Washing Machine Pump

Washing machine pump The following washing machine pump help concerns UK washing machines although the principles should be similar to most appliance pumps. The water pump in a washing machine is one of the most common causes of breakdowns – though more often due to obstructions and blockages.

Where can I buy a washing machine pump?

Buy spare parts Make sure you really need to buy one first, the free help and advice on this page may be useful. Don’t just assume if it stops draining water you need a new pump. If you need to replace your washing machine pump you can buy one quickly and easily using 4Washerhelp, which I host for the largest spares company in the UK – Buy washing machine pumps (Next day delivery option available). Using this spares site costs no more than going directly to them but helps support my sites by assigning a small commission to me.

How does a pump work?

spares-button-lge The main thing to know is that the pump runs on mains voltage, and spins an impeller round creating a vortex and expelling water out. It’s an extremely simple part.

There are two wires to the field coil on the pump, a live and a neutral. It doesn’t matter which way round they go. Most modern washing machine pumps have plastic fixing brackets so they must be earthed with a separate earth wire (yellow and green) but some pumps don’t need earthing as they are double insulated. If it needs earthing there will be an earth wire close to it and a connector on some metal part of the pump.

A pump is an extremely simple induction motor with an impeller and no serviceable parts. To run the pump the machine just supplies it with power (some may have permanent live feed and be turned on by supplying a neutral return). The pump impeller just spins round and pumps water. It either runs or it doesn’t. The only thing you can check is connections to it, see if the impeller is jammed, or test the continuity of the stator across the two connectors. Do not test anything with the machine connected to the mains.

Can I repair a pump?

Most (UK) washing machine pumps are no longer repairable. If any fault develops, you need to buy a complete pump. An exception is that you can usually buy a pump filter (if fitted) separately. However, the most common cause of a washing machine that wont empty water is an obstruction in the filter or pump, so read the rest of this page for further advice.

What commonly goes wrong with the pump?

Failed The most common problem by far, is an obstruction stopping the pump impeller from spinning, or obstructing water flow into or out of the pump. You can often detect this by listening carefully when putting the washing machine onto spin. Before the motor starts to turn, if you can hear a gentle humming noise, this may be a jammed pump trying to turn. Some obstructions such as socks or a blocked filter don’t stop the impeller from spinning as normal but can prevent or restrict water from flowing through the drain hose. If you have a washing machine full of water and need to drain the water and investigate it follow the instructions on Washing machine won’t drain water

Unusual consequences of an open circuit pump

If the field coil of a water pump goes open circuit, (or the neutral wire becomes detached or broken) then apart from the pump failing to run, the washing machine may not take in any water. This is because the pump sometimes shares the neutral with the water valves. It’s relatively rare for a pump to go open circuit.

Leaking Pump

Washing machine pumps are prone to leaking. They can then seize up because of corrosion or they can continue to work but just leak. A leaking water pump must be replaced as no seals are available. (Buy washing machine pumps)

Noisy Pump

Washing machine pumps can become noisy if the bearings fail. Nine times out of ten though, a noisy pump is caused by an obstruction colliding with the rotating impeller. This often manifests itself as a grinding, grating sound that can come and go or be constant (depending on the obstruction). If the noise is due to bearing failure then the pump must be replaced, but check for small obstructions first.

More articles on pumps

This article is one of a series on pumps, check out my others here –

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  1. avatarMel says

    Hi, just wanted to say thanks for your advice, after shining a torch into the pump I found the culprit, a plastic curtain hook! Your webpage has saved me time and money, thank you.

  2. avatar says

    Thank you Mel. Plastic curtain hooks can be tricky to find because they float. If they don’t actually get jammed inside the water pump they can often get sucked in whilst the washing machine is pumping out water. This can cause a grinding noise from the pump but when the water has pumped away and the washing machine laid down, a plastic item can often float back up into the sump hose, or even into the tub where it cannot be seen.

  3. avatarSean says

    I have a Frigidaire top load washing machine that has had the problem of not draining. There is no identifiable obstruction and water flows freely from the drain hose when it is disconnected from the pump.

    I figured the pump was the issue and replaced it, only to have the same problem of the machine not draining. What would be the next step here?

    Also, I am not sure how to tell if the pump is working or not. It is not audible but I don’t know if it should be or not.

  4. avatar says

    Hello Sean. If the pump is not audible I would think it is not running. Pumps are one of the noisiest things on a washing machine. If the pump isn’t running due to an electrical fault this would completely explain your problem and why a new pump didn’t fix the fault.

    However if the pump is definitely running and presumably just very quiet then this is the article for you Can’t Find a Blockage But Washing Machine Still Not Draining

    If the pump is definitely not running you would normally suspect a pump being faulty (open circuit) but if you fitted a new pump, and assuming you fitted it correctly it would be unlikely that a new pump would be also open circuit (although not completely impossible). Pumps are very simple, just have a live, and a neutral, the main thing to check is that the connections are okay and connected properly. After that you really need to fault find with a continuity test meter (not on a live machine!) Or get an engineer.

  5. avatarEric says

    I have a zanussi with an error code e20. The machine makes lots of clicking noises but fails to drain even after replacing the pump. Any suggestions ?

