Thread Number: 94068  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Generic electric washer drain pump
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1187508   8/13/2023 at 14:36 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        

paulg's profile picture
I asked this question before but I lost the data.
When y’all retrofit a vintage washer with a new, electric drain pump, what part (part number) do you use?
I have a 1953-ish Whirlpool washer with a finicky mechanical drain pump that I wish to swap out to an electric pump.
Thanks much!

Post# 1187544 , Reply# 1   8/14/2023 at 00:04 by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Hi Paul

You need to think about how to power this pump.

It would be tricky on a belt drive Whirlpool because AFAIK there is no terminal on the timer that corresponds exactly to when you need the pump powered up and when you need it to be off. (You don't want it draining during the wash for example.)

During the drain/spin part of the cycle, the main motor runs during the initial pump out (no solenoids engaged), until the tub is empty, then the spin solenoid engages. But you can't connect the electric pump across the main motor terminals, because then it will pump out during wash.


One solution that occurs to me is to connect the pump in parallel with the main motor (as I described above) but ALSO wire the electric pump through a change-over relay (with NO - Normally Open and NC - Normally Closed contacts)  and connect the pump through the NC contacts, and connect the coil of the relay to the wash (agitate) solenoid - what this will do is power the pump whenever the main motor is running, EXCEPT when the agitate solenoid is also energized. You would need to find a relay with 120V coil if you are in USA or Canada. This should make the pump operate for the neutral drain and the spin.


Of course this is getting quite unnecessarily complicated, you are probably better off just replacing the pump with a new one of the  original type, if you can find one.

Post# 1187546 , Reply# 2   8/14/2023 at 01:09 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Hi Paul, I usually use GE Washer Pump WH23X10030. Chris is correct you'll need to use a relay with the coil signal to be from the agitate solenoid circuit and the power supplied from the motor line. If you need assistance with wiring that let us know.


Post# 1187628 , Reply# 3   8/15/2023 at 12:09 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Thanks, but another question arises

paulg's profile picture
I am asking this question based upon a (probably flawed) image of the mechanism in my mind.
During drainage, I believe(d) that the “drain solenoid” kicks the belt onto a spinning idler, thus transmitting rotation to the drain pump itself.
I surmised that if I were to merely disconnect the drain solenoid and attach a drain pump to it, the pumping action would occur at the same time as the idler/belt “kick” and thus create draining just as before.
Without reviewing the mechanism again, I presume your advice is correct and mine is not. Is my recall of the original drain mechanism faulty?
Thanks for any additional info!

Post# 1187648 , Reply# 4   8/15/2023 at 15:12 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
You may be right Paul, that machine is early enough that it may have a drain solenoid to move the pump towards the belt. I don't remember exactly however, if that is the case you can simply use the drain solenoid wires to power the pump as no reversing relay would be needed.

Post# 1187663 , Reply# 5   8/15/2023 at 17:10 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Thanks fellas

paulg's profile picture
Thanks for the guidance guys! Much obliged!

Post# 1187696 , Reply# 6   8/15/2023 at 23:27 by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Did Whirlpool make washers with a drain solenoid?

I don't know anything about really old belt-drive Whirlpools, I had assumed they are the same as later ones - Pump is always driven by the belt, solenoids are for agitate and for spin. Neutral drain is done by running the motor with both solenoids off.


I apologize if I have given wrong info.


If early Whirlies had a drain solenoid, can someone post some info about them please? (Or a link to that info.)




Post# 1187717 , Reply# 7   8/16/2023 at 10:19 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
Early BD drain..

I saw a POD from about 1943 showing a prototype WP automatic that had a solenoid actuated clutch on a centrifugal drain pump.I noticed a turbine type pump on some very early production BDs from the early 1950s and possibly a reversing motor was used ?

Post# 1187719 , Reply# 8   8/16/2023 at 10:39 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Adding an electric drain pump to a 53 whirlpool

combo52's profile picture
Hi Paul, your machine would not have a solenoid to activate the drain pump, it does have a roller which pushes the belt against the water pump pulley, which is activated by the agitate cam bar.

If the machine has or originally had a suds saver it may have a solenoid to activate the suds return pump.

It would be best if you could provide a picture of what system your washer uses as the pump situation in Whirlpool belt drive machines changed five times until and including 1956 models.


Post# 1187910 , Reply# 9   8/18/2023 at 10:54 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
It has the Suds-Saver option

paulg's profile picture
Good catch. I’ll try to get a pix of the mech.

Post# 1187911 , Reply# 10   8/18/2023 at 11:12 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Looking at the early service manuals Paul the only pump that was solenoid operated was the suds return pump, the drain pump was still moved against the belt by the agitate cam bar, so yet is appears you will need a reversing relay to install an electric pump.

Post# 1187970 , Reply# 11   8/19/2023 at 12:16 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture

>> Hi Paul, I usually use GE Washer Pump WH23X10030

In your experience, are the duty cycle limits printed on the labels accurate? I remember looking at universal (or repurpose-able) washer pumps a year or so ago, and thinking that many of them seemed like even just running two loads back-to-back would be enough to exceed their ratings...

Granted, I was looking at making a Filter-Flo type system for a Maytag at the time... so I needed a pump that could run through the entire wash cycle. This one at (15m ON / 45m OFF) seems to be one of the better ratings...

Post# 1188000 , Reply# 12   8/19/2023 at 21:25 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Adding an electric drain pump

combo52's profile picture
To an early 50s whirlpool washer, hi Paul, I would just wire the pump to the main motor so that the drain pump would be on whenever the washer motor runs, then add a relay powered by the control magnet for the agitation, so whenever the controlled magnet is energized, it will interrupt the power to the drain pump. The only time the drain pump doesn’t need to be on is during agitation.

It might be harder to install the drain pump usually these early 50s whirl pools. The hose coming down from the outer tub is hard as a rock and will probably crumble, you may have to replace that hose when you’re adapting to an electric pump.


Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy