How to Fix a Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogged (Solved!)

Is your washing machine drain pipe clogged, and you don’t know why or can’t fix it? Well, your washing machine drain pipe is clogged by debris, lint, hair, grease, oil, soap deposits, bacteria, or foreign objects, and there are various ways to clean it. 

You could unclog a washing machine drain pipe by pouring hot water with dish soap, hot water with baking soda, baking soda with vinegar, salt with water, or a drain cleaner like Drano. Alternatively, you can use a drain snake, power auger, or high-pressure cleaner.

So, you can’t run out of fixes, and they are all effective in different ways. But before you can assume that your washer’s drain pipe is clogged, you may want to confirm it, and I’ll share a simple guide to use. 

We’ll look at the signs when the drain pipe is clogged and how you can tell it’s blocked. Then after, we’ll discuss the different ways of unclogging the drain pipe, which I’ve highlighted above, among other important information. 

Let’s jump into it!

washing machine drain pipe clogged

Why Is My Washing Machine Drain Clogged?

Your washing machine is clogged because of any of these blockages:

  • Debris
  • Lint
  • Hair
  • Grease/oil
  • Soap scum
  • Threads
  • Bacteria
  • Cloth pieces
  • Foreign objects

So, one of the above could have been caught by accident and thus preventing the drain pipe from draining. 

What Happens If Washing Machine Drain Is Clogged?

Several issues could result from a drain pipe clogging, and they are also the signs to check when you suspect a clogging. They include the following:

  • Overflowing or leaking drain – The drain pipe is likely clogged if water is overflowing or leaking from the drain pipe. 
  • Poor drainage – If the washer’s wastewater drains slowly or doesn’t drain at all, there’s likely a blockage in the drain pipe. 
  • Unpleasant smell – Due to wastewater backup, a blockage product, an unpleasant smell may come from the drain pipe.
  • Error message – Some washers, especially smart washers, will show an error code when there’s a problem with the drainage.  Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook any error code that pops up. 
  • Locked door – Sometimes, the washing machine door would close and fail to unlock due to a clogged drain pipe. Thus, you may need to check the condition of the door. 
  • Weird sound – Some washers produce odd sounds when a drain pipe clogs, especially when draining away wastewater. 

How Do I Know If My Washing Machine Waste Pipe Is Blocked?

While the above signs strongly point to a blocked washer waste pipe, you may want to be sure before commencing any drain unblocking technique. That brings us to these two tests.

Option 1 – Sink Test 

Just fill the laundry sink (with water) to its brim and wait for it to drain. There’s likely clogging if the drainage is slow or the water doesn’t drain at all. 

Option 2 – Drain Cycle Test 

Fill up your washer (with water) and then return it before starting the drain cycle. Observe how the water drains. If there’s some spillage where the discharge hose and the wall connect or around the floor drain, there’s a clog. 

can a washing machine drain pipe get clogged

How to Clean Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogged?

There are different ways to clean or unclog the washing machine drain pipe, and the commonest ones include the following:

1. Hot Water with Dishwashing Soap 

Hot water with dish soap can loosen most clogs in the drain pipe, making it an ideal drain cleaner. Wear safety gloves for your hand protection and cover your feet and torso before handling hot water. 

Overall, dish soap is effective against grease clogs. You then need to follow these steps:

  • Boil a gallon of water 
  • Unplug the washer and take out the hose from the drain pipe 
  • Put a funnel over the hose to prevent spillage, and pour the boiling water
  • First, pour the dish soap to dissolve the clog
  • Gently pour the water into the drain pipe and wait for it to unclog 
  • If it doesn’t, consider the second technique

2. Hot Water + Baking Soda 

If the hot water and dish soap won’t unclog the drain pipe alone, consider using baking soda alongside it. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Unplug the washer and take the hose out of the drain 
  • Prepare a bucket of boiling water and add a pack of baking soda 
  • Gently pour the baking soda hot water mixture into the drain 
  • Wait for the drain pipe to unclog for about 10 minutes 
  • Pour cold water down the washer’s drain pipe to see if it drains 
  • Try the other drain cleaning techniques if it doesn’t 

3. Baking Soda + Vinegar 

Baking soda and vinegar form a powerful clog remover mixture which you should try when the above two cleaning techniques fail. You’ll also use boiling water here, and here’s how to unclog washing machine drain with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water:

  • Add baking soda and vinegar solution in equal measures (about a cup each) into a pot of boiling water 
  • Pour the mixture gently and give it 10 minutes to work 
  • Pour cold water into the drain pipe to see if it’s draining 
  • Consider the fourth technique if it doesn’t work 

4. Salt and Water Mixture 

Salt possesses the same antimicrobial properties as vinegar, making it a perfect cleaning agent. Here’s how to go about this technique:

