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Hi,

I have a problem with my washer where it's stuck on one minute and never finishes a cycle or drains. I know this has been discussed a gazillion times and often it's down to a blockage. I had all the pipes connected to the pump off last night, and cleaned them all out so they're like new. The filter is clear and I can see the impeller spinning. It makes no difference if it's a cold or hot wash (the heater element is definitely working) and even running a spin or drain cycle doesn't help. 

I've made a short video of the noise it makes when it should be draining here.

 

Any ideas please? It sounds like the bearings on the pump maybe?

Edited by MDS_UK

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That's clearly not pumping water out. Is that the sound of the pump running? If so it sounds like it's not got any water inside the pump. Check there isn't a blockage somewhere at the top of the sump hose maybe blocking the hole in the bottom of the outer drum leading into the sump hose. Also check that the sump hose isn't being kinked. Also, if the drain hose connects to a u-bend check there isn't a blockage in the end of the drain hose or in the plastic spigot on the u-bend that the drain hose is connected to. 

 


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Hi Andy,

Many thanks for your reply. Yes, that's the sound of the pump running - I think! I had the big pipe with the ball in it off last night and cleaned it so it's like new. I also cleared all the gunk out of the other 2 pipes (one from the top of the drum and the other which goes to the manual drain pipe) so everything's clear. The only pipe I couldn't really clean was the main drain pipe. I removed it from the house drain pipe and put into a bucket to see if gravity might help, but it didn't. I plan on finding something akin to a long pipe cleaner and giving it a once over tonight though..

When I removed the filter, there was a bit of gunk/hair etc, but no big obstruction. There's not much to the filter, it seems to spin OK so I'm not sure if there's anything else to check on it?

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If you can't find anything with the advice in my first reply then take off the drain hose and make sure nothing is blocking it. It's rare but a button could jam inside it. Press it up against a tap and see if water runs through it OK/blow down it etc.

(If it still didn't drain out with the drain hose in a bucket you can discount the advice about checking the u-bend)


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2 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

If you can't find anything with the advice in my first reply then take off the drain hose and make sure nothing is blocking it. It's rare but a button could jam inside it. Press it up against a tap and see if water runs through it OK/blow down it etc.

(If it still didn't drain out with the drain hose in a bucket you can discount the advice about checking the u-bend)

Thanks again. 

Going back to you original reply.. At the bottom of the drum, there's a big drain hole that goes out via a hose with ball in it. Into this same hose, there's another hose connected that comes from the top of the drum somewhere and then there's another hose which leads to the manual drain hose. I had them all off and cleaned them all and refit, but it didn't make any difference. I couldn't see anything else connected to the pump, so I'm assuming I've covered them all. I also assumed that, as the water is leaving the drum and making it as far as the manual drain hose, that the blockage must either be in the filter or the pump itself? Or am I off the mark?

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The other hose is probably to do with a re-circulation pump. If you didn't see anything blocking the big drain hole in the bottom of the tub (outer drum) and there's nothing inside the sump hose, the ball is clean and able to move up and down and the drain hose has no blockage the only thing left is the pump. Check the impeller is properly spinning around as sometimes the impeller can be loose on the shaft and so the pump appears to work but the impeller doesn't spin around. Or it can spin around but be too easily stopped and hasn't the power to pump water.


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Also make sure when you test that the pump is running that it's actually on a spin cycle.


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2 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

The other hose is probably to do with a re-circulation pump. If you didn't see anything blocking the big drain hole in the bottom of the tub (outer drum) and there's nothing inside the sump hose, the ball is clean and able to move up and down and the drain hose has no blockage the only thing left is the pump. Check the impeller is properly spinning around as sometimes the impeller can be loose on the shaft and so the pump appears to work but the impeller doesn't spin around. Or it can spin around but be too easily stopped and hasn't the power to pump water.

 

1 minute ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Also make sure when you test that the pump is running that it's actually on a spin cycle.

Thanks. Will do on bother counts. I'll report back later...

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So I had it all apart again. Double checked the pump is spinning. Cleared all the inlet/outlets on the pump itself. Removed the main drain pipe and flushed it with water from the outside tap. All manner of hideous grey gunk came flying out and, by the time I'd finished with it, I reckon there was a good 100g worth of gunk on the ground. I felt confident I'd identified the issue and put it all back together. 

Horrified to see it sat churning at 0:01 again right now.... No different. 

Is it possible it's an electronic fault somewhere? The pipes are all clear now and the pump is definitely spinning. The screw in filter - could that be the issue? It spins relatively freely so feels as though it's going to do its job.

Washing is piling up and the wife is STRESSED!

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Is it pumping out all the water now? Or can you still see water sloshing about?


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30 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Is it pumping out all the water now? Or can you still see water sloshing about?

