How to Fix a GE Washer That Won’t Drain -
Appliances Repair

Why Your GE Washer Isn’t Draining? Here Are 6 Possible Causes and Solutions

by Viktor

Why Your GE Washer Isn’t Draining? Here Are 6 Possible Causes and Solutions

Here’s the thing:

The draining function is important to the wash cycle because it helps maintain a steady flow of bubbly and fresh water when needed.


Just like a GE dryer that isn’t heating, a washer that refuses to drain is quite frustrating.


A brand-new washer is less likely to develop this fault, but a fairly or well-used washer is most prone to it.


Your GE washer is unusable if it cannot drain.

You probably clicked on this guide because you’re facing this problem and need to learn how to fix it.


You’ve come to the right place.

Here is a short list of faults that could lead to a drainage failure in your GE washer.

Why Your GE Washer Is Not Draining

Remain calm if your GE washer suddenly stops draining, as the fault may be much less complicated than you think. Your GE washer may not drain for reasons as basic as using too much washing soap or overloading the tub. It could also stop draining due to more advanced issues, like defective or clogged parts.

1. Excess Washing Fluid or Detergent

washer detergent


We could argue all day about the right amount of washing fluid or detergent to pour into your GE washer.


It may be better to establish what could happen if one introduces too much detergent or washing fluid to their wash load.


It could prevent your GE washer from draining the tub efficiently. Using too much detergent could create excess suds and residue, leading to clogs in the washer’s pump.


You can avoid this problem by showing some restraint when using surfactants. It’s best to put in just enough for the load you intend to wash.

Keep in mind:

Most washers only require about two tablespoons of detergent per wash. Some machines might even be able to operate with just one.

2. Overloading the Tub

washer overload

Here’s the thing:

Attempting to pack as many clothes as possible into a GE washer could cost more than you bargained for in the long run.

You see:

Overloading your GE washer could prevent it from starting its cycle. If it does start, likely, the washer will not drain effectively because of the load density.

As such:

It is a user’s responsibility to ensure they do not overload their washer. Do not be in too much of a hurry to get your laundry done.


Break down the bulk of your laundry into separate loads. You could choose a day for laundry so you can give the task all the attention it needs.

3. Clogged Drain Hose

GE washer drain hose


A clogged drain hose is a multi-faceted problem that could develop into a much more serious issue if left unattended.


The GE washer comes equipped with sensors that help troubleshoot this issue. Your GE washer should have an indicator light that flashes when the drain hose is clogged.


It is important to clear your drain hose as soon as you notice it is clogged. A clogged hose could cause water to pool up at the bottom of your machine.

As we know:

Water and electronics do not mix.

If compounded:

The clog could create a leak that would eventually damage the surrounding furniture.


You might feel like you simply cannot win with this problem. However, you can solve it with a few easy steps.

Here is how to troubleshoot a clogged drain hose:

  • Step 1: Turn off your GE washer and unplug it from the wall.
  • Step 2: Shift the machine forward enough to grant lower-back access.
  • Step 3: Locate the drain hose, turn it to unlatch the safety, and disconnect it.
  • Step 4: Take a turkey baster and pass water through the hose. It should flow freely if there is no clog.
  • Step 5: Put on a latex glove and reach into the hose if your hands are small enough. Feel around for build-up and clear if necessary.
  • Step 6: Check for clumps or buildup in the hose outlet and clear it out.
  • Step 7: Wash out the hose when done and reconnect it.

Water should flow freely from your machine once the hose is cleared out.

4. Clogged Drain Pump

GE washer drain pump


The drain pump is an essential GE washer component. It facilitates water movement in your machine.


The pump consists of a mechanical motor and a plastic pipe fitting through which it moves water in any necessary direction.


The pump will not be able to do its job if the connection to the tub is clogged. This could happen if the drain trap fails to catch loose fabric or other debris.

Fear not:

You can clear this blockage by accessing the drain pump and following a few easy steps. Ensure your GE washer stays unplugged before opening it up.

  • Step 1: Slide a putty knife into the gap between the top and the front panel. Undo the spring latches on the left and right sides.
  • Step 2: Ease the front panel forward and lift it out. Place it to the side.
  • Step 3: The pump motor should sit on the bottom right of the machine. Unplug the motor and set the wire harness aside.
  • Step 4: You should notice two securely fastened hoses on the pump motor. First, unscrew the 3/8th inch bolts fastening the motor to the floor of the washer.
  • Step 5: Use a pair of pliers to squeeze the safety clamp on the hose connecting the tub to the motor. It is typically the larger black hose.
  • Step 6: Use a small pail to collect water dripping from the hose and set it aside.
  • Step 7: Clear any debris or scale you might notice in the hose.
  • Step 8: Do the same for the drain hose connected to the top of the pump.

