Oh no! All of a sudden the clothes are sopping wet at the end of the wash cycle…Now the wash cycle is failing during the middle of a load!…If you’ve experienced either of these, or the below symptoms before with your front-loading washing machine, it’s most likely a clogged drain pump filter. Below, we’ll explain how you can repair your own washer in a few simple steps and avoid a costly visit from the repair man.

Common Symptoms of this Repair:

  • Washing machine won’t drain or spin
  • Washing machine not draining completely
  • Whirlpool washer won’t drain or spin
  • Kenmore washer won’t drain
  • How to empty a washing machine full of water

How to fix a washer that won’t drain:

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE, or other front-loading washing machine, they all seem to experience this over time and when it happens, you might panic for a minute because these washers aren’t cheap! Not to worry though. In our case, we have a Kenmore HE2 front loading washer that we bought new from Sears about 8 years ago. Who knows how many countless number of loads we’ve run through it over the years. But today, it started to give us an error message of F21.

  1. Check to see if your drain hose is kinked
    So the first thing we did was check the owners manual – which luckily my wife saves whenever we get a new appliance. It said to check for a “kinked” hose or a clogged drain line, and if that didn’t solve the problem, to call the local Sears Kenmore service location. You guessed it – it didn’t solve the problem. We realized that we’d never actually checked the drain pump trap on the washer and that was the most likely place to start.
  2. Remove the front panel of the washing machine
    With a few quick steps, we were able to pull off the 2 front panels, and locate the drain pump trap.
  3. Clean out the drain trap.
    Ours was severely clogged with all kinds of “stuff”, but only took a few minutes to clean out the trap and then put the panels back on. Grab a bucket and place it in front of the drain trap before you unscrew it. It will take several turns to unscrew and make take a little force to get it started. Remember, it should be tight when screwed back in all the way so that water doesn’t leak out.

Sure wish all of the home repairs could be this easy!!

Hopefully you’ll find that it’s an easy fix for you too. For step by step instructions on how to repair your own washer, unclog your drain pump filter, and troubleshoot a few additional things along the way, just check out the below video on how to fix your washer that won’t drain. Who knows what you’ll find in yours?!?!


  • Amy St.Onge

    July 26, 2017 at 12:57 am

    I can’t thank you enough for your awesome video on cleaning a front loader washer drain. We are weeks away from moving and the washer decided to stop draining (2wks after the water heater busted). No buget for a new washer! Found you on UTube. Followed your instructions and our washer now works! Best part, I found my wedding ring I thought I lost 5 years ago!!!!!! Never would have known there was a drain there, it’s not in the manual! Thank you!! May God return your kindness ten fold!!


    • Clint

      August 1, 2020 at 2:35 am

      Thanks for letting me know Amy! That might be the greatest news I’ve heard from posting this washer repair vid! Thank you again for sharing your story and appreciate the kind words. I’m so glad it worked and you found your ring!! I told my wife this story and her jaw almost hit the ground!!! She was so happy for you too!!!


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