What is it? Where is it?
The pump filter is responsible for protecting the pump from a build-up of lint and other obstructions. It should have a retractable pipe at the side so that you can drain the water. The filter is either obvious at the front, or hidden behind the kick-strip at the front of the washing machine (if fitted). Be careful because they are often flimsy and brittle, and therefore break easily.
How do I take out my pump filter?
The filter should unscrew anti-clockwise. If there is something stuck in it (e.g. a bra wire) it might be jammed. In that case, remove the main sump hose leading into the pump and retrieve the obstruction from there.
Ps.: Make sure you have a large towel to catch water and don't take it out at all if the washing machine still has water in the drum.
How do I clean my pump filter?
If there is a clear obstruction such as a sock, or a build-up of linen, clean it all out and refit the filter. Check for leaks when the machine is running.
If you can't see anything obvious, shine a torch into the pump and look for something that could have jammed the impeller. Use a small screwdriver to turn it. Watch out for rubber bands wrapped underneath the impeller making it too stiff for the pump to run.
You can try running the washing machine on drain or spin with the filter out and check to see if the impeller is turning or attempting to turn.
No pump filter?
Some washing machines may not have a filter. In that case the blockage will be in the sump hose, inside the pump itself, or in the drain hose.
These DIY tricks, brought to you by Ariel, will help you handle the problem most of the time, but it is handy to have the number of a washing repair man too, because sometimes your machine needs professional help, too.