Why is My Front-Load Washer Leaking?

Most front-load washing machines will use two to five gallons of water during each fill cycle. If any of that water ends up on your laundry room floor, you know you’ve got a problem you need to take care of quickly. Determining exactly where the leak is coming from is crucial to knowing how you can fix this problem.

Washing machine leaking water from the bottom

Does the water appear to be pooling underneath the appliance? Here are the parts that could potentially be defective or worn out:

  • Drain Pump – Following the initial wash cycle and again following the rinse cycle, the washing machine’s control sends voltage to the drain pump which pumps the water out of the washer’s tub through a drain hose and into a wash tub or drain pipe. Over time, the pump bearings can wear out, or the pump itself can crack, which can cause the pump to leak water. Since drain pump assemblies are not repairable, you will need to replace the component with a new one to fix the leak.
  • Drain Hose – Yes, the hose that the drain pump pumps the water out through will often be the source of a leak as well. While the drain hose will most often develop a break between the drain pump and the interior rear panel of the washer, the portion of the hose extending out the rear panel can split if the appliance to pushed too close to the wall, crimping the hose between the wall and washer. The vibration of the washer during operation can then put enough friction on the hose to cause it to split.
  • Tub-To-Pump Hose – The hose that connects the washer tub to the drain pump can split or become torn, too. If any part of the tub-to-pump hose is damaged, you should replace it with a new one. Do not attempt to cut off the damaged section and stretch the hose to attach it to the pump as the strain put on the remainder of the hose can cause another rupture.

What if the front-load washer is leaking through the door?

It’s not a problem top-load washers have but front-load washers may leak water from the door. Here are the most likely causes:

  • Damaged Door Boot Seal – This component is used to provide a water-tight seal between the rotating tub and the door to prevent water from seeping out of the closed door during operation. If water appears to be leaking out through the door, the door boot seal could be torn or not secured properly to the lip of the outer tub or the front panel. You should inspect the seal for damage and confirm that both the retainer ring securing the front of the seal to the front panel, as well as the retaining spring securing the rear of the seal to the outer tub, are intact.
  • Broken Boot Seal Recirculation Tube – Some front-load washer models will have a recirculation tube where water pumped by a recirculation pump flows into the tub through an outlet port near the top of the boot seal. Since the tube is plastic, it can become brittle over time which can potentially cause the tube to break and leak water.

An overflowing washer can be a problem as well

While it’s not as common a cause of water leaks as a damaged door boot seal or broken hose, an overflowing washer can result in leaking as well. Why does this happen?

  • Malfunctioning Water Inlet Valve – The water inlet valve is the component that controls the amount of water entering the tub during the fill and rinse cycles. A malfunctioning valve may fail to close and allow too much water into the tub. You can try shutting off the power to the appliance during the fill cycle and observe whether the tub continues to fill. If it does, the inlet valve could be the cause of the overflow problem.
  • Defective Pressure Switch – The pressure switch is a component that is designed to shut off the power to the water inlet valve when the proper water level in the tub is reached. It works in conjunction with an air tube attached to the side of the tub. As the water level increases in the tub, the air pressure in the tube increases. Once the water reaches the proper level, the air pressure in the tube will cause the pressure switch to shut off the voltage to the inlet valve. A defective pressure switch may be unable to shut off the voltage to the valve, causing the tub to overflow. Before you replace the switch, you should confirm the air tube is clear of debris and does not have any splits or tears.
  • Low Water Pressure – The washer’s water inlet valve requires water pressure between 20 and 120 psi (pound force per square inch) to operate properly. If the home’s water pressure is too low, the valve may not fully close after the voltage is shut off and continue to fill the tub. While this isn’t the most likely cause of tub overflow, or leaking, you should always confirm your washer is receiving adequate water pressure before replacing any parts.

Find the right washing machine parts with Repair Clinic

Repair Clinic stocks the drain pumps, drain hoses, tub-to-pump hoses, water inlet valves, pressure switches, and door boot seals that will help you fix a leaking front-load washer. To find the right parts for your front-load washer, type the full model number of the appliance into the Repair Clinic website search bar. You can then use the part category and part title filters to refine your search to identify the exact part you need. While Repair Clinic has replacement appliance parts that match the most popular front-load washer models including those manufactured by LG, Samsung, Maytag, GE, Kenmore, Bosch, Electrolux, and Whirlpool, you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting the specific part that fits your particular model.

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