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 Message Boards » » Washing machine drain pump isn't turning on Page [1]  
FroshKiller
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Before I shell out a bunch of money to replace my washing machine, give me your two cents.

I have this old Samsung washing machine (2008). I know, fuck Samsung, whatever, but the thing has been dutifully washing clothes with few issues for years.

Lately, though, it's failed to drain during wash cycles. The machine will just stop for a few minutes while it tries, then it winds up signaling the alarm with a message that it isn't draining.

I just pause & resume the cycle a few times until the pump starts. And it works. It's just a huge annoyance because it means washing takes a lot longer unless I'm babysitting the thing to notice when the cycle hangs.

The filter's totally clean, by the way. For all the world, it's like the control board just isn't able to reliably turn on the pump.

Is this something I, as a person who generally doesn't repair things but knows how to troubleshoot, have any chance of repairing myself? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a replacement? Because it feels for all the world like this is a $5 problem.

10/30/2023 7:32:14 AM

smoothcrim
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I had the exact same problem on a samsung front load of the same era. the drain pump is a common failure according to the forums I read. it was about $95 for the part. I didn't have time to replace it as its in a rental and the service cost was ~$200. I got a new one for $300 from sears outlet

10/30/2023 11:21:31 AM

FroshKiller
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So wait, when you say you got a new one, you mean you just replaced the washer?

I had the pump on this one replaced in August, and the pump itself drains just fine--it's just that it doesn't seem to be getting turned on reliably. So I have a hard time believing this is the pump itself.

10/30/2023 5:38:35 PM

A Tanzarian
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Is it correct to assume the issue started before you replaced the pump?

10/30/2023 7:20:40 PM

FroshKiller
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I can't say that with certainty, but it's possible. I might not have needed the pump replaced at all.

10/30/2023 8:36:11 PM

A Tanzarian
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If the problem didn't start until after the pump was replaced, I'd open the machine up and double check the work paying particular attention to electrical connections.

10/31/2023 1:15:04 AM

The Coz
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I trust you've already scoured the YouTubes for repair videos for similar problems on similar models?

10/31/2023 8:16:39 AM

synapse
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^ was my first thought. they'll walk you through the process

10/31/2023 1:21:57 PM

smoothcrim
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Quote :
"So wait, when you say you got a new one, you mean you just replaced the washer?"

correct. didn't have the time and the part cost was 1/3 the replacement cost before factoring labor since I didn't have time

10/31/2023 5:14:25 PM

TreeTwista10
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Quote :
"I know, fuck Samsung, whatever"


Are their appliances supposed to be bad or something? Their electronics are high quality.

10/31/2023 8:16:17 PM

StTexan
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The refrigerators I have always heard stay away from. Washers probably have same stigma

10/31/2023 8:42:21 PM

emnsk
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maybe the level sensor is wonky

11/1/2023 4:16:42 AM

FroshKiller
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A Tanzarian said:
Quote :
"If the problem didn't start until after the pump was replaced, I'd open the machine up and double check the work paying particular attention to electrical connections."


I suspect this was the problem prior to replacing the pump and that I just hadn't spent enough time fucking with it to notice. I had a washer full of water that said it wasn't draining, so I didn't second-guess replacing the pump, you know?

The Coz said:
Quote :
"I trust you've already scoured the YouTubes for repair videos for similar problems on similar models?"


I've had a hard time finding anything relevant, because most of the videos are just about how to drain the washer manually, how to replace the pump, etc. rather than the pump intermittently not starting.

I could probably follow a video about replacing the pump just to make sure the hookups are correct, but given how simple I expect a pump to be, there's probably a Molex connector that hooks up two or three wires, so I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

TreeTwista10 said:
Quote :
"Are their appliances supposed to be bad or something? Their electronics are high quality."


People sure seem to dislike their appliances, but I have had this Samsung washer & dryer since 2008. The worst problem I've had with them was when the glass cracked on the washer's door, and that was self-inflicted because I put some curtains with metal rings in.

