LG Washer Won’t Drain: [Easy DIY Fixes]

Why LG Washing Machine Wont Drain

Over 30 years as an appliance repair technician, one of the problems I see most frequently is a washer that won’t drain. Fortunately, the cause of this is commonly something simple that you can fix. 

In this article, I’ll teach you the simple steps to get your washer draining like new again, saving you time and money.

Why Your LG Washer Isn’t Draining

Often on the LG Washer, a broken pump needs to be replaced, but the problem could also just be a clogged drain. Water that hasn’t drained out is so heavy that it could severely damage the washer during spin. 

To prevent this, water-level sensors in your washer won’t let it progress to spin until all the water has drained. So, you’re stuck with a tub full of water and a washer that will not spin.

The cause of the clog is usually small items in the laundry that get sucked into the drain, blocking the flow of water during the drain/spin cycle. 

These are just some of the items I’ve found clogging washer drains: panties, thongs, paper money, metal bra wires, tons of coins, hairpins, hair ties, rubber bands, and baby socks.

It’s easy to prevent this problem with two simple steps:

  • Always empty pockets before washing.
  • Put small clothing items into a zippered mesh bag to prevent them from being sucked into the drain.

Symptoms of a washing machine with a drain problem are:

  • The cycle ends and the tub is still full of water.
  • A low humming sound from low in the washer caused by a stuck impeller when the washer is set for drain/spin.
  • The drain sound changes to a wobbly sound due to a broken drain impeller.
  • Clothes are still wet at the end of the cycle.
  • Error codes showing on the display panel. Examples of drain error codes are OE, LD, and ND. (All these codes mean no drain.) The OE Error is the most common.
  • The washer isn’t spinning when set to drain/spin.
Why Your LG Washer Isn’t Draining

How to Fix an LG Washer That Won’t Drain

This is a beginner-level project that should take about 30 minutes.

  • Safety precautions: Unplug the washer before you start.
  • Tools needed:
    • Small nut driver
    • Flashlight
    • Bucket
    • Towel

Step 1: Expose the drain’s coin trap.

Some washers have a small door in the lower right or left corner of the front panel with access to the washer’s coin trap. Just hinge this door open to get to the coin trap

Expose the drain's coin trap

The coin trap is a plastic tray with holes in it that lets water go to the drain but catches coins and other small items before they can come in contact with the drain impeller. 

Step 2: Drain out the water.

For most models, you can follow these steps to drain the water from the washer tub.

  1. Pull out the small tube next to the coin trap and put it over the bucket.
  2. Remove the plastic stopper in the tube to let the water drain into the bucket.
Drain out the water
  1. Put the stopper back in once the bucket is nearly full.
  2. Pour out the bucket into the sink.
  3. Repeat this process until no more water comes out. There’s probably a lot of water so it may take many tries until all the water is out.

Option B – if your washer doesn’t have a small drain tube:

  1. Put a towel on the floor in front of the coin trap cover.
  2. Place the bucket on the towel directly under the coin trap cover.
  3. Slowly turn the coin trap plastic cover counterclockwise until water slowly dribbles into the bucket.
  4. As the bucket gets close to being full, turn the coin trap cover clockwise to tighten it and stop the flow of water. 
  5. Repeat until no more water comes out.

Step 3: Remove the coin trap cover.

Once you have drained out all the water, unscrew the coin trap cover by turning it counterclockwise. (If you followed Option B, you’ve already done this.)

Remove the coin trap cover

Step 4: Remove the clog.

  1. Pull the coin shelf towards you and out of the drain. This may take some force if clothing items are wedged into it.
  2. Look at the coin trap shelf to see what’s causing the clog and pull the items out.
  3. Use your flashlight to look behind where the coin trap sits inside the drain assembly to check for items stuck in the tube between the tub and the back of the coin trap. 
  4. Remove any items carefully with your fingers or needle-nose pliers. 