  • Prepare 1 cup of sea salt or iodized salt with 2 cups of hot water 
  • Pour the mixture gently into the clogged drain pipe and give it 10 – 15 minutes to act
  • Run cold water through the drain pipe to see if it’ll drain 
  • Consider the 5th drain cleaning technique if it doesn’t 

5. Commercial Drain Cleaner 

You can also unclog your washing machine drain pipe using a commercial drain cleaner, and one popular choice is Drano

Drano dissolves most clogs, such as soap scum, hair, lint, grease, and lint, making it a good choice for unblocking a clogged drain. Just ensure you use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

What happens if washing machine drain is clogged

6. Drain Snake

A drain snake is a sturdy wire which goes into the drain pipe to remove a clog. You can buy it from the stores or make it yourself. Its average size is about 25 ft. long. 

Its advantage over the drain cleaning techniques is that it can remove the stubbornest clogs in the deepest parts of the drain pipe. 

7. Power Auger 

If the clog is deep sitting, a drain snake may not work, and that’s where a power auger comes in. Unlike a drain snake which averages 25ft, a power auger can extend to 75 ft, which means you are likely to dislodge the stubbornest clogs. 

8. High-Pressure Cleaner 

Lastly, consider cleaning the drain pipe with a high-pressure cleaner. Attach the drain pipe to the high-pressure cleaner and pump water under high pressure. 

Remember, these are the same high-pressure cleaners you use to clean cars, sinks, roofs, motorcycles, windows, toilets, and driveways, and you can get them on Amazon. 

Washing Machine Drain Clogged Lint Trap 

The lint trap easily clogs up with lint and dirt, but it’s usually the easiest to clean. Just unscrew the lint trap from the washer and wash it under tap water. 

Once it’s clean, reattach it, and that should allow the washer to drain smoothly. 

How to Clean Washing Machine Drain Hose Without Removing?

Most washing machine drain cleaning techniques require you to remove the drain hose. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t unclog the drain hose without removing it. 

For example, you can pour boiling water directly into the drain hose and allow it to dislodge the clog. You can also use hot water alongside dishwashing detergent, baking soda, or vinegar, and that act against stubborn clogs. 

People Also Ask 

1. Can A Washing Machine Drain Pipe Get Clogged?

Yes, a washing machine drain pipe can be clogged, and common culprits include debris, lint, hair, grease, soap scum, thread, bacteria, clothing pieces, and foreign objects. 

2. Why Is My Washing Machine’s Drain Pipe Backing Up?

If your washing machine drain pipe is backing up, it’s likely due to a clog. Consider that something like lint, debris, hair, soap scum, or bacteria has clogged up the drain pipe, preventing the wastewater from draining away. 

3. How Do You Unclog a Washing Machine Drain Hose?

You can unclog a clogged washing machine drain hose by paring hot water with dishwashing detergent, vinegar, or baking soda and allowing it to act for 10 – 15 minutes. 

Alternatively, you can use a commercial drain cleaner like Drano or a drain snake, power auger, or high-pressure cleaner. 

4. Can You Snake a Washing Machine Drain?

Yes, you can snake a washing machine drain pipe. Ensure you carefully place the drain snake into the drain pipe and gently pull out possible clogs. This is effective against hair, thread, and fabric clogs. 

5. How Do I Clean the Drain Hose On the Back of My Washing Machine?

Using a drain snake is the easiest way to reach the back of your washing machine and adequately clean the drain hose. The drain sake will dislodge a deep-lying clog and improve drainage. 

6. Will Vinegar Unclog a Washing Machine Drain?

Yes, you can unclog a washing machine drain with vinegar. It, however, does not work alone. Vinegar works best when mixed with baking soda in equal measure and boiled. 

Just prepare 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in a pot of water and pour the mixture into the drain to unclog it. But if you use vinegar alone, mix one cup of vinegar with 2 cups of boiling water. 

7. Can You Put Drano in Washing Machine Drain Pipe?

Drano is a drain cleaner, which means you can use it to clean a clogged washing machine drain pipe. However, Drano shouldn’t stay in the drain pipe for too long as it could damage the line. 

For that reason, you should follow it up with hot water. Some experts argue that Drano can damage the washer, so you shouldn’t pour it directly. 

8. Does Baking Soda Clog Washing Machine?

Baking soda alone can clump and clog the washing machine. That’s why mixing it with vinegar in an equal ratio is advisable. Then you should add boiling water to the mixture to unclog the washer drain pipe. 

How can you find the right washing machine parts for replacement?

To find the right washing machine parts for replacement, you can follow these steps:

1. Identify your washing machine model: Take note of the full model number of your washing machine. This information can usually be found on a label or plate attached to the appliance.

