What Can Cause a Leak Under a Washing Machine?

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Washing machines are made by many manufacturers and sold with a wide range of features, from basic temperature and time options to more sophisticated steam and sanitize cycles and interactive electronic control panels. Normal operation, care and cleaning should keep most washing machines working well, but if water is leaking underneath the machine, it is necessary to try to identify the source of the problem.

Hoses

  • Examining the hoses in the back of the washing machine will pinpoint a leak at the connection point(s). This water may then pool under the bottom of the washing machine. Put a towel underneath the hoses and disconnect them to look inside for obstructions that may be causing the leak. There should be a gasket in each hose -- replacements are available through the washing machine manufacturer or your local hardware store if it is missing. When you reconnect the hoses, the connection must be firm.

Drains

  • The drains in most households are interconnected, which means that a drainage problem in one area can lead to a leak in another. Examine the drains around the home and clear or clean them as needed. Straighten out the drain hose on the washing machine; it must be connected to the standpipe but not sealed to it. The drain hose should not be raised more than 96 inches off the ground; otherwise, water may run back down into the washing machine and could potentially create a leak.

Detergent

  • If the washing machine is a front-loading unit or an energy-efficient model, using high-efficiency (HE) laundry detergent is important, as regular laundry detergent can create oversudsing in many energy-efficient models. Excess suds can leak from the rear of the washing machine and flow to the front of the unit.

Dispenser Drawer

  • While many people do not think very much about the detergent drawer in a washing machine, it can be a source of leaks. Remove the detergent drawer and clean it out with a clean cloth to remove any clogs. When the drawer is returned to the machine, push the drawer in fully every time the washer is used to help prevent water from leaking onto the floor.

Other Problems

  • If there are repair issues with the washing machine, such as a pump or coupler connection problem, water may leak from the bottom of the machine. Contact a service professional for assistance.

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References

  • Photo Credit Chris Clinton/Lifesize/Getty Images
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