Can Your Washing Machine Leak When You Aren't Using It?

by Claude Walters

The washing machine is one of the coolest appliances in your home. Just think about it - you toss in a pile of dirty clothes and a short time later, you get clean clothes back. Sometimes, even the neatest things go a little haywire. Even when you are not using it, it is possible for the washing machine to leak. Before you call a plumber, check these areas for potential issues.

Check the Top

The faucets supplying your washing machine are always on, so the supply line is under constant pressure. That water wants to go somewhere, and if it finds the smallest hole or fracture, it will seep out and drip onto the floor. There are numerous places where a leak can happen, from the rubber gasket inside of the fittings to the material of the hose itself. The fastest way to check for a leak is to dry the supply lines completely with a clean towel, then wrap them with paper towels. If there is a leak, the paper towel will become wet. If there is a leak, measure the length of the lines and then replace them with hoses that are the same length and diameter. Replace both lines at the same time, even if one is still good.

Inspect the Bottom

The second place a leak can happen is at the drain. The drain hose is either screwed onto a fitting or held there with a tension clip. Either way, the connection or the hose can fail. Even after your washer has completed all of its cycles, a small amount of water will still pool at the bottom of the drain hose because of its U-bend, and that water will seep from any cracks. The way to check for a leak here is the same as with the supply lines. If you find a leak in the drain line, remove the old one and replace it with a new drain hose.

And Now What?

If there is still a leak after replacing the lines, don't panic.  Check to make sure the hoses are fitted correctly to their attachment points. If they are uneven or not fitting properly, remove them, apply some plumber's tape to the threads and seat them correctly. If this does not solve the problem, the issue may be with the fittings themselves. They may have become cracked or damaged. You should contact one of your local plumbers to have it addressed.

There is no doubt washing machines are amazing appliances. Sometimes, things can go awry and you find yourself in front of your machine, standing in water and wondering what happened. Follow these simple tests and you may save yourself a little cash and a lot of frustration.