Clothes Washing Machines use the use the water pressure in your home’s water lines to fill the drum but to get the dirty water out of the machine they need to use a water pump.
When the pump begins to go bad you will probably hear a screeching type noise telling you that the bearings are going bad. This to the untrained ear can often be mistaken for a bad accessory belt and some times the problem may only be a belt so inspection is necessary.
First begin by removing any wet clothes from the washer and placing them in a utility sink or your bathtub. Once the clothes are removed you can try to get as much of the remaining water out as you can. It is not important to get all of the water out but it will help when you are moving the machine and may reduce spillage if you need to remove the pump.
The waste water pump is normally installed towards the bottom back side of the washer so to get to it you will need to pull the washer away from the wall.
Once you can gain access to the back of the washer you will most likely need to remove an access panel to get to the parts.
The first thing you want to do after you remove the access panel is check the belt for tightness and condition if it seems to be in general good condition and not shiny / glazed and no liquid is on the belt causing it to slip then you can move on to checking the pump while it is running.
You must be careful when you do this because the pump is only engaged when it is in the spin cycle and you will need enough room that you are a safe distance from the machines operation… In other words don’t attempt this if you are jammed in behind the machine with only a few inches of room.
You should quickly be able to differentiate where the sound is coming from within just a few seconds and you can turn the machine off.
The next question is what part is bad.
You should first inspect the belt for wear and slipping on the pump pulley. If the belt is lose you can try adjusting it and restarting the spin cycle to see if there is a change. If there is no improvement then you can consider the pump to be bad.
There is no repairing or lubricating the bearings inside the pump once it is bad and you will probably be surprised to see that the pump is made out of plastic which is pretty sad considering the price we pay for a clothes washer today.
Most pumps will cost between $60 and $100 but the interesting thing is that because of mergers in the Appliance industry there are only a handful of pumps on parts shelves that fit maybe a dozen different makes and models of washing machines.
Replacing the Pump
To replace the pump you will need to find a new one. Most big box home stores will not stock the part and you will have the choice of going to a small appliance center that will most likely order you one rather then take one off their truck, buying one from the manufacturer which may cost more since you won’t get a volume discount or finding one online COUGH like in the YouRepair Store after you get the part number of the pump you need from your manual or online from the manufacturer.
Replacing the pump is very simple you just remove the mounting clamps for the hoses and then remove the mounting bolts for the pump. It is best to do it in that order this way the pump will be held in place while you remove the hose clamps.
When you remove the clamps and pump you should expect a good amount of water spillage so have some old towels ready to mop up the water.
Inspect the hoses on the washer for any lint buildup and condition.
If you need a new belt this would be a good time to order one however appliance belts are not as finicky as an automotive engine belt and do not see a lot of stress… so as long as the belt is in general good condition without cracking from age or glazed / burnt you can probably reuse it with no problems.
Once you have replaced the pump and belt test the washer again before you replace the back access panel and put the washer back into service.
By replacing the pump yourself you probably just saved yourself about $150 to $200.
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