How to replace the drain motor wiring harness in a washer?

Quick Answer

Start by removing the access panels (the front or back panel, depending on the model of your washer) and reaching out to the drain motor, which is usually placed at the bottom of the washtub. Disconnect the old wiring harness from the drain motor as well as the control board from the other end, and fix the replacement wiring harness. Make sure to tab the connectors on either end so that they don’t stand loose.

Key Takeaways

  • The washing machine’s wiring harnesses include a series of cables and connectors, that supply power to the various electrical components within the machine.
  • These components include the drain motor or drain pump, main motor, control panel, and other electronic components in a washing machine.
  • In most cases, to access the drain motor wiring harness you will need to remove the lower front panel or the back panel depending on the model and make of your washer (check the user manual for clarity).
  • In some cases, these wiring harnesses can be repaired for minor issues, however, it is best to replace them if it’s damaged beyond repair.
  • To replace the wiring harness, remove the back or front panel and disconnect the wiring harness followed by replacing it with a new one.

What is a drain motor wiring harness in a washing machine?

A drain motor wiring harness, also known as a “wire harness,” is a network of electrical cables used to connect the drain motor and other electrical parts of a washing machine.

It makes it easy to connect the electrical components of a washing machine by running a series of electrical wires together.

For example, you can see that the control board of a washing machine has several wires running in a line and connecting to different parts.

On each end of a wiring harness, there are usually two connectors that can be clipped or tabbed to the electrical parts of a washing machine that they connect to.

Also, the harness can have more than one cable, each of which has a specific job to do depending on the type of component it needs to connect to.

For example, one cable might carry power from the control board to the main motor, while another might carry the signal to the electrical switches or the washing machine’s sensors.

Why do you need to replace the wiring harness?

The wiring harness is an important part of any electrical appliance, including washing machines, because it makes sure that the appliance always has power.

Your washing machine wouldn’t be able to work well without a healthy harness.

If the wiring harness wears out or becomes faulty, it must be replaced or changed.

So, you should ideally go for a replacement wiring harness when it becomes worn, frayed, or damaged.

If you notice any signs of wear and tear or damage beyond repair, you should replace it as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your washer.

How does the washer’s wiring harness wear out?

Faults to the wiring harness can be caused in many ways such as power surges, improper or loose connectivity, worn-out electrical wires or connectors, etc.

Power surges can cause the electrical wires to overheat, which further contributes to the melting or fraying of a few wires in the wiring harness series.

Also, there is always a chance that you or the person in charge of installation or service repairs could make connections that are too loose or not tight enough.

This may result in damage to the wires, wiring clips, or corresponding connectors.

Finally, if the electrical wires or the connectors wear out accidentally, it may lead to the halting of your washer in no time.

How do you test a faulty wiring harness?

Using a multimeter or ohmmeter, you can check the resistance between each wire in a wiring harness to find possible problems. A wiring problem may exist if the measured resistance is significantly higher than expected.

In addition, you can examine the terminals and wires for wear and tear. So, if you notice any signs of damage or issues with continuity, it’s best to get the harness replaced.

Here are step-by-step instructions for testing a faulty wiring harness in your washer using a multimeter.

  • The first step is to set the multimeter to the continuity setting.
  • Next, disconnect the wiring harness from the washer.
  • Grab a multimeter and touch one probe to one end of the wire you want to test and the other probe to the other end of the wire.
  • If the wire is damaged, the multimeter will not beep and will display a higher-than-expected reading.
  • You will need to repeat this process for each wire in the wiring harness.

How to replace the washer’s drain motor wiring harness?

Most washing machines have a drain motor that is set up to drain water from the wash tub.

The control panel’s sensing system sends a signal to these drain motors, which are connected by electrical wires or wiring harnesses.

In some cases, despite going through all the troubleshooting steps, your washing machine may refuse to drain. In this case, the faulty wiring harness may well be the root of the problem.

