How To Extend The Life Of Your Washing Machine

washing machineWashing machine leaks can be a sign that a new machine is in your future—or not, depending on the source of the leak and the age of the unit. Insurance industry figures show that water damage claims resulting from washing machine leaks average over $5,000.  Because the service life expectancy for a washing machine is about 11 years, most experts advise replacing a washer if it needs significant costly repairs and has reached 8 years or older.

Prevention techniques

Here are some ways to prevent washing machine leaks and also extend service life.

Replace Supply Hoses
Rubber hot and cold water supply hoses extending from the wall behind the unit are a source of washing machine leaks as well as severe water damage if/when they rupture unexpectedly. Hoses typically last around five years. Minor dripping from hose fittings on the back of the machine may be resolved by tightening the fitting. Better yet, replace the standard rubber hoses now—before disaster strikes—with quality braided stainless steel lines designed for long life.

Reduce Front Loader Leaks
Water seeping out around the front door of a washer usually results from a deteriorated door gasket, which could could be a costly replacement. Manufacturers recommend wiping the gasket clean after each use to extend life. Also, leaving the door open between each wash so the door gasket and interior of the unit dry properly prevents mildew or mold growth that may deteriorate the gasket and interfere with sealing.

Check Leakage During Operation
If water leakage is evident under the machine only during the washer drain cycle, suspect a loose drain hose clamp—usually an easy fix—or a failing pump. Aging drain pumps usually leak due to defective seals and are replaced rather than repaired. Seals around the tub or agitator also fail, but leakage appears under the washer during all operating cycles, rather than just one. For washers 8 years or older, seal repair usually isn’t worth the cost and replacement with a new unit is usually preferable.


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