Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking?

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Your washing machine is an integral part of your home, yet it is often taken for granted! You probably put a load of washing into it every day and simply expect it to get on with its job.

The first automatic washing machine for home use arrived on the market in 1937. The principle behind the machines remains the same today.

Fortunately, this means that the reasons for it leaking also remains the same! In most cases you should be able to spot the problem and rectify it yourself. Before we call the plummer let’s check these ideas first.

Fancy Detergents

Despite what you may have heard using specially formulated laundry detergent does not cause your machine to leak.

However using too much detergent can! Excess suds created can partially block the pipes in the machine. This causes slow drainage which is an issue when the machine is spinning. The excess water is forced out through any exit it can find; leaking onto your floor in the process.

The bigger issue is that this creates the opportunity for leaks which are likely to become worse over time.

Pipe Work

It is important to check the pipe connections to your machine. They may simply be loose or the washer may have deteriorated.

It is worth noting that 78% of plumbing issues are actually caused by supply line faults.

You should be able to see the issue at the back of your machine as the supply pipe will be wet and possibly dripping.

The solution is surprisingly simple. Switch off the water supply to the machine and disconnect the pipe. You can then either replace the washers or the pipe to prevent the leak from reoccurring.

There is also a drain hose at the back of the machine. This should be connected to your mains drain system. However, sometimes the pipes are simply located in the drain pipe and not secured. This can cause them to move and leak.

Dripping water leaks may seem small but they can cause a lot of damage to your flooring and other areas of your home. The quicker you deal with it the better.

Door Seal

This is another area where age is often a factor. The door on your machine will be opened and closed many times every day. This places pressure and causes wear on the seal round the door.

Look at it closer for any signs of cracking. You should be able to slide the seal off and replace it with a new one.

Internal Issues

If you are a little mechanically minded then it is worth turning the water and electric supply off to your machine and removing the back cover.

You should then be able to trace the pipes through the machine.

The pump is a common point of issue; check it thoroughly to ensure it is dry. It is also worth looking at the water level switch; especially if the leak occurs when the machine is filling up.

This switch stops the water entering the machine when it reaches the right level; without it the system will overflow. Fortunately, it can be easily replaced.

It is worth checking all the pipe work that you can see in the machine; any of it can perish over time although it can also be replaced.


  • CJ

    Good bit of info here. We bought a new washer machine last year, our old one which was about 13 years old, completely rusted out on the bottom and fell apart. SO I would say depending on where you live, rust could be a huge issue as well.

  • Tamra Phelps

    Oh, boy, I hate when the washer acts up. And if I ever buy a new one, I want an old style top loader with an agitator. The front loaders just don’t get anything clean.

  • Rosie

    This is good information – it isn’t hard to panic when a leak starts. One thing I had read is for newer machines designed for HE detergent, that using regular detergent can cause a fire.

  • Kate Sarsfield

    The reason we moved to Ireland was so that Dad could set up Hotpoint/GEC over here and out first top-loader lasted 37 years! Mind you, an awful lot of that was stubbornness on Dad’s part. Every couple of years we’d arrive home from school to find Dad lying on the kitchen floor with the machine in bits all around him!

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