5 essential repair tips when faced with a washing machine leaking
There are many places a washing machine can leak from but most tend to come from the same few places. This article gives tips and advice before beginning troubleshooting and links to in-depth articles about leaks from specific places. Some leaks are intermittent, or only occur at certain parts of the programme, or with certain loads inside. The key to finding the cause is good observation, so try to note where the water is coming from and exactly when on the programme cycle it appears.
If you have a leaking washing machine, and you want a rough idea where it's coming from, shove some newspaper underneath the front at the bottom. You can do this before even pulling the machine out to get clues on where to look if you decide to delve inside or for reporting to an engineer. The slightest drop will give a clue where the water is leaking from. Is it starting at the back, the left or right side? Pull the sheet out regularly to check for water leaks before the water just saturates it and no longer gives a clue to the position. I always found it aided spotting small leaks when I was observing from the back with the back off too especially on certain floors which didn’t show small pools of water up easily. (This will not work if your washing machine has a closed base at the bottom – check first)
WARNING: Don't get electrocuted trying to witness a leak. It's dangerous running the washing machine with the top or back off. It’s particularly dangerous with water on the floor! Unplug the machine before looking inside to try and source a leak.
Water can run round things and drip onto other parts. Be careful with your diagnosis as water dripping from a hose at the bottom could actually just be water running off it leaking from somewhere else higher up. An example of this is water apparently coming from the bottom of the door which is really coming from the soap dispenser drawer.
Leaks often leave marks, so it's possible to see something has been leaking even without witnessing it. Often, soap suds come out with the leaking water and leave white trails when it dries up. Rust is also a good indicator of a water leak too. However, if you have had a previous leak cured, the "evidence" of a leak may still be present so be sure you don't blame a part that was repaired in the past.
Test for leaks with a normal wash load inside. For various reasons there are leaks which only happen when laundry is inside. It’s possible to watch a machine go through a full cycle empty and not a drop come out, but with laundry inside it could pour out.
Washing machine leaking from specific places
- Leaking from door
- Leaking from soap drawer
- Soap suds foaming out of washing machine
- Leaking from a crack in outer drum
- Leaking from underneath, when not in use, or intermittently
- Leaks on spin
Try to turn off the taps to the washing machine when not in use to prevent leaks which may happen overnight or when you are out. It’s not always practical or even possible depending on how it’s plumbed in but at least try to turn the water off if you are leaving the house for any length of time such as a weekend away or holiday – Should you turn the water taps off when washing machine or dishwasher is not in use?
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