  6. avatar says

    Hello Alec. I’m presuming the pump is not running at all. This can be caused by an obstruction jamming the pump but if you’ve replaced the pump and it still doesn’t run then it must be an electrical fault. You should test a pump before deciding it is faulty by putting a continuity test meter cross both terminals. If you get reading it is usually okay, if it is totally open circuit then it definitely needs replacing. Other than that it’s just guesswork putting a new one in. If it isn’t the pump then either the pump is not getting any power, or there is a fault on the neutral return from the pump. Both these issues need a continuity test meter to try and trace. Unless you can see any broken wires or bad connections to and from the pump you probably need an engineer to troubleshoot it.

    If by any chance you replaced the pump despite it apparently running (but not emptying) then you need to troubleshoot blockages using these 2 articles

    Washing machine won’t drain water
    Can’t find a blockage but washing machine still not draining

  7. avatarMike H says

    I have a Zanussi IZ16s which I’ve ordered a replacement recirculation pump for. I’ve 2 questions. Firstly the pump appears corroded and has clearly overheated and blown – just wondering what could have caused this as don’t want to just replace to find the same problem.

    Second query is, the whole assembly was a nightmare to get to and needed to be removed along with the housing the pump attaches to which includes the drain pump as well. This meant I couldn’t easily see the wiring and had to remove them virtually by touch. The wires to each pump were a different colour (blue for recirc and orange for drain) but on each pump the L and N are the same colour and spade connector size. What’s the best way of identifying which of each one should be connected each terminal on the pump? I’m assuming if I get it wrong the pump will rotate the wrong way?

  8. avatar says

    Hello Mike. If the pump is corroded with detergent and rust it may have leaked and that could be what caused its demise. If it has evidence of overheating though it may have jammed although they are supposed to have overheat protections and cut out. Just make sure there’s nothing in the hoses that could account for blocking it.

    A pump usually just has a live and neutral and it doesn’t matter which way round they go when run on AC current.

  9. avatarGarry Robertson says

    well my washer has been slightly leaking for 5/6 mth , then i motivated myself to have a look on youtube , On my model Aquarius wmf94o the pump is at the front so i went with cleaning the filter & finding my shed keys in there but i also noticed that the leak was coming from the filter but i ended up giving it a service what lasted 3 hr , i stripped every hose & cleaned every pipe & they were all full gunjie shite , After i put all the parts back ( drunk ) it seems like its the filter , i noticed there pennys ANYWAY MY BIG QUESTION IS : am i better off just changing the full pump & filter because there only 25 / 30 bangers

  10. avatarPaul C says

    Great article, certainly of help. Turns out that the pump on my Hoover machine died so I replaced it, turned it on and it works. Problem is, it’s now permanently on so when I start a cycle it drains fresh water away which creates a E02 error. I suspect a sensor isn’t detecting water at a certain level so the cleaning process does not start. Why would the pump stay on permanently. The pump is off when I turn the dial to a setting but once I press start, the pump comes on and won’t stop. Any help much appreciated.

  11. avatar says

    Thanks Paul. A pump can only run constantly if it has a live feed and a neutral return connection. The only way a washing machine would energise the pump out of context (that is when it shouldn’t normally be pumping) is when it detects a fault such as overfilling, or overheating.

    It is possible that the E2 error is the actual fault, and the pump is being energised because of it. I don’t have too many Hoover error codes but most of the ones I can see using the number 2 relate to either the thermistor on the heating element or timing out on fill, or faults with the pressure system.

    If the pump wasn’t running all the time before it was replaced you have to consider the possibility of something having gone wrong during the repair. But it is difficult to think of anything that is likely to be responsible unless by any chance the machine was turned upside down or water leaked onto electrical parts. Just make sure it is correctly wired. If it has an earth wire make sure the earth (yellow and green) isn’t connected to the neutral or anything daft like that.

    Other than that I’d advise getting an engineer.

  12. avatarPaul C says

    Thanks for getting back to me Andy and the advise. I took the time to browse your site yesterday and some of the obvious issues. The pressure switch is a simple single switch which appears to work perfectly. The hose is intact and running clear. No earth on the pump but checked the wiring loom which is ok. Noticed a black patch on the PCB so removed the board and notice one of the relays is faulty. I have no schematic for this machine but wonder if this relay operates the pump. would make sense if the relay is stuck on. Worth mentioning that if I run the spin program, when if ends after 10 minutes the pump continues to spin. It only stops when I power the machine off. I’ve ordered a relay for the princely sum of £2.43, with any luck this will fix the problem. Will let you know how it goes once it arrives in a couple of days. Thanks

  13. avatar says

    Yes please let us know how you get on Paul. Normally the relay controls the heating element, because of the amount of power it draws it makes sense to use a relay. But if there is more than one relay then it’s possible it could power the pump.

  14. avatarBrian Stephenson says

    My hoover oph 714D has got a noisy pump like a grating sound but still works
    Are they easy to fit

  15. avatarBrian Stephenson says

    I have checked my drain pump on my hoover oph 714d 1/80 for obstructions but none found pump is making a grating noise will I have to replace the pump I have got a pump Askoll model m254 will this be ok

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