How to Fix a Leaking Washing Machine

washing machine leaking water on floor

Most days, doing the laundry is a routine affair. Sometimes, though, things don’t go as smoothly as they should — like when you head to the laundry room and step right into an ever-expanding puddle. Uh-oh. Your regular laundry routine has gone quite wrong.

With a little bit of DIY home repairs, you may be able to get your laundry routine back on track. The next time that your washer starts leaking, give these fix-it tips a try.

Inspect the hoses.

Your washing machine has several hoses, and there’s a good chance that one of them is the culprit.

Supply Hoses

First of all, take a look at the hoses that carry the water supply into your washer. Make sure that they’re snugly fitted to the water valves at the wall and to the intake ports on the machine. If there’s a loose connection, tightening it might solve your troubles.

Holes or kinks in the supply hoses could also be the reason for the puddle in your laundry room. In that case, replace the damaged hose.

Drain Hose

The washing machine has another hose that runs out of it. Just like the supply hoses, the drain hose could have loose connections, a hole or a kink.

There may also be a clog in the drain hose that needs to be cleared out so that the wastewater can once again flow freely toward the sewer instead of backing up onto your floor. You should also check for a clog in your pipes.

Internal Hoses

You may need to dig a little deeper into your washing machine. If you remove the washer’s cabinet, you’ll be able to take a look at the hoses that run through the inside of your machine. Be sure to disconnect the power before attempting this step!

You’ll find hoses that carry water to the tub and hoses that carry it away. Check for loose connections, cracks or other signs of a problem. Replace one or more hoses if needed.

Examine the pump.

If hose repair doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to check the washing machine’s pump. Problems with the pump are among the most common reasons that a washer begins to leak.

To view the pump, you’ll need to remove the housing from the washing machine. Always remember to disconnect the power before digging into the inner workings of an appliance.

You may spot a simple fix, like a blocked pump filter. However, it’s also possible that the pump is no longer working properly. Signs of a faulty pump include a loud wash cycle and a rattly machine that rocks and shudders. If your pump is broken, then you’ll need to replace it.

Make sure the washer is sealing properly.

Because water should stay inside the washing machine instead of ending up all over your house, washers are equipped with various seals. If something goes wrong with one of the seals, you could end up with a mess on your hands.

Tub Seal

The washer’s tub seal is located where the transmission shaft meets the tub. It’s also called the boot seal. Leaks that happen during the filling or agitating stages of the wash cycle are often caused by tub seal issues.

To check, take off the front or back panel of your washer (depending on the seal’s location). Keep an eye on the tub seal as the washer fills and agitates. If you spot a leak, you’ll need to replace the seal.

Tub Cover Gasket

Leaks that happen while the washer is mid-cycle, especially during the spin portion, may be caused by a faulty tub cover gasket. This seal is located between the outer tub and the tub gasket.

Once you find the tub cover gasket, see if you can spot any soap or water stains on it. That’s a pretty good indication that your seal needs to be replaced.

Front-loader Door

Front-loading washing machines may have sealing issues related to the door. Drips around the door may point to one of the following problems.

The door boot seal is located between the outer tub and the door. It can also be known as the door bellows. Inspect this seal for tears or other damage that would indicate that replacement is in order. It’s also possible that there’s a loose clamp that needs to be reattached, or there’s residue build-up that should be cleaned.

With a front-loading washer, the door latch might also be to blame. If it comes loose during washing, water can spill from the appliance. A new latch might fix the problem.

Perform a few final checks.

Hopefully, you’ll have found the source of your leak by this point. If not, there are a few more things you could try.

A broken coupler might be the source of your leak. You’ll find this rubber or plastic piece between the motor and the drum. Fortunately, replacing the coupler is usually a pretty cheap fix.

It’s also possible that there’s an issue with your water level switch. If the washer doesn’t receive the signal to stop filling, the machine may overflow early in the cycle. Either the switch itself or its associated air dome tube may need to be replaced.

Some washing machines have a catch filter that can become clogged. It’s often located near the top of the agitator or the drum. Cleaning the filter may solve your problem.

An off-balance washing machine may leak. If your unit rocks instead of sitting firmly on the ground, adjust the legs so that the machine will be more stable.

If you still can’t track down the problem or you need help carrying out the repairs, don’t hesitate to call a pro. A repair person might be able to find and fix your issue in no time so that you can get back to your regularly scheduled laundry routine.