How To Repair A Washer That’s Leaking - Washing Machine Repair
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How To Fix A Leaking Washing Machine

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  • Rated as EASY
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The hoses are the most likely origin of a leak on a washer. There will be fill hoses to bring water in to the machine, connecting up to the main water supply for your house. These normally come into the washer at the back, so look there to see if the faucet is what’s leaking, or if the hose is threaded on crooked or loose. Also back there is the drain hose for letting water out of the machine. Check the connection, check along the length of the hose for holes, and examine the juncture of the hose with the drain for your house. Sometimes the water’s really coming from a backed-up household drain, expelling water out the standpipe. Please note: trying to seal the washer drain hose onto the standpipe will cause more problems than it will solve. If no external hoses are leaky, check the hoses that move water within the washer. If your leak happens during the fill cycle, unplug the washer and take off the top or cabinet to examine the hose that joins the inlet valve with the tub. Is it cracked or abraded? You might also check for leaks in parts near the water inlet, like a siphon break or the assembly for the tub injection. Another possible cause for leaks during the fill cycle is the area around the detergent dispenser, since some front-loading washers send the water in through there. Does your leak happen during the wash or drain cycles? Then the area to check is the hose connecting the tub to the pump, likely to be found behind the front panel, behind the rear panel, or inside the cabinet. Find out if threads or clamps are corroded or loose, and check the hoses themselves for cracks or holes.


If your machine leaks during the wash cycle or drain cycle, the drain pump may be the source. Depending on your exact model, a belt could drive the drain pump, the drain could have an electric pump, or the pump could be direct drive. In any case, the drain pump will be connected to an outlet hose and get water from the tub via an inlet hose. There may also be an outlet for a circulating hose. Unplug the washer and find the drain pump behind the front or back panel, connected to the drive motor or base frame. If none of the hose clamps are loose around the pump and none of the hoses are leaky, then you may need to replace the pump itself.

Tub Cover Gasket

A washer that leaks during the cycles for washing or spinning may need a new tub cover gasket. Unplug the washer, lift the top or take off the front panel, and look for water stains or detergent residue on the seal that separates the outer tub from the tub cover. The tub cover gasket goes around the top of the tub.

Water Inlet Valve

When the leak is from the back of the washer during the fill cycle, you can check the water inlet valve for tight hose connections and clamps, and for cracks or damage to the valve itself. You’ll find the water inlet valve at the back of the washer; just unplug the machine and take off the rear panel or lift up the top. Replace the valve if need be, and tighten up those hoses and clamps.

Bellows or Door Boot Seal

A leak in the area of the door on a front load washer might signal a tear in the bellows (or door boot seal) that keeps water from the outer tub from spilling out the door. Anything sharp that’s fallen out of the pockets of your clothes could have torn the bellows, or they may have cracked due to age and wear. Use a flashlight and some caution to check for sharp items lodged in the bellows, or the tears they’ve left. If you need to replace a torn or worn bellows, unplug the washer, remove the front panel and door assembly if need be, and install a new bellows.

Water Level Switch or Pressure Switch & Air Dome Tube

Sometimes a defect in the devices used to measure the water level can cause your tub to overfill during the fill cycle. Here’s how the water level is measured: there’s an air dome tube or hose hooked up to the tub. The water pressure in your filling tub compresses the air in this tube. When the tub is full enough, the air in the tube pushes against a diaphragm at the water level switch. And the water level switch then turns off the inlet, stopping the flow of water. A leak or restriction in the tube ruins this process because the pressure in the tube never gets strong enough to push the diaphragm in the switch. A flaw in the switch itself could also mean that the water inlet valve doesn’t get turned off. Start your diagnosis by unplugging the washer and finding the air dome tube that runs between the tub and the water level selection dial behind the control panel. Take the hose off and put it under water, pinching one end closed and blowing into the other to check for air bubbles. Is the tube blocked with something? Look through the tube with a flashlight or feel along its length. And check for cracking or worn spots. When the air dome hose is OK, check the water level switch to. If yours is an electronically controlled washer, the water level switch could be under the tub in the neighborhood of the sump.

Door Catch

If you have a front-loading washer, the door catch is essential for holding the door closed and keeping water inside the machine, and to prevent the door from opening during operation. But sometimes a door can lock even when it isn’t completely sealed against leaks, such as when the door catch is worn or distorted. So check the catch on the door and replace it if bent or worn.

Tub Seal or Boot Seal

Is your washer leaking during the fill cycle or at agitation time? At the entry point of the transmission shaft (or the basket shaft) into the washer’s tub is a tub seal to prevent leaks and also damage to the main tub bearing. You can check if the tub seal is in need of replacement by watching that area during an actual fill cycle. Take off the front panel, or if it’s a front-loading washer, the rear panel. Then, without touching the washing machine, observe the place where the shaft of the transmission comes into the tub and the weep holes at the housing of the rear bearing. If there’s water leaking, unplug the machine at the end of the cycle, take the tubs apart and out of the washer, and replace the tub seal.

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