5 Simple Ways to Unclog a Washer Drain


5 Simple Ways to Unclog a Washer Drain

Share —

A home appliance dysfunction such as a clogged washer drain can create unnecessary stress and havoc in your daily routine. Keeping your washer in its top working condition is crucial. The problem of a washer drain being clogged is not a rare occurrence and can happen due to a myriad of reasons. When your washer drain becomes clogged, it can lead to various other problems, including leaking. This can lead to water damage and unnecessary repair expenses. However, understanding an issue is the first step towards resolving it. Through this guide, we aim to provide comprehensive information on "washer drain clogged". We also discuss the root causes, prevention and remediation steps that homeowners can undertake to address this issue themselves.

The most important step towards resolving the problem is first recognizing and understanding the cause behind the clogging. It will assist you in not only fixing the problem but also in preventing future occurrences. Below are common reasons your washer drain might be clogged:

  • Foreign Objects: Often little objects can unknowingly find their way into your washing machine. These objects may include coins, buttons, hair ties, etc. With time these objects can gather, leading to a blockage.

  • Dirt and lint: A significant amount of lint and dirt is produced in each washing cycle. In spite of a lint trap present, some can find its way into the drain, causing a buildup and subsequent clogging.

  • Soap Residue: Over time, soap residue can accumulate in the washer drain, forming a hard layer that can block the flow of water.

Recognizing Washer Drain Clogged Symptoms

Knowing what signs to look for can lead to early identification of a washer drain clog. Early detection can prevent potential complications and damage. Key indicators that your washer drain is clogged are:

  • Water backing up: One of the obvious signs is water backing up out of the drain pipe.

  • Foul smell: A clogged drain can lead to water stagnation, which in turn results in a distasteful odor.

  • Slow drainage: If you notice that the water is draining slower than usual, it might suggest a partial clog.

Fixing a Clogged Washer Drain

Addressing a clogged washer can save you potential repair costs and also avoid damaging your property. Here are the steps you can take to unclog your washer drain.

  • Using a Plunger: A plunger can be useful in removing a blockage by creating pressure which pushes the clog out.

  • Snake Tool: A plumber's snake or a hand auger is a tool that can achieve deeper into the pipe to break and remove the clog.

  • Chemical Drain Cleaners: These are often the last resort when the clog continues to be stubborn. However, use them carefully, keeping in mind the safety instructions.

Cautious Prevention Measures for Future

Taking certain precautionary measures can save you from the trouble of dealing with a clogged washer drain. Consider these steps to prevent future clogging:

  • Regular inspections: Keep an eye out for any signs of clogging in your washer drain and act immediately if you notice any abnormalities.

  • Proper use: Make sure you’re not overloading your machine, which can result in spilled debris blocking the drain.

  • Professional Maintenance: Routine professional maintenance can help in keeping the washing machine in its best working condition and diagnose problems at their initial stages.

While a clogged washer drain might feel like a substantial hindrance, it can be dealt with efficiently when you understand the root cause and know the right steps to take. If the problem still persists, it is recommended to call a professional rather than risking property damage or potentially compounding the issue. Timely and appropriate action will save you from any significant inconvenience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Washer Drain Clogs

Laundry day comes with its set of tasks and possible problems. One such issue that homeowners often face is a washer drain clog. Understandably, there are many questions related to this problem. This comprehensive FAQ will provide you answers to all your queries about washer drain clogs.

What causes a washer drain to clog?

The washer drain can potentially clog due to a variety of reasons. The most common factors being lint and fabric softener which the washer discharges over time. In some cases, small items like socks or underwear can also find their way into the drain causing a blockage.

How will I know if my washer drain is clogged?

The most common sign of a clogged washer drain is water backing up out of the drain pipe. You might also notice your washer struggling to properly drain the water.

How can I prevent my washer drain from getting clogged?

You can take preventive measures like using laundry bags to catch small items. One could also make use of washing machine lint filters or nets to catch lint and other detritus from reaching the drain. Regular maintenance is also vital to prevent clogs.

Can I fix a clogged washer drain by myself?

Yes, in most cases, you can handle a washer drain clog on your own. Methods such as using a hand auger or a drain snake, or a homemade drain cleaner solution can be effective in removing clogs. However, for stubborn or recurring clogs, professional help may be required.

What steps should I take to unclog my washer drain?

First of all, make sure that your washer is switched off before you start. You can try using a plumber's snake to remove the clog, or attempt to dissolve the clog using a vinegar and baking soda solution. If these measures fail, you may need to call a plumber.

Are clogged washer drains a common issue?

Yes, clogged washer drains are a fairly common problem many people encounter. Since washing machines discharge a lot of lint and fabric softener, these drains can easily become clogged if not regularly maintained.

Can a clogged washer drain affect my washing machine's performance?

Absolutely. A clogged drain can prevent your washing machine from effectively draining the water, which can lead to damp, musty clothes. It can even overflow, possibly damaging your home. If a clog is severe and goes unattended, it could lead to more significant issues with your machine.

Is a clogged washer drain a severe issue?

While a clogged washer drain might seem like a minor annoyance, if not promptly addressed, it can lead to major issues like flooding, damaging your washer, or causing more severe plumbing issues.

What tools do I need to unclog my washer drain?

Basic tools such as a wrench, a bucket, a pair of gloves, and a plumber's snake or hand auger are all you would require to handle most clogs. Having a vinegar and baking soda for a homemade drain cleaner solution can also be useful.

How much would it cost to hire a professional to clear a clogged washer drain?

The service cost to get your washer drain unclogged by a professional largely depends on your location and the complexity of the clog. However, a rough estimate could range anywhere between $100 to $200.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. Regular maintenance and vigilance can save you from the hassle of dealing with a clogged washer drain. Happy washing!


Having a washer drain clogged can disrupt your laundry routine and, in worst cases, can result in machine damage or flooding. It's always important to address this issue promptly and properly to prevent further complications. Sometimes, a simple DIY fix such as using a plumber's snake or a plunger can resolve it. But for stubborn clogs or recurrent problems, it may be best to call in a professional plumber.

Preventing a washer drain clogged situation is also important. Regular maintenance, such as properly sizing the load, removing debris and heavy materials before washing and not overusing detergent can help keep your washer system running smoothly. Also, adding a lint trap or drain protector can significantly reduce the chance of clogs by preventing lint, fiber and other debris from getting into the pipes.

Lastly, keep in mind that if the 'washer drain clogged' issue persists, it may be an indication of a bigger problem. It could be a blockage somewhere in the main sewer line or an issue with the backflow preventer. Trust your instincts if you think the problem seems more serious, and don't hesitate to seek expert assistance. As with many home maintenance tasks, a timely response can save considerable stress and money in the long run.

About Perfect Air & Water Services

Meet the team over at Perfect Air & Water Services. Hailing from the sunny side of Lakewood, NJ, we know a thing or two about climate control. We've made it our mission to provide the highest quality air and water services, all tailored to our clients' unique needs. With us, you're not just another customer - you're family. We've been committed to keeping your environment comfortable and perfectly conditioned for years and we're not stopping any time soon!