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Washing Machine Leaking Underneath – 7 Top Causes

Having a washing machine leaking underneath the bottom of it (or in the nearby area) might seem like a very simple water leak detection task, however, as you will see in this article, it’s not always easy to identify. This is, in part, because there are a variety of potential reasons causing it. So if you are looking to understand ‘Why is my washing machine leaking?‘ we can help point a few likely possibilities out.

Why is my washing machine leaking?
Why is my washing machine leaking?

We will take you through seven of the top frequent causes of washing machine leaks step-by-step and, as you will see from number seven, it might not actually be a washing machine leak!

Before we start, do remember that washing machines are electrical items and that brings about risks of potential electrocution and, as we know from being local fire damage experts, risk of fire too. So make sure to proceed with caution, be careful and get professional help if in doubt. We explain this further in our informative guide to electrical fires.

Washing Machine Leaking from Bottom
Washing Machine Leaking from Bottom – 7 Causes

This guide to washing machine leaks follows on from our guide to a leak under a kitchen sink. Washing machine leaks can vary from machine to machine as each are designed differently but many of these could apply to some of the common washing makes seen in the UK, including Samsung, Bosch, Whirlpool, Miele, Zanussi, Hotpoint LG and Beko washing machines.

Washing Machine Leaking from Bottom

Before we go through the reason you have a washing machine leaking underneath, it’s important to point out that although the water leaking might collect at the bottom of the machine, that does not necessarily mean that the actual leak is at the bottom of the washing machine.

As you will see from the items on this list, the water leak may be from something higher up but the water is dripping or trickling down to the floor nearby. Sometimes people mistake this for a leak in the floor (which in some cases it could be!). Especially if the water has migrated / spread to another part of the floor elsewhere.

Let’s now look at the top seven reasons you might have a washing machine leaking.

Washing Machine Leak Hose
Washing Machine Leak from Hose Connection

1. Washing Machine Leaking from Water Feed Pipe / Hose

One of the potential reasons why you have a washing machine leaking is that there is a leak from the water feed into to the machine. This can be a hot water feed but, because many washing machines only have a cold water feed to them, it’s perhaps more common to be the cold feed because there are more washing machines like that, especially in the UK. This water is what your clothes get washed in, with the laundry detergent mixed in.

The risk of a washing machine leak from hoses is something to watch out for especially after installation as, if the connection has not been done properly (not tightened enough), is faulty, broke during installation or simply moved when settling in, this can cause a leak. This could be just a dripping leak but in some severe cases, could be a ‘blown’ connection meaning that water comes gushing out. This can happen if the machine is moved too.

Washing Machine Leaking Drain
Washing Machine Leaking from Drain Pipe

In some instances you can get a leak from split washing machine hoses, but that is fairly rare as they are fairly strong and robust, plus, because of where they are located they generally don’t suffer accidental damage from being cut or sliced.

2. Washing Machine Leaking from Drain

We’ve obviously just mentioned about the water feeding your washing machine, but next on the list of common causes of your washing machine leaking is at the output end. Specifically a washing machine leaking from the drain outflow. This is the dirtier water containing all the dirt and grime from your clothes and whatever was on them (mixed with detergent remnants).

There are several ways that people drain their washing machine water into their plumbing, however, a common way is into a sink waste or a vertical drain nearby. Sometimes these are through specific plumbing connections. However, this is just a drainage loop loosely fitted. If the drain is clogged, broken or has worked its way loose, then water can overflow and spill onto the floor. This is what’s known as ‘grey water’ which may have a smell to it.

Speaking of smells, see our article about our sewage clean up services.

Washing Machine Leaking Drawer
Washing Machine Leak from Detergent Drawer

3. Washing Machine Leak from Detergent Drawer

Next on the list of potential washing machine leak causes is a water leak from the detergent drawer, where you put your washing detergent and fabric conditioner / softener in. This might not be something you thought of but it can happen, especially at the start of the washing cycle.

So how does this happen? Well there can be different caused but often it is due to issues with the spray nozzles that you will hear kick-in when you start your washing machine cycle. This feeds the washing liquid or washing powder into the machine to wash your clothes. Over time these can become clogged making the spray go in a direction that it is not supposed to. This can happen in combination with other dirt in the drawer.

If you appear to have a washing machine leak at the front, this could be the cause. Watch out for water trickling down the front of your machine, especially when the jets are spraying.

Washing Machine Leaking Door
Washing Machine Leaking from Door Seal

4. Washing Machine Leaking from Door Seal

This has some similarities with the previous possible cause in that it is more likely to manifest itself as your washing machine leaking at the bottom front, or underneath. A washing machine leak from the door seal is not uncommon, but what causes it?

Like many other things, this can have a number of causes but often it is from general wear and tear from repeated uses. The rubber seal on a washing machine can get snagged causing a split (causing a water leak) which might not immediately be obvious. This can come from things on your clothing like zips, buttons etc or from something you are wearing when loading the machine, like a ring on your finger or other jewellery.