If the machine still doesn’t drain after clearing any obstructions in the hoses, the pump might be faulty.


You can easily replace the pump by unfastening it from the washer with the help of a skilled technician.

5. Clogged Drain Pump Filter


It isn’t uncommon to forget small items in your clothes before placing them in the washer. It is good practice to empty your pockets, but people do not always remember.


These small items can make their way into the GE washer’s drainage system and block water passage over time.

If you go through your GE manual, you will find specific warnings against leaving items in your laundry.


GE washers come outfitted with a standard drain hose filter. This failsafe system prevents small items from entering the pump by accident.

Keep in mind:

Gunk and small items accumulate in the filter over time. When this happens, you may notice the GE washer taking longer and longer to drain each time.


The machine may stop draining altogether. It is important to check and clean the washer drain pump filter.


One can locate the filter easily in the GE top load washer. Simply remove the panel underneath the glass door, and you should find the filter compartment.


Thoroughly clean the filter before putting it back into the machine.

This process should restore seamless water flow out of your GE washer.

6. Faulty Lid Switch

GE washer lid switch

You may wonder:

What exactly is a lid switch?


This handy part keeps you safe against hazards and protects your washer as well. The lid switch prevents a GE washer from operating if the lid is left ajar.


This might be a problem if the switch is faulty. If at all you can start a wash cycle with a faulty lid switch, your GE washer may refuse to drain.


The lid switch is a relatively easy part to replace. You must access the area under the top lid and cut out the old lid switch.


Ensure to give yourself enough wire room to work with when installing the new part. Be careful when doing this because you could also damage the new lid switch.


If technical repairs are not your forte, you can schedule an appointment with a GE appliance repair technician for assistance.


Your GE washer should work just fine once the part has been replaced.

Models Most Affected


Drainage issues could affect any GE washer.


Some models typically suffer from the inability to drain more than others due to one fault or the other.

Here is a list of such models:

1. GE Top Load Washer

GE Top Load Washer

Get this:

Finding the pump filter on the top load model washer isn’t as intuitive as the front load.

As such:

Users may leave the filter to accumulate debris over a long period, leading to a clog.

Keep in mind:

You can consult the GE user’s manual to locate specific parts. The location of the filter may differ depending on what specific top loader you own.

Either way:

Go the extra mile and clean out the washer filter as frequently as possible to avoid problems in the future.

2. GE Front Load Washer

GE Front Load Washer

The GE front load washers are susceptible to a faulty lid switch.

Similarly, it’s harder to gauge the right amount of laundry to load into your front loader.

On the plus side:

The front load washer gives easy access to the drain pump filter, allowing you to solve drainage issues easily.

3. GE Hydrowave Washer

Like the first model, the Hydrowave washer also accepts laundry loads from the top.

As such:

This model is susceptible to the same problems as other top loader models.


It gives easy drain hose access, alleviating some of the stress of maintaining the washer.

In any case, users should clear the drain hose as often as possible to avoid draining issues.

4. GE Stackable Washer

Stacked washers aren’t as easy to troubleshoot as their single-unit counterparts. They can usually be found in your local laundromat.

As such:

The problems that cause a GE washer not to drain are compounded over time until the washers are serviced.


Most laundromats take good care of their equipment and are unlikely to face this problem when the machine has been properly serviced.



Your GE washer must be able to drain for it to function effectively. Having dirty water stuck in your washer will most definitely be an inconvenience.


We have examined a few common faults and malfunctions in your washer that could stop it from draining.

  • Excess washing fluid or detergent
  • Overloading the tub
  • Clogged drain hose
  • Clogged drain pump
  • Clogged drain pump filter
  • Faulty lid switch

Carefully work your way down this list if your washer refuses to drain, and you will find the cause of the problem.


Repairing the fault will solve the problem, and your GE washer should drain just fine!


Did you find this guide helpful? Is there any defect or troubleshooting tip you think we may have missed?

Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My GE Washer Not Draining?

Your GE washer may not be draining because of a clog somewhere in your machine. The clog could be in the drain hose, the drain pump, or the drain pump filter.

The pump itself could also be faulty and in need of a replacement.

How Do I Manually Drain my GE Washer?

You can manually drain a clogged GE by washer using a small coin to open the pump filter access door. Next, twist the filter out of place.

Remember to position a bowl by the outlet to collect water once the clogged filter is removed.

How Do You Fix a GE Washer That Won’t Drain?

Check the drain hose for kinks, bends, and clogs, preventing water from flowing out. Remove any obstructions, and it should work just fine.

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