How to Replace the Drain Pump of Your Top-Load Washer

Authorized Service
January 18, 2020
Washer Repair

A washing machine needs to drain regularly. With every load, it fills with water and drains at least twice, to wash and to rinse. Many wash cycles take several fills for various wash and rinse phases. So if your washer has stopped draining or started flooding, you’re looking for an answer fast. Start by checking the drain hose for kinks and clogs. From there, the problem might be the washer’s drain pump. The drain pump is located underneath the washer and handles draining the tub between cycles.

This guide will walk you step-by-step through replacing the drain pump for a top-load washer. These steps line up exactly or closely for washers of brands Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, and GE top-load washers. 

Gather Your Supplies

Begin by collecting all the supplies you will need for the repair. This first step ensures that you can complete the repair from start to finish without having to look for tools or supplies in the middle. The most important thing to have, of course, is your replacement drain pump. Be sure to match the part number based on your washer’s make and model.

  • Replacement Drain Pump
  • Work Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Any Fabric Tape
  • Channel Lock Pliers
  • Standard Pliers
  • Socket Wrench Set
  • Towels or Cardboard
  • A Friend

Safety First

Move Washer Forward

The first step preparing your washer for repair is to pull it a foot or two forward. This will give you more space to work on its underside, where the drain pump is located. With the help of a friend, carefully pull the washer forward a short distance.

Turn Off the Water

Now that you can reach behind the washer, switch off the water supplies. Twist counter-clockwise to close the valves that allow water to flow into your washer. Make sure they are closed tight to prevent flooding.

Cut the Power

The drain pump is also an electrical component. To be safe, you’ll need to cut power to the washing machine. The easiest way to do this is to pull the plug. If you can’t reach the plug, then flip the breaker that powers the washer. 

Disconnect the Fill and Drain Hoses

Mark the Hot Water Drain Hose

Now you’re about to take the hoses off the washer. Before you do, mark the hose that connects to the hot water valve. These hoses are often identical and you don’t want to get them mixed up when reassembling the washer.

Loosen Connections with Channel Lock Pliers

To disconnect the hoses, grab your channel-lock pliers. These can be used to loosen the hose connections at the washer. Don’t pull the hoses away yet.

Remove Fill Hoses and Drain Into Bucket

Position the bucket near the hoses. When you disconnect them, aim the ends into the bucket. There is usually still a hose-length of water inside that will pour out. 

Tip the Washer

Lay Down Towel or Cardboard

You’ll need to access the underside of your top-load washer. To do this, start by laying down a large towel or piece of cardboard. This will prevent the washer and floor from scratching each other.

Work with Friend to Tip Washer Forward

Now position yourself and a friend on opposite sides of the washer. Carefully tip the washer forward and lay it on its front panel. Let the washer down carefully and consider using a small prop like a hard-cover book so fingers are not smashed. 

Uninstall the Old Drain Pump

Release Drain Hose Spring Clamp with Pliers

Look underneath the washer and you will see several exposed components. The drain pump is the rounded piece with a large hose coming out of one side. Around that hose is a circular metal spring clamp. Use your pliers to loosen and remove the spring clamp.

Remove Drain Hose

Now the drain hose is loose and can be pulled off the end of the drain pump. Do so now. If you feel the water, dump it into the bucket.

Open Wire Harness Compartment

On the drain pump housing is a small compartment that flips open. There may be a wrapped wire visibly extending. Find and open this compartment to expose the wire harness connection inside.

Disconnect Wires

Now that you can access the wire harness, disconnect the two halves.

Remove Mounting Bolts

The drain pump is now only held on by bolts. Use your wrench set to remove the bolts that hold the drain pump in place. Keep track of the bolts.

Extract and Discard Old Drain Pump

Finally, you can remove the old drain pump and set it aside for electronics recycling. 

Install the New Drain Pump

Align and Mount with Bolts

Take up your new drain pump and remove all packaging. Then align it over the bolt holes and mount it into place using your socket wrench set.

Reconnect the Wires

Flip open the identical compartment and reconnect the wire harness halves to the new drain pump.

Close the Wire Harness Compartment

Flip closed the wire harness compartment and make sure it clicks securely. This compartment can protect the wires from any leaks.

Attach Drain Hose

Now fit the washer drain hose onto the end of the new drain pump. Wiggle it to get it on securely.

Secure Drain Hose Spring Clamp

Fasten the drain hose tightly to the drain pump using the spring clamp. Use pliers to clip it closed if necessary. 

Reassemble Your Washer

Tip Washer Upright with Friend

Work with your friend to carefully lift the washer upright and set it gently back on all four feet.

Reconnect Fill and Drain Lines

Use your channel lock pliers to secure the hot and cold fill lines and the drain line back into place. Use your guide to know which one is hot. Remove the tape afterward if you wish.

Restore Water

You can now turn the hot and cold water valves back on to supply the washer.

Restore Power

If you see no leaks to start with, it’s safe to restore power to your washer. Plug it back in or flip the breaker back to the ‘on’ position.

Push Washer Back Into Place

Finally, push your washer back into its place with the help of your friend. 

Test Your Success

Run a Load of Laundry

You are finally ready to test the success of your repair. Run a small load of laundry. If the washer drains without flooding, then you have done quite well.


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