Oftentimes, this split will be visible and more commonly found at the bottom of the rubber door seal.

Fortunately you can get these replaced by either a washing machine repair man / woman or, if you are confident enough to do it yourself, there are guides available online to help you replace a washing machine door seal safely, such as this one from the buy spares channel on YouTube (for a Samsung washing machine):

Samsung Washing Machine Leak – Door Seal Replacement

We discuss leaking seals in our guide to ultrasonic leak detectors

Washing Machine Filter Leaking
Washing Machine Leaking from Filter

5. Washing Machine Leak from Filter

This is can be a cause of your washing machine leaking from the bottom, or near it. Again, this will vary by model and the unique design of each but commonly, the washing machine filter is often at the bottom corner of the device at the front. It often screws off to release the filter for cleaning purposes.

Like other things on this list, check your specific manufacturers manual and guidelines but this is something that you often should be cleaning out periodically. That said, the downside of this is that you are loosening something that might not be leaking water at the moment but may afterwards if you don’t reseal it properly or grit or dirt gets into the rubber seal.

If you have cleaned your filter recently, it is prudent to keep an eye on it during or after your first wash immediately after. Thankfully, it is something that is clearer than some of the other things on this list and often easily remedied.

Water Leaking from Washing Machine
Water Leaking from Washing Machine

6. Water Leaking from Washing Machine Components

This penultimate thing on the list is (a) something that encompasses a number of potential causes and, importantly, is (b) something a local washing machine repair man (or the manufacturer if under warranty) should help you with that is the washing machine leaking itself in the internals.

You can see from the images below that there are electrical wires and, as we said earlier, because electrics and water are involved, this brings about risks you need be very careful to avoid. On the subject of risks, see our guide to hazard symbols and, similarly a guide to fire triangles.

Washing Machine Leak Internal
Washing Machine Leak – Internal

Clearly this can be a number of washing machine components such as pumps, hoses and connections etc. You can see from the above collage of images from a video using a borescope camera looking up from below into a washing machine how many parts there are in close proximity to each other.

Now our final thing on the list of when you have (or think!) you have a washing machine leaking.

Not Washing Machine Leaking
Not a Washing Machine Leaking!

7. Not a Washing Machine Leaking – Something Else

That’s right, sometimes people thing they have a washing machine leaking but it is not actually the machine that is the cause, it can be something else altogether different nearby.

Clearly this will depend on where your machine is located, what is in close proximity (like a dishwasher) and other external factors (like the construction of the property). This can be many things but it might include:

This is where as local professional leak detection experts, we can provide professional help with finding water leaks thanks to our trace and access experience. We provide this service to insurance companies in the UK as well as other organisations, so if you need help with a water leak, contact us for help.

We also offer water damage repair services and commercial leak detection in York (where we are based) and the local surrounding area.

We hope you found our new guide to what could be causing your washing machine leaking useful. On a similar topic, please see our article about How to Unblock a Toilet or our other informative guide to a when you have a Bath Leaking Through Ceiling.

Washing Machine Leaking – Top Tip
“A washing machine leak can be caused by a number of factors, all with different potential causes. The most important thing to remember is that a washing machine is an electrical appliance and therefore be very careful because of this. Get help if needed.”

Leak Detection Team

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We are experts in dealing with flood water damage for people in the York and Yorkshire Coast area, so if you have been flooded, please contact our friendly team to arrange for help and guidance. We also deal with Yorkshire water leaks in local homes and businesses. Here are the local areas we cover.

At Rainbow Restoration – York & Yorkshire Coast we are local and friendly, trusted experts, so if you need assistance finding a water leak or getting your property repaired and dried after water damage or a flood, get in touch with our friendly local and dedicated team who will be happy to help you with this. We are based in York and help find water leaks in York.

Leak Detection Logo
Leak Detection Logo

Why is my washing machine leaking?

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When you have a washing machine leaking there are a number of main things that could be causing it, for example, it could be from one of the following – a cold water feed leak, a washing machine drain leak, a filter leak, a leak from the drum rubber seal, a leak from the dispenser drawer you put detergent into or the main body of the washing machine itself (pumps, hoses, connections etc). Remember that, being an electrical item, be very cautious because of the risks.

What to do if your washing machine is leaking?

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The most important thing to do if you think your washing machine is leaking is to proceed with caution as, as you may know, water and electrics do bring about risks (so get help if needed). The next priority is to identify the cause of your washing machine leaking. There are a number of things that could cause this leak, as explained in this guide, or it could be something nearby and not the machine itself.

Is it worth fixing a leaking washing machine?

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Whether or not it is worth replacing a leaking washing machine is your decision but that could be affected by what the cause of the leak is and therefore the cost of replacing or fixing it (not forgetting there labour costs) relative to getting a new machine. Plus, the age and condition of it. A £50 fix to a new £1000 washing machine is very different to a £250 fix on a very old machine with other issues!