How to Prevent Washing Machine Overflows

There are a handful of machines in our homes that we can easily take for granted, and one of the biggest workhorses of them all can be the one that causes the most damage if it isn’t maintained properly: your washing machine. Think about all the moving parts and the many millions of times the tub will spin over the course of its usage lifetime in your house, and think about the thousands of gallons of water it uses each year. That means you need to keep a close eye on your laundry area, but the good news is that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or an appliance repairperson to reduce your home’s risk of water damage from your washing machine. Take a few minutes to read this simple checklist of do’s and don’ts for how to prevent washing machine overflows. Your washer, your home and your wallet will thank you!

  1. Remove the shipping bolts. When you’re moving, there are a million things to think about, and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional moving company, make sure you don’t forget to remove the shipping bolts which hold your washer’s internal moving parts steady during the moving process. If you start the machine on a wash cycle while the bolts are still in place, this can cause damage to the machine and cause leaks — and that’s the last thing you need when you’re moving, or even when you’ve just purchased a new washer!

  2. Check for faulty fill and drain hoses. One of the most common causes of washing machine leaks can be found before the water even gets into the washer itself. So every few loads, give your hot and cold water fill hoses a quick visual check for leaks, and it’s not a bad idea to periodically run your fingers along the length of the hoses too, just to make sure there isn’t a tiny hole beginning to develop with a droplet of water that could turn from a slow leak into a major flooding nightmare if the hose fails. Make sure to also check around the seals on both ends of the hoses, because the gaskets inside the heads can also rot over time and start to leak. The other essential inspection is to make sure your drain hose is properly routed into the drain and that it’s secured there — a good technique to use is wrapping zip ties around the drain hose and attaching it to a secure point like a nearby pipe. That way, when your washer kicks on and off and the drain hose is jerked around a little, it won’t slip out of the drain itself.

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  1. Check the seal on your front-loading washer. If you have a front-loader, you’ll want to make sure that over time the rubber seals aren’t starting to leak. This can be a costly repair depending on your model, but it’s better than a washing machine overflow.

  2. Don’t overload your washer. Too much weight inside your washer’s tub can cause additional stress on the motor and other mechanical parts, which can then in turn lead to internal leaks that eventually cause full-blown flooding situations. So be careful in your efforts to be more efficient by doing larger loads: you might be saving time in the short run, only to give yourself a bigger headache and flood cleanup repair bill in the long run, plus the cost of replacing your machine sooner than it should have been.

  3. Put a pan under the washer. For about $25 at your local home improvement store, you can get a shallow plastic pan to place under your washer as a hedge against minor leaks. Keep in mind that this won’t save you from a nightmare flooding situation, but at least it’ll give you the chance to identify a slow leak before it develops into a major flooding issue.

If you have any water damage or flood cleanup needs from your washer or any other place in your home, then you’ve come to the right place: since 1994, AdvantaClean has been helping homeowners across America with everything from a minor water removal situation to a major sewer cleanup. We’re known for our hard work, attention to detail, and tireless commitment to giving our customers the kind of water damage restoration service that they deserve. Our flood cleanup teams are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) so you’ll know you’re getting the very best water damage restoration available. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today because it’s not clean until it’s AdvantaClean!

More info? For more information about water damage, check out: Water Damage Restoration

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