Whirlpool washer doesn't hold the water when filling for the wash cycle

by JimE
(Longview, WA)

The washer is a Whirlpool LAA580 and it is old maybe more than 20 to 25 years old. This washer has given super service for so many years and just seems to go and go like it never wants to quit doing it's job.

But now for some reason or rather when it is filling getting ready for the wash cycle it doesn't want to hold the water such that the tub would fill up to where it would normally start agitating. Sometimes it will hardly hold any water and other times the water level will come up higher but not high enough to start the agitation. There are no leaks. Sometimes it will fill part of the way up but not enough to start the agitating and when it does this I turn the water level switch to a lower level and it will start agitating. Then I turn the water level switch up to the higher level I had selected to start out with and then it will hold the water and fill properly and then start agitating normally. Thanks for your help.

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Hi JimE,

It sounds like the water is siphoning out or running out the drain. These are things that can cause this condition.

The top of the drainpipe to your house plumbing must be above the highest water level in the tub. If not, the water will start draining once the water in the tub reaches a level above the top of the drainpipe. Sometimes the drainpipe will slip down under the house too far and you can simply pull it back up and secure it in place. If you are unable to do that, you can extend the drainpipe using a coupling and a short piece of pipe of the same size. Sometimes you are unable to do this because the pipe is inside a wall, if this is the case you can try running your drain hose from the washer up high to compensate for the low drainpipe.

If the drain hose from your washer is pushed down in to the drainpipe too far it will cause the same problem. To fix this simply pull the drain hose to within six inches of the top of the drainpipe.

Another thing that will cause this is that the water is siphoning out. The water will siphon out if the drain hose cannot get air. The most common thing that causes this is that someone taped the drain hose to the drainpipe so that the water will not back out the drain during pump out. The best way to fix this is to clean out the drainpipe so that the water drains freely enough that it doesn’t back out and remove the tape from the drain hose. Sometimes, especially on old houses, the drainpipe isn’t big enough to drain the water no matter how clean it is. In this case, to fix this problem you will have to install a siphon breaker (part number 76660) at the top of the drainpipe to allow the drain hose to receive air and still be taped up so that the water will not back out.

This page will also help Common Washer Problems

Thank you,


Comments for Whirlpool washer doesn't hold the water when filling for the wash cycle

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Jan 03, 2011
Thanks for the suggestions
by: Anonymous

Okay Shawn thank you for your suggestions. I know the hose and stand pipe are quite a ways above the top of the washer. However the hose part that sticks down into the stand pipe has a long extension on it. But it has been this way for over 20 years. But I recently had the washer out so maybe I shoved the hose down in the stand pipe further than it was before. I will pull it back out a ways and see if that makes any difference.

This washer just refuses to give up doing a good job of washing without giving any serious problems so I want to keep it going as long as it is basically trouble free. We bought this used washer dryer pair in the mid eighties for $75 for the pair and the only money I have spent on the pair was for a new belt for the dryer. I was thinking it was about 10 years old when we bought it. Can you tell what year it was manufactured from the model number that I gave you???

I will pull the hose out of the stand pipe a ways and let you know how that works. And thanks again for your suggestions.


Jan 03, 2011
by: Shawn

I don’t know the exact year it was made but I do know it is at least 20 years old because it has a belt. Whirlpool didn’t have a washer that had a belt from sometime in the 80s until very recently.

Mar 10, 2011
Suggestion worked
by: Anonymous

Just thought time to thank you for your suggestion and tell you that pulling the hose up some seemed to cure the problem I was having... One of these days I will probably pull the drain hose out and take that very long extension hose that sticks down in the drain stand pipe off then I won't have to be concerned with it anymore.

Jan 08, 2016
Thanks--worked for my Whirlpool
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much. It didn't appear my drain hose had slipped down, but it had enough to cause this filling problem. It's amazing what only an inch does. Now, I just need to secure that hose so it doesn't slip back lower again.

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