Washing machine (broken?) pump

My washing machine (zanussi zf 400 WN) fills up with water when I run it. I get the feeling that the pump is broken (which makes a loud rattling noise when it should be pumping). Have checked the filter at the front after draining the damn thing a bucket at a time, which was (nearly) clean but that did not solve the problem.
Assuming I'd rather fix this machine myself than to call a mechanic or buy a new one, what would be the best way to proceed? Is the pump probably broken, or just obstructed by something?
Thanks in advance,
Sjoerd
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Sjoerd Arlman wrote:

The rattling noise sounds familiar - my Candy did the same some months ago. For a while it worked ok, but noisily, then occasionally the machine would not drain at all.
It turned out that a supermarket loyalty card, cut into 4 pieces, had got stuck in the blades of the pump. Removing these was a great help, and I got another could of months out of it, before the pump packed in completely.
I got a new one from http://www.sparesrus.co.uk/ , and fitting it was pretty easy. Hardest part was unclamping the drain hose from the pump.
Before I touched the pump at all, I ran the machine with the panels off - just to drain water. This allowed me to check that the sound did indeed come from the pump - though being very careful not to touch anything or put fingers near it.
Ewan
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

With the filter removed, you may be able to see the impellor of the pump. Check that it rotates freely. If it doesn't, there's probably somethink stuck in it - or wound round it. You may be able to free it with tweezers. If not, you'll need to get at it from the bottom (either raise the machine, or tip it on its back or side) and do some dismantling.
If it rotates freely anyway, but still doesn't pump, check the electrical connections to the pump. If these appear ok, remove the pump and connect it directly to the mains. If it doesn't run, it's duff so you need to replace it. If it *does* run, it sounds as if it isn't being powered by the machine when it should be - in which case, you'll need further advice!
--
Cheers,
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