Do washing machines have filters?

Do washing machines have filters
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Every washing machine has filters. There are usually three filters in a washing machine. 

  • The water supply hose filter
  • The drain filter also called the hose or lint filter, and 
  • The emergency drain filter also known as debris filter. 

Depending on your manufacturers, they can be called different names. 

But they all have one thing in common: location and function.

A filter is just as it is called: filter. It helps to prevent dirt in supply water from contaminating the laundry. And to prevent prevent lint, and other object left in washed garments from flushing down the drain.

Washing machines get their water from different sources, depending on your location. For example if you live in some parts of Africa you might get laundry water from a water well.

These are holes dug in the ground that can run as deep as … feet or more. and usually … wide. Pumping machines are then lowered in the well and helps to generate enough pressure to pump water from there to different locations in the building.

Don’t worry about storage locations, some might be strange to you. But storing water tanks on the roof  is not unusual.

Do washing machines have filters

Water pumped from the well usually have debris. If your storage tank do not have a filter attached, these debris find their way to your washing machine when washing.

In other locations, water is pumped from a bore hole.These tend to have less debris than well water, but they still contain debris, iron and other minerals.

If you live in a city where water is supplied by the government from a central city storage, you might have already filtered and treated supply straight to your home… or maybe not.

Whichever the case there is a need for a local filter to reduce water contaminants from contaminating laundry water, hence the water supply hose filter.

In a similar manner, all washing machines have drains and emergency drains.

Drains are water outlet in a regular wash, while the emergency drains serve as water outlet in the event of a malfunction or a power outage.

Both the drain and the emergency drain are equally fitted with a filter. The work of this filter is to trap lint, and smaller objects forgotten in the laundry mix.

Have you heard of the disappearing sock in washing machines? This emergency drain filter do a good job at trapping them.

Now let’s discuss the three filters and their locations.

Water supply hose filter location

Do washing machines have filters

Irrespective of the type of washing machine, either top or front loader, they all have their supply hose in similar locations. At the top rear of the washing machine. 

The filter is located at the hose’s entrance

They are usually located at the opposite of the drain hose. That is, if your drain hose is at the top right, then the hose at the top left is the supply hose, and vice versa. 

They are easy to locate. In many models, there is a distinct metal or plastic head that connects them to the drum, while a drain hose doesn’t have such connector.

Depending on your model you might have one or two attached hose. 

Models without an inbuilt water heater have two hoses. One supplying hot water and the other cold. 

Some models with an inbuilt heater still have two hoses, one supply water water  and the other draining gray water.

Yet other models with an attached heater have one hose, both supply clean water and draining gray water.

You will have to determine the number of hoses your washing machine has.

Chances are there is a filter in the entrance of each of these hoses.

Drain filter location (Mesh filter)

Unlike the supply hose filter, the location of the drain hose varies depending on the washing machine type and model.

Front loaders drain filter location

Many front loaders have their drain hose connected at the back of the washing machine, at the top right or left side of the washer. In other models, they’re located at the bottom rear, either left or right of it.

As explained in the supply hose section, whey they’re placed at the top rear of the machine, they’re situated on the opposite direction of the supply hose. 

The main distinction between them is the connector. While supply hoses always have a metal or rubber cap connection it to the washer’s drum, a drain usually does not have any visible connector.

Top loaders drain filter location

Do washing machines have filters

Top loaders have their filters located at the base of the drum, at the back of the washer.

The filter might change in shape across models, but their location is similar.

This filter is called mesh filter in some models because of the material the filter is made of. Drain filters are made of iron wire mesh, hence the name: mesh filter.

The two types of washing machines have their drain filters located in largely 2 areas of the drum. 

But one thing they share in common is that both have their filters connected to the drum.

Emergency filter location

Do washing machines have filters

Emergency drain filter are located at the exit of the emergency drain.

This is pretty easy to find in most models. 

Do washing machines have filters

In front loaders, it is located below the washer door. At the bottom right or left, depending on your model.

You can access the filter by opening the emergency drain compartment, labelled A in the diagram above, and opening the emergency drain cover.

In other models the emergency drain is located at the underside of the washing machine. In this models, you’ll need a helping hand in tilting the machine to access the emergency drain and the attached filter.

Function of washing machine filters

The type of drain will determine the function of the filter.

Front loader drain filters

The supply hose filter’s function, in this regard, is to filter dirts, iron and other minerals from the supply water source. 

Top loader drain filters

Top loader filters does the same work as front loaders. But they go the extra mile, they serve as a lint filter. 

Their drain hose filter serves as a lint filter. Catching lint displaced from cloth fabrics, preventing them from being flushed down the drain.

Emergency drain filters

Emergency drain filters help to trap dirt and objects added to the laundry during wash.

They are your go-to place if you’ve mistakenly left money, small tools and other items in your clothes pocket.

Also many socks alleged to disappear during laundry, are often trapped by the emergency drain filter.

Effect of a clogged filter

A blocked or clogged drain filter will show different symptoms. 

No water supply

This applies to supply hose only. Troubleshooting no water supply can be trickery. If you’re experiencing no water supply.

This can be caused by several factors for example:

  1. No water from water source
  2. Broken plumbing system
  3. Clogged drain hose.

In many cases, the problem is a blocked drain hose. 

If you’re experiencing no water in your washing machine, your water sources and plumbing system are probably doing fine.

This is usually caused by buildup of dirt and sediments on the filter. When this becomes too much, it prevent water from flowing past the filter which results in no water supply or a slow, prolonged washing time.

Bad smell or mold on laundry

In top loaders drain or lint filters serve the extra mile of trapping lint and large dirt particles from going down the drain. As such they’re similar to a waste collector.

If the filter is not regularly cleaned, dirt can build up, attracting bacteria and mold which in cause result in bad smell on washed laundry.


Do washing machines have filters

Washing machine filters are a major part of the appliance.

For easy operation, and for the health of your washer and laundry, it is important to:

  1. Know they exist
  2. Know their locations, and
  3. Regular clean and maintain them.

Though seemingly insignificant, these three things are part of the very important things that should be your washing machine maintenance checklist.

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