Three Steps After a Washing Machine Leak

washing machine leak

A typical household washing machine uses from 4,500 to over 13,000 gallons of water in an average year. If nothing goes wrong, all that water cleans the family’s clothes, then passes into the household drain system without incident. If not, here are some typical washing machine leak scenarios and what to do if it happens.

Ruptured Supply Hose

Hoses connecting the unit to the hot and cold faucets on the wall behind are frequently rubber. Over time, the hose becomes brittle and may rupture. A broken washer supply hose can release 650 gallons of water per hour into your home. Indoor water damage due to ruptured washing machine hoses can exceed $10,000 if nobody’s home when it happens.

What to do: Studies show a washing machine supply hose lasts an average of 8.7 years. Don’t press your luck. Replace risky rubber supply hoses now with more reliable braided stainless steel lines.

If a rupture occurs, turn off both water supply faucets on the wall to stop the flow. Flooding from these cases typically requires professional water damage recovery services.

Leaky Pump

The internal water pump removes water from the machine tub after each cycle. Pump leaks generally appear as intermittent pooling on the floor beneath and around the machine. In most cases, leakage is intermittent, occurring only when the unit is running.

What to do: Turn the washer off and unplug it from the wall. Turn off water at the supply faucets on the all. Mop up the water and call for professional appliance service.  

Clogged Drain Pipe

A flexible hose connects the washer to an open PVC drain pipe on the wall behind the unit that conveys wastewater into the house sewer system. A blockage in this pipe typically causes overflow out of the top of the pipe when the washer drain cycle empties the tub.

What to do: Shut off the unit. Mop up the water around and behind the unit. Clearing a clogged washer drain pipe requires a professional plumber. Don’t run the washer again until the plumber has resolved the issue.

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