pump Filter: The pump filter is usually located at the bottom of your washing machine, behind a small access panel or door.
- Open the Access Panel: Use a screwdriver or any other tool to open the access panel or door to expose the pump filter.
- Remove any Obstructions: Check for any lint, debris, or foreign objects blocking the filter and remove them with your fingers or a pair of pliers.
- Clean the Filter: Once you’ve removed any obstructions, take out the filter and rinse it under running water until it’s clean.
- Reinstall the Filter and Access Panel: Once you’re done cleaning, reinstall the filter back into its place and secure it firmly. Then close up the access panel or door by snapping it back into place.
- Test for Leaks: Before using your washer again, turn on the power supply and run a quick cycle to check for any leaks from around the access panel or door.
3. Broken Drain Pump
Your GE washer might not be draining as a result of a faulty drain pump. The drain pump is self-explanatory, in that its function is to pump wastewater out of the washer drum during the spin cycles and expel it through the drain hose. If it fails, water will be left sitting in the drum and you will need to install a replacement pump.
How to Inspect a Broken Drain Pump
- Turn off the power supply, by removing the plug from the power outlet.
- Identify the Drain Pump: The drain pump is usually located at the bottom of your washing machine, behind a small access panel or door.
- Open the Access Panel: Use a screwdriver or any other tool to open the access panel or door to expose the drain pump.
- Check for Blockages: Check if there are any blockages in the pump inlet or outlet hoses that may be preventing water from flowing through.
- Manually Spin Impeller: If there are no blockages, use your finger to manually spin the impeller blades of the drain pump. If it spins freely without any obstruction, then it’s likely functioning properly.
- Test with Multimeter: If spinning the impeller doesn’t work, you can use a multimeter to test if electricity is reaching the pump motor when it should be running during a wash cycle. If there’s no voltage reading on your multimeter when it should be running, then there may be an issue with your washer’s control board or wiring.
4. Broken Door Lock on Front-Loading Machine
The door switch acts as a sensor in detecting whether the door is securely closed or not. If it’s not, then the washer won’t continue with the cycle, which means the draining cycle won’t begin.
If the door switch is faulty, it can send incorrect signals to the control board, causing the washer to assume the door isn’t closed, even if it is. This in turn prevents power from being supplied to the drain pump motor. In this situation, you may need to drain the machine and replace the door lock switch.
How to Open a Locked Washer Door
Here’s how you can open a locked front-loading washer door:
- Check for Power Supply: Before attempting to open the door, ensure that your washing machine is unplugged and there is no electrical connection.
- Wait for the Cycle to Finish: If your washer has a delayed start function or is in the middle of a cycle, wait until it finishes before attempting to unlock the door.
- Look for Manual Release Cord: Most front-loading washers have a manual release cord located near the bottom of the machine behind an access panel or filter cover. Locate this cord and pull it downwards.
- Check User Manual: If you’re unable to locate the manual release cord, check your user manual for specific instructions on how to open your particular model’s locked door.
- Use Emergency Unlock Feature: Some newer models may have an emergency unlock feature that allows you to manually unlock the door using a special tool or key provided by the manufacturer. Check your user manual or contact customer support to learn more about this feature and how to use it.
- Contact Manufacturer or Professional Technician: If none of these steps work or if you’re uncomfortable attempting any repairs yourself, contact your washer’s manufacturer or a professional technician who can diagnose and repair any faults accordingly.
You should also check out the video below if you want to know how to replace a door lock on a front-loading washing machine.
5. Broken Lid Switch on Top-Loading Machine
The lid switch on a top-loading washing machine serves an important safety function in the same way that a door switch does on the front-loading washer. The lid switch tells the washer control board that the lid is closed and it is safe to proceed to the next stage of the wash cycle. If the lid switch is faulty, the washer will receive a signal that there is a problem and it will not proceed to engage the drain pump during the spin cycle.
Replace a Broken Lid Switch
It’s not difficult to replace a broken lid switch, even if you don’t have experience with fixing appliances. Here’s how you can do it.
- Start by shutting off the power to the washer, by unplugging the machine at the power outlet.
- Remove the top of the machine, along with any bolts and screws securing it.
- You’ll find the lid switch right under the lid of your washer. It looks like a small plastic box.
- Remove the screws that hold this component and disconnect its wires.
- Install the new switch, connect the wires, and put everything back in the same place it originally was.
Here’s a short video on how to replace a broken lid switch.
How to Drain A GE Washer Manually
The process of draining a washer manually varies depending on whether you have a top-loading or a front-loading washing machine. Regardless of the model of your washer, you’ll first need to shut off its power before you start the process of draining it manually.
Draining a Top-Loading GE Washer
In case you have a top-loading washing machine, you’ll need to disconnect the drain hose from the pipe and lower it into a bucket. Let gravity do the work for you. Keep the hose there until the washer is drained.
How to Drain a Front-Loading GE Washer
If you have a front-loading washer, you might have only a drain pump filter. In this case, you’ll need to turn its knob slowly until water begins to come out. Stop the process once the water stops coming out. Depending on the model of your GE washer, you might have a tube along with a drain pump filter. In this case, you’ll have to unclip the tube and unscrew the end cap on this component for the water to come out.
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GE Washer Not Draining – FIXED
There could be several reasons for your GE washer not draining. Even if you don’t have experience with fixing appliances, you’ll likely be able to resolve the issue by yourself. In case the problem seems too complex for you, it’s best to get in touch with a professional repair technician. I hope this guide was helpful and that you’ve learned something new about fixing your GE washer.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.