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

If you find evidence of water underneath your washing machine, then you probably have a leak somewhere. Finding out exactly where can be difficult because the water could be showing in one spot but leaking from somewhere completely different. In this article we’ll explain how to find the leak and what to do about it once you do.

Safety First

Always remove your washing machine from the electricity supply before attempting any repair. And only carry out any repair if you are certain of your ability to do so safely.

It’s also worth checking your machine’s warranty, because tampering with your machine could invalidate any warranty you might have.

Check For Track Marks

Water always leaves a mark, either a thin white mineral line or a brown rust line. If you can spot a track mark, then the leak isn’t new but has been leaking for some time and you only just noticed it. 

If you can’t find any track marks more investigation is going to be needed to find exactly where the leak is.

Check The Easiest Places First

It will obviously be easier to check external areas of the machine before delving into the interior of your washing machine. The first place to check is behind the machine. This will probably mean pulling the machine out from the wall which can be a bit of a struggle but it could save you a lot of time.

Inspect the external drain hose for any damage or if it has become loose. To see if the drain hose is leaking, run the machine and see if it seeps any water at all. If so it was probably caused by the drain hose rubbing on the wall because the machine was pushed too far back.

Then check the inlet hose(s) for any leaks or damage. If there is a problem with the inlet hose(s) 9 times out of 10 it will be at the point the hose is connected to the machine. This can often be resolved by retightening the locking nut at the connection.

Sometimes the leak can be caused by the inlet valve. These can become overwhelmed if the water supply is left constantly on when the machine is not in use. 

All of the major washing machine manufacturers recommend turning the water supply to the machine off when the machine is not in use. Failure to do so could invalidate your home insurance.

Where Does The Water Sit (Which Part Of The Machine)?

Knowing the area of the machine the water is puddling at can shorten the time you need to take to find it. This is because various parts are situated at different points on washing machines. For instance;

Water Pooling At The Front Or Back Of The Machine

If you notice that the puddle sits under the front or back of the machine, at first glance all you can tell is that it’s a water leak. But the positioning tells us that it’s probably coming from the water supply hose(s). 

The first thing to do is check that the supply hose(s) are connected properly. If they appear brittle, or rusty, you’ll need to replace them.

It could also be the drain hose which is causing the problem. Drain hoses usually attach using spring clamps which can become loose. Check that the drain hose is secured correctly into the drainpipe and that there’s no blockage or even a kink in the pipe. 

If the machine is brand new, they often come supplied with a drain plug which should be removed before connecting the drain hose.

Water Leaking At The Front Of The Machine

If the water appears to be leaking solely at the front of the machine, it’s likely to be the water pump which is at fault. Check for a leak where the pump’s drive shaft enters the pump casing. Alternatively, if you have recently checked the pump filter, it could be that it hasn’t been replaced correctly. Undo it and do it up again checking for cross threading etc.

Too Much Foam During Washing

If there is too much foam being produced during the wash cycle, this is probably caused by using too much detergent. Or even using the wrong type of detergent for your machine.

Using a standard detergent in a HE washing machine could cause it to create excess foam.

Water Leaking From The Soap Dispenser Drawer

In most cases, if you find that the leak is coming from the soap dispenser drawer, it will usually be caused by not shutting the drawer correctly. Check that the drawer is shut properly before running your machine.

The soap dispenser can easily get clogged up with detergent which can then cause water to leak from the drawer and down either the front of the machine or pool under the drum area. Cleaning the dispenser drawer could be all that’s needed to fix this issue.

In unusual cases, the dispenser drawer itself could develop a crack which can then leak. If this does turn out to be the case, you’ll need to replace the drawer.

Water Dripping From The Seals

Check for water drips around the outside of the door seal on your front loader washing machine. This is especially likely on older machines in which the seals have started to wear. If you have a top loader, check the seals around the air dome and the wash tub.

Washing Machine Door Leaking

The actual door itself could be the cause of the leak. Always ensure you close the door properly and check for any stray items of clothing which could get caught in the door. Other causes could be dirt building up around the seal, the machine not sitting on level ground or the use of too much or the incorrect washing detergent.

Water Leaking Directly Under The Machine

If you can see that the water is leaking directly under the machine, and you’ve ruled everything else out, it could either be the actual water pump is damaged or one of the internal drain hoses is leaking.

Other Causes Of Water Leaks From The Washing Machine

Washing Machine

It is possible to create a problem with water leaking which only happens occasionally. These faults can be hard to diagnose and can take some investigative work on your behalf. They can include;

Overloading The Drum

If you were to put too many clothes or clothes that weigh more than your washing machine’s drum were designed for, it could result in the machine leaking. Heavy wash loads bounce around considerably during the spin cycle which could cause the machine to leak.

Long Wash Cycles

Some wash cycles, in particular, long wash cycles, can cause water to rise higher up the drum which could then allow that water to reach a break in the door seal at a high level. This could go undetected for years if you only used the shorter programs on your machine.

Leaks During The Final Rinse

If the leak only becomes visible during the rinse cycle, it’s likely to be caused by a blocked drain pipe either in the machine or in the wall drain pipe. This can cause the water in the machine to back up and then leak from the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth fixing a leaking washing machine?

If the leak is caused by something simple like a damaged hose, blocked pump filter or a door seal, it is definitely worth fixing a leaking machine. You will need to determine how much the repair will cost compared to the life expectancy of your machine (the average life expectancy for a washing machine is currently 6 years) before you can tell if it would be better to buy a new machine or repair your current model.

Can overloading a washer cause it to leak?

Overloading a washing machine can cause it to leak in some circumstances. It could also damage the machine’s drum bearing.

Can a blocked filter cause a washing machine to leak?

If your washing machine’s pump is blocked it can cause your machine to leak. You need to check the pump filter every 3 months to prevent blockages.

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