Front-Load Washer Stopped Pumping: How to Clear the Pump Filter


Did you know that your washer has a coin trap? Most people don’t. There is a special filter in your front-loading washing machine designed just to pull out dangerous and/or linty items that might interfere with the wash or the machine. Coins, house keys, safety pins, hair ties, and various hair and lint all get trapped in the pump filter. And when the pump filter gets full, strange things start to occur.

Your washer may stop pumping water correctly, it may shake or vibrate more often, or the clothes may still be sopping after the cycle is officially over. The washer may also stop mid-cycle instead of finishing the wash. If any of these things are happening to you, there’s a good chance that the problem is actually a simple one, your drain pump filter. Also known as the coin trap.

Today, we’re here to show you how to empty that coin trap the quick and efficient way without having to call a plumber. 

Gather Your Tools

This repair is not a complicated one, but it will get more intimate with your washing machine than you may have ever become in the past. All you need for this repair are work gloves, a screwdriver, and something to catch the water in. You may also want a few spare towels because this repair can get a little damp.

  • Work Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket or Deep Pan

Remove the Lower Front Panel

  • Prop Up Your Washer
    • Next, you will need to remove the lower front panel of your washing machine. To do this, you may need to prop your washing machine backward against the wall so that the front feet stick up while the back feet are still on the floor. Do this very carefully.
  • Unscrew the Lower Fastening Screws
    • Find the two screws that fasten the lower front panel into place and remove the. Carefully set these screws aside.
  • Lift and Remove the Panel
    • The panel is attached by two tabs at the top. Lift and pull the panel out of place by unhooking the tabs. Then set the panel aside.

Open the Clear-Out Plug

  • Find the Drain Filter Plug for Your Washer
    • Inside the washing machine front area, you should see what is clearly a drain hose or pipe with an end holding the filter.
  • Position Your Bucket and Detach the End
    • Place your bucket underneath the filter in case it is full of water and carefully detach the end. Water may pour out, but you will likely also see more than a few lost small personal items in the coin trap.
  • Clear Out the Opening and Clear the Filter
    • Clear out the opening of the drain coin trap, then if possible remove the filter and wash this out in the sink.

Reassemble Your Washer

  • Reattach the Drain Filter Plug
    • Reattach the filter and drain plug as you found them inside the washer housing.
  • Return the Front Panel
    • Now that the drain plug and filter are back in place, it is safe to return the front panel. Fit it in with the tabs, then swing it closed and return the mounting screws on the underside.
  • Set Your Washer Upright
    • Carefully set your washer back into the upright position and push it back against the wall.

Try Out Your Washer

Finally, you are ready to test your success. Try running a small load of laundry, paying attention to the sounds and cycle of the machine. If all is well, pat yourself on the back. You just performed a basic-yet-essential repair and probably got a few spare coins back in the process.

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