How to fix a leaking washing machine

Having your appliances repaired by a professional can get crazily expensive, despite the often simple nature of the problems encountered, such as leaks or blockages. If you’ve got some time to spare, we’ll show you how to fix a leaking washing machine yourself, without having to call the repairman. Hopefully we can save you a few hundred dollars, and provide you with the thrill that comes with fixing something on your own.

Washing machines have a drain pump which can become damaged or faulty or over time. If you notice a leak coming from the machine, or if it isn’t draining properly, you might need to replace the pump. This guide covers how to do this for a standard top loading washing machine.

Here is a list of supplies that you’ll need:
• Plastic container
• Towel
• Screwdrivers – phillips and flat head
• Emory cloth or file
• New pump for the washing machine

Where to begin?

First of all, switch off the washing machine’s power at the wall, and unplug it. You should also turn off the hot and cold water supply at the shutoff valves which feed water into the washing machine.
Your washing machine is encased in a cabinet with a removable panel. You’ll need to remove this panel to get to the drain pump so you can remove it. Rust and water inside this panel are signs that there is a significant leak and that the pump needs to be replaced.
Unplug the control panel where the dials and buttons are located. This panel is usually only secured by a couple of screws, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you’ve removed the screws, pull the panel out by a few centimetres and then tilt it upwards and rest it so the panel is facing the wall. This will give you access to the wires and stuff on the bottom of the panel.
There should be a wire connector which connects the wires from the panel with those inside the motor of the machine. Unclip this connector and remove the spring clips which are connecting the panel to the washer.
Now, your washing machine should be separated from the panel, so you can tilt it toward you and lift it off the base frame.
Now it’s time to remove the drain pump from the motor shaft.
Remove the drain pump without causing a flood
Simply unplugging the pump from the shaft at this point may cause any remaining water to flood over the surrounding floor, so we recommend that you take the following precautions.
Place a thick towel, bundle of cloths, or assortment of rags underneath the washing machine’s hoses (on the bottom of the unit). Get a small container ready and place it nearby.
Check the pump for damage or signs of what might be causing the leaks or faults. The pump usually looks like a white circular plastic device which ‘plugs in’ the base of the unit. It should have two hoses connected to it.
You may immediately notice a crack or break on the pump, or the damage may be less conspicuous. Tilt the washing machine unit over at a 45 degree angle towards you. This will cause any water left in the machine to gather in the pump, and it should reveal if there are any leaks.
Remove the washing machine pump by popping loose the two retainer clips which are holding it in place. For the top clip, you will need to pop it, rotate it 90 degrees, and then remove it so it doesn’t get in the way. The bottom clip can simply be left unsnapped as it probably won’t get in the way.
You may notice that the clips, or at least the bottom clip, are rusty or damaged. This is another way of diagnosing a fault or leak.
Release hose clamps
The two hoses which attach to the pump should be secured by wire hose clamps. Use pliers to loosen the clamps and slide them about 10 centimetres up the length of the hose body.
Remove the top hose from the pump first, by sliding it off the pump. The bottom hose is the one which will be filled with water, so anticipate this. Especially where the pump is damaged and the machine is not draining properly.
Ensure that the towels, rags, or other soaking-up items are placed under the bottom hose when you pull it off the pump, as it can be difficult to anticipate how much water might be inside.
With the hoses disconnected from the pump, you should be able to pull the pump off the motor shaft. It might take a bit of pulling and wriggling, but keep at it until you’ve managed to get it off.
Installing the new pump
Over time, rust and other build-up may have appeared on the motor shaft. This will make it difficult to attach the new motor. Likewise, the shaft may simply be too large.
In either case, you will need to file the shaft down until your new pump can be slid on. Expect to file for at least 7-10 minutes and don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer.
This can seem strenuous and difficult but it is much, much cheaper than buying a new motor – at which point you might as well throw away the whole machine.
Your new pump should have four long plastic legs. These are designed to sit flush with the motor by being inserted into the holes. You should be able to spot these holes easily, especially if you removed the old motor just before.
Once you’ve slid the new pump onto the motor shaft, the first thing you should do is re-attach the pump clips and clip the new pump in place.
Then, you are ready to fit the two hoses into the new pump, and tighten them with the clamps which you loosened earlier.
Your pump is installed and ready to go, so now you need to re-assemble the washing machine.
Slide the bottom of the washing machine cabinet back onto the base frame, using the notches on the cabinet to line up the tabs on the frame which will hold the unit in place.
Use your foot to help you maneuver the cabinet onto the frame.
Once you have secured the cabinet onto the base frame, you are ready to re-attach the wire connector which connects the control panel with the cabinet. Now that these wires are connected, you can lower the control panel and re-attach it to the washing machine cabinet.
Hopefully you kept the screws you took out before, because you are ready to screw them back in now to secure the control panel in place.
You’re done!
Give the whole assembly a once over just to make sure you haven’t left anything loose or un-attached. If you’re sure you followed the procedure correctly, you’re ready to re-connect the washing machine to water and electricity.
To test your work, switch the machine on and set it to run for a simple rinse cycle. If you did the job correctly, the machine shouldn’t leak and it should drain properly.

If you need professional help on how to fix a leaking washing machine, contact us on 0412 738 874 or leave a message.
We will take care of your blocked drain problems. If your problem is an emergency plumbing matter or a burst pipe and you need urgent assistance contact us right away!

Helpful details for a Blocked Drain and Emergency Plumber situation:

Triple zero – 000
City of Melbourne – Floods and Storms
Yarra Valley Water
Victoria State Emergency Service

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