That said, I got a new Samsung kitchen suite when we moved into this house: fridge, dishwasher, stove, and microwave. I had to replace the dishwasher because of its own draining problems. I also had to replace an induction coil on the stove, and its display is all wonky because of some kind of issue with its board (although the unit works fine).

Minor issue with the fridge: Water seems to puddle under the temperature-controlled drawer. That might be on me for not always fully closing the drawer, though.

My brother lives in a rural area and couldn't get anyone to provide service for his Samsung dishwasher, so that probably has something to do with people not liking them, too.

emnsk said:
Quote :
"maybe the level sensor is wonky"


That was Sonia's theory. She said she had luck rearranging the laundry and resuming the cycle, but I proved that didn't matter. She was coincidentally getting lucky hitting the button after rearranging a few times. I eventually figured out you could just keep pausing & resuming the cycle until the pump started.

I thought the size of the load might have something to do with it, but I think what happened there is that we use cycles with an extra rinse for larger loads, so there's just an extra opportunity for failure.

11/2/2023 8:04:58 AM

StTexan
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I am confident it is not related to water hardness

11/2/2023 7:14:29 PM

emnsk
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^^

Not sure if you've already covered this, but I found this online just now:

Quote :
"If your washer won’t drain or spin, the water level control may be faulty. Open the machine’s control panel and look for a plastic tube attached to the water level valve. If it’s clogged, clear it out with vinegar. If the valve itself is corroded, it may need to be replaced."


Could be worth checking and clearing.

11/4/2023 5:04:54 PM

FroshKiller
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No real update here. Did some laundry over the weekend. Same problem, but since I know the pump will actually turn on if I just keep pausing & resuming the cycle, who gives a shit? It's a nuisance and makes finishing my laundry take forever if I'm not paying attention, but I am not motivated enough to open the washer up or call anyone out to look at it again.

11/13/2023 7:19:01 AM

emnsk
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Destroy it for a YouTube video and use the monetization to buy a speed queen

11/14/2023 10:55:16 PM

StTexan
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Let random craigslist people into your world view, perhaps create a fake facebook account. Emnsk is an expert!

11/14/2023 11:03:03 PM

moron
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I have a newish 3 yo kitchenaid that was doing this

Make sure the drain hose isn’t kinked.

But what actually solved the problem for me was dumping a huge 24oz cup of ice (not crushed) into the dishwasher at the beginning of the load.

I don’t know if maybe there was gunk in the motor or something, but after about 2 weeks of dumping ice into the washer at the start it all started working fine without dumping ice.

What I think was happening is that the impeller was just heating up during the cycle and then on the last drain cycle was slipping on the motor, so the ice kept it just tight enough in the cycle to work fully, and it somehow reseated itself.

[Edited on November 15, 2023 at 8:50 PM. Reason : ]

11/15/2023 8:48:06 PM

justinh524
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Why are you dumping ice in the dishwasher to fix the washing machine

11/15/2023 10:47:10 PM

Wraith
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So almost the same thing just happened to me a few days ago, except it looks like my drain pump is just broken. LG front load washing machine from 2010. I'm surprised it lasted this long without any issues. I did look into the process of replacing the drain pump, but given that it is already 13 years old I figured that things would start breaking more soon so might as well just get a new one.

That's really good that you have kept yours running for 15 years (even if annoying) -- I've heard nothing but bad things about Samsung appliances but looks like you got lucky.

11/17/2023 10:07:01 AM

FroshKiller
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I think it's less I got lucky and more I don't have kids. It's just me and Sonia plus the birds. It's not a hell of a lot of laundry week to week.

11/17/2023 2:35:18 PM

FroshKiller
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Another little update. The wash cycle got stuck trying to drain like usual, so I went downstairs to just pause & restart like always. Except this time I didn't bother turning on the light in the utility closet.

I noticed when the pump actually starts, you can see right beforehand a flash reflected in the drum! This makes me think there's a short between the board and the pump.

