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How to unblock a washing machine waste pipe

Having washing machine issues? No problem, learn how to unblock a washing machine waste pipe today. With three step-by-step guides.

Disconnecting washing machine pipesWashing machines are a fantastic modern convenience and are found in many households throughout the UK. Having clean clothes at the push of a button is something a lot of people take for granted, so when your washing machine stops working, it’s hard not to panic. As blockages are quite common, knowing how to unblock a washing machine waste pipe will definitely come in handy.

If you want to avoid the wait and cost of a washing machine repair expert, continue reading for easy-to-follow instructions to get your machine back up and running in no time.

Methods to unblock a washing machine waste pipe

Pipe blockages can stop a washing machine from properly functioning. So that outfit you need to wear will be sitting in the wash basket until you remedy the problem. There are three main methods to unblock a washing machine pipe and we will be covering all of them with step-by-step instructions. The most common ways to clear a pipe are:

  • With drain cleaner
  • Manually
  • With baking soda and vinegar
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disconnected washing machine pipeHow to unblock a washing machine waste pipe with drain cleaner

Using drain cleaner is a great way to clear blockages, although chemicals should always be used with caution. Ensure your children and pets have no access to the drain cleaner at any time.

To learn how to unblock a washing machine waste pipe with drain cleaner, use the below steps:

  1. Locate the waste pipe by separating it from the hot and cold pipes. These pipes will usually be colour coded, red for hot and blue for cold, so finding the waste pipe should be simple.
  2. Disconnect the pipe and if it isn’t completely blocked, try using hot water to flush out any blockages.
  3. Top tip: When disconnecting the waste pipe, be ready to catch any excess water that flows out.
  4. If this doesn’t work, you will need to use a drain cleaner that is approved for use with washing machine pipes.
  5. Carefully pour the drain cleaner into the pipe and ensure you use the instructions given on the packaging.
  6. You will usually need to wait for the drain cleaner to work and may need to add hot water during this time.
  7. Finally, once the cleaner has done its magic, you will need to flush the drain with water and reattach the pipe.

How to unblock a washing machine outlet pipe manually

If you prefer a hands-on approach to clearing outlet pipe blockages, it’s possible to do so manually. Your best option is to use a drain snake, although in a pinch you can use a coat hanger (be very careful if using this method as this may damage the pipe if you are too rough).

Wondering how to unblock a washing machine outlet pipe manually? Just follow the below stages:

  1. Detach the outlet pipe from your machine and catch any water that was sitting in the pipe.
  2. Put on rubber gloves and begin inserting your snake into the outlet pipe.
  3. Top tip: Choose a snake that is between 50 and 75 feet long.
  4. Keep pushing the snake into the pipe, wiggling and rotating it if you reach any blockages.
  5. You will likely need to turn the snake quite a few times to clear a blockage so keep going.
  6. Continue clearing further blockages and debris with your snake until you reach the end of its length.
  7. Remove the snake from the pipe and flush with hot water to catch any leftover debris.
  8. Lastly, reattach the outlet pipe.
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How to unblock a washing machine drain hose with baking soda and vinegar

If you don’t have the time to go shopping, there is a way to clear hose blockages using household items. As long as you have baking soda and vinegar you are ready to learn how to unblock a washing machine drain hose.

Use these steps to return your washing machine to its former function:

  1. Detach the drain hose from the back of your washing machine.
  2. Use a funnel to pour about a quarter of a cup of baking soda into the pipe.
  3. Next, empty a baster full of vinegar into the drain hose.
  4. Top tip: If the blockage is not completely gone, you can repeat the above process.
  5. Once you have cleared any debris from the hose, pour hot water in to flush everything out.

back view of washing machine pipe

How to unblock a washing machine kinked hose

Another reason your washing machine may be having trouble draining is if the drain hose becomes twisted or kinked. Sometimes this happens when the washing machine is moved over time. Luckily, you can often fix this issue by removing any kinks and straightening the hose.

However, if the hose is damaged and won’t stay straight, you may need to buy a replacement.

Still having washing machine issues?

Hopefully, the above guides on how to unblock a washing machine hose helped to fix your washing machine problem. But if you are still having issues, it may be a good idea to call in a professional. They will be able to quickly diagnose and repair your washing machine, so you can get back to normal ASAP.

At Checkatrade, we have a wide range of different tradespeople who are well vetted to offer you the best service. Just use our handy search feature for instant results.

Wondering how much washing machine repair costs? This will depend on the issue, but generally, you can expect to pay anything from £79 for new motor brushes to £230 for a new motor. For more information, please see our washing machine repair cost guide.

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