How To Fix a Leaking Washing Machine (5 Simple Steps)

September 6, 2022
Washer Repair

A leaking washing machine is a common problem and can risk causing damage to your flooring. There are many reasons why a washing machine can leak, and our step-by-step guide will help you identify the source of the problem and fix the leak. 

Before you start, follow these safety precautions:

  • Turn off your washing machine.
  • Turn off the main power to your washing machine.
  • Verify that all of your faucets are closed.

Ensure you have the following:

  • Old towels to soak up any leaks.
  • A bucket in which to drain any excess water.
  • A screwdriver to allow you to remove panels.
  • A bubble level.
  • A multimeter.

Try to identify the source of the leak:

It can be difficult to tell where the leaking water is coming from but try to identify whether the leak is at the front, back, or underneath the machine. This can give you a clue about the nature of the problem. 

Step 1 – Check that the washing machine is level

This is a very easy fix if it turns out to be your problem! By adjusting the washer’s feet, make sure your washer is properly level. 

To be certain, use a bubble level and set it on top of your washer. Given that washers are intended to be used on completely flat surfaces, they may leak water if they are not level. If your washer was not on the level, once you have corrected it, test to see if the leak has been fixed by running a cycle. If it still leaks, move on to the next step. 

Step 2 – Check the drain hose

An issue with the drain hose will usually mean water is pooling at the back of your washing machine. Check to see if the external drain hose hasn’t fallen loose or been punctured. When the washer is placed too close to the wall, the drain hose frequently splits due to the washer’s vibrations.

Run the washer if you can while keeping an eye on the drain hose to determine whether it’s the source of the leak.

  • Pull your washer out from the wall.
  • Check to see that the drain hose is secure.
  • Make sure that the drain pipe is free of splits, tears, and punctures.
  • If the drain hose is dripping, tighten or replace it.

Once your drain hose has been tightened or replaced, that should solve the issue of your leaking washing machine. If you can’t see any issues with the drain hose, move on to the next step in our guide.

Step 3 – Check the seals

A leaking washing machine can be caused by faulty or damaged seals, particularly if you have a front loader washing machine. Because the door of a washing machine is opened frequently, the constant wear and tear can cause damage. A leak in the door seal will usually mean water is pooling at the front of your washing machine. 

In order to check this:

  • Check for moisture or drips around the door of your washing machine
  • Open and close the door. A functional seal should fit tightly against the door. 
  • Check the seal for tears, rips, or bends in the rubber. If there is any damage to the seal it will need to be replaced. You can order a replacement part from your washing machine manufacturer.
  • Check that the seal is not dirty. Sometimes a build-up of lint and grime can mean the door won’t seal properly. If it is dirty, clean it thoroughly with a rag or cloth. 

If the seal was the issue, after it is fixed you can test your washing machine by running a cycle. You should find that the washing machine no longer leaks. 

Step 4 – Check the pump filter

A water pump filter needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent it from becoming clogged and causing leaks. An issue with the pump filter will usually mean the leak will appear underneath your washing machine. 

To check the pump filter:

  • Firstly the washing machine’s access panel must be opened. Typically, it can be found at the base of the front panel. Sometimes the front panel just pops off, sometimes you will need a screwdriver.
  • If you see a small drain hose, start by unplugging it and letting the water drain into a tray or small bucket. Have your old towels on hand in case of spills.
  • To remove the pump filter from the washing machine, unscrew it. Make sure you have something underneath the filter to catch any water that may drain from it, such as some old towels, a tray, or a small bowl.
  • You should remove any dirt, debris, and foreign items from the pump filter and hose. Check carefully for clogs and get rid of any that you detect.
  • Rinse the pump filter. Next, check the filter for any debris, dirt, or hair that you might have missed.
  • With a moist cloth, wipe the cavities and pump filter.
  • Once the drain hoses are reconnected, replace the pump filter by screwing it back into position. Close the access panel to complete.

If the pump filter was the issue, your washing machine should no longer leak. If that did not solve your problem, move on to the next step in our guide.

Step 5 – Check the drain pump

A problem with the drain pump is another frequent reason for a washer to leak. The washer will typically shake and rattle excessively while in use if the drain pump is broken, and your leak will present at the back of the washing machine.

Your drain pump could be electric, direct-drive, or belt-driven, depending on the model. If a foreign object enters the drain pump after passing the washer’s filters, it may cause damage. Due to wear and strain, it may also crack, or a connection may come free. The bearings of the drain pump may also deteriorate.

A slack connection can be made tighter, but a broken drain pump needs to be replaced.

To check the drain pump:

  • Unplug the washer’s electrical and water connections.
  • Remove the access panel.
  • Find the pump. The drain hose, the tub-to-pump hose, and a circulation hose may all be attached to it, depending on the model.
  • Check for cracks and other indicators of damage on the pump and pump hoses.
  • Make sure that the drain pump impeller is turning freely and is not damaged by turning it. Plastic that has broken off and lodged in the pump casing is a sign that the impellers need to be changed as well as the pump.
  • You can also take the drain pump apart and use a multimeter to check for resistance.

If you need to replace your drain pump, you can order a replacement part from the manufacturer.


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