My Top-Loading Washer Won't Spin or Drain

While front-loading clothes washing machines have recently gained in popularity, top-loading washers have been a common feature in many homes for decades. Many companies continue to produce top-loading machines, including Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Maytag and Kenmore, and the washers are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. If your washing machine will not drain or spin, you may wish to perform some troubleshooting efforts. This may help identify the source of the issue and possibly help determine a solution.

  1. Open the washer lid and move the clothing items around so the load is evenly distributed, as the washing machine may not be able to spin or drain properly if the items are not balanced. Do not under- or overload the washer, and maintain moderate load size.

  2. Avoid connecting the washing machine to an extension cord, as most extension cords provide insufficient power supply and may result in problems with the washer spinning or draining.

  3. Lower the drain hose if the end of the hose is set more than 8 feet above the ground. This can redirect water back into the washing machine instead of draining as expected.

  4. Clean and straighten the drain hose. Make sure the washing machine is only operated in above-freezing temperatures, as the pipes may freeze when the weather is extremely cold.

  5. Open the lid and look closely to see if a clothing item has gotten stuck in between the inner and outer tubs inside the washing machine. If so, turn off and unplug the washing machine and remove the item with a pair of pliers.

  6. Contact an authorized service technician for assistance if the methods described here do not resolve the problem, as other potential reasons for the issue (such as a broken pump pulley or motor coupler) may require professional help.

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.