Five Top Causes of Home Appliance Leaks

appliance leaks

Because almost any device that uses water may eventually leak, appliance leaks inside homes aren’t unusual. Leakage originating from an appliance may be extreme, or it may be subtle seepage that isn’t noted for some time. The key to mitigate water damage from appliance leaks is early detection and speedy repair. Here are some of the usual suspects in most homes:

  • Refrigerator leaks. The ice-maker in refrigerators is typically plumbed to the household water supply with a small diameter plastic tube connected to the rear of the refrigerator. Leaks may occur at this connection, particularly if the water supply tube is yanked or otherwise stressed. The plastic tube may also degrade over time and become brittle, leading to leakage.
  • Disposal leaks. Look under the sink. Leakage may occur from the disposal’s upper flange seal with the sink or from the drain line connection on the side of the unit. Both are fixable. Leakage from the bottom of the disposal, however, typically indicates worn-out motor seals. Time for a new disposal.
  • Washing machine leaks. If hoses connecting the washer to the hot and cold supply pipes behind the unit are merely leaking, count your blessings: You’ve gotten an early warning of impending major water damage if a hose totally ruptures, unleashing hundreds of gallons of water into your home. Replace rubber washing machine hoses now with safer, long-lasting braided stainless steel lines.
  • Dishwasher leaks. Concealed under the unit, minor dishwasher leaks may exist for some time, slowly rotting the floor and feeding mold growth. Typical causes include a leaky dishwasher water pump seal or defective water valve. Remove the front kick plate and shine a flashlight underneath to look for signs of wetness. Leaky defective parts can usually be replaced by a qualified repair technician.
  • Air conditioner leaks. If unexplained pooling occurs around the indoor air handler, suspect a leaky or overflowing A/C condensate drain pan. Common plastic pans may split or develop holes. Overflows typically result from a clogged condensate drain line. Turn off the A/C and call an HVAC contractor to troubleshoot.

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