How to Fix Leaking Washer | Washing Machine Repair

How to Fix A Leaking Washer

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If your washer is leaking you should first check the hoses. There are several types of hoses found on a washing machine and the most common are the drain and fill hoses. The fill hoses connect the household supply to the water inlet valve and are normally located at the rear of the washer. Check to make sure that the threaded fittings are tightened securely and that the leak is not caused by the faucet. The drain hose is also located at the rear of the machine and may not be properly installed into the household drain. Verify that the leak is not caused by a restricted household drain that is backing up through the stand pipe. Never seal the drain hose opening in the stand pipe.

Washers will also have internal hoses that connect the inlet valve to the tub. A defect in this hose would create a leak during the fill cycle. Access the tub inlet by lifting the main top or removing the cabinet and inspect the hoses for signs of abrasion or cracking. Also inspect the other components of the water inlet system such as a siphon break or tub injection assembly for signs of a leak. Some front load washers will inject water into the tub through the detergent dispenser and this area will need to be inspected if the leak occurs during the fill portion of the cycle. If the leak occurs during the wash portion of the cycle then the tub to drain pump hose may be the problem. Check for loose or corroded clamps, and cracked or perforated hoses. Removal of the front or rear panels will be required to access this area and some models may require removing the complete cabinet.


The water pump or drain pump is the part on a washing machine that drains the water from the tub. The pump can be either belt driven, direct drive or may be a separate electric pump. The pump will have an outlet or drain hose, an inlet from the tub and may have a circulating hose outlet as well. If you have water leaking from the washer during a wash or drain cycle, check the area of the drain pump. Look for signs of a loose hose clamp or a leaking hose connected to the pump first. If the leak is originating from the pump then a replacement is necessary. The drain pump is normally located on the base frame or attached to the drive motor, and may be accessed by removing the front or rear panel on most washers. Disconnect power to the appliance before attempting service.

Tub Cover Gasket

The tub cover gasket on top load and front load washers is used to provide a seal between the outer tub and the tub cover. If you are experiencing a water leak during the wash or spin portions of the cycle, then the tub cover gasket may be the problem. Look for signs of water leaking or soapy water stains in this area to help diagnose the problem. You will need to raise the top or remove the front panel to view this area. Remove power from the appliance before attempting service.

Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve on your washing machine controls the entry of hot and cold water into your washing machine. This valve is located at the back of your washing machine where the hoses connect and is accessible with the top raised or the rear panel removed. If are you experiencing a leak from the rear of the washing machine while it is filling the water inlet valve may be defective. Verify that the inlet hoses are connected securely and that the outlet hose clamp is properly fitted. Inspect the body of the fill valve for signs of cracks or damage and replace if required. You will need to remove power from the appliance before attempting this repair.

Bellows Or Door Boot Seal

The door bellows or door boot seal is used on front load washers to seal between the door and the outer tub. Normal wear and tear can cause the rubber bellows to crack, and foreign objects may tear or rip the bellows and create a leak at the front of the washer. If your washer appears to be leaking near the door area then you should suspect that the bellows may be the cause. Open the door and carefully inspect the bellows for signs of damage or for dirt and detergent buildup that may prevent a tight seal to the door. Use caution as sharp foreign objects that can cause tears, are often left in the folds of the bellows and may present a hazard. Removal of the front panel and door assembly is often required to replace the door seal. Remove power to the appliance before attempting to replace the door boot seal.

Water Level Switch Or Pressure Switch & Air Dome Tube

If your washer is leaking during the fill portion of the cycle, it may be overfilling. The water level switch is a pressure activated switch that is used to determine the correct water level in the tub. This part is normally located behind the control panel and will have a hose or air dome tube that connects it to the tub. On washers that use an electronic control, this switch may be located at the sump area below the tub. As the water fills in the tub it will compress the air in the tube and push against a diaphragm inside the switch. The switch will control the water inlet valve and turn the valve off at the correct water level.

If the tube has a leak, there may not be enough pressure to activate the switch and the washer may overfill and leak. If the switch is defective it may also cause the machine to overfill and leak. To determine if the switch is bad, you should first eliminate the air dome hose as a problem. Look for signs of cracks or worn areas on the hose. Remove the hose and submerge in water. Seal one end and blow air into the other end and look for bubbles. Check for an obstruction in the hose as well. If the air dome hose appears to be ok, then the water level switch may be defective. Remove power from the appliance before attempting service.

Door Catch

The door catch on a front load washing machine is responsible for keeping the door closed tightly during the cycle. The door locking mechanism will engage the door catch or hook and prevent the door from being opened during the cycle. If the door catch is worn it may allow the door to be locked but still not provide a water tight seal. Check the door latch hook for signs of wear or distortion that may prevent a proper seal and replace if required.

Tub Seal Or Boot Seal

The tub seal on a washing machine is used to keep water from leaking where the transmission shaft or basket shaft enter the tub. Defective seals often start out as a small water leak but can eventually cause a failure of the main tub bearing. If your washing machine is leaking during the fill or agitation portion of the cycle, then it is possible that the tub seal is damaged and will need to be replaced. To verify whether or not the tub seal is causing your leak, remove the front panel of your washing machine and allow it to fill with water as normal. Watch the area where the transmission shaft enters the tub for signs of a water leak. On front load washers, removal of the rear access panel is required. Look for signs of water leaking from the weep holes located near the rear bearing housing. If the seal needs to be replaced on either a top load or front load washer, then complete disassembly and removal of the tubs will be required. Remove power from the appliance before attempting service.

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