Why is my washing machine leaking water?

Updated February 21, 2017

Several things can cause your washing machine to leak water. The most important thing is to troubleshoot the cause to stop the leak and prevent it from reoccurring. Although a leaky washer might initially seem as though your washing machine is shot and needs replacing, in most cases the problem requires only a minor fix.

Defective Hose or Connection Pipe

Most washing machines have two water hoses or connection pipes: one for hot water and the other for cold, which link the tap to the washing machine. They deliver water from the faucet to the washing machine when the machine is turned on. However, if a hose or pipe breaks from wear or becomes detached from the tap or washer, a leak is possible. If you discover water behind your washing machine, inspect the hoses or connection pipes for defects. Either tighten the connections or completely replace the components.

Broken Gasket or Rubber Tub Seal

The gasket and rubber tub seal work to keep water inside the washing machine so it doesn't leak out during the wash and spin cycles. Over time and with repeated washer use, these parts can tear and break. When they do, you might find a puddle of water on the floor near the front or side of the machine, depending on the washer's placement. If you suspect that a worn gasket or seal is the source of the leak, contact a washing machine repair specialist to replace it.

Wrong Detergent

All laundry detergents are not the same. In fact, detergent manufacturers produce soap formulas labelled as high-efficiency (HE) detergents to accommodate front-loading washing machines that use less water than conventional washers. HE detergents produce far less suds than typical laundry detergents without sacrificing cleaning power. If you put in regular washing detergent into a front-loading machine, it will produce too many suds that can spill from the machine onto the floor. Use only HE washing powder in a front-loading washing machine.

Too Much Detergent

If you put too much washing powder into your washing machine, it's liable to overflow and leak from the washer door. Follow directions on the detergent packaging for recommended amounts to use per wash load size. Adjust amounts based on the water quality in your home. For example, soft water needs about half the amount of soap that hard water requires to generate the same amount of soap. Use less detergent in your washing machine if oversudsing is a problem.

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About the Author

Christie Gross has been writing since 1998. Her work writing public policy platforms for elected officials nationwide has been featured in national and local newspapers under various client pen names. Gross has a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware.