Take the pump apart and clean away all debris inside it. Clear away debris from the water tubes, too.

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Pump Problems: Servicing the Water Pump

Of all washing machine parts, the water pump probably takes the most punishment because it's constantly in use. When the pump fails, you can hear or see the trouble: a loud rumbling inside the machine, or a failure of the water to drain out of the tub. Here's what you can do to fix the problem:

Step 1: Check the drain hoses to make sure they're draining properly. Remove the water supply hoses from the back of the washer. With long-nosed pliers, extract the filter screens from the valve ports in the washer or from the hoses themselves. These screens keep debris from collecting in the hoses and can become clogged. Wash the screens thoroughly. Then, replace them and reattach the hoses. If the machine still rumbles or doesn't drain, examine the pump.

Step 2: To access the pump, first bail and sponge out any water in the machine's tub. Then tip the washer over on its front, using a heavy blanket or pad to protect the washer's finish. Remove the back service panel. The pump is usually located along the bottom of the machine, but with the unit tipped on its front, it's easier to remove the pump through the back than through the bottom of the washer.

Step 3: Locate the pump. It has two large hoses attached to it with spring or strap clips. If the clips are the spring type, pinch the ends of the clips together with pliers to release them, and slide the clips down the hoses. If the hoses are kinked or crimped at these connections, straighten them as best you can and reconnect them. Then, try the machine again to see if this kinking was causing the problem. If the machine still doesn't drain, you'll have to remove the water pump.

Step 4: To remove the pump, loosen the bolt that holds the drive belt taut and move the washer motor on the bracket to loosen the belt. Move the motor out of the way and unbolt the pump. As you loosen the last mounting bolt, support the pump with your hand. Then, lift the pump out of the washer.

Step 5: You should take the pump apart if you can because the trouble could be lint, dirt or pieces of cloth. Clean away all debris inside the pump and clear any debris out of the water tubes. Reassemble and hook up the pump again and test it. If cleaning the pump doesn't put it back into working order, or if the pump housing can't be removed, replace the pump with a new one of the same kind.

Step 6: To install the new pump, set it into position and connect the mounting bolts to the pump housing. Move the motor back into position. Tighten the drive belt (the rubber belt that connects two shafts of the motor) by prying it taut with a hammer handle or pry bar; it should give about 1/2 inch when you press on it at the center point between the two pulleys.

Step 7: Reconnect the hoses leading to the pump.

If the pump's not your problem, other mechanical issues may be afoot. If your belts and pulleys are to blame, find out how to fix them on the next page.