Over time, your washing machine may experience malfunctions that can lead to an overflow. If that happens, carefully turn off the power to the washer, remove non-fixed items from the flooded area, and remove the floodwater. Call a restoration company if the water has penetrated the floor, walls, or other rooms. Then, have your washing machine inspected and repaired to prevent a washing machine overflow.
In this article, you will learn:
- Why a washing machine overflows
- What to do when a washing machine overflows
- How to prevent washing machine water damage in the future
Let’s get started.
What Causes Washing Machines to Overflow?
Washing machines can flood for various reasons, and understanding the common causes can help prevent such incidents. Here are a few reasons why washing machines overflow:
- Clogged or blocked drain: A common cause of washing machine floods is a clogged or blocked drain pipe. When the drain pipe becomes obstructed with debris, lint, or other materials, it restricts the water flow, leading to backups and overflow.
- Faulty water inlet valve: The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the washing machine. If this valve malfunctions or gets stuck open, it can result in excessive water entering the machine, causing overflow and flooding.
- Damaged or worn-out hoses: The hoses that link the washing machine to the water source can fracture, leak, or become loose over time. This can result in floods if water leaks during the filling or draining.
- Overloading the machine: Overloading the washing machine with excessive laundry can disrupt the balance and cause the machine to shake or vibrate excessively. This movement can loosen hoses, and connections, or even cause the machine to shift, leading to water leaks and potential flooding.
- Malfunctioning water level sensor: The water level sensor or pressure switch in the washing machine regulates the amount of water required for each cycle. If this sensor fails to detect the proper water level or gets damaged, it can cause an overflow of water, resulting in flooding.
- Drain pump failure: The drain pump is responsible for removing the water from the washing machine during the drain cycle. If the pump becomes clogged, damaged, or malfunctions, it can prevent proper drainage, leading to water backup and flooding.
- Improper installation: Incorrect washing machine installation, including improper placement of drain hoses or failure to secure connections tightly, can result in water leaks and subsequent flooding.
How to Fix a Washing Machine Overflow
Fixing washing machine overflows may involve several steps depending on the extent of the damage. Here are some general guidelines to help you address the issue:
- Assess the damage: Thoroughly inspect the affected area to determine the extent of the water damage. Look for any signs of structural damage, mold growth, or electrical issues. Take pictures or document the damage for insurance purposes, if applicable.
- Ensure safety: To avoid electrical dangers, cut off the power to the affected area before beginning any repairs. When working with water-damaged items, use safety equipment such as gloves and masks as needed.
- Remove standing water: If there is any standing water, use a wet/dry vacuum or mop to remove it as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence to prevent further damage and the growth of mold or mildew.
- Dry out the area: Use fans, dehumidifiers, or open windows to facilitate air circulation and aid in drying out the affected area. Remove any wet carpets, furniture, or other items that could retain moisture and impede drying.
- Clean and disinfect: To stop the growth of bacteria or mold, thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces that come into contact with water. Use a mixture of water and mild detergent or a specialized cleaning solution recommended for water damage restoration.
- Repair or replace damaged materials: You might need to repair or replace damaged materials like drywall, flooring, or baseboards, depending on the extent of the water damage. Call an expert to determine the scope of the required repairs and ensure effective restoration, such as contractors or water damage restoration specialists.
- Check electrical components: If water has come into contact with electrical outlets, switches, or appliances, it is crucial to have a qualified electrician inspect and potentially replace any damaged components to ensure safety.
- Address mold and mildew: If you notice signs of mold or mildew growth, such as musty odors or visible patches, address it fast. Consider consulting with professionals specializing in mold remediation to remove and treat the affected areas safely.
- Monitor for further issues: After completing the initial repairs, continue monitoring the area for any signs of lingering issues, such as water leaks, dampness, or mold regrowth. Address any new concerns promptly to prevent further damage.
- Consult with professionals: Consider seeking advice from water damage restoration specialists if you’re uncertain about the extent of the damage or the appropriate course of action. These professionals specialize in restoring homes to their pre-damaged state and can offer expert guidance and support. Trust their expertise to help you navigate the restoration process effectively and restore your home to its former condition.
Remember, dealing with water damage can be complex, and it’s essential to prioritize safety and take appropriate measures to prevent further damage or health hazards.
How to Prevent Water Damage from Washing Machines
Preventing washing machine overflows is essential to avoid costly repairs and potential property damage. Here are some practical tips to help you safeguard your home:
- Properly install and maintain your washing machine: Ensure that your washing machine is installed correctly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Regularly check and tighten hose connections to prevent leaks.
- Leave at least four inches of space between the wall and your washer to prevent the supply and drain hoses from becoming kinked.
- Use high-quality hoses: Replace old or worn-out hoses with stainless steel braided hoses. These are more durable and less likely to burst or develop leaks compared to rubber hoses.
- Replace hoses every five years, even if they don’t seem damaged, to prevent water damage from washing machines. It’s possible for the inside of the hose to deteriorate without any warning until it’s too late.
- Turn off the water supply when not in use: When your washing machine isn’t used, shut off the valves to avoid any unintentional leaks or bursts.
- Don’t overload the machine: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load capacity. Overloading the machine can cause excessive vibrations and strain on hoses, increasing the risk of leaks.
- Inspect and clean the drain pipe: Regularly check the drain pipe for any clogs or blockages. Clean it out to ensure proper water flow and prevent overflow or backups.
- Stay home during laundry cycles: Avoid running the washing machine when you’re away from home. Being present allows you to respond quickly if any issues arise, such as leaks or overflowing.
- Use a drip tray or flood sensor: Protect against water damage by using a drip tray under your washing machine or installing a flood sensor nearby. These devices detect and contain leaks, minimizing potential damage.
- Regularly inspect the washing machine area: Keep an eye on the area around your washing machine for signs of water damage, such as wet spots, mold, or musty odors. Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage.
- Clean the lint trap: Regularly clean the lint trap to prevent blockages that could lead to water backup or overheating.
- Consider a water leak detection system: Install a water leak detection system that can alert you to any leaks or abnormal water flow from your washing machine. These systems can provide early warnings and help mitigate potential damage.
- Use the correct amount of detergent for your washing machine to avoid suds and bubbles that might cause the washer to overflow. Read the instructions handbook to learn which type of detergent is best for your machine and how much to use for each wash.
For Water Damage Repair, Call in the Pros!
For remediation services related to a washing machine overflow, contact your local PuroClean office.
If you need the help of a professional flood restoration company after experiencing any type of flooding in your home, the PuroClean team is available 24/7.