Washing Machine Leaking From Door? (here’s why & what to do)

If you discover a leak under your washing machine it can feel devastating. You start asking yourself questions like will it flood the house? And your mind starts creating lots of disaster scenarios.

Of course a leaky washing machine could be disastrous, but now you’ve discovered the leak, at least you can do something about it. In this article we’ll look at what to do if you discover the leak is coming from the door of your front loading washing machine. We’ll tell you why it’s leaking and what to do about it.

If the leak is not visible on the door of your machine, you’ll need to determine exactly where the leak is coming from before you can fix it.

How To Check Exactly Where The Leak Is Coming From?

As your washing machine is sitting on the floor, it can be difficult to see exactly where the leak is coming from. Obviously, if you can actually see water running from the door area and dripping from the bottom edge of the machine, it’s something to do with the door. However, water leaks can be tricky to pin down.

The best way we’ve found is to place a sheet of newspaper under the machine before you run a wash cycle. Then watch for the whole of the cycle and observe where the newspaper gets wet.

  • Newspaper Wet On The Left
    If the paper is only wet on the left side, then the leak is likely to be coming from one of the following; The water fill valve, the fill hoses connected to the fill valve, the soap dispenser box or the soap dispenser hose.
  • Newspaper Wet On The Right
    If the newspaper is only wet on the right side, then the leak is likely to be coming from; The drain hose, sump hose, pump, pump filter, drum or door seal.
  • Newspaper Wet In The Middle
    If the newspaper is only wet in the middle, then the leak is likely to be coming from the door seal or the drum.

For the sake of this article, let’s assume we’ve checked everywhere and discovered the leak is coming from the door. Obviously if the water is running down the front of the machine from the door you needn’t have bothered with the whole newspaper thing. However, as the machine is vibrating and shaking about, it could spread water underneath the machine so it’s always best to be thorough when you’re checking for leaks.

It is possible for water to leak from the soap dispenser drawer and run along the edge of the control panel before running around the door and then dripping onto the floor. But if you’ve determined that the water is actually leaking from the door, keep reading.

What Causes The Door To Leak?

Washing Machine

This is a question we often get asked and some of the answers might surprise you. Let’s look at the reasons why washing machine doors leak. It could be;

Something Caught Between The Door Glass And The Seal

This is the most common cause of washing machine doors leaking. Some foreign body gets caught between the glass door and the seal? We hear you ask, but wouldn’t I notice it? Surprisingly the answer is no, not always.

You see, the object could be as small as a small clump of hair (either pet hairs or human hairs) which cause just enough of a break in the seal to create a leak. In other cases it could be grit, sand, undiluted detergent, cotton,or any number of minute particles which do just enough to break that seal.

The remedy is a simple one, just ensure the area around the door glass is perfectly clean, take a lint-free cloth or even some kitchen towel and wipe all round the area ensuring you cover the whole surface to remove all of the dirt, grime, hairs, or whatever is there.

Rubber Seal Is Damaged

If you’ve checked all round the door and there was nothing caught there, the next thing to check is the rubber seal itself. These can often get small pieces broken off which look harmless enough but can be the cause of the leak. In other cases, the rubber is all there but parts of it have become hard or out of shape.

It could also be that the seal has a small hole under the outer flange. To check this, pull back the flange carefully and inspect all the way around from top to bottom. Remove any sludge or mould you find and inspect closely for any small (or not so small) tears, rips or holes in the rubber.

It is possible for the hole to be right at (or near to) the top of the rubber seal and only leak at certain times during the wash cycle or when the drum is overloaded.

Faulty Door Catch

This is uncommon on modern machines as many will not operate if the door is not completely closed. However, on older models, if the door wasn’t shut completely, the machine would still operate and cause the door to leak.

If you have an old machine, it is possible to replace the door lock assembly but you might do better investing that money in a new machine.

Can The Rubber Seal Be Repaired?

It is possible to make a temporary repair using a bicycle puncture repair kit, but this is not going to last for long (if at all). Plus to effect a decent repair, you’d need to remove the whole of the rubber seal from the machine which involves removing panels from the machine and if you’re going to put in all of that effort, you might just as well buy a new rubber seal and be done with it.

So it’s a replace more than a repair and if you do decide to replace the rubber seal, we’d recommend calling in a washing machine technician. An engineer is skilled at removing and replacing door seals and will ensure firstly that the leak is coming from the seal and secondly that the new seal is fitted correctly and doesn’t leak.

How To Lengthen The Life Of The Door Seal

To keep your washing machine’s door seal in good condition, you should;

  • Check the seal regularly
  • Remove all sludge, mould, and anything else from around the seal
  • Check the pockets on your laundry before washing
  • Remember to wipe around the door glass

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my washing machine leaking from the bottom of the door?

If your washing machine is leaking from the bottom of the door, it’s likely to be the door seal that’s leaking. Over time these can become hard or damaged due to small objects like nails, screws etc getting caught in the machine. The first thing to check is the door seal. It might just be hair that is caught in the seal or the glass door is dirty and this can sometimes cause the leak. Give it a good clean and see if that solves it.

Can you replace a washing machine seal yourself?

It is possible to replace a washing machine door seal yourself, but it involves a lot of time and effort. On many machines you’ll need to remove some of the panels and then you’ll need to ensure you replace the seal correctly as you could cause more problems than you’re attempting to solve.

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a washing machine?

Whether it is cheaper to repair or replace a washing machine depends on how much the repair will cost and how old the machine is. In many cases a major repair can cost nearly as much as a new machine.

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