Water In The Bottom Of The Washing Machine Tub? (Fix It Now!)
The washing machine seems to have completed its cycle, but you find water still standing in the tub. The clothes are still wet and no matter what you do, the washing machine doesn’t pump away the standing water. Why is there water in the bottom of your washing machine?
There can be several reasons that there is water in the bottom of your washing machine tub. These problems can range from a blockage in the drain to serious issues with the electrical system or parts.
The challenge in dealing with water sitting in the bottom of your washing machine tub is diagnosing the cause of the problem. A variety of problems with your washing machine can cause this problem. This article will look at the cost common causes of water in the bottom of your washing machine tub.
Diagnosing the Problem – Start with the Obvious
The most obvious problem that can cause water to remain in the bottom of your washing machine tub is a clog or problem with the drain line. Diagnosing this problem is usually straightforward.
Step 1: Is the Pump Working
Determining if the washing machine pump is working is key to the first step. If the pump is working, water in the tub indicates a problem with the drain. Test your washing machine by setting the controls to a cycle that pumps water from the tub.
If you can hear the pump working, but the water doesn’t leave the tub, there is probably a blockage or kink in the drain hose. If you can’t hear the pump working, there are other problems with the washing machine
Step 2: Locate the Clog or Kink in the Drain Hose
Carefully pull the washer away from the wall and examine the drain hose. Many times, the washing machine will get pushed too close to the wall forming a kink. If there is a noticeable kink in the drain hose, straighten the kink if possible. Then retry the pump with the washing machine pulled away from the wall.
If the water drains from the washing machine tub at this point, you have found the problem. You may need to replace the drain hose with a new drain hose that is more rigid. Rerouting the drain hose to the drain may also solve the problem.
Step 3: No Kink? The Drain Can Still be the Problem
If water is still standing in the bottom of your washing machine tub, the drain may still be the problem. There may be something inside the drain hose impeding the flow of water. Some washing machines have traps or filters inside the washing machine that can become clogged.
Removing the drain line from the washing machine should be done with care. If the clog is in the drain line, the water standing in the tub may suddenly rush out onto the floor. It is best to have a pant or bowl ready to catch this water.
If the drain line is clear and the water is still standing in the tub of the washer, an internal filter or trap may be your problem. Consult the user’s manual that came with your washing machine for more information about how to access and clean these filters.
Step 4: Check the Drain Vent
Your washing machine drain may include a washing machine drain vent. This device allows air into the drain line to prevent a vacuum from forming in the drain. If the drain line vent becomes clogged or damaged, it may inhibit water flow from the washing machine.
Some cities require drain line vents on every washing machine installation. Don’t simply remove the drain line vent and place the drain line directly into the drain. If the drain line vent is faulty, replace it with a new unit.
Step 5: Still Water in the Tub? A Clog under the Inner Tub
If everything between the tub and the drain is clear, something may have slipped between the inner tub and the outer tub. Small items of clothing may be responsible for clogging the drain from the washing machine tub.
Unfortunately, removing the inner tub is not a job that most homeowners can perform. Removing the inner tub requires a trained service technician with the proper tools. Call your local washing machine repair service to schedule an appointment.
What If the Pump Doesn’t Work?
If you determine that the water pump on the washing machine is not working, there are some things to check. Again, start with the most obvious problems that can cause the pump not to work.
Step 1: Check the Electrical Service. Is the Circuit Breaker Thrown?
Make sure that your washing machine is getting electrical power. Check the circuit breaker at the electrical service panel. You may need to reset the breaker by turning it off and then back on.
Check your washing machine to see if the pump starts working. If you reset the breaker and the pump starts working, you should suspect a problem with the electrical service. Consulting with a licensed electrician is recommended, especially if the problem recurs.
Step 2: Check the Outlet and the Washing Machine Plug
Once you are sure that there is power to the circuit, check the outlet. Be sure that the plug fully inserts into the outlet. You may want to try the plug in a different outlet if one is close enough to reach. A heavy-duty extension cord can make this easier.
Any blackening or melting of the outlet or power cord from the washer indicates a serious problem. A licensed electrician should check the outlet before going any further.
Bigger Problems with Your Washing Machine
At this point, if the issues with clogs or electrical service aren’t the problem, you have a problem with your washing machine. Homeowners may diagnose and remedied some of these problems. However, many of these problems require a trained technician’s services.
A Faulty Pump
If the other functions of the washing machine work but the water remains in the tub, a faulty water pump is a likely culprit. In most instances, replacing a water pump in a washing machine is a job for a trained service technician.
Inoperative Lid Switch
Every washing machine contains a lid or door switch as a safety device. This switch prevents the washing machine from operating if the lid or door opens. A faulty switch can prevent the washing machine from operating even if the door or lid is closed.
Homeowners who are familiar with using a multimeter can easily check this switch. If the switch is faulty, on most washing machines replacing the switch is easy. However, the location and access to this switch are often the problems. You may need to schedule a visit from a service technician.
Broken or slipping Drive Belts
Many washing machines depend on drive belts from the motor to operate pumps and tub transmissions. A broken or loose belt can keep the pump from operating but still turn the tub.
Accessing the drive belt and motor requires the rear service panel for the washer to be removed. Do this with great caution. There are electrical connections inside the washer that can be potentially dangerous. Always unplug the electrical connection before accessing the interior of the washing machine.
Blown Internal Fuses
Some washing machine models have internal fuses to protect the pump and the drive motor. These fuses are often inline on the wires providing power to the pump. Your user’s manual may provide more information about checking and replacing these fuses.
Before finding and checking these fuses, be sure you remove the electrical plug from the outlet. These wires inside the washing machine carry dangerous levels of electrical current. If the fuse is bad, replace the blown fuse with a new fuse of the same type and size. Never bypass the fuse or use a larger fuse than the manufacturer recommends.
A Bad Control Board
A bad control board on your washing machine is rare but can occur. If there is power to the washing machine and no other problem appears, the control board may be faulty. Often a faulty control board will allow some functions of the washing machine to operate and not others.
Unfortunately, most homeowners cannot check or repair a faulty control board. The only remedy is a service call. Only a trained service technician is competent to diagnose and repair a faulty control board.
Standing Water in your Washing Machine – A Frustrating Situation
A washing machine that won’t pump away all the water is frustrating. Many of the causes of this condition can be diagnosed and remedied by many homeowners. However, knowing your limitations and when to call professional help can eliminate many of these frustrations.
We hope that this article helps you with your standing water problem in your washing machine. Please be careful as you work on your washer and take all the safety precautions. If there is any doubt, call a trained service technician. Good luck with your problem.
Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.
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