Check your Washing Machine

That dreaded moment when you walk inside and there is water EVERYWHERE. The sinking feeling in your stomach, the rush around the house to find what on earth it is… and then the clean-up.

After two separate instances in a matter of months, we urge you all to check your washing machines.

Washing machine floods can originate from various unseen sources beneath and around the base of the appliance or in the most two recent matters for our tenants, the hose burst.

Safety First

If water is gushing out of the hose, turn the taps off

Cut off the electrical power supply to the washer at the circuit breaker or fuse box.

Avoid immediately pulling the power plug in the back of the washer because its cord could be exposed to standing water and given you an electric shock.

Avoid slipping on the flooded floor. Mop or wipe up the floodwater after you’ve cut the power to the washer.

**Take photos. They will come in handy if an insurance claim is made.

Check the Hoses

Carefully pull the machine away from the back wall to gain access to its hoses. Look for dripping or leaking water from the hose connections as well as puddles on the floor. Tighten the connection for the hot water and cold water supply hoses that run from the back of the washer to the faucet on the laundry wall.

Remove Clothes

If the machine was mid cycle, this step will differ by washer type. If you have a conventional top-loader, simply lift the lid.  With a high-efficiency top-loader or front-loader, you may have to refer to your owner’s manual for model-specific instructions. Place the items in a bucket and wring them out over a sink in the laundry room or kitchen. This also helps to remove some of the water from machine.

Clean up

Who covers the cost of the clean-up will depend on two things;

  • The issue that caused the machine to leak/overflow/flood
  • Who owns the washing machine?

If the washing machine was in the property when you moved in yet there are not faults or signs that there was a technical fault, it is most likely because you overfilled the machine.

Regardless, if the water has caused damage, it is best to let your agent know what has happened and they can guide you through what’s next.

Flooring may need to be extracted, dried and clean. Or they may need to fully be replaced.

Cabinetry will need to be full wiped out and left to air out. Depending on the amount of water, it may even warp and be damaged.

Walls, skirting boards etc may also be affected.

Perform a Test

Depending on why the leak happened (overflow, burst house, technical faults) this step may or may not be suitable for you.

Restore electrical power to the washer if you feel safe and confident that you solved the flooding problem via the water hoses. The machine should be able to normally supply and pump water out of drum or tub with the hoses secured. Test a regular wash or rinse-only cycle and monitor the machine closely for any flooding until the cycle is complete.

If all’s well, proceed with washing clothes as usual.

Incidentally, the washer may automatically drain or pump out standing water that was left in the drum or tub after you removed the clothes. Refer to the instruction manual to learn what to do when a cycle is terminated in the middle of a cycle.

Best Practices

  • Avoid cramming too many clothes into a load.
  • Use a high-efficiency detergent that doesn’t produce excess suds and bubbles that can overflow the lid or door.
  • Clean your filter and the inside of the machine frequently
  • Check your hoses and connections every 6-12 months
  • Have your machine serviced by a professional every 12-24 months

Recalls, Warranty and Professional Repair

Confirm that the manufacturer hasn’t recalled your flooding washer. Contact the company’s customer support department or visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. In addition, know that most major appliance manufacturers offer at least a one-year limited warranty that covers parts and labour if a repair is necessary. Many companies encourage consumers to call a professional appliance technician for service instead of attempting do-it-yourself repairs on such a potentially hazardous issue.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions. (03) 98261399