How To Fix A Washing Machine That Fills And Drains At The Same Time

Question: Every 3 out of 5 washes our washing machine will fill with water and just keep filling and filling. During this time, the water will drain out normally at the same exact time. Our washer is in an endless fill/drain cycle. It is stuck filling and draining until we unplug the machine. We sometimes just set the load to the end of the wash cycle and wait a few hours before trying again. Sometimes this happens and other times it does not. What could be causing this to happen?

If your washing machine (top load or front load) is filling with water WHILE it is draining, here is a simple quick fix. This issue happens frequently and about 90% of the time it is NOT THE WASHER MALFUNCTIONING. This “washer fills and drains at same time” issue can be fixed in a matter of minutes. See below for how easy this repair solution is. This easy fix solution will work on all washers including GE, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, Maytag, and more.

Washer Fills and Drains At Same Time

Answer: Your washer DRAIN HOSE is causing a siphoning condition. Your washing machine drain hose is pushed way too far into the stand pipe in the wall. There needs to be an air gap and by having the drain pipe pushed too far there is no air gap. This creates a vacuum or siphoning affect and the water is pulled out of the washer as it fills with water. What you need to do is pull the drain hose out of the stand pipe and put it back in making sure it is not in the wall too far or too deep. There needs to be a bend at the apex of the drain hose. It needs to be above the height of the wash tub. Once you have the drain pipe or hose in the exact position you need it to be in to not cause siphoning, tie the drain hose to the water fill hoses with a plastic zip tie so it can’t fall back down deep or pull out.


Top Load Washer Fills and Drains At Same Time

If you know of another way for a washing machine to fill and drain at the same time, please leave a comment below to assist our other readers.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance Tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 33 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of appliances. Contact here

37 thoughts on “How To Fix A Washing Machine That Fills And Drains At The Same Time”

  1. This is excellent practical info, but I’m looking for an explanation about how and why, not just what.
    It really makes no sense, seems like a design flaw of washing machines but why do they keep it like that even in new models? How hard is it to design the washing machine to close a valve on the drain when it knows it should not be draining?

    1. My washer is a top load and it’s the typical drain hose where I left it on the floor to drain. I dont think it’s way too far from whatever because I am normally wash that way..
      What could be causing it.?

  2. We are having this same problem but it does not do it every load.
    The washer will operate as it should then all of a sudden a load will be draining as filling. What I have been doing as a workaround is stop it when it does this and wait until the next day and start it again and it will fill without draining. What would cause it to do this intermittently? The washer is “Estate” by Whirlpool. Thanks for any help.

    1. ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant

      Gaylene,
      The drain pump may be faulty and letting water out as it fills.
      You will have to do some troubleshooting.
      Have you checked the hose to see if it is sucking out the water as it fills?
      -RR

  3. Wow!!
    Was about to buy parts and tear apart the washer in a way as a right of passage…. NOPE!
    Just pull the far too long drain hose out of the standpipe and waalaa….problem fixed!!
    Will probably buy a new standard drain hose with the curved clip to prevent this from happening again.
    Bought our house with the washer and dryer.
    The drain hose went down into the standpipe for about TWO feet, crazy.
    We have lived here for about a year and a half without this problem.
    Guess enough ‘gook’ formed an airtight seal over time causing the siphoning problem.
    Thanks for having this site!

    1. Thanks this helped. I’ve been in my house for a year and it just started not working. I inplugged and lifted the hose. Now it works!

  4. Thank you SO MUCH !!!! I bought a brand new top loader & was ready to send it back for a replacement due to EXACTLY the same issue….. I have now brought the draining hose inside and put it in a bin next to the machine & it works GREAT !!! I obviously have to work out a permanent system , but THANK YOU do much

  5. I have a top loader machine sumsung I just change my old water pump and put the new water pump, when I feel with water the water keeps pumping out when I disconnect one of the wires leading to a water pump it stop pumping can you be able to assist me

  6. I have a top loader fully automatic washing machine LG that keeps emptying while filling and really stressing me out been trying what was said about the drain hose but nothing

  7. Edward schroedel

    I have the same machine that UWL 15 and when I start the machine ifills and starts to pump out the water at the same time I recently replaced the pump diverter valve and I replaced the board and it still does this with the new board in it and second light from left is not lit when you start a cycle

  8. Thank you so much. I just bout a portable washer and put the hose in the tub to drain. The washer was in an endless cycle of filling and draining at the same time and I had no clue what to do. I hung the drain hose on then shower head and it fixed the problem! Thank you!

  9. Omg this fixed my issue! I have a LG Inverter Direct Drive 5.5kg top loader washing machine. I had the drain hose on the back of my washing machine super tight. The hose was just running along the floor and in to a drain pipe (because our laundry tub still needs to be fitted off). The washing machine would try to fill with water but drain out at the same time. I read this article, I lossened off the screw clamp on the back so it wasn’t super tight and raised the other end up higher than the back of the exit on the washing machine as stated. Done a tub clean and the washing machine is filling up and doing a cycle. Thank you, thank you!!!

