This is pure nightmare material. You put on a load of laundry, leave it going and come back ready to hang it up or tumble dry and are instead met with a pool of water in front of your washing machine.
Not only does this mean redoing all that laundry, but you now also need to spend time (and maybe money) diagnosing and fixing your washing machine.
Some newer models can be pretty complex and this makes it harder to do this all yourself, but it’s not impossible.
Leaks from underneath the washing machine can be quite common and are usually caused by damaged water pumps or hoses. Some of the fixes can be quite involved, requiring professional assistance in many cases. It can be beneficial to investigate the problem yourself, as it can be possible to fix it by yourself.
In this post, we’ll look at the different causes for a washing machine leak, how to identify what the issue might be and how to fix it yourself if that’s possible.
What Could Cause a Washing Machine Leak
As you can probably guess, a washing machine (like many kitchen appliances) is filled with a lot of different components and it only takes one of these to fail before your machine is out of action.
Because of this, there are several different potential causes for a leak in your washing machine.
Hosing: These hoses run from the water pump and control the drain and fill parts of your cycle.
An old hose can start to perish, leading to leaks of water from the front or back of the washing machine.
This can also happen if the hose is simply loose. A loose connection can easily begin to leak water. Hosing at the drain part of the washing machine should have a clamp holding it in place and preventing this.
Water pump: This is connected to the hoses mentioned above.
A fault in the pump can cause a leak, though a clogged connecting hose can also cause the pump to malfunction.
The pump is located at the bottom of the washing machine and if this is the cause there will usually be a lot of shaking and rumbling.
Clogged filter: This part is just like the lint filter in tumble dryers, and just like them, is prone to clogging over time after repeated use.
If the filter is clogged you will start to see different fibres from previous washes end up in your newly washed laundry.
Not only that, a clog serious enough will eventually lead to a leak in the washing machine.
Newer models may not include this part, also called a catch basket and they tend to be more prevalent in top loading washing machines which use agitators rather than drums.
Oversudsing: If you happen to use too much detergent, or even the wrong type of detergent for your washer, then this can happen.
This will cause a huge amount of foam in the washing machine, which can lead to leaking as the water level sensor will have an incorrect reading.
Most manufacturers will recommend an amount of detergent or a type that is most compatible with their appliance so it’s always best to check if you’re doing it right.
So as you can see, there are a lot of different things that can lead to a leak in your washing machine.
Identifying which one is the problem can be tricky, but there are some general troubleshooting tips you can use.
How to Identify the Cause of a Leak
The first step in identifying the cause of a leak is to locate the source of the leak.
Whether the water is coming from the front, back or bottom of the washing machine will tell you which component is most likely.
To do this, you’ll need to move the washer away from the wall (get someone to help you with this) and then start the cycle.
This will let you see if there are drips coming from where the hoses connect to the back of the appliance.
If not, then you’ll need to go further into the washing machine itself.
There is usually an access panel at the back of the washing machine that you can unscrew or pop open.
Again, while the machine fills with water, look for any signs of leakage in this area you can now see.
It’s a good idea to check this area during other stages of the cycle as well to be sure.
If neither of these yield results then you can start troubleshooting specific parts.
As above, if a clogged filter or catch basket is the issue, then you’ll be able to find this in your washer and see for yourself if it is blocked.
This causes water to leak from the bottom of the washer, so this is a good place to start.
You can also check every hose you come across. If any of them are bent or kinked, or old enough that cracks have started to appear then there’s a good chance that they are the cause of the leak.
Checking the door catch is an easy way to see if water is coming out the front of your machine.
If the door is not shutting properly, then water will start to seep through, even if the machine thinks it is locked.
How to Fix it Yourself (If Possible)
For many of these issues, there are some fixes available, most of these come down to proper maintenance of your machine.
Before attempting any fixes inside the machine itself, always disconnect it from the mains to avoid any safety hazards.
Avoid overloading and make sure you use the correct amount of detergent.
Replacement hoses can usually be bought from the manufacturer and they are easy enough to replace yourself, provided you have worm drive clamps as these are the best for hosing connections.
A screwdriver will help you get these clamps in position properly.
If the issue is with one of the more complex components, such as the water pump, it is possible to replace this yourself, but the part can sometimes be so expensive that it isn’t worth it at all.
If in any doubt, call an engineer from the company to come and fix the issue for you.
If the water leak has occurred overnight, then your best option is to call someone as well, since there is no telling how long the water may have sat there and water damage can often be quite serious.
So if you have a leaky washing machine, those are some of the things you can do to fix it.
The first step is always to try and identify where the leak is as that will help you narrow down what the cause is.
In most cases it’s probably best to call the company and have an engineer sort it for you, as they are trained professionals.
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