Let us look into the steps below on how to replace the wiring harness of the drain motor in your washing machine.

Step 1: Disconnect power and water supplies

Start by disconnecting the power and water supplies to the washing machine and then moving them away from the back wall.

Step 2: Remove the access panel

The drain motor can be easily accessed near or below the wash drum.

In some top-loading machines, you have to take off the back panel to get to it. In other machines, you can get to it from the front panel.

So, refer to the user manual of your washing machine to locate the drain motor and proceed accordingly.

Once the required access panels have been removed, place them aside and locate the drain motor.

Step 3: Remove the drain motor wiring harness

Remove the harness connectors from the drain motor’s outlet point and trace the wires to the other source, which is the control board.

Now, pull out to remove the connectors from the other end, and then gently take it out of the machine.

Note: You may find the wires clipped to the panels or the body of the washing machine on its way. Make sure to unclip it and then remove it as well.

Step 4: Inspect the electrical connectivity

Thoroughly inspect the connectors and connected wires for any signs of wear.

If everything appears to be in order, you will need to check the wiring’s internal connections.

You can use a multimeter by holding the two points on either end of the harness connectors.

If you notice appropriate reading, that means the wiring harness may not be at fault.

In such a case, you will need to check the outlets’ sources for faults with the help of a professional.

If there are no signs of connectivity or if you find it to be damaged, then simply trash it and get it replaced.

Step 5: Install the replacement harness

Start by installing the replacement harness, connecting one end to the main control board, and passing the wire through the same clips inside the washer’s body.

Once the wiring harness reaches the drain motor, connect it to the drain motor’s electrical outlet point carefully.

Step 6: Reassemble the washer

Carefully reverse the above-mentioned steps to reassemble the washing machine’s dismantled components.

Move the washer to its original place, plug it in, and run a test cycle.

Step 7: Run a test cycle

Run a test cycle by connecting the washer’s water and power cords carefully.

You can load a few washable garments and run the washer until it reaches the drain option. If it drains as expected, then you need a pat on the back for a job well done! You have successfully installed the replacement drain motor wiring harness.

Can you repair the drain motor’s wiring harness?

If your washing machine’s drain motor wiring harness is damaged, you may be able to repair it yourself. However, it is better to replace the entire wiring harness as the issue tends to resurface more often than not.

When it comes to repairing the wiring harness of the drain motor in a washing machine, there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind.

  • First, you will need to identify the problem that is causing the issue in the entire wiring of the drain motor.
  • Once you have done this, you will need to determine if the problem is with the wiring itself or with the connectors, or with the sources outlets. For instance, if the problem is with the wiring, you will need to cut out the damaged section and splice in a new section of wire.
  • If the problem is with the connectors, you will need to replace them. Moreover, if the damage is minor, such as a few frayed wires, you can use electrical tape or wire connectors to repair the damage. However, if the damage is more severe, such as a large section of the harness being melted, you will need to replace the entire harness of the drain motor.

To be honest, this can be a difficult and time-consuming task if you are not familiar with electrical stuff.

To deal with electrical tasks, it is best to consult with a professional mechanic instead of doing it yourself.

Final Thoughts

A wiring harness is used in washing machines to deliver electrical power and control signals to their components.

It consists of a series of cables and connectors that route the electrical signals to the correct location or parts of the washing machine, including the drain motor.

Moreover, the harnesses are often color-coded to make it easy to identify the different circuits or points in a given component, such as the drain motor.

Over time, the wiring harnesses can wear out and lead to non-functioning components in the washing machine.

So, in order to limit the damage to other internal components, it’s important that you get the harness replaced.

If you’re not comfortable repairing or replacing this yourself, there are plenty of professional shops that can do it for you.

However, if you’re up for the challenge, fixing your own wiring harness can be a satisfying task.

That being said, don’t forget to check the warranty of your washer, as there are high chances that you may void the warranty by attempting to fix it yourself.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)