empty water on tumble dryer

Tumble Dryer Keeps Saying “Empty Water” – Causes and Solutions

There are several reasons why a tumble dryer may display the error message “empty water” during or after a cycle. 

Below, you can find some solutions to this error message and its causes. If you don’t find the solution to your tumble dryer issues below, it might not be a simple fix, so you may need to call in a tumble dryer repair specialist.


Cause 1: Clogged Filter

dirty dryer filter

Tumble dryers have a few filters dotted around the machine. And, while most tumble dryer manufacturers put filters in easy-to-reach places, the location of the filters do differ from machine to machine.

Therefore, we can’t tell you exactly where your filters are located, but common places are the inside lip of the tumble dryer and the bottom of the machine near the condenser.

If the filter is clogged, the “empty water” error message can show, as the clog can prevent water from reaching the reservoir. Emptying and cleaning the filter will solve this issue.


Cause 2: Full Water Reservoir

full condenser dryer water tank

The most obvious cause of the “empty water” error message is that the water reservoir is full and needs to be emptied.

The water reservoir on most condenser tumble dryers is located on the top right of the machine. Open the drawer, remove the reservoir, empty it, pop it back in, and the message should disappear.


Cause 3: Water Reservoir Misalignment

If you have already emptied the water reservoir and the message is still showing, you may find that the water reservoir wasn’t aligned correctly when you put it back in. Double-check that the water reservoir is seated properly. If it isn’t, aligning it properly may solve the issue.


Cause 4: Leaking Drain Hose

installing dryer drain hose

If you’ve added a drain hose to your condensing tumble dryer, it might have come loose. If this is the case, the tumble dryer may now be using the water reservoir instead.

Simply reattaching the drain hose and emptying the water reservoir should solve the issue.

This can be somewhat fiddly to check and will almost certainly involve pulling the tumble dryer away from the wall, so ask for some help if needed.


Cause 5: Blocked Valve

Lint and hair can reach the valve on the condenser as the condenser reuses the air it pumps around the tumble dryer. If this is the case, you’ll need to clean the valve. Thankfully, this is located within relatively easy reach under the condenser panel.

Emptying the lint tray in your tumble dryer regularly should also stop this from happening again in the future.


Cause 6: Faulty Water Reservoir Sensor

dryer water reservoir faulty

The water reservoir on your condenser tumble dryer has a sensor, and this sensor is what brings up the error message.

As the water level in the reservoir rises, the sensor sees this and displays the “empty water” message when you need to empty it.

If this sensor is faulty, it can display the “empty water” error message even when the water reservoir is empty.

Whether or not you can find a new sensor depends on the age of your washing machine and the manufacturer of it, but it is best to speak to a repair specialist about this.

You may find that you can run the tumble dryer with a faulty sensor, just make sure to empty the water reservoir after each load.

We hope this look at the “empty water” error message on tumble dryers has been helpful.

For more info about tumble dryers, as well as lists of the best tumble dryers in the UK, please explore In The Wash further.