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You were on the right track, there is definitely a clog. That is the only thing that would create this scenario. So to start, pull the dispenser out as far as you can. There is a plastic locking tab you can push down on at the back of the dispenser. Push this down and the drawer will pull all the way out so you can see if anything is blocking the outlet near the back. If not, then pull the entire washer forward. There are 2 or 3 screws coming in from the back of the top panel. Remove these screws and the top panel will pull straight back, up, and off. Now you can disconnect the hose between the tub and the dispenser and look for anything inside the hose blocking the water from draining. Usually there is a bleach cap insert or a detergent cap insert or something like that.
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You need to remove the large accordion hose coming from the dispenser to the outer tub. It's about 2 or 3 inches in diameter. yes, the clamps are difficult to remove, but that is the only way to remove the hose and remove the blockage.