What Causes a Washer to Leak? 5 Possible Reasons

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Research has shown that an average family washes eight loads of laundry every week. This translates to over 400 loads each year—and you depend on your washer to do all this job. This might be the major reason why most washers develop leaks over time—even when we try to keep them in good condition. 

However, most issues that lead to a leaking washer don’t require professional assistance—it’s something you can solve on your own. However, you will need to know where to check to solve the issue. In this post, we shall discuss the possible reasons why your washer is leaking, and help you understand the situation better. 

Understanding the water flow system

The first thing to do when diagnosing a leaking washer is to understand its water flow system. This system starts at the supply valves located in the wall. These valves control the flow of cold or hot water as the machine runs. Typically, the water passes from the valves via two hoses, which lead into the washer through two more valves. In the washer’s interior, some hoses fill and drain the tub. When combined with pumps and motors, these hoses control the water while the washer is in operation. Now, any fault in any stage of the entire process can cause a leak.

5 possible reasons why your washer is leaking

Lose hoses or valves

The first place to start checking is the wall. Carefully inspect the water supply valves located in the wall—they can be next to or behind the washing machine. The water supply valves resemble two metallic taps and mostly have a blue knob for cold water and a red knob for hot water. 

If the valves are wet, there’s a possibility that they have disconnected from their fixtures. However, the highest possibility is that the issue is with the water hoses connecting the washing machine with the supply valves. 

Now, you can trace the water hoses to the back of the washer and make sure that there is no loose connection. In case the water hoses connecting the washer to valves are damaged or have an insecure connection, your washer will start to leak. 

Clogged or unsecured drain hose

Once you establish that the hoses and valves are well secured, check the drain hose, which drains water out of your washing machine. Typically, the drain outlet is found in the same opening as the water supply valve—it’s mostly located between the two valves. However, the drain might be close to the floor in certain models. 

Locate the third pipe coming out of the washing machine, and check whether it has any signs of damage or wetness. If you see signs of damage on the drain hose, it could be the cause of the leak. Also, you should check whether the drain hose is clogged. A clogged drain hose can cause your washer to backup, and this can cause puddles around the washing machine. 

Damaged water level switch

A water level switch controls the amount of water that flows into your washing machine while operating. Basically, it determines when to fill the machine and when to stop. Thus, it’s very easy to know when the water level switch is broken or when it starts to malfunction—mostly, your washing machine will overfill, and this will make it leak. 

Typically, a water level switch in a washer comprises three parts, and this includes an air dome tube and a pressure switch that indicate the water level. In case one of these parts break, your washer will start to overfill or leak. 

Faulty tub cover gasket for a top-loading washer

If your top-loading washer is leaking in the middle of the spin cycle, there’s a chance that the tub cover gasket is damaged. Usually, the tub cover gasket ensures that the tub cover and outer cover are water-tight. Now, if the seal is faulty or loose, water starts coming out at the top of your washer as the machine spins. 

Door boot seal for front-loading washers

If your front-loading washer is leaking the door boot seal might be the culprit. If you don’t know what a door boot seal is, it’s the large, folded rubbery ring, which is found inside the door pocket—the door boot seal is where the door of the washer fits into. 

Now, the door boot seal is responsible for preventing water from splashing out of the machine as it spins. Thus, if the seal is damaged or some of its spring clamps are loose, water will start leaking out of the washer during a wash cycle.  

Bottom Line

According to the experts at Tampa appliance repair, Hartman while some of the causes of a leaking washer require DIY repair, it’s always a good thing to consult a professional appliance repair technician. Yes, some of these issues might appear to be simple—but there might be an underlying serious issue, which requires the attention of a technician.