How to drain water from washing machine?

Gone are the days when you washed clothes and bed linen by hand, using a laundry bat to thrash the dirt away. Even a few decades ago, people needed a washing stone in their yards, on which they would beat their clothes. 

Now, we have washing machines, and they come in different types and models, and one of the things they have in common is drainage. They need to drain after each wash cycle and after the final rinse.
All you have to do is decide which washing machine will suit your family’s needs. You may want to understand how the machine operates, so you know what to do if you need to do some troubleshooting. 
Let’s learn how to drain a washing machine.

Why Won’t My Washing Machine Drain Water?

Why washing machine is not draining

Have you found that your machine has stopped draining the water in the middle of a wash cycle?

Perhaps, you didn’t empty all the pockets of things that could get stuck in the machine or put something in my mistake that doesn’t belong with the rest of the clothes?

Sometimes, a small amount of fiber can clog the drain hose, or a smaller piece of clothing could have flown into the drain pump and gotten stuck there. Yet another possibility is that there is a kink in the drain hose itself, and it needs to get straightened. Any one of these reasons could stop your machine from draining properly.

Your first impulse may be to put your hand in to see what could be stuck and where. You may want to scoop out the water into a bucket and restart the machine. You may even start pulling out the clothes still soapy and unwashed. While all these solutions may make sense, there are better ways to handle this problem.

All you need to have handy are a few items that will help to drain the water from the washing machine. 

Supplies Needed for Manually Draining a Washing Machine

You may already have all the supplies you need to drain the machine. But here’s a list of things to keep in mind. 

‣ Bucket, the larger, the better
‣ Plumber’s snake, available in any hardware store
‣ Screwdriver, a must-have in all homes
‣ Needle-nose pliers, available in any hardware store
‣ Large towels
‣ Owner’s Manual, if available.

Simple Steps to Drain Water Out of a Washing Machine

Draining washing machine water through hose

If your washing machine has stopped draining mid-cycle, you have to remove the water manually. Before rushing into the task, it would help to bring out the above-listed items near the machine. Be prepared for a job that will leave you with water splashed all over. Here’s a step-by-step process to guide you through it

Electrical system:

Switch the machine off and remove it from the power outlet to avoid an electric shock. Turn off the water supply. 

Drain hose:

Remove the drain tube by lifting it off the floor drain at one end and twisting it off the machine at the other end. You can point the hose into the bucket to avoid a mess in the laundry room. You may find the source of a blocked drain hose right there if something falls out along with the water. If the water is trickling out and you see something stuck, you can use a plumber’s snake and push the drain hose clog out.

Drain pump:

Checking the drain pump may require a little more. Washing machines have an internal pump to drain the water. Sometimes, it may be a bad pump. At others, there could be a drain pump clog, and you may need to open up the machine. Your manual will help locate the drain pump.

More often than not, you would be able to see the clog inside the drain pump. It would be best if you disconnected the pump to reach the clog. Using the needle-nose pliers, you can pull the clog out.

Manual draining:

Removing the water manually may still be necessary after checking the drain pump and drain hose. You may need to unscrew the pump before the water can be removed. You would not want to leave the water inside the machine as it will spoil the clothes and bring about a foul smell. Removing the half-washed garments would be a priority.

You may need to siphon the water out or use large bowls or saucepans to scoop out the water one bowl at a time, or, let as much water as possible through the drain hose to fill a tub.

How to Drain a Top-Loading Washing Machine

On a top-loading machine, once the machine has been switched off and removed from the power outlet, you can use the siphoning method. Make sure that you have a tub ready into which one end of the pipe can be placed. The other end of the tube is used to siphon the water out and into the tub. 
You can also take out mugs of water, but that can be more arduous. Since you won’t drain the machine entirely by either of these methods, you may need to soak the remaining water with a rag or towel. 

How to Drain a Front-Loading Washing Machine

On front-loading machines, using the drain hose method will be simple. Opening the door is unwise as this will only bring the water out in force and create a mess. You may still need to soak up the remaining water with towels to completely drain the machine.

How do you fix a washing machine that won’t drain?

ifb 8 kg front

A fully automatic machine may start draining after a master reset on the access panel. It will require switching off and plugging it back in after a couple of minutes. Then, press the power button.

Check the lid to see if it has been closed properly.
Check the drain hose for clogs.
Check the water level controls in your machine.
Remove the dirt from the coin trap. (some new models have a coin trap to trap small items).

If you can’t fix it, or if a part is broken, call the professionals for help.

1. How do you drain water from a semi-automatic washing machine?

To remove water from a semi-automatic washing machine, you need to turn the setting dial by selecting the ‘drain’ option.

Then, allow the machine to run till all the water has been drained, and reset the dial to the ‘wash’ cycle after removing the water. 

2. How do you drain a washing machine mid-cycle?

Please switch off the machine and pull it out of the plug. Disconnect and separate the drain hose to siphon the water out into a tub. Or, scoop out the water with a saucepan or bowl. Then, mop up the rest of the water with towels. 

3. How do you open a washing machine when the water is full?

The first step is to disconnect it from the power. Then, manually drain the water before trying to open the door. Remove the drain tube and point it into a bucket. Make sure that the bucket is placed below the level of the water in the drum.

Some machines have a drain pump filter that can be loosened to let the water flow out into a bucket. You may have to tilt the machine a little to place a shallow container beneath this drain pump filter. Gravity will take care of the rest.
Once the water has drained, the door should open.

4. What happens if the washing machine is overloaded?

Overloading the machine will harm the appliance, and your clothes will have no room to move around and get washed. The washer will have to work harder to push the clothes, and it will add stress to the motor and tub bearings. It will hasten the wear and tear process considerably.

Wrapping Up

Learning how to drain a washing machine is essential. Most of the solutions can be done at home by you without the assistance of expert technicians. It will also get addressed immediately, and you don’t have to go to the laundry or have a large pile of dirty clothes waiting for a wash.

About the Author

Neha Pik

Neha Tiwari, Member at

Neha is the one who is aware of current trends and best practices in our desi community. She also helps and educates people looking for a solution to their problems via online. Her work has been published on countless blogs and notable magazines.