How to Fix a Washing Machine That Will Not Drain or Spin

There are many reasons why a washer won’t drain or spin. The problem could be as simple as a clog or so hard that only a licensed repairman can fix it. Start with the easiest cause and work down to the harder ones.

Things You’ll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Flashlight
  • Voltmeter
  • Wrenches
  • Bucket
  • Rags or mop

Step-by-Step Instruction

If the water can’t drain, the washer won’t spin. Check your hoses for kinks or clogs that could stop water from draining. If a hose is kinked, you should try to straighten it out. If it can’t be straightened enough, you should get a new hose. If the hoses are not bent, check to see if they are clogged. You can do this by taking the hoses off with the screwdrivers and looking for clogs or by running a water hose through the clogged hose to get rid of the clog. When the hoses are disconnected, use the rags and bucket to clean up the water that comes out. Put the drain hose back in place once the clog is gone. If a clogged or bent hose was the problem, the washer should now drain and spin.

washing machine not drain or spin

If the washer still won’t drain or spin, check to see if the lid isn’t closing all the way or if the lid switch isn’t clicking into place. Make sure the lid closes all the way before you close it. The lid switch should click when the lid is shut. You may need to replace the switch if you don’t hear a click. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer to change the switch. If the lid doesn’t close all the way, look for signs that it might be bent. If it’s bent, try to straighten it out.

A washing machine might not drain or spin if the belts are loose or broken. Take the back panel off by pulling the washer away from the wall and using the screwdrivers and wrenches. Use the flashlight to look for belts that are broken or loose. Change any belts that are broken or loose. Even though it’s hard, anyone who has changed the belt on a car, lawn mower, or even a bicycle chain should be able to change the belt on a washing machine.

The pump is another thing that could be wrong with a washing machine that won’t spin or drain. Check the pump with the voltmeter while the back panel is still off the washer. This will make sure that the pump is getting power. If the washer is getting power, turn it on and listen to see if the pump is running, but the water isn’t draining. The pump may need to be taken out and cleaned or replaced with a new one. After replacing the pump, turn on the washer to see if it will drain and spin.

Tips & Warnings

  1. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
  2. Refer to the troubleshooting section of the manual that came with the washing machine.
  3. Never touch electrical components without disconnecting from the electrical power.

If none of the above steps work to get your washing machine to drain or spin, it’s time to call a repairman. With the screwdrivers and wrenches, replace the washer’s panel and push the washer back against the wall.

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About the author
Ben White has written thousands of articles on everything home improvement. He has had the privilege of writing for such websites as the Huffington Post, DeWalt,, HGTV, and many others.

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