Jump to navigation links Jump to main content Jump to footer links
Cycle Complete! But Why Is There Still Water Left in My Washing Machine?

Cycle Complete! But Why Is There Still Water Left in My Washing Machine?

You just ran a load of grass-stained kids’ clothes. The clothes are coming out clean, but why is your washing machine filled with water after every cycle? Before that laundry pile gets too high, learn what can cause water at the bottom of the washing machine, how to troubleshoot it, and when it’s time to get a new washer.

Water In Bottom of Washing Machine Drum: Why It Happens

You’re not an appliance repair expert, but you know something is not right when you hear water sloshing around in your washer after a cycle. But it may not be any cause for concern! Your washing machine is designed to keep some water in the drum when not in use. This helps ensure your water pump doesn’t dry out and overwork the next time you run a load of laundry. You shouldn’t be able to see this water — you’d likely only hear the water in your washing machine when you spin the drum.

But if your washing machine is full of water or you can see water trapped in the bottom of your washer after a cycle, you may have a drainage problem.

Here are a few common washing machine problems you could be dealing with:

  • Your drain hose is kinked.
  • Your lid mechanism is broken or not engaging fully.
  • Your drain or hose is clogged.
  • Your load was too large for a good spin cycle.
  • Your washing machine’s sensors are damaged or old.

Standing Water In Washing Machine: How to Fix It

Before panicking about your work clothes not being clean in time for that big meeting, keep in mind that you may be able to fix your washing machine yourself, even if you don’t know the first thing about appliance repair! We’ll walk you through each potential fix — and if you can’t resolve your washer woes on the fly, you can still turn to Rent-A-Center for solutions.

1. Run a cycle with an empty machine and stay close.

The first step to fixing standing water in the washing machine is to try and diagnose the problem. Run a quick spin cycle with no clothes in the washer, and stay close by so you can watch and listen to the machine. Just make sure your washer is filling with water.

Can you hear the sound of water draining? Does the machine stop somewhere in the middle of a cycle? Does the washing machine still have water after the spin cycle is complete? Pinpointing when the issue arises can help you find the problem faster.

2. Check the lid switch and sensor.

For top-loading washers that don’t have a locking door latch, a faulty lid switch sends the message to your machine that the lid is open. As a safety feature, most top-loading machines won’t spin or drain if the sensor indicates that the lid is open.

While your machine is running during your test cycle, keep the lid closed until the machine stops the cycle completely (usually, this is right before the spin cycle).

Then, depress the lid sensor with your finger or a pen cap, and see if the machine resumes operation. If it does, it’s possible that the small stem on your lid has broken off and can no longer depress the sensor when the lid is shut.

If nothing happens when you push the sensor switch, the sensor could be faulty​​—meaning you’ll likely need to call a repair technician or shop for a new washing machine ASAP.

3. Visually check your drain hose.

When you ran your test cycle, you may have noticed you didn’t hear any draining sounds coming from your washing machine or drain hose, even while the washer indicated that it was in a drain cycle. If this is the case, your drain hose is likely to blame.

Washing machine drain hoses are made of durable plastic, but they’re not rigid like the pipes you’d find within the walls of your home. This means your drain pipe can become twisted, kinked, or looped around itself, which can cut off the water flow.

Move your washing machine away from the wall and visually check the hose for any kinks, sharp bends, or pinched points. It’s possible that the hose was caught between the washing machine and the wall, in which case moving it to a better position should help. Untangle any kinks or loops (see the next step on removing the washing machine hose, if needed), and run another cycle to see if the problem is solved.

4. Remove the hose to check for blockages.

Still have water left in the washing machine after you check the hose for kinks? The drain hose could be obstructed somehow, which can mean that water is trapped in the washing machine drum or your washer drains slowly (we’re talking painfully slow!). Time for the next step: checking for blockages hidden inside the hose.

To do this, you’ll need to remove the hose entirely. Before you start, it’s a good idea to have a large bucket or container on hand to catch any water that’s still in the hose (or water that’s trapped in the washing machine drum). To remove your hose, use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp on the back of the machine, then pull the hose away from the machine once the clamp is loose enough.

Hold the drain hose up to a light so that you can see all the way through it. If a sock or other foreign object is lodged inside, you’ve found the culprit of the standing water in your washing machine. A metal grabber, long stake, or similar-shaped object can help you push or pull the item out of the hose so you can reinstall it and get back to your laundry.

5. Try lighter or smaller loads.

If your washing machine has a tall agitator column, large or heavy loads of laundry may cause an inefficient spin cycle. Bulky items like blankets can become stuck on one side of the washer, which means you won’t get enough spin speed to remove as much water from the fabric as it should. Often, this leaves you with standing water in the washing machine and dripping wet laundry. This can happen in impeller or agitator washing machines and both top-loading and front-loading washers.

You likely already sort your laundry loads by color, but you can also sort your laundry by weight or bulk to reduce the chances of uneven weight distribution. If you need to wash a heavy comforter or similar item, stay close to your washing machine and pause the cycle every few minutes to redistribute the item’s weight and give your washer a fighting chance at an efficient spin cycle.

Water In Washing Machine: Should I Replace My Washer?

Your drain hose is perfectly fine, you’ve checked your load weight distribution, and you still have water trapped in the washing machine drum. Ugh! Is it time to shop for a new washing machine?

If your washer isn’t working like it used to and it’s more than ten years old, that worn-out appliance is likely costing you unnecessary money in energy bills. If you can’t remember when you last bought a new washing machine, you’ll fare better with a new, energy-efficient washing machine.

New Whirlpool washer and dryer sets from Rent-A-Center offer an Ecoboost™ feature that can save you even more money by cutting down on energy consumption — saving money, supporting the environment, AND getting your laundry done efficiently? Now, that’s a winning combination!

Got Water Left in Your Washing Machine? Time to Get Help!

Sure, you could call a washer repair service, wait weeks for an appointment, and still potentially have an unfixable problem on your hands. Or, you could get the new washing machine and dryer you deserve from Rent-A-Center! Enjoy flexible payment plans that suit your budget, and get your new washing machine ASAP with free same-day delivery.

Plus, with Rent-A-Center’s Worry-Free Guarantee, you can have washer and dryer service and repairs at no extra charge over the life of your agreement. Complete your order online or stop by your nearest Rent-A-Center location to find the technology you deserve and the cutting-edge features that make laundry day a breeze. Bring home your perfect rent-to-own Maytag, Whirlpool, or Amana washer and dryer today with Rent-A-Center!

About Us

The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.