WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Leaks in or around your washing machine can occur for a variety of reasons. Old or faulty hardware is likely to blame for these types of leaks. With washing machines, certain leaks can depend on whether you have a top load or front load washer.
Top Load Washer Leaks: A leak in the front could mean the overflow tube is blocked or tilted. Clogs in the overflow tube are usually caused by adding too much detergent. If your home has soft water or uses a water softener, less detergent is needed when doing laundry.
Front Load Washer Leaks: A leak underneath the washer could mean the seams on the outer drum have been compromised and it must be replaced. If the seam itself is leaking, check it for soil or soap residue and clean it more regularly. For both top and front load washers, a leak in the back is likely due to an incorrectly connected drain hose or a blocked drain pipe.
Aside from the various leaks that occur depending on what type of washing machine you have, there are also plenty of leaks that are caused by faulty or old hardware.
Faulty Supply Hoses: To find leaks in the hoses, empty the machine and place it further away from the wall. When beginning the fill cycle, look for drips around the hoses. Hoses can easily be replaced, but if the hose seems in good condition, the washers may be the hardware needing replacement.
Faulty Internal Hoses: If the washer isn’t leaking from the outside, open up the cabinet and check internally for leaks. If water is dripping from the internal hoses, those will need replacing.
Faulty Pump: If the washer is leaking around the pully seal, you will need to replace the pump. The belt may need to be replaced as well if it is severely worn down or burned. Replacing the pump can be done at home, but should be done by a professional if you are unsure of the process.
Broken Tub-Fittings: A faulty tub fitting is the most difficult leak to repair besides needing a new washing machine. Details on these types of repairs depend on brand and model. If your washing machine is leaking from the tub-fittings, it is best to look up your manual online.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT?
Some leaks, such as hoses that need replacing or bolts that need tightening, mean minor repairs that cost little and you can do yourself. Other leaks may be costlier, including the need to hire professionals or buy a new machine.
Massive leaks caused by issues with your washing machine could lead to damage that ruins floors, cabinets, or other items depending on where your washing machine is located in your home. Not only could a leak cause thousands of dollars in home repairs and replaced appliances, but a water leak could damage irreplaceable property such as photos or other mementos.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT IT?
Regularly doing maintenance on your household appliances and checking for spikes in your water bill can prevent leaks and costly damages. However, for the long term, regular maintenance cannot guarantee prevention before a flood occurs and it’s too late.
While you are not able to monitor your home water supply 24/7, there are tools that will do exactly that for you. A leak detection system automatically detects an unusual increase in water usage and alerts you if you may have a leak. It also will automatically shutoff your water if it’s running for an unusually extended period of time. These types of systems can save your home from leaks and floods that are sometimes unavoidable.
Learn more about Preventing Water Leaks in your home.