4 Reasons Why Washing Machines Leak When Not In Use

Tired of the puddles around your washer? Learn how to find the culprit and give it the boot.

When washing machines are turned off and they leak, the problem is usually caused by a leaking pump, faulty fill valves, incorrect hose connection, and a defective tub seal.

Having water on the floor is not just messy, it can be potentially dangerous. Learn why your washer is leaking and what you can do to fix and prevent it from happening again.

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4 Reasons Why Washing Machines Leak When They Are Not Being Used

When water pops up unexpectedly, serious issues are sure to follow. In this case, your appliance can develop water damage and rust. Your floor can also sustain too much moisture and if the puddle is large enough on a tiled floor, people can slip and fall. 

Needless to say, the moment you notice that your washing machine is oozing H2O, you must track down the cause as quickly as possible. Here are the four main reasons to look at first.

  1. The washer has a leaking pump.
  2. The fill valves are defective.
  3. The hose is loose.
  4. The tub seal is no longer working properly.

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What Precautions Should I Take Before Investigating My Washer?

Calling a professional repair guy is a good precaution! But if you have some experience with DIY fixing around appliances, then you probably already know the main rules:

  • Switch off the washing machine and disconnect it from all power points before you start.
  • Make sure that the washer does not contain any water.

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The Washer Has A Leaking Pump

The purpose of the water pump is to force water from the tub into the disposal hose. Wear and tear can cause it to spring a leak. It can also be caused by faulty hoses. 

The most common sign that your problem is a leaking pump? The fact that the puddle is right under your washing machine. Other signs also include a lot of noises that should not be there and the washing machine might also be shaking a lot during a cycle. 

A faulty pump needs to be replaced. The process is pretty straightforward if you have some experience with fixing large appliances. 

Step 1: Ensure that you have enough space to work with and put down towels on the floor to catch any water spills.

Step 2: Clamp the hose to minimize additional leaks while you work.

Step 3: Find the pump on your washing machine. The location will differ based on the make and model of your appliance. 

Step 4: Do a visual check. Assess the pump and the connected hose for damage or obstructions. The latter can be removed with pliers.

Step 5: Disconnect all the hoses from the pump and remove the screws holding it in place. 

Step 6: Remove the pump carefully from its place.

Step 7: Replace it with a new water pump by reversing the steps you took to remove the old one. 

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The Fill Valves Are Defective

These valves are important. They link hoses to the washer and controls the flow of water into the machine. Besides leaking, how else can you recognize that the fill valves are faulty? Other signs include filling issues. Your machine struggles to fill with water – or plain refuses to fill up at all. 

A broken or faulty valve must also be replaced. The technique will differ depending on the make and model of your washing machine but the following steps are basic to all of them. 

Step 1: Make sure the washer is disconnected from all power points.

Step 2: Also, turn off your home’s water supply valves to prevent an accidental flood in your home.

Step 3: Get a bucket ready to catch any water that might spill from the supply hoses.

Step 4: Disconnect the supply hoses from the washing machine and quickly tip them into the bucket to catch any water they might contain.

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4 Reasons Why Washing Machines Leak When Not In Use

Step 5: Do a quick check to see if there are obstructions in the filter screens of the valves. If this is the issue, carefully remove the screens and clean them.

Step 6: If the screens are not clogged, then you must test the valve solenoids with a multimeter. If the reading shows no resistance then the valves are faulty. 

Step 7: Replace the water valves as specified by your washing machine’s make and model. Look for the model or make numbers on the valves in case you want more information.

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The Water Hose Is Too Loose

The water hose feeds that H2O into your washing machine. Most of the time, they work without a problem but when they are too loosely attached to faucets or other connections, then a leak is inevitable. A loose hose needs to be inspected and fixed as soon as possible. When left for too long, you could end up with disastrous water damage.

  • Inspect the seals or washers for damage and wear and tear. If you notice that they no longer look good, then they are probably allowing water to seep through. The washers need to be replaced.
  • Check to see if the hoses are loose at the connections. This is a common problem. The vibrations of a cycle can eventually rattle the hoses so much that they come loose. The good news is that you can fix the leak by simply tightening the connections. Do this for all connections on the wall and the washing machine. 
  • Assess the water hoses themselves for damage. Over time, wear and tear (or something else) can harm the pipes, causing them to spring a leak. They will have to be replaced and when you do so, find a more durable type of material like stainless steel braided hoses.

The Tub Seal Is No Longer Working Properly

The tub seal is the primary seal and located in the outer tub. As its name suggests, it seals the water inside the tub to prevent water from spilling everywhere. When the seal is defective, it can definitely – and more commonly – leak when the washing machine is in use. However, it is not unheard of that the seal can also leak water when you are not using the washer. 

Most people who have DIY experience prefer to replace the tub seal themselves. Left to a professional, it can get pricey. If this is your first attempt, the following steps are guidelines but do yourself a favour and also research the replacement procedure based on the model of your washer.

Step 1: Once again, make sure that the washing machine is not connected to any water or power sources. 

Step 2: Disconnect the water hoses from their connections and drain any remaining water into a bucket. 

Step 3: Unscrew the control panel (if necessary). 

4 Reasons Why Washing Machines Leak When Not In Use

Step 4: Use a putty knife to lever the control panel upward until it can be removed.

Step 5: Disconnect all wiring between the control panel and the washing machine.

Step 6: Use a screwdriver’s tip to reach the washer’s cabinet clips through openings in front of the control panel. 

Step 7: Release the spring clips, tilt the cabinet forward and remove it from the washer. 

Step 8: Release the water-inlet spout near the back of the tub and remove the hose. 

Step 9: Remove the detergent dispenser, agitator, tub nut and tabs holding the tub ring in place. 

Step 10: Pull out the tub ring and remove the inner drum from the washing machine.

Step 11: Lift the drive block off the shaft and unhook the brackets fitted to the outer tub. 

Step 12: Remove the upper drain hose.

Step 13: Lift the outer tub off the shaft and remove the old tub seal.

Step 14: Replace with a new seal and install everything back the way it was.

A Quick Summary On Washers That Leak When Not In Use

  • A leaking washing machine is never normal.
  • The four main causes include a loose water hose, faulty valves, a damaged tub seal, and a faulty pump.
  • Fixing these issues might require the assistance of a professional.