Why Is My Whirlpool Washer Not Draining Completely?

A whirlpool washer not draining completely is more than just a mere annoyance. If left unchecked, this issue may actually damage the machine, forcing you to pay more than initially warranted for repair and replacement!

If your washer isn’t properly draining, this might be due to a clogged drain hose, a pump obstruction, or even excessive sudsing. Stick around for more reasons and solutions!

In this article, we answer the following questions:

  • Why is my whirlpool washer not draining completely?
  • How do I test the drain pump on a Whirlpool washing machine?
  • How often should I drain my washing machine?


5 Reasons Why Your Whirlpool Washer Isn’t Draining Completely + Solutions

If your Whirlpool washing machine isn’t draining, it might be due to one of the following reasons:

Clogged or Kinked Drain Hose

The drain hose, usually found on the back of the washer, is the primary method of wastewater transport. If it’s clogged, kinked, or trapped against the washing machine, it can create an obstruction.

Make sure the whirlpool washer’s drain hose isn’t clogged or kinked. You might also want to straighten the hose. Position the hose less than 96 inches above the ground to prevent drainage interference. Placing it higher might force the water back into the machine, preventing your clothes from drying completely.

If that doesn’t solve the issue, unclog your drain pipe by pouring hot water down the drain, followed straight after by baking soda and vinegar. Leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes before flushing it out with more hot water. Alternatively, use a commercial drain cleaner

On the other hand, if it’s obstructed by a piece of clothing or item, try removing it with a long wire or a plastic clog remover. If that doesn’t work, you may have to replace the hose.

Blocked Drain Pump

Blocked Drain Pump

When you don’t empty the pockets of your clothes, small items may find themselves in the drain pump. This, therefore, creates a water obstruction.

Turn your machine off and check if anything is blocking the pump. Closely examine the gaps with a flashlight and carefully extract the offending item. If the item is thoroughly lodged in, it’s best to call Whirlpool or repair service for assistance.

Luckily, the drain pump filter in Whirlpool washer models is relatively easy to disassemble and reassemble, giving you full access to its behind-the-scenes.

Excessive Suds

Using too much detergent or a non-HE detergent causes excessive suds. Although this isn’t usually a problem, excessive suds may cause water blockage and sometimes even leakage.

To fix this issue, simply choose a different drain cycle (preferably a short one) and press Start to remove all the excess water and suds.

If your Whirlpool washer is high-efficiency, it’s best to pair it with high-efficiency (HE) laundry detergent as they’re low sudsing and quick dispersing. Otherwise, use only about a tablespoon of laundry detergent per regular load size.

Incorrect or Slow Spin Cycle

Manufacturers added a Cycle Selection feature to cater to different types of washing modes. It’s also what determines the washer’s spin speed.

For instance, the Hand Wash or Delicate option uses a slower spin speed than the Cotton or Jeans option. Choosing the “Low” and “Extra Low” options more or less have the same result.

For better water removal, choose a different spin cycle.

Low Outlet Voltage

If your outlet voltage is low, your machine won’t properly drain. Low voltage usually stems from damaged or worn-out fixtures. Unless you’re an experienced technician, always call a professional when replacing electrical units.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keen to know more about Whirlpool washer issues? Read on!

How do I test the drain pump on a Whirlpool washing machine?

Testing your machine’s drain pump is relatively easy. First, unplug the washer. Then, place several two-by-four blocks underneath the machine’s foot to keep the machine’s front elevated. If possible, ask for assistance.

Using a Phillips screwdriver, unscrew the screws located at the bottom of the panel. Once you remove the cover, you’ll find the drain pump directly in front of you. Prepare a bucket before turning the knob counterclockwise. The bucket will help you catch the remaining water inside it.

Place a gloved finger into the drain outlet and gently turn the impellers. If it doesn’t turn freely, you might be dealing with a broken or a clogged drain pump.

How often should I drain my washing machine?

Washing machines are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. To sanitize the basin and eliminate germs, run an empty load with hot water and about a cup of distilled vinegar once a month or two. You can also use a commercial drain cleaner.


The most common reason why your Whirlpool washer isn’t draining completely is a blocked or clogged drain hose or drain pump. It could also be due to excessive suds, a slow spin cycle, or low outlet voltage. Good luck!

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