11/21/2023 8:18:05 AM

StTexan
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I hope you fix it

11/21/2023 7:55:48 PM

FroshKiller
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This just sort of stopped happening on its own.

12/24/2023 7:19:37 PM

The Coz
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It probably fixed itself and will never happen again.

12/25/2023 10:33:34 AM

FroshKiller
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I'd been meaning to replace the smoke detectors for a while. When the temperature started dropping this past fall, the smoke detector in the birds' room would sometimes beep when we flipped on the overhead light in our bedroom.

I assumed it was caused by a drop in voltage when the switch was on. What's curious is that it was the only smoke detector of three wired on that floor to do it. They're all on the same circuit (same as the overhead light in our bedroom) and are interconnected.

I chalked it up to the detector being old. Maybe that specific unit was just more sensitive to changes in voltage. A new detector would probably make it go away.

About two weeks ago, I replaced all the detectors upstairs. The beep hasn't happened since.

But I've been thinking. Is it possible that the problem with the washing machine was related? On the one hand, they're on different circuits, so it seems a little crazy. But I keep thinking about that flash of light reflected in the drum when I'd hit the button to start the cycle.

The button worked. The pump just didn't start. Is it possible that it didn't start because of a voltage drop? Perhaps a voltage drop caused (somehow) by the upstairs light circuit?

1/3/2024 6:46:18 AM

smoothcrim
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there's no way a completely different circuit is causing a voltage drop. smoke detectors tend to chirp in the winter because of the change in temp and humidity, this is why they especially like to chirp at night in the winter. also, if something was arching on your washer, it would likely blow an internal fuse. without you replacing the fuse or at least resetting a breaker, there's no way it would work sometimes and not others.

tangentially related, I think I might replace my electric washers+gas dryers all with the GE heat pump all in one units the next time they're on sale at costco. not having to deal with venting, 220v, gas lines, and MOVING THE CLOTHES FROM THE WASHER TO THE DRYER is such a game changer. additionally, I can double the throughput in the same floor space. might be a worthwhile upgrade for you too

1/3/2024 8:35:43 PM

stowaway
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The cycle times on ventless dryers or all in ones is MUCH longer than you’d think. Two next to each other would have at best the same overall time as a traditional washer and dryer, but I see a lot of 3-4 hr dryer cycle times with the heat pump units.

1/4/2024 6:14:10 PM

FroshKiller
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I'm intrigued but don't think it's a good fit for me. We have four birds and go through a lot of towels. Large loads.

What's the noise like?

1/5/2024 7:32:57 AM

smoothcrim
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from the videos ive seen, it's the same. the only thing that's really changing is how the heat is generated (harvested). everyone seems to be raving about the GE units. I watched a video of one of the engineers discussing the design and how its actually designed to be serviced. looks like good stuff from an american brand, designed around the american market, rather than the european junk we normally get (^^)

1/8/2024 10:19:34 AM

Wraith
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^Tangentially related, but an American company with a product that is designed to be serviced is a huge plus in today's day and age. I ended up getting a new washer/dryer set and looked into it a bit. These days the flashy units are designed to intentionally be hard to service. If you have to order parts from Europe or Asia, it can be a real pain in the ass, then you have to take apart the entire machine to fix it.

1/10/2024 11:00:51 AM

StTexan
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^Tangentially related, but I bet cars are the same way. Buy a Chevy or Ford. They have some good stuff

1/10/2024 11:16:56 PM

justinh524
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Hahahaha no. All modern cars are made intentionally difficult to work on, especially ones from domestic producers.

1/17/2024 1:19:01 PM

darkone
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It's not that they're designed to be hard to work on, it's that they're designed to be easy to assemble.

1/17/2024 2:47:34 PM

smoothcrim
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looks like LG has gotten in the heatpump game with a unit even bigger than GE. initial tear down requires a damn near full disassembly to get to the parts that would be most likely to fail. probably a better unit to use, but worse to own

2/7/2024 11:16:27 AM

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