5 Tips for Preventing Washing Machine Leaks

Jim Bauer Home Maintenance and Repair

Leaking appliances can cause a great deal of water damage to your home. If your washing machine leaks, water will flow freely until you realize there’s a problem and shut it off. In the meantime, everything from flooring to furniture can be damaged. A leaking washing machine located on the second floor of your home can also cause extensive damage to the ceiling and first-story items below.

These five tips can help you prevent a washing machine leak and the damage, expense, and inconvenience that comes along with it:

1. Use the Right Amount of Detergent

Don’t use too much detergent, especially if you have a water-softening system in your home or have a high-efficiency washing machine. This can cause the overflow tube to become clogged, resulting in a leak at the front of the washer.

To figure out if you are using too much detergent, take a washcloth that has just been washed and put it in a bowl of hot water before putting it in the dryer. If the water gets sudsy, there is too much detergent for your washer’s rinse cycle to handle.

2. Install a Flood Sensor

This device is easy to install. It detects water on the floor and sends a signal to the control unit. An alarm will alert you to the problem, and the sensor automatically closes the valves.

Other appliances in your house won’t be affected. You can easily reset the sensor and restart your washing machine to finish your load of laundry after you detect and address the problem.

3. Check the Supply Hoses

Over time, hoses can be brittle or develop cracks. Check and replace them as needed. At a minimum, replace them every five years, because they can deteriorate on the inside where you can’t see the damage.

If you need to replace your washing machine hoses, buy no-burst ones instead of rubber or plastic ones. These are flexible and are covered with braided stainless steel, so they’re less vulnerable to cracking or bursting under the water pressure that they are exposed to. They cost just a few dollars more.

4. Install a Single Lever Shutoff Valve

Replace your dual-lever shutoff valve with a single lever. This will let you cut off both hot and cold water to the washing machine at the same time.

Just by moving the lever up or down, you can turn off the water supply when you’re in between washing days and easily turn it back on again. If you are going to be away from home for a few days or more, this can help prevent you coming home to find a water-related disaster.

5. Use a Washer Tray

Get a water-catching tray and slide it underneath your washing machine to catch leaks or drips. Its drain line can be dumped into a laundry tub, or outside through a wall.

Check the tray periodically so you can detect a leak from your washing machine before it becomes any worse.

By following these tips, you can lessen the chances of a washing machine leak or flood that can cause your family a great deal of damage and inconvenience.

Your washer may not have a leak, but does it have a funny smell? That may mean mildew! Click here for tips on how to remove mildew from your washer.