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Washer Leaking from the Bottom? 3 Steps to Fix the Problem

A washer leaking from the bottom can be a serious issue unless you fix it quickly.

Like a leaky dishwasher or other appliance, a leaky washer can damage your floors, cause mold growth, and lead to other safety hazards, like electrical shock risk.

If you suspect your washer is leaking from the bottom, we’re here to help. 

Keep reading to learn more about why washers leak, how to fix a leaky washer, and how to prevent water damage in the future.

Signs of a Washer Leaking from the Bottom

signs of washer leaking from the bottom

Need help determining if your washing machine is leaking from the bottom? 

Look for these telltale signs:

  • Water pooling from the bottom of the appliance
  • Dirty water leaking from the machine during the agitation or wash cycle
  • Water under the washing machine drum
  • A damp or musty smell around your washer
  • Soggy flooring under your washing machine
  • Signs of water damage, including visible water stains or warped floorboards 

How to Fix a Washer Leaking from the Bottom

washer leaking from the bottom

Follow these steps to fix a washer that’s leaking from the bottom:

1. Identify where the leak is coming from

Before you can repair a leak, you need to identify its source. Here are a few things to look for:

Problem: The washer is leaking during the fill cycle

If your machine leaks during the fill or agitation stage of the wash cycle, the problem may be a damaged tub seal. 

To verify whether this is the cause, run a small load to see if the washer is filling to the proper level. If not, contact a professional to replace the water level switch. 

Solution: In this case, you’ll need to replace the seal. On the other hand, washers that leak due to tub overfill may have a broken water level switch. 

Problem: The washer is leaking during the spin cycle

Washing machines that leak from the bottom during the spin cycle may be off-balance. 

If the machine is balanced and still leaking, check the water pump and drain hoses for clogs or cracks, and check the unit for damaged seals between the drain hose and water pump. 

Solution: To fix this problem, check that the washer is level and, if needed, adjust the leveling feet until the unit is balanced. 

If the drain hose is loose or punctured, tighten it or replace it with a new one.

If your washing machine is a top loader that’s also spraying from the top during the spin cycle, the issue may be the tub cover gasket. The tub cover gasket creates a tight seal around the tub cover and outer tub, keeping water inside the machine as the drum spins at high speeds. 

When the seal malfunctions, however, there’s nothing to keep water inside during the spin cycle. The result can be anything from a wet floor to extensive flooding. 

Problem: The washer is leaking from the bottom during the drain cycle

If your washing machine leaks during the drain cycle, the issue may be a loose or damaged drain hose clamp, a leaky or malfunctioning hose, or a broken drain pump, which can happen when a foreign object bypasses the washer’s filters and gets into the pump. 

If the drain pump is broken, the washing machine will usually shake and rattle excessively every time you run it. 

Solution: Unplug the washing machine and slide it about a foot away from the wall. Locate the hoses and their connection points. 

Check that all connection points are tight and that the hoses are not visibly damaged or leaking. 

Replace any broken or punctured hoses and tighten loose drain hose clamps. If you suspect a broken drain hose, contact a licensed technician to help you replace the part. 

Problem: The washer is leaking from the hose

By far, one of the most common causes of washing machines that leak from the bottom is a leak in either the drain or fill hose. 

In some cases, the water inlet valve may also be faulty, loose, or clogged, which will cause a leak from the back or bottom of the machine near the supply hoses. 

With use, these hoses can become disconnected, blocked, kinked, or damaged, which will cause the washing machine to leak whenever it’s in use. 

Solution: To fix the hoses, make sure they’re securely attached to the machine, tighten any loose parts, check for (and remove) blockages, or replace worn or broken hoses. 

2. Take necessary safety precautions

If the leak has caused standing water under or near your washing machine, take safety precautions as you work in the area:

  • Unplug the washing machine and any other appliances in the room
  • Shut off the power to the room
  • Turn off the water main if you can’t identify and stop the source of the leak quickly 

3. Contact a water damage restoration company

While you may be able to DIY the washing machine repair, we recommend contacting a water damage restoration company. 

If you’re in the Chicago area, the ServiceMaster of Lake Shore team can help you clean up the damage from the leak and restore your property to its original condition.

Even small leaks can lead to mold and mildew formation or cause thousands of dollars worth of unseen damage that can compromise your home’s flooring or other materials.  

How to Prevent a Leaky Washing Machine

washer leak chicago

Prevent water leaking from the washer with these tips:

  • Cut back on detergent. Dumping too much detergent into your washing machine creates a sticky residue that can build up inside your washer’s overflow tube, creating clogs and blockages that contribute to leaks. To prevent this, use the recommended amount of detergent for each wash cycle (Check the detergent box or bottle for guidelines).
  • Keep loads small. An overloaded washer will be off-balance during the spin cycle, and all that thumping and bumping places undue stress on hoses and connections, increasing the chances that they’ll break or come disconnected. With this in mind, keep loads small and immediately stop the washer if it does become unbalanced. 
  • Install a lint catcher. Lint isn’t just for the dryer! Over time, lint builds up in the washing machine’s drain, creating clogs that cause flooding. To prevent this, add a mesh lint catcher to the end of the washing machine drain line and change or clean it each month. 
  • Inspect hoses and connections regularly. Hoses and connections all operate under pressure, leading to cracks and breaks over time. Inspect supply hoses and connections a few times a year to prevent leaks. Extend the life of your hoses by replacing plastic lines with braided nylon or stainless steel lines and tightening loose connections as soon as you notice them. 
  • Add a flood sensor. Flood sensors detect water and help prevent room flooding. Some advanced units even cut off the washing machine’s electrical supply and sound an alarm if they notice water where it shouldn’t be. 

Got Water Damage Due to a Faulty Washer in Chicago, IL, or the Suburbs?

Water damage can easily cause thousands of dollars of expensive repairs in your home. If your washer leaks from the bottom, don’t try to fix the damage alone.

Our team can help! 

We provide emergency flood cleanup services for customers in and around the Chicago area, so we know what it takes to clean up washing machine leaks and prevent them from happening in the future.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or request an emergency flood inspection.