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Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking?

Is your washer leaking? Here are the top five reasons, plus simple tips on how to fix the most common washing machine problems.

Got a puddle of water on the floor after doing a load of laundry? Don’t panic. It could be a simple problem with a DIY fix. The key to finding the cause of the leak is to try to identify where the water is coming from and exactly when in the cycle it appears, explains Jeffrey McBride, a Sears Home Services laundry expert.

Reasons a Washing Machine Leaks

1. The hoses aren’t secure.

2. The door isn’t fully closed or the door seal is damaged.

3. The water pressure is too high.

4. The dispenser is blocked.

5. You’re using too much detergent.

1. The hoses aren’t secure.

Check your hoses first. The fill hoses are normally located at the rear of the washer. Are the threaded fittings tightened? The drain hose is also located at the rear of the machine and may not be properly installed into the household drain. Verify that the leak is not caused by a restricted household drain that’s backing up through the standpipe.

2. The door isn’t fully closed or the door seal is damaged.

Water coming from the door is the easiest to spot. First, make sure the door is fully closed. Is a sock trapped between the seal and the door? Problem solved. If the door is closed all the way, check the seal itself for erosion or damage. If the seal looks fine, try cleaning it. Bits of cotton, undissolved washing machine detergent, hair and other small offenders can all cause a leak. Use a scouring pad or a similar object to clean the door as well.

3. The water pressure is too high.

When a soap drawer leaks on a front-load washer, it will almost invariably be for one of two reasons: Either the incoming water pressure is too high, causing water to spill over the top, or something is blocking the flow of water. Simple fix? Turn the water pressure down a bit using the tap at the connection point for your washing machine.

4. The dispenser is blocked.

Usually, using too much detergent will cause a blockage in the dispenser drawer, which will, in turn, make the water overflow. Clean the drawer with hot water and a brush.

5. You’re using too much detergent.

If your washer is oversudsing, you’re using too much detergent. Reduce oversudsing with a mixture made from 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar before doing another load with less detergent. About 1 quart of this mixture should dissipate the suds.

These are all relatively easy fixes — but for anything more serious, like internal hose failures, a faulty water inlet valve, a pump issue or seals that need to be replaced, call a service technician to come out and take a look.

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