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LG Washer jammed drain pump impeller

4 posts in this topic


I've been having intermittent drain issues with the "OE" error on this 18 month old washer. We clean out the drain pump filter routinely and usually don't have much debris. About a month ago, we started getting an intermittent drain issue where the washer would stop during the rinse/spin portion of the cycle and eventually put an "OE" error on. Through a combination of either unplugging and resetting the rinse/spin, or draining some water via the drain tube, and then re-starting, we had been able to get the washer to complete the cycle. Then it would work trouble free for a few washes and the problem would crop up again. Additionally, we noticed the drain cycle to be noisier than it used to be, like hearing a loud buzzing at times.

In the last few days, the washer did this more and more, and now it will not drain anymore via the pump. I have cleared the filter, which was virtually clean. I was able to reach into the small holes through the drain pump housing and spin the impellers that are on both sides. Why are they on both sides? I'm thinking this unit has separate drain and circulation pumps?

So the impeller on the left side spins 2 "clicks" and then binds up. This happens both clockwise and counter clockwise. The hole is really small, just enough to get the tip of my index finger in, so I can't get much force or leverage on it to push through the jam up. A couple weeks ago, this same impeller was "tight" but I got it to push through. Now it just binds up on that 3rd click.(less than 1 full revolution).

I cannot feel anything tied around or binding the impeller, but like I said, I can't get my finger all the way in there. The impeller on the right side of the housing clicks around freely with only small, what feels like normal, resistance.

Is this a repairable item, or do I need to just replace the pump?

And either way, is there an easier way to access and remove the pump than taking the entire machine apart? (I saw some other machines referred to as putting a 2x4 under the front and cocking the unit back to access the pump, that would be a real time saver if I could do that on this machine too)

Thanks in advance for any ideas on this!

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Most likely there's a small obstruction in the DRAIN MOTOR housing (dime/button etc).

The DRAIN MOTOR is on the *left* side of the washer (if facing the front of the washer)and the RECIRCULATION MOTOR is on the *right* side.

Gaining access to the pump assy can be attempted from the bottom of the washer---but is more difficult due to limited space.

The correct way to do it:

1) Unplug washer

2) Remove 2 lower "phillips" screws from the rear of the *top cover*. The top 2 screws at the rear/top cover secure the plastic brackets to the top cover & need not be removed.

3) Slide the TOP COVER rearward about 2 inches & lift off.

4) Standing in front of the washer----look behind the CONTROL PANEL. At each corner there's a "phillips" screw--remove them (some LG washers only use 1 screw at the right-side corner).

5) Slide out & remove the DETERGENT DISPENSER TRAY (press a release tab to allow the drawer to slide out).

6) Remove 2 "phillips" screws from each side of the DISPENSER HOUSING opening/hole (on the control panel)

7) Disconnect the PLUGS to the CONTROL PANEL (behind the large knob/dial).

8) Grasp the top edge of the CONTROL PANEL & *snap it* off from the washer & put aside (May require some effort but the plastic is quite strong).

9) Open the door of the washer & remove two "phillips" screws to the DOOR LOCK/LATCH ASSY.

10) Using a *flat screwdriver* pry the DOOR GASKET SPRING from the 6 o'clock position of the gasket. Remove the entire wire/spring type "clamp".

11) Pull the GASKET from it edges until completely off the FRONT PANEL & fold-over the rubber gasket into the washer tub---out of the way.

12) Remove the ACCESS PANEL on the lower front corner of the washer.

13) Pull the black rubber (small diameter) drain hose form the plastic retainer clip & leave the hose loose.

14) Remove 1 "phillips" screw from the bottom of the *screw-on" strainer cap. Pry out the *plastic housing* completely using a flat screwdriver of puttyknife. Use care not to damage the painted finish around the opening.

15) Remove 2 "phillips" screws below the *screw-on drain strainer cap* & 1 more screw below those.

16) At the top of the FRONT PANEL---there are at least 4 (some have 5) "phillips" screws that secure the FRONT PANEL. Remove all & lift away the entire FRONT PANEL ASSY.

17) Pull the plastic cap off of the *small* drain hose---and using a pan or small cup---remove all remaining water from the tub. Several cupfuls may be needed before fully emptied. Use a large rag/towel to "capture" any remaining water when the *large* STRAINER CAP* is unscrewed & pulled out.

18) Looking at the PUMP ASSY---which has *two* motors on it----reach behind the center of the PUMP HOUSING & locate / depress a plastic *locking tab*. When this *tab* is pressed downward---the entire PUMP ASSY can be slid rearward about 2 inches & lifted up somewhat.


20) Remove the HOSES from the PUMP ASSY & pull out the entire unit.

21) Remove 3 "phillips" screws that secure the PUMP MOTOR to the PUMP BODY.

22) Pull off the motor & inspect for debris.

23) Re-assemble in reverse order.

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Thanks! We were able to get to the drain pump with these instructions. Upon checking the drain pump, the impeller was bound up because the magnetic core had a piece chipped away inside and it was binding the unit up. We are ordering a new unit, since we didn't want to re-use it with a chunk missing out of it, plus it still seems to be turning with some resistance.

Inside the impeller area we found a lot of oil and grit/sand. We're not sure how this got in there, if the oil was washed through the washer, or came in the pump. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for all the help!

Edited by Samurai Appliance Repair Man
Deleted unnecessary quotation.

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<<<<a piece chipped away inside>>>>


If the *impeller* was missing a section---this would caused by debris that entered the pump assy (button/coin etc).


<<<<it still seems to be turning with some resistance.>>>>


This is normal (permanent magnet type motors have a spring-like tension)


<<<<Inside the impeller area we found a lot of oil and grit/sand. We're not sure how this got in there>>>>


The grit is residue from the laundry.

The "oil" is residue from excessive detergent use.

Use only "HE" type detergent.

Three types are sold:

HE (regular strength): 2 Tablespoons Per Washload

HE 2X (double concentrated): 1 Tablespoon

HE 3X (triple concentrated): 1 Teaspoon


Use the TUB CLEAN CYCLE every 4 months.

Instead of *bleach* (per the owner manual)---LG now strongly recommends using "Tide Washing Machine Cleaner"

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