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No one wants to walk into the laundry room and find water on the floor, but sometimes it happens. If your washing machine is leaking, hold the phone, literally, before calling a professional. Leaks are usually fairly simple to fix, and you can save yourself the cost of a service technician.

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Look for the Leak

Before you do anything, look for the leak. Pull the washing machine away from the wall and run an empty cycle. Hoses are a common source of leaks. Check the back of the machine as it fills for hoses that need replacing. If they are in good condition, scan the outside of the machine for the leak.

Look Inside

If you don’t find the leak on the outside of the machine, you need to take a look inside. Take off the screws and remove the front cover of the washer. Be sure not to touch anything because the wires are live. Once again, start an empty cycle and watch for leaks. The most common locations of leaks are the tub seal, pump, and pump hoses. Calcium deposits and rust stains are signs that you have found the location of the leak.

If it’s the Pump Hose

The most common reason for a leaking pump hose is a worn-out spring clamp. Get your pliers out and remove the spring clamp. Replace it with a new worm-drive clamp. If the actual hose has a crack or leak, remove the entire hose. Take the hose with you to a home supply store and get an exact replica for replacement.

If it’s the Pump

If you see water leaking around the pulley seal, you have a leaking pump. To replace the pump you want to work from the bottom of the machine. Be sure to unplug the washer before starting, to ensure there will be no injuries. Prop the machine up against the wall. To replace the pump, first loose the bolts that tighten the belt – while you are in here looking at the belt, replace it if it looks worn to shreds. Next, disconnect the pump hoses, unscrew the bolts, and pull the pump away.

If it’s the Tub Fittings

If you find a leak around the tub fitting, you are dealing with a slightly more difficult fix. This is the most difficult leak to fix yourself. The repair also varies by machine. Before staring this leak repair, you may want to look up your specific machine to get details. To get started you will need to remove the tub. You also may want to consult your owner’s manual to get a diagram of the machine. Once you remove the tub, check the four tub seals. These can rust and are often the source of the leak. Buy a tub seal kit to replace the bolts and washers. If this is not the source of the problem, check the center post gasket.

Getting Parts

While many repairs are similar, washing machines do vary. When you find the leak, you are likely going to need new part. Before heading to the stores, check your machine for a model number. You can find it under the lid or on the side or back. Be sure to take this number with you to the parts’ supplier. You can also use this number to order parts online. This way you won’t get a part that doesn’t fit your machine.

If it’s Not Fixed

After you have given it the ol’ college try without success, it might be time to call a trusted professional. You can call a technician to come address the leak. Sometimes you may just have to pay for the service call, but at least you can say you gave it your best shot.

When she isn’t showing off her DIY knowledge to help friends out, Amanda Peters is working on projects around her house and writing on topics ranging from home style and décor to do-it-yourself repairs and plumbing advice.