It’s just sat there sloshing about at 0:01... No change in behaviour at all. 

When I ran the pump when it was empty, it was almost silent. When there’s water to be drained, it rumbles badly. Perhaps it’s running but just not running powerful enough to pump the water out to the drain?

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Have you had the pump off and examined it for gunge and limescale?

As the pump is running there are only 2 possible causes. A blockage/obstruction somewhere or a faulty pump. 


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2 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Have you had the pump off and examined it for gunge and limescale?

As the pump is running there are only 2 possible causes. A blockage/obstruction somewhere or a faulty pump. 

Haven’t had it off but stuck my fingers in all the ports and it felt fine. Spins freely. Probably worth a punt on a new pump if it’s only £20 or so. 

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The pump did sound extremely quiet  


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It sounds a bit half-hearted. 


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You could drain all the water out and take the pump filter out to see if the pump impeller is spinning probably. You should be able to stop the impeller running with a screwdriver but only after firm pressure. 


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Just now, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

You could drain all the water out and take the pump filter out to see if the pump impeller is spinning probably. You should be able to stop the impeller running with a screwdriver but only after firm pressure. 

I’ve seen it running but haven’t tried sticking a screwdriver in it...

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Aye I don’t ram it in but carefully introduce it and see how easy it is to stop it. A healthy pump would fight the screwdriver but be unable to resist it. If it is extremely easy to stop it then it’s probably not running well enough to pump out water. 


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21 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Aye I don’t ram it in but carefully introduce it and see how easy it is to stop it. A healthy pump would fight the screwdriver but be unable to resist it. If it is extremely easy to stop it then it’s probably not running well enough to pump out water. 

Ok I’ll give that a go in the morning and order a pump if necessary. 

Thanks again for all your advice!

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Tried the screwdriver test as seen here. The pump didn't feel weak.... The sound of the pump with the screwdriver in it sounds just like it does when it's trying to drain also. So there has to be a blockage somewhere.... I just can't imagine where given that I've had all the pipes off and they are all sparkly clean.

Edited by MDS_UK

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Agreed. Although exceptionally quiet for a pump, that pump has spunk :) Just double check that the impeller isn't compromised in any way such as the blades on it have been worn down or broken off.

After that, if it isn't draining properly it has to be a blockage (or the sump hose has a kink in it, or is collapsing, which is rare). Carefully go through all the points in my article here and see how you go Can’t Find a Blockage But Washing Machine Still Not Draining

Note that sticking with 1 minute left is often (but not always) related to the heating element being open circuit - but that is totally separate from not draining the water. As long as you are still troubleshooting the main symptom of the washing machine not fully draining the water as I could see in the first video then stick with this for now. You may actually also want to check that the pressure chamber isn't completely blocked up too. If you found that amount of limescale and gunge in the drain hose unfortunately this means the chances are that the whole washing machine is caked in the same stuff. If you have a similar blockage in the pressure system that can also cause problems. For more information read my article here How to clear a blocked pressure system


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Hi,

Ok, I’ve got the pump in my hand and I can see nothing wrong with it. No foreign objects in it and it spins as it should. Checked the pressure chamber is clean as a whistle. The sump pipe seems fine and is clear of gunk. 

I read your article but I think I’ve exhausted all possibilities apart from the electronics but then I’m convinced I can hear the pump labouring when it’s attempting to drain.

I’m at a loss as to what I should do next. I think I should call a professional in as my best endeavours are proving to be far from enough!

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Does the pump empty any water at all? If so can you see the water flow rate if you let it pump into the sink or a bucket at at least 3 foot height?


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4 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Does the pump empty any water at all? If so can you see the water flow rate if you let it pump into the sink or a bucket at at least 3 foot height?

No it doesn’t empty anything. 

Ive just taken the pump of the housing and the o-ring between the 2 pieces was ever so slightly twisted. I’ve rehoused it and put it back together. I’ll put it all back together.

I’m not sure how I can run the pump to test without filling the machine which means putting the door back on etc?

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Not sure why the door is off, but If you need to get an engineer in you need it all put back together.  If a washing machine isn’t emptying water it isn’t usually this difficult to find out why. It seems like you’ve eliminated everything but then can’t have because if we had we would have found the cause. 

The only possible faults are -

Something inside the main drum that is blocking the water from going into the sump hose

Something blocking the water from getting from the sump hose into the pump (including the ball sticking). Try taking the ball out btw

The sump hose itself getting kinked or collapsing due to worn or damaged suspension or somehow being fitted wrong

A blockage in the pump filter, or in one of the chambers in or out, or round the impeller

A blockage inside the drain hose

A blockage after the drain hose such as at the u-bend if connected to one

The pump impeller broken on the shaft or pump not running properly or at all

For me the second video you uploaded shows the pump impeller is ok and the pump is running strong enough to pump water. 


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