Washing machine leaks from drawer

Leaking from soap drawer

Leaks from drawer

Leaks from drawer

Water can leak out of a washing machine’s soap dispenser drawer – in some cases quite badly. The first thing to do is take note of what the washer is doing when water leaks out in order to help pinpoint the cause. Does it only leak when filling? Is it leaking during wash or rinses? Or is it leaking only when it goes into spin?

Only leaks when filling

  • Water pressure that’s too strong. Some dispensers can’t cope with high water pressure. Make sure the washer is level as one leaning forward can leak if combined with high water pressure. Try turning the tap on the washer down. Only suspect this if you know the water pressure is high and it looks like it’s gushing in quite fast on fill
  • If there is an optional detergent flap fitted in the drawer for holding liquid detergent make sure it is removed or drawn into the up position if using powder otherwise it prevents detergent running down into the drum
  • A build up of grease and slime in the nozzles at the top of the dispenser where the water flows in causing water to spray at the front and run out when filling. Check this article – Black jelly-like substance in soap dispenser and on soap drawer (In extreme cases I've had to replace the dispenser.)
  • A build up of undissolved detergent in the base of the soap dispenser under the drawer (depending on the design). Remove the soap drawer and check the bottom of the soap dispenser for a build up of detergent that could allow water to run over the lip of the dispenser
  • Blocked dispenser hose: Some washing machines can flood water out of the soap dispenser if the hose leading out of the dispenser into the tub gets blocked. Blockages can be something put into the drawer by a child or a chunk of undissolved detergent tablet. Indesit, and Candy, as well as some of the later Hoover washing machines suffered from this design flaw. The hose where the water is flushed down, was right at the front of the soap dispenser on these washing machines and it wasn't wide enough. Undissolved powder from a tablet or lumps of detergent through poor water pressure can block this hose solid causing water to back up. Unplug machine, remove lid and feel this hose carefully for obstructions.
  • Overfilling: If the washer starts to fill and never stops it will flood out of the drawer eventually – Washing machine overfills

Leaks out of drawer during the wash or rinse cycle

  • Too many suds? If you can see the door glass is white with foam up to the top it could be foaming out of the dispenser. Too much foam in the washing machine
  • Overfilling: If the washer starts washing but the water doesn’t stop coming in it will eventually fill the drum so much it will start to pour out of the soap drawer and other places. If this is the fault you should be able to see the drum is so full of water it’s making a different sound, maybe labouring under the load, and the door glass full to the top with water. You should also hear that water is still running into the machine and be able to detect it by opening the drawer. However, in most cases an over filling washing machine should trigger an error code long before it gets to this stage but if you suspect overfilling check this page – Washing machine overfills
  • Surging: There are (often intermittent) faults that can cause the motor to spin out of control on wash or rinses. Instead of turning slowly the fault causes the motor to surge into spin instead which throws the laundry and all the water about violently. Water can then be forced out of the soap dispenser drawer. This fault should be relatively rare these days but if you observe this behaviour call an engineer to diagnose the cause.

Leaks from drawer only when spinning

  • If it only comes out on spin it can be caused by a partial blockage preventing the water being pumped out fast enough resulting in excess water being thrown around on spin and backing up into the dispenser. This fault is similar to the surging fault described in the last list but different in that the problem only occurs when it’s on a proper spin cycle and much of the water has been pumped away. Troubleshooting this fault is all about finding out why it isn’t emptying the water properly which is usually due to a partial blockage. Follow the same troubleshooting as described for a washer not pumping any water out at all – Washing machine won’t empty water
  • If water is being forced out of the drawer when the washer is spinning but it is on wash or rinse and shouldn’t be spinning follow the procedure for surging in the previous section above

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Comments

  1. Great site. Came here to read about reducing inlet pressure to avoid leaks through the soap dispenser. Well, I dont have this problem, but I have reduced the inlet pressure to my machine, by not opening the inlet valve fully. I did this because I was getting water hammer everytime the machine stopped the fill. Reducing the pressure reduced the flow and this has stopped the water hammer. My worry is that because the valve is open only partially that over time the bore hole in the valve could get eroded. Actually, I am considering replacing the valve with a stop cock. I am primarily considering doing this because there is a noticeable sound of gushing water when the machine fills, and as I operate the machine at night, it disturbs my sleep. Do you think it is a good idea to regulate the flow using a stop cock? The same argument could apply to the stop cock in that over time the gushing water will damage the stop cock. Is there any other device that could be used more reliably? I have seen pressure reducing valves but dont know anything about them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. I’ve never known a problem with adjusting a tap to get the right flow of water going through to the washing machine Dougie.

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