Note: Go slowly as clogs in the tube may be holding back more water that will rush out once you remove the items causing the clog.

Step 5: Reinstall the coin trap and cover.

  1. Wiggle the coin trap shelf back into the drain, keeping it horizontal.
  2. Tighten the coin trap cover by turning it clockwise until it won’t turn anymore.

Step 6: Test the drain function.

Start a new cycle and let the tub fill with water. Set for drain and spin and press start.  

If it doesn’t drain and you get the OE error, it’s time to go to Plan B, which is to replace the faulty drain motor.  

This is very common with LG washers as the drain motors tend to only last about 4 years. Luckily the drain motors are inexpensive and pretty easy to replace.  

Step 7:  Uninstall the washer’s pump.

Open the door that covers the coin trap and remove the 2 Philip’s head screws that hold the plastic box in front of the coin trap.  

Uninstall the washer’s pump

Next, remove the 2 Phillip’s head screws holding the pump to the frame.

remove the 2 Phillip’s head screws holding the pump to the frame

Step 8: Unplug the washer and pull it away from the back wall by about 3 feet.  

Lean the washer back against the wall to about 45 degrees to expose the bottom of the washer. Make sure that the washer is supported so it can’t fall on you.

Unplug the washer and pull it away from the back wall by about 3 feet

Step 9: Locate the large black hose that goes between the washer and the drain motor.  

Loosen the hose clamp that holds the tube to the pump using your pliers and pull the hose off of the pump. 

Locate the large black hose that goes between the washer and the drain motor

Step 10: Pull the drain tube off the pump. 

Locate the smaller drain tube located at the top of the pump. Loosen its hose clamp and pull off the pump.

Pull the drain tube off the pump

Step 11: Pry the plastic tab off.

Pry the plastic tab off

Pry back on the plastic tab that holds the bottom of the pump to the bottom panel of the washer. 

Some models have Phillip’s head screw to remove that’s located in the same area as the plastic tab. 

Step 12: Slide the pump assembly toward the back of the washer. 

Do so until you can pull the whole assembly out of the bottom of the washer. 

Slide the pump assembly toward the back of the washer

Step 13: Disconnect the wires. 

Disconnect the 2 wires bringing power to the pump.  

Disconnect the wires

Step 14: Take a picture for reference. 

Take a photo of the orientation of the pump motor to the pump body and then remove the 3 Phillip’s head screws holding the pump motor to the pump body. 

Take a picture for reference

Step 15: Pull the old pump motor off of the pump body and replace it with the new pump motor.  

Check the position of the new motor to match it to the way the old motor sat.  Make sure the new motor sits flat against the motor body and tighten the 3 Phillip’s head screws.

Pull the old pump motor off of the pump body and replace it with the new pump motor

Step 16: Reinstall the pump in reverse order to how it came out.  

First, put the power wires back on snuggly. Either wire can go to either terminal on the pump motor.  

Slide the motor back into position as you feed the small black rubber drain tube back through the small round opening near the coin trap door. 

Make sure the 2 hoses sit down as low as possible on the pump and add the hose clamps. 

remove the 2 Phillip’s head screws holding the pump to the frame

Add the 2 Phillip’s head screws back to hold the pump against the frame.

Add the plastic box with the plastic lid and tighten the 2 Phillip’s head screws that hold it in place.

Step 17: Test for Leaks

Lower the washer back down flat.

Plug in your washer and start a normal cycle. As it fills, watch for any signs of a leak.

If you see any water leaking from under your washer, press the cancel button to stop the water from filling and activate the drain. If it passes the leak test, start a spin cycle to test the drain.  

If you notice water leaking during drain and spin, you can check for a loose connection of one of the 2 hoses.  

Unplug the washer, lean it against the wall, and using your flashlight, look for any wet spots and tighten any leaking points.  Set it down flat again and test for leaks.

Your washer should now drain quickly and fully. You’ve saved money and time and kept another washing machine out of the landfill.

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