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Kenmore Washer Won’t Drain/Keeps Draining/Drain Cycle Problems

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You’ve just finished washing a week’s worth of laundry, so now you switch your Kenmore washer to drain. You leave the washer to do its thing, but after a few minutes, you get back to the washer only to discover that the dirty laundry water is still in the tub. What do you do if your washer won’t drain properly?

A Kenmore washer that won’t drain properly likely has a clogged pump. Try checking the drain to see if there’s any foreign object obstructing the valve or opening. If not, the drain pump might be damaged and need replacing. Those with newer washer models can also try performing a master reset.

Washing machine drum

Are you still having trouble getting the dirty laundry water out of the washer? In this article, I’ll explain what causes Kenmore washers to get stuck on the drain cycle, how to drain the water quickly, and what long-term solutions you can do to fix your washer.

How To Force a Kenmore Washer To Drain

Washing machine control knob

The problem with having your Kenmore washer on the drain cycle is you can’t just ignore the issue. You’ll have to drain the dirty water first before repairing the appliance. The wastewater in your washer consists of all the sweat, dirt, bacteria, and viruses from your laundry. So, don’t even consider letting it sit in your washer for even a few days.

There are multiple ways to drain your Kenmore washer manually, but the simplest way is to remove the drain hose. Locate the drain hose (you’ll find it behind the washer), pinch the pin locking it to the appliance, then slowly pull off the hose. Afterward, the water will pour onto the floor.

For those who have newer digital Kenmore washer models, you can try doing a master reset. First, unplug the washer from the outlet, let the machine rest for one minute, then plug again. Afterward, carefully open and close the washer door six times within 12 seconds. If you do these steps properly, you should trigger a master reset in the newer models.

Again, bear in mind that the master reset trick won’t work for everyone. If you still have your instructions manual, you can refer to it to see if they have any given directions on resetting your Kenmore washer.

Kenmore Washer Won’t Drain / Not Completely Draining

Washing machine spin cycle

Manually Drain the Washer

As I mentioned before, the first thing you need to do is get rid of the wastewater. You can either manually remove the drain hose or perform a master reset to force the appliance to expel the dirty water.

However, these are just quick hacks to drain water manually in case of emergencies. I strongly discourage using these tricks as an alternative to proper washer repairs and parts replacements.

Check the Drain Pipe and Coin Trap

Once the water’s out of the tub, it’ll be a lot easier to check the washer’s different crevices and openings for blockages. Make sure you inspect the following:

  • Drain Hose: Small pieces of clothing such as socks, panties, briefs, and boxers often get stuck in the drain hose. Check if there’s anything lodged inside.
  • Valve Openings: Check all the valve openings in your washer to see if there are any blockages. Don’t just scan for foreign objects. See if there are buildups of soap, grime, or scum that might be preventing water from flowing properly as well.
  • Coin Trap: Most modern Kenmore washers have coin traps. As their names suggest, small bins catch small objects that might get lodged in the drainpipe (e.g., pens and loose change).

Clean the Water Level Valve

If none of the tricks above work, you might have to inspect your water level system. Dismantle the flap covering the control panel and locate the water level valve. You’ll see a small plastic tube attached to it. If you see mold, scum, or grime buildup, you can try clearing the tube with some vinegar and baking soda. However, consider replacing the valve if it’s already rusting.

Kenmore Washer Stuck on Drain Cycle

Washing machine control knob

If none of the quick fixes mentioned above resolved the issue and your washer is still stuck on the drain cycle, you have to consider a part replacement. Fortunately, you won’t have to take down the entire washer just to pinpoint the specific issue. I’ve narrowed the most probable causes that are likely preventing your washer from draining properly.

Damaged Water Pump Belt

Dismantle the back panel flap of your washer to reveal the water pump belt. Assess it by hand. Check if the belt shows severe signs of physical deterioration, cracking, and stretching.

If you decide it’s time to get a parts replacement, start by unscrewing the mounting bolt holding the pump belt up—but don’t fully remove the bolts yet. Afterward, tilt the machine down a bit and remove the hoses connected to the water pump. Make sure there’s a bucket underneath to catch all the excess water. After draining the remaining water, fully remove the bolts and dismantle the water pump.

Replace the belt with a new, durable one like 131686100 Washer Drive Belt by AppliaFit. It’s a durable, high-quality, and easy-to-install aftermarket replacement part compatible with most Kenmore washers.

Defective Drain Pump

Is your drain pump failing to drain even though there are no buildups or blockages lodged inside the valve? Then the pump itself might need replacing.

The best way to determine whether your drain pump is still good is to check the pressure with your hands. Stick your finger in the drain outlet and place your free hand on the pump flywheel. Slowly twist the flywheel. You’ll be able to feel a shift in the drain pump pressure if one or two of the impellers are no longer working.

To prevent your drain pump from failing again, make sure you use a high-quality replacement part. Ditch the cheap, low-grade OEM replicas. A great replacement option would be the 4681EA2001T Washer Drain Pump Motor by Ubrand. It’s a manufacturer-tested aftermarket replacement part guaranteed to withstand years’ worth of daily use.

Kenmore Washer Keeps Draining (Drain Pump Keeps Running)

Woman putting clothes into washing machine

Are you having trouble filling your Kenmore washer with water? Here are some of the possible issues that might cause your washer to get stuck on the drain cycle:

Improperly Positioned Washer Drain

The first thing you need to check is the height of your washer drain. Ideally, the drain hose should be standing 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) from the base level. Most of the time, the drain hose slowly gets pushed too deep into the valve due to daily use. A simple fix would be to pull the hose up a few inches.

However, if the hose is at the proper height, you might want to check for signs of damages. Don’t hesitate to get a part replacement if you notice any visible signs of deterioration such as stretching, cracking, or ruptures.

Clogged or Faulty Drain Pipe

Drain pipes go both ways, so if the valve is clogged or malfunctioning, the valve can either:

  • Stay closed and prevent wastewater from exiting the tub
  • Stay open, so the tub never fills no matter how much water you pour in

Go through the drain pipe to check for any foreign object such as socks or undergarments lodged into the valve. If there’s none, check for impeller pressure. Twist the flywheel with one hand while your other is in the drain pump to check for imbalance pressure.

Malfunctioning Control Board

If neither the washer drain hose nor drain pipe shows signs of damages, then the issue might be with the user and control board. A malfunctioning board may prevent the washer from switching out of the drain cycle.

To check for issues, try pressing all the buttons on the control board. Take note of what happens with every press you make. If the washer does not respond accordingly with some buttons, there’s a good chance that the board is malfunctioning and may need replacing.

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