  10. My old washer pump copper wires were burnt, i bought a new pump and fitted it, but now it does what the old pump had never done.
    Although it was not draining out water but it had a burning smell from a pump.
    This new one it drains and fill at the very same time, and i did everything and never change the hose pipe.
    It is still 30 inches above the base as it was.

    1. Hello Sir,
      I have faced same problem like yours. Changed the pump but drains and fills at the same time after the change. Did you get a solution. Pls let me know.

      1. My kenmore 80 series washer when turn it on water is going in tub but is coming out the back drain ontofloor help plz

  11. Alex Frantzis

    This was incredibly helpful. Thank you for saving me a lot of money and hassle. I even heard the vaccume suction sound when I removed the electrical tape attaching the drain hose.

  12. Thank you very much! I thought my Haier portable washer was malfunctioning when it tried to fill and was draining at the same time… glad I didn’t angrily call the girl who sold it to me from Craigslist because it turns out that I just had the hose sitting too low in the bathtub to drain, and when I hung it up higher (with some string and a hanger), it worked just fine.

  13. I just bought a portable Haier washer from a friend. Everything turns on properly. The water fills up then drains and will not wash. What could be the problem.

  14. Richard wrote (17 March 2017) that his toploader samsung machine seems to have the drain pump turn on when power is on and runs continuously. I have the same problem with mine. Initially I could see that the drain pump had burnt out, changed it but now face this problem. Can these machines be reset (WA13V5)? Or does it mean the PCB needs replacing?

  15. I have a Samsung top loading washing machine and it is draining and filling at the same time – but it seems the drain pump is permanently on. Drain pump starts up as soon as I turn the power on (before even hitting start etc)

  16. Brilliant and clear, understandable advice thanks. Bought a new machine today and on the first wash couldn’t figure out why it was just pouring water the entire time – zip tied the drain pipe and it is fixed.

  17. I have a haier HLP24E washer it fills with water at the start wash , then drain , on the rinse cycle the drain valve closes and rinse water starts to come in but the drain valve slowly starts to open up , so it is draining while filling , i turn the machine off and then put it in rinse and spin cycle to finish the wash ,, next i go through the cycle again but it does not always happen like that sometimes it will go through the cycles and does a wash the way its suppose to ? i have the drain hose the proper level 31 inches high into drain does anyone have this problem, if so whats the fix

  18. Thanks much for this easy simple and very helpful diy tips on filling and draining washer problem. It really works. You guys are so wonderful people and helps a lot. May God Bless You All!

  19. Oh am so grateful for this advise. My front loader washer had not be washing for two weeks but just following this simple instruction on this DIY repair, I got it working again. Am wowed…..

  20. brian van vlymen

    Youtube video is excellent I have not been fixing it for almost 4 months and I had decided to pay the washer service. I never knew about the siphoning means. Thank you so much for this create an awesome website!

  21. I have been trying to figure out my problem with a GE washer that spins from the start while filling and draining all simultaneously.
    I took your advice by pulling hose out with only 6 to 7 inches of hose in the drain but it still does the same thing.
    I have even changed the timer switch.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Johnny Garcia,
      Can you give us the model number of your GE Washing Machine?
      Have you checked the drain pump as it may be faulty and letting water drain as the washer fills with water.
      -RR

  22. Wow what a simple fix to a problem that had our washer out of commission for 2 weeks (family of 7)

    Thank you so much!

  23. My machine has been filling with water while I was doing a load of laundry, but it would also drain at the same time. I thought this was rather strange, so it’s good to know that there’s something that I can do about it. It seems like fixing my drain hose so that it isn’t pushed too far into the stand pipe is a good way to fix the problem. I should check out the drain hose on my washer to find out if that’s exactly what’s causing it to drain while filling up with water.

  24. After trying to do our part in drought stricken California by buying biodegradable soap and allowing the washer to drain out onto the lawn…the washer started filling and draining at the same time. Initially thought it might be a bad pump because of back pressure…thinking we’ll just have to buy a new washer. Went online came across your site and low and behold the solution to our problem!! Thank you for posting this advice!! Most appreciated!

  25. What a helpful site. With just a few paragraphs and a YouTube video it immediately answered a problem I have been looking up for hours on other sites.

  26. Deanna R. Jones

    Thanks for the advice. I didn’t know that it’s a common problem for washers to keep filling with water while it’s draining. I’ve always thought that it was something strange that would cause my washer to malfunction. It’s good to know that the washer isn’t really malfunctioning, but the drain hose. I’ll be sure to make sure that the drain hose has an air gap so that it won’t siphon.

  27. I have a GE front load. At the rinse cycle, the water turns on and does not turn off during the spin cycle. It continues to add water even after the timer goes off. I need to turn the water off manually and do a drain and spin cycle to get my clothes to a damp condition.

    1. DIY Project Help Tips

      Jim,
      You probably have a faulty water inlet valve. First check to see if you are getting proper voltage to the valve. If in doubt remove and replace the water inlet valve and test your washer. GE may call this part something different but similar.
      -RR

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