Noisy Washing Machine Drain Pump? (here’s why & what to do)

If the drain pump on your washing machine has become more noisy than normal it can be worrying. You may be thinking that you’re going to need to get the drain pump replaced. But often the problem is caused by a blockage somewhere which is usually easy to fix.

In this article I take a closer look at the drain pump on a washing machine and offer advice on how to fix it to stop that excessive noise.

What’s Making The Drain Pump So Noisy?

person looking at washing machine

If the drain pump is making a lot more noise than is normal, it’s a good sign that the pump is having to work harder than normal due to a blockage. The blockage could be in the drain filter, drain hose, drain pump or somewhere else in the machine. 

Check The Drain Filter

The drain filter is typically located at the front bottom right-hand corner of the washer behind a flap. You will need to check your user manual for model specific location and instructions on how to remove the filter and clean it.

In the absence of instructions, you should;

  1. Remove The Drain Filter
    Take care when removing the filter as there might be some water trapped inside with the filter. To remove the filter, twist it anti-clockwise and gently pull the filter out. You may want to place a towel on the floor to soak up any water that spills out.
  2. Wash The Filter
    Run the filter under a fast running tap to remove any dirt, lint or foreign objects that could be causing a blockage.
  3. Check The Impeller
    Whilst the filter is out, turn the impeller which is located inside the filter housing. You should be able to turn it freely using one finger.
  4. Replace The Filter
    Once you’re satisfied that the filter is clean and free from any foreign bodies, and that the impeller is working properly, replace the filter and turn it clockwise to ensure it is fully inserted and watertight.

Check The Drain Hose

washing machine drain hose

You should then check the drain hose that runs from the back of the machine to the home’s drain pipe (either a standpipe or the waste pipe under the sink). You will need to disconnect the drain hose from the washing machine.

Make sure that you lay a towel or old cloth on the floor to catch any water that leaks from the hose once you remove it. Once the pipe is removed, inspect it to see if it is blocked or clogged at all.

You might have to run a plumber’s snake through the hose to clear any blockage. If it was blocked, and you have removed the blockage, you can refit the drain hose and the drain pump should go back to its quiet self again. If not, it could be the drain pump itself that has a fault.

Check The Drain Pump

To check the drain pump you will need to remove it from the washing machine. This isn’t a difficult task but as all washing machines are different, the removal process can alter from model to model.

I suggest that you consult your user manual or search online for your specific model and instructions on how to remove the drain pump. The drain pump is typically held in place by one or two bolts which need to be undone and then the drive belt needs to be removed from the pump which can then be removed.

You can then inspect the drain pump looking for any blockages. If there are any blockages, these should be removed which should solve the issue. However, if there isn’t any blockage at all, it’s most likely the drain pump itself that is defective and will need to be replaced.

A new drain pump will cost anywhere between £25 to £135 depending on the make and model of your appliance. The new pump should be fitted by doing the reverse of the removal procedure.

If removing the drain pump and fitting a new one are beyond your capabilities, I recommend contacting a technician to do this for you.

How To Flush The Drain Pump

bicarbonate of soda

If unclogging the drain pump by removing it seems a step too far for you, you could try flushing any blockage from the pump. 

To do this you will need;

  • A 1 gallon (4.5 litres) bucket of hot water
  • 500 ml Distilled white vinegar
  • 250 ml bicarbonate of soda


  1. Mix The Water & Bicarbonate Of Soda
    Pour the bicarbonate of soda into the bucket of hot water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Pour the solution into the drum of the washer
    Tip the bucketful into the drum of the washing machine.
  3. Add The White Vinegar
    Once all of the bicarbonate of soda and hot water has been poured into the drum, pour in the white vinegar.
  4. Allow The mixture To Work On Any Blockage
    Wait 10 to 15 minutes to allow the combined ingredients to fizz their way through the washing machine’s pipes.
  5. Run A Short Wash Cycle
    After 10 to 15 minutes have passed, run a short wash & rinse cycle to flush the mixture through the drain pump and drain hose.

If this doesn’t work, you will need to check the drain hose and drain pump (see above) or get a technician to do it for you.

Is It Worth Replacing A Faulty Drain Pump On A Washing Machine?

open washing machine door

If your washing machine is less than half its expected life expectancy (which is around 10 years) and the repair will cost less than half the cost of a new appliance, it’s worth replacing the drain pump.

The drain pump itself will cost anywhere between £25 to £135 depending on the make and model of your appliance. If you can fit it yourself, that’s the only expense. However, if you employ a technician to replace the drain pump for you, you can expect to pay between £45 to £125 call out charge depending on the area you live in. 

Hourly rates tend to be less than this so I recommend asking the price before agreeing to the work being carried out. On average it should cost somewhere in the region of around £90 to £130 and take anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes all in.

Check Your Washing Machine’s Warranty

Before contacting a technician, check your warranty as drain pumps are often covered on the warranty. Especially if you paid for an extended warranty.

SEE ALSO: What Is The Size Of A Standard Washing Machine Drain Hose?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my washing machine drain pump making a loud noise?

If your washing machine drain pump is making a loud noise it is probably because; the filter is clogged, the drain hose is clogged or the drain pump is blocked or faulty.

How do I know if my washing machine drain pump is clogged?

You will know if your washing machine drain pump is clogged if the washer makes an unusually loud noise when draining, the clothes are wetter than normal after a cycle ends or the washer takes an exceptionally long time to drain.

What does a broken drain pump sound like?

A broken drain pump on a washing machine sounds like a loud buzzing which leads to a loud squealing sound as the problem worsens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *