How to Drain a Top Load Washing Machine Manually

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Buckets

  • Towels

Drain the water from your top-loading washer while you wait for repairs.

If your washing machine breaks during the cycle, water will likely get trapped inside the barrel. It may be days before a repairman can come take a look at it. In the meantime, you must drain the standing water from the machine. There are several ways to remove the water from a top-loading washing machine. Whether you scoop it out or drain it, it will soon be empty and ready to wait for the repairman to arrive.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Remove the clothes from the washing machine.

Step 2

Drain the washing machine with a bucket. This process is slow and drippy, but requires the least tinkering with the machine. Once the water is too shallow to scoop out, absorb the remainder with towels.

Step 3

Check the back of your machine for a water pump filter. If your washing machine has one, it will be behind a small flap in the back wall of the washer. Underneath the flap will be a small drain hose. Place a bucket underneath the drain hose then pull the stopper out of it to allow the water to drain. The water will drain slowly as it filters through. Replace the bucket when it nears the filling point to avoid spilling water on the floor.


Step 4

Pull the drain pipe from its connection to the main pipeline (read your washing machine's manual if you need help locating it). This is the pipe through which your washing machine drains out of when it is operating normally. Before you unplug the pipe and allow the water to drain, make sure you have several buckets lined up. Unlike water through the pump filter, water will drain quickly through the drain pipe. If your washing machine's drain pipe is connected to the waste water pipe, do not pour the water into the sink near the washing machine. It will drain out onto the floor (if you are unsure if this is the case, empty the buckets in a sink in another room to be safe). If no water comes out of the drain pipe, it is likely blocked at the interior of the machine. You will have to drain the water with a bucket (following the instructions in step 2) and clear the blockage and call a repairman.


Meg Butler

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.