2. Visit a reliable appliance parts retailer: There are numerous online and physical stores that specialize in providing replacement parts for household appliances. Choose a reputable retailer that carries a wide range of washing machine parts.

3. Utilize the search function: Once you are on the retailer’s website or in the store, make use of their search bar or assistance from staff to input the full model number of your washing machine. This will help in filtering out incompatible parts and narrow down the search to those specifically designed for your machine.

4. Refine your search: After entering the model number, you may need to further refine your search by using filters. Typically, retailers allow you to filter by part category and part title. This will help you identify the exact part required to replace the damaged component in your washing machine.

5. Compare and select the right part: Take your time to review the options presented to you. Carefully examine the product details, specifications, images, and customer reviews to ensure the selected part is the appropriate fit for your washing machine.

6. Make the purchase: Once you have identified the correct part, proceed with purchasing it online or at the store. If needed, consult with the retailer’s customer service team to clarify any doubts or concerns you may have before finalizing your purchase.

By following these steps, you can successfully find the right washing machine parts for replacement, ensuring compatibility and proper functioning of your appliance.

What can be done if the blockage is in the standpipe?

If you find that the blockage in your drainage system is specifically in the standpipe, there are several steps you can take to address the issue. One effective method is to use a drain snake, which can be inserted into the standpipe to fish out and remove the obstruction. Another option is to utilize drain cleaning solvent, which can help break down and dissolve the blockage in the standpipe. By employing either of these methods, you can effectively clear the blockage and restore proper functioning to your drainage system.

What are the possible restriction areas for a drain hose?

There are several potential areas where a drain hose can become restricted:

1. Kinks or twists behind the washer: Check if the drain hose has become twisted or kinked behind the washing machine. This can obstruct the flow of water and prevent proper drainage.

2. Improper securing of the hose: Ensure that the drain hose is securely attached to the drain pump and within the washer cabinet. If it is not properly secured, it can cause restrictions in the flow of water.

3. Incorrect insertion into standpipe or laundry tub: The drain hose should extend unimpeded through the washer’s rear panel and be inserted into a standpipe or hooked onto the edge of a laundry tub. Make sure that the top of the standpipe or laundry tub is at least 30 inches from the floor (but no more than 90 inches from the bottom of the washer). Additionally, ensure that no more than four-and-a-half inches of the drain hose is inserted into the standpipe to prevent siphoning of water back into the washer.

4. Blockage within the drain hose: Inspect the drain hose for any blockage. If there is a blockage, you can use a drain snake or a long wire to push it free and unclog the drain. Alternatively, hot water or a drain cleaning solution can be used to clear any obstruction within the hose.

5. Blockage in the standpipe or P-trap: If you are using a floor or wall standpipe as the drainage point, there might be a blockage within the standpipe itself. In such cases, you can use a drain snake to fish through the standpipe and P-trap to clear the obstruction. Alternatively, a drain cleaning solvent can be used to break down the blockage.

By checking and addressing these potential restriction areas for a drain hose, you can resolve issues related to water not draining properly from the washing machine.

How do you access the washer’s “coin trap” when unclogging a washer drain?

When unclogging a washer drain and trying to access the coin trap, the method may vary depending on the model of the washer.

For certain front-load washer models, you can typically locate the coin trap filter behind a small access door near the bottom of the front panel. To clear the coin trap on these models, you can follow these steps:

1. Begin by opening the filter access door and detaching the drain tube from the retaining tab.
2. Uncap the drain tube and allow any excess water to drain out into a pan or container.
3. Replace the cap on the drain tube and secure it back under the retaining tab.
4. Now, you can unthread the coin trap filter in a counter-clockwise direction to remove it. Be prepared for some water to spill out from the filter housing.
5. Once the filter is removed, carefully remove any coins or debris that might be present, and if needed, clean out the housing as well.
6. To reinstall the filter, align it with the housing and thread it in a clockwise direction until it locks into place securely.

However, there are other washer models where the coin trap might be part of the drain pump assembly or a large pump hose. Accessing the coin trap on these models might require additional steps, such as uninstalling a lower front access panel or removing the top panel, as well as the control panel and/or front panel of the washer. If the coin trap is part of the drain pump, it can typically be removed by rotating it counter-clockwise. In the case of a coin trap integrated with a large pump hose or bellows, the hose will need to be detached from the pump ports to empty the trap.

It’s important to consult the specific user manual or manufacturer’s instructions for your washer model to ensure the correct method of accessing and unclogging the coin trap.

Closing Thought On a Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogged:

Now you know what to check precisely when your washing machine drain pipe clogs. More importantly, you should know how to unclog the drain pipe, and as shared, you can use hot water with dishwasher detergent, salt, vinegar, or baking soda. 

And if that doesn’t work, consider a commercial cleaner like Drano, a high-pressure cleaner, a drain snake, or a power auger. 

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