Maytag is currently owned by Whirlpool so the two company’s products are made in the same factories and are often very similar, so the steps you take to identify or enact a repair are often very similar or the same. In fact, since Whirlpool is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in the world they make products for many companies in and outside their corporate group. For this reason and others, you can quite often extrapolate this advice to most washing machines.
Maytag and Whirlpool are tried and tested brands, nevertheless, years of use can wear down even the best appliances. A leaking washer may seem complicated at first, after all, a pool of water all over the floor looks like a pretty serious issue to deal with. But, sometimes you can fix this yourself by following our handy checklist and troubleshooting guide.
Before undertaking any repairs, ensure the unit is unplugged from the mains electricity. If the inlets have faucets or isolation valves, it might be wise to turn those off too.
Leaks Common to Both Top and Bottom Loading Washers
The first task is to determine whether the leak is coming from inside or outside the machine. All washing machines need a way for the water to get in and a way for it to get out. In the vast majority of cases that involves 1 or 2 inlet hoses and 1 outlet. Some washers are cold fed so they only have an inlet from the cold water feed and heat the water internally. Others are fed from both the cold and hot water pipes but the procedure is the same. Inspect the hoses from the back of the washer to the pipes. If a leak is apparent from the hose itself or joints in the hose ends then a new hose will be needed. If the leak is from either end of the hose, tightening the thread and resealing it with Teflon tape may work. While the pipes are off it’s worth replacing the washers too.
When the washer is emptied the water is carried to the drain via a length of flexible hosing, usually with a shepherd’s crook shape at the end. This, or the pipe it empties into, can become clogged, loose, or split. Observe when the washer is in use and clear, tighten, or replace as appropriate. If the hose empties into the drain but that water is sluggish to go, a blockage may be in the drainage.
The water valve, water level control or the water level hose could be malfunctioning. You can do a simple test to determine which part is causing trouble. First, use your lowest water level setting and run your washer. When the water stops running, change the setting to the next level until the washer is full. If the water level keeps rising past completely full, unplug the washer. If the water still doesn’t stop running, shut off your water supply. You’ll need to replace your water valve. If the water does stop after you unplug the machine, the water level control or hose are causing the problem. Check these parts for clogs or replace as necessary.
Top Loading Washers
The first line of action is to ensure that you’re following Maytag’s or any other manufacturers instructions. If you’ve just noticed the leak, ensure that you didn’t use the washer improperly during your last wash cycle. Some common issues that can cause leaking include excessive detergent, overloading the washer or an unbalanced load. High Efficiency (HE) machines need HE powder, if the wrong detergent is used an overflow can occur that can appear like a leak.
Take a Look Inside
Most top-loading washers have a removable panel on the front, sometimes you can pry it off with a putty knife but some models have screws at the bottom or elsewhere, check all around and remove the cover. Water, especially when it’s got detergent in it, will leave telltale signs about where it comes from. Look for:
- Splash marks.
- Corrosion patches.
- Residue build-up.
- Wet spots.
Check hoses for splits and broken clips, check gaskets around seals and the agitator post, and check the pump housing. Most of these are quite easy to replace if you can get your hands in.
A washing machine has two large sections, the basket, where you place your clothes, and the tub sitting below. The tub is sealed off by a tub seal while washing so that water doesn’t leak. The tub seal is located under the agitator, and just above the transmission. You’ll need to remove the entire tub in order to replace this piece in which case we would recommend a professional fix.
Another problem area is the drain pump. As the name suggests, this device pumps water out of your washer into the drain hose. If this piece is causing trouble, the water on your floor may be soapy, as the water leaks after running through the wash cycle. Check this component visually for cracks or worn out bearings. If you find any damage, it will need to be replaced.
Front Load Washers
Things are a little bit more difficult to get to with a front-loader, access to some of the parts is through the lid and access to others is by securely tilting the unit and going in from underneath. Once in you should look for the same things as with a top-loader. An easy tip is to put a piece of cardboard underneath, when you pull it out drips will show you where the leak is coming from.
There are three other possibilities that you only get with front-loaders.
The soap dispenser can get jammed or blocked, just take it out and wash it carefully and check it for damage and ensure any moving parts haven’t seized or stuck. Usually, cleaning it is enough but replace it if there’s damage.
Sometimes a residue of fluff and congealed soap will collect on the bottom of the glass door preventing it from sealing correctly. Simply clean it off with warm water, it might need a bit of a soak first but it should come off easily.
Splits or tears can develop in the rubber collar that seals the drum to the chassis of the machine. The seal can be removed and replaced, the seal clip needs to be removed with care and reused.
Often it’s a simple procedure to diagnose problems with and provide your own remedies for Maytag, Whirlpool, or any other washer. Sometimes, though, it’s better to call on experience, give us a call if you’re in the Los Angeles area or your own local repair company.
If these simple diagnostics and repairs don’t work, you may have a more serious problem and require professional help.
In need of a professional repair service? Contact West Coast Chief today at (800) 810-7813.