Why is my washing machine leaking?
Got a leaking washing machine? It can be tricky to diagnose because you might not notice the fault straight away, and water may appear in front of the washer, but the leak causing it is actually around the back. Not to worry! Most washing machine leaks are small, and you may be able to fix them yourself, saving you the hassle, time and money of calling out a professional.
This guide lists the common signs of washing machine leaks, the probable causes and how to go about fixing them:
Step 1: Switch off your washing machine
Step 2: Unplug your washing machine from the mains electricity
Step 3: Make sure your washing machine is on a level surface
Step 4: Make sure all your taps are turned off.
Leaking washing machine symptoms and fixes
1. Washing machine pipe leaking
This one is pretty easy to diagnose if you just pull out your washing machine from the wall and check all the hoses meticulously. If you find your culprit, you just need to replace it with a brand-spanking new one and reattach it securely.
2. Water is pooling at the front & back of my washing machine
Something must be wrong with the water supply hoses:
- Check if your hoses are properly connected.
- If the hoses are brittle or corroded with rust, replace them.
- It’s possible that they may just have a kink in them – so just readjust and try again.
If your supply hoses are fine, then a leak at the front could be a problem with the water pump, usually due to the seals tearing or breaking. Your water pump access panel is at the bottom of the washing machine at the front. Get a tray or towel to absorb any water and place it underneath the pump access panel.
- Open the access panel and if you have a small drain hose to the side, open that into your tray. Some water may flow out.
- Now you can unscrew the larger pump filter.
- Pull out the filter and clear out any debris.
- Look for a possible leak in the pump casing where you’ve pulled out the filter.
- If there’s a leak you might need to investigate getting a replacement water pump or someone to repair it.
3. Water is pooling right underneath my machine
This could be caused by a number of things. The most common cause is the drain hose at the back of your machine. It could be blocked, damaged or disconnected, so investigate it carefully.
If you have a recurring leak that you can’t identify by checking your external supply hoses, pump or filter (read on to find out how to check), you may have to call a professional in.
Warning: Remember to disconnect your machine from the main electricity and water supply before disconnecting any hose or part of your washing machine.
Check for bent or clogged supply or drain hoses
If any of the hoses coming out of your machine are bent or clogged, you straighten it – or unclog it by switching the power and water supply off, then disconnecting and rinsing it under the kitchen or bath tap. If one of your hoses is punctured, ripped or rusted you must replace it.
Check for loose extension hose connections
If you have an extension to any of your hoses, check that the connections are secure – in particular, the clamp can come loose over time, so see if you can tighten it, or it may actually need replacing.
Check the supply hose gaskets
The water supply hose has a gasket on each side, which can come loose after years of use. If it’s your supply hose that’s leaking, you might need to replace the gaskets.
Check to see if your water supply connection is loose
If it’s loose, simply tighten the nut.
4. It might be caused by the rust inside my washing machine
In this case, it’s almost always caused by the drain hose. If it’s not connected properly or is blocked, then rust and mineral deposits start to collect.
- Check the hose is secured properly – it attaches with spring clamps, which can loosen.
- Detach the hose and clean it by running water through it in any sink/basin/bath other than the kitchen sink, you don’t want a flood.
- Brand new washing machines come with a drain plug: don’t forget to remove it before you hook up the drain hose.
5. Water drips or beads near the door seal
If the washing machine’s door is damaged then water can easily leak through, so inspect the door carefully. If you can’t spot a crack or holes in the door itself, then the problem could be the seal.
One of the most common causes of washing machine leaks is the door seal/flange. The door is used a lot so often the seal gets ripped or torn, letting water leak down either inside or externally down the front of the machine.
- On front-loading washers, check for moisture around the outside of the door seal.
- Regularly clean any dirt build-up around the seal – this could cause the door not to shut fully and water to seep through.
- Double-check that the machine is sitting level on even ground.
