"Maytag Neptune Clothes Washer - Water Discharge Pump Repair"
2 September 2008
Updated: 8 October 2011
Summary: in all likelihood, there is a quarter coin stuck in the water discharge pump. The water discharge pump is not difficult to get to for either repair (unclog inlet side of pump) or replace pump. Certainly a do-it-yourself (DIY) for anyone with some basic tools.
So I buy this really tech-advanced, expensive, Maytag Neptune clothes washer to keep from having to repair our old washer over and over again. Bought a nice long extended warranty also. Then 3 months after purchase, washer will not pump out water! Ok! Call the Maytag repair man. Nice to own something under warranty for a change. Mr. Maytag Man shows ups, removes access panel from rear of washer, removes water discharge pump and shows me a quarter coin stuck in the pump inlet (perfect fit!). He bangs the quarter out, reinstalls the pump and then tells me, "clogged pumps are not covered by warranty and service call is $125." Ugh!!!!
SO, the other day, wife reports washer is not discharging water. Know what I did? Repaired it myself. Took about 45 minutes.
Getting to and either unclogging or replacing the water discharge pump.
Not sure, but what follows might be applicable to other modern or recent Maytag clothes washers.
Unplug clothes washer from electric outlet. Note in picture provided that I installed a ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet instead of using the GFI outlet plug Maytag sent me to fix possible electrical problem with washer. GFI sent me kept coming loose from wall outlet.
If you have a pedestal base upon which the clothes washer sits, remove everything you have inside the drawer in the pedestal. Move clothes washer out far enough from wall and dryer, etc. so you can get behind it and sit on floor. Remove 2 Phillips screws holding access panel to washer and then push panel slightly down and lift the panel bottom away from the washer, allowing it to swing upward so that tabs on top of panel can be removed from slots in washer at top. Sit access panel back side down so the inside can be used as a parts tray.
Remove the water discharge pump from the washer: (1) unhook the pump electrical connection by pressing on the clip on the left side of the connector and then pulling the connector towards the front of the washer. (2) Squeeze the hose clamp tabs on the discharge hose toward each other and slide the clamp away from the end of the hose. Now slowly pull the hose off the pump fitting and quickly move the end of the discharge hose to the opening in the base of the washer. Any water in the discharge hose will now dump into the drawer in the pedestal base or onto the floor under the washer (no pedestal drawer). (3) Now squeeze hose clamp tabs on inlet hose towards each other and slide clamp back away from pump, again routing the inlet hose into or towards the hole in the washer base so any residual water in the washer will dump into the pedestal drawer or onto the floor. (4) Now using a 12mm socket and ratchet, 12mm wrench or adjustable wrench, remove each of the 3 bolts holding the water discharge pump in place. Note that these bolts are not very tight and if you meet significant resistance when attempting to unloosen them, back off and try rotating the tool in the other direction. (5) With a bolt loose, remove it by hand and place it in the access panel, which should be on the floor nearby. (6) With all 3 bolts removed, lift the pump up out of the washer.
The problem? Rotate the pump so you can look into the inlet side of the pump (the outlet side actually has a black valve on it which keeps water from coming back down the discharge hose back into the pump.) In my case, guess what? Another sinking quarter coin perfectly covering the entire inlet at the flange right where the actual pump chamber starts! I turn pump upside down and shake quarter out. Grumble. This pump thing catching quarter coins is an obvious design flaw. Our old, low-tech, cheap, clothes washer, never once had a water discharge pump problem. After some thought, I could not come up with any good solution, fix, to the problem (but will continue to think about the problem) and so I reinstalled the pump and vowed to check all pants pockets twice before inserting pants into washer.
Here, if the pump is not obviously clogged, not sure what to tell you to do. Pump could be bad or there could be some fault in the control panel or some sensor. With a new pump probably around $60 and very easy to replace, I would buy a new pump and install it. Then if it washer still will not pump out water properly, call the repair man.
Installation of water discharge pump is just reverse of removal: (1) install 3 bolts holding the pump's metal mount to the bottom of the washer. Note that the metal mount actually floats on rubber feet and does not draw down hard and tight against the washer bottom. When the bolt is tight, it is tight although you will still be able to wiggle the pump and its mount. (2) Reattach the inlet and discharge hoses making sure both are pressed up against the pump as far as they will go. (3) Squeeze the hose clamps and move the clamps up on the hoses so they hold the hose firmly to the water discharge pump. (4) Press the pump electrical supply line onto the connector on the left side of the pump and make sure the clip on the left side, clicks into place. (5) Look around the inside of the washer. All tools out of there? No loose hoses, clamps, bolts? Anything unusual at all?
If all looks good inside the washer, reattach the access panel to the outside of the washer by lifting the panel at an angel and inserting the tabs on the panel into the slots in the top of the washer. Then lower the panel until the tabs on the bottom of the panel fit into the slots in the washer at the bottom. Now move the panel slightly up such that the screw holes in the panel are aligned with the holes in the washer body and replace the 2 access panel holding screws.
Get rid of any water that came out of inlet and discharge hoses.
If you are confident of your repairs, push the washer back into place and reconnect to the outlet. Now turn on the washer and do empty load run. If all water is pumped out, you are fine, if not, consider pump replacement.
Update 8 October 2011:
Has not happened to me but apparently damn pump can swallow 2 quarters! One can get lodged in the actual blades of the pump so double check your pump it is clear and will turn before you reinstall it.