What’s Clogging Your Pump?

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Sorry if this picture turns your stomach, but IĀ  knew this would be hard to believe.

I spent some time yesterday on Facebook complaining about my front load washer. I firmly believe it is the worse purchase I have ever made.

We have had it since a month before Matthew was born. Matthew will be three years old this spring.

At the time, it was one of the most exciting purchases I had ever made, even though friends had warned me.

As soon as we had it a year, the problems began.

It is finicky. It is picky. It is delicate. It is needy!

It is NOT meant for a family with this many boys.

For the last week and a half my washer has been acting up, yet again. I was pretty sure the issue had to do with accidentally buying liquid detergent that was not HE. I swear to you, it was an accident.

I soon started getting the suds error.

While addressing the detergent issue resolved the suds error, the last few days my washer stopped draining and spinning.

My husband took the washer apart last night. This is literally the 5th time he has taken it apart in the last couple of years.

Would you be surprised if I told you the pump was clogged?

Apparently, clogged pumps keep your washer from spinning and draining.

Who knew?

This is what was clogging the pump of my washer:

  • 10-15 rocky pebbles
  • 2 crayons
  • 1 bobby pen
  • 6Ā  well used #2 pencils
  • 1 eraser to a mechanical pencil
  • 1 green Lego man hat
  • $0.48 (a quarter, two dimes and three pennies)
  • 1 baseball sticker
  • part of a popsicle stick
  • air soft pellets (thank you Garrett and Anthony)
  • 1 large gold coin from the batting cages
  • picture of Captain America’s head
  • 3 candy wrappers
  • 1 Taco Bueno bracelet
  • wads of lint

Did I mention I am really bad at emptying pockets?

So are my kids.

Did I also mention my kids fill their pockets with random things?


Unfortunately I can not make this stuff up.

Cost of the front load washer: $699.00

Cost of a washer repair man: $40.00 an hour

Cost of a husband who can fix anything: priceless!


  1. Been there done that, not THAT exactly, but the whole forgetting to empty pockets. I have a newly purchased front load washer and I try to express how important it is for the entire family to empty their pockets, maybe if I show them this, they MIGHT understand. I am a firm believer if you want it back, it better not be in your pockets when I go to put the clothes in the washer. Good way for me to make some extra money.

  2. Wow!! Now I am curious what’s in mine, yikes!!! Boys and there pockets, you are certainly right this is priceless!!

  3. Annie~Savor This Moment says:

    That’s impressive! My sister has had problems with her front loader. I’ll suggest she check to see if her pump is clogged.

    I’m bad at checking pockets, but luckily we do pretty well. Once in a while a tube of chapstick or a pen goes through, though, and then I’m kicking myself for not being more vigilant!

  4. My husband and kids are good at leaving pens in their pockets and I don’t usually notice until I empty the dryer and discover all our clothes are ruined by the pen exploding. This has happened 3 times in the past 2 years!

    I’m glad your hubby was able to fix the problem.

  5. Wow…ok. My husband is right. I am the A-word about checking pockets. NOTHING gets past me! And my youngest kids is 28, so I don’t have the same challenges you have. I love my quiet front load washer. šŸ™‚ In a decade or so, maybe they will invent a washer buddy that empties pockets for you! HA!

    1. Or an easy to access holding tank BEFORE the pump that catches it all.

  6. i was in the market and about to buy a front loader…..you may have changed my mind

  7. Can you PLEASE send your hubby over here to unclog my pump? We are dealing with these same issues. Thanks!!! SusieQTpies

  8. Hate to say it, but the new top loaders aren’t great either! We just replaced our 4yo HE top loader with a $30 machine from Craigslist — which was manufactured in 1981 and works better than the other machine EVER did, even after many many service calls. (Before the warranty ran out — after that, I wasn’t spending another dime on that machine!)

    I’m so glad your husband was able to fix it for you. And not at all suprised by what you found. I know what I dig out of our pockets…. And the dryer… And the machine tub…

    1. I believe you that the 30 year old machine is better than your HE machine.

      The washer I had previous to this, was a top load Whirlpool and I had it for 10 years without any problems. Then once it rained it poured and it was time for a new one, which is when I bought the front loader.

      Think I might get a washboard. šŸ™‚

  9. We’ve found that we have to empty it every 5-6 months. It makes all the difference in the world.

    The first time I called the repairman. What he found didn’t belong to my boys. I think he had a hard time telling me himself what it was (can you say, embarrasing?) Ladies, it could be YOUR stuff clogging the drain (nursing pads, pantiliners).

    (Baby socks also get caught–so yes, it really does eat socks!)

    But since we had seen him open it up, we knew what we needed to do from then on. Anytime it starts giving us trouble, that’s the first thing we do.

    Now, if it’s NOT that, look it up online. We got a really wierd error that wasn’t that, and we had emptied the drain and it still wouldn’t work. Looking online showed us someone with the exact same problem, and showed us exactly what the part was, and how to fix it. We ordered the part and fixed the machine. It means taking the TOP of the washer off. It’s a tiny little piece that “supposedly” breaks when people don’t use HE detergent. Hmm. Well, from what I found online, the man asking for help had only used HE detergent, and the part broke right after the 1-year warranty. The person helping him was a repairman who also swore by using only HE detergent.

    I had to look to see when I’d bought my washer. Turns out we’d had it for 3 years, and I’ve always used homemade powdered detergent. So, it lasted 3 times as long. Well, I think I’m doing just fine with my homemade detergent then! Not only that, but I wash 24 loads a week, so it probably did a lot more wash than the first person who asked.

  10. We have had the same problem with our front loader. Suds error. Not draining or spinning properly. I called the repairman again just last month. I usually have to call about once a year. Finally, this guy showed me how to take the washer apart and empty out the drain. So when it did the sudsing error just a month later I knew what to do. It was SOOOOO gross- I almost barfed. Mine had like 3 baby socks and a bunch of lint. But with the money I saved with not having to call the repair man again, I went to TJ Maxx and bought a bunch of fun new Halloween stuff! šŸ™‚ Made the grossness worth it.

    1. Candice- it is so gross, I agree.
      I had no idea how high maintenance this washer was going to be when I purchased it. :/

  11. I LOVE my front loader and she has done great with 3 boys and a husband. Only get a suds error with towels and buy whatever detergent is on sale. i do try to check the front gasket area for junk, weekly and leave the door open when not in use to keep it from getting musty smelling. Its in its own room so it doesn’t bother me leaving the door open but it would if it was where all could see.

  12. You Are Kidding Me! I am wondering what is stuck in mine! I need to check! Awesome Post! Please share with my readers! They would love to meet you at my “Meet Me Monday” Linky Party! You have a few hours if you have the time to post this or anything else you have been working on. I hope it will bring some more readers your way! Great job! Love, me http://www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com

  13. heyruthie says:

    we DO empty our pockets, and i still have the same problem. as vigialnt as i am (with 4 kids) mine stopped spinning/draining too. my DH is NOT NOT NOT handy, so we shelled out the $200 for the repair man to fish out…..wait for it…..1 paper clip. yes. a $200 paper clip.

    the repair man told me he tells families to buy the clunkiest top-loader and forget about the front-loaders. he said “they don’t even get stuff clean.” and I have to agree. we all got on the bandwagon…..but it’s been nothing but a hassle. i’m back to an old water guzzler the first chance I get. viva cleaner clothes and more water!!!

    1. $200 paperclip…. love that!

      maybe my husband could do a video tutorial showing step by step how to clean out the pump. šŸ™‚

      and i agree- my clothes do not get as clean with the front loader.

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