- When the door is closed, the glass should press against the flange and create a seal. Check for small rips or chunks that have broken off. Sometimes the flange goes sticky, loses its tautness, or goes brittle. If yours isn’t in top condition, it will need replacing.
- Have you ‘oversudsed’? If the water leak is soapy, it might be because you’re in the habit of using too much detergent, so check the dosage and make sure you’re not exceeding it. This will save you money too!
Causes of washing machine leaking
Here are some common causes and some checks you can do to make sure your washing machine is leak-free for longer. Prevention is better than a cure!
Clogged water pump filter
Another big cause of leaks is a clogged pump filter, so it’s wise to clean your pump filter (as described above) every three months through the bottom pump filter access panel.
1. Open the access panel at the bottom/front.
2. If you have a small drain hose, open and drain that into a tray.
3. Now unscrew the pump filter with a towel or tray underneath.
4. You may find foreign objects like buttons or coins in your pump filter – they are the kind of items it’s designed to catch before they enter your drain hose.
5. Clean away any hair or dirt in the pump filter.
6. Rinse it under the tap.
7. Inspect the filter cavity for any more dirt, coins or buttons that are stuck.
8. Wipe the cavity with a damp cloth.
9. Now replace the filter by screwing it back in, and close the access panel.
Do this every three months to make sure your pump filter can do its job.
Imbalanced washing machine
To work correctly your washing machine must stand level. Here’s how to check:
- Gently rock your washing machine back and forth or from side to side. It should stand pretty firm, but if it’s rocking and rolling, your flooring may be uneven, or the washing machine feet aren’t level.
- Get a spirit level to check with more accuracy.
- If the balance isn’t correct, you can adjust the washing machine feet by reaching underneath and finding the lock nuts on the feet.
- Loosen the lock nuts and turn the feet until they’re touching the floor and providing adequate support.
- Then retighten all the lock nuts by hand.
Overloaded washing machine
What’s your washing machine capacity? It’s a great idea to know this information from your manual and to know roughly how much laundry that is – that’s so you can size it up by eyeballing it.
Why you shouldn’t overload your washing machine
If your machine is overloaded, laundry detergent particles can get stuck between the creases of your clothes and they’re not able to be dissolved or rinsed properly, which leaves you having to wash them again.
It’s also a great idea to load your washing machine evenly. If you put in a heavy item such as a coat and nothing else, or a couple of towels and nothing else, they can absorb a lot of water and bang around in the drum, damaging your washing machine over time. So remember to add in several smaller items to even things out.
The detergent drawer is not closed properly
That’s right! If your detergent drawer isn’t closed properly, your washing machine may develop a leak.
Cover your appliances for peace of mind
Your washing machine is such a brilliant workhorse, getting the kind of daily use that naturally leads to wear and tear (and sometimes unexpected faults). If your household can’t live without it, consider getting Appliance Insurance so that you’re always covered should something go wrong. Our Plumbing and Drainage cover also protects you in the event of any plumbing, drainage or water supply pipe problems.
Leaking washing machine FAQs
Why would a washing machine leak from underneath?
This could be caused by a number of things that are easy to check at home:
- Check if the supply or drain hoses are bent or clogged
- Check if the extension hose connection is loose
- Check if the supply hose gaskets are loose
- See if the water supply connection is loose
Is it worth fixing a leaking washing machine?
There are many washing machine leaks that can be fixed at home without calling out an expensive professional. If the leak is caused by a damaged hose, door seal or blocked pump filter, you can certainly fix or replace these yourself.
Can a blocked filter cause a washing machine to leak?
Yes. Your washing machine pump filter needs to be checked and cleaned out every three months to avoid a blockage causing a leak. You’ll find the pump filter inside the pump filter access panel at the bottom front of the machine.
Can overloading a washer cause it to leak?
Yes. Check your washing machine manual for its maximum capacity and size up your laundry so you’re not overloading it.
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