Second, Replace Leaky Internal Hoses
If the supply hoses aren’t leaking, open the cabinet and inspect the internal components. Belt-drive machines typically have a rear access panel that unscrews. Access direct-drive machines by removing the two screws on the outside of the control panel and flipping up the lid. Then pry up the cabinet clips and pull off the entire cabinet. With the cabinet open, restart the fill cycle to check for internal leaks. Look for additional clues like rust and calcium deposits. Most often you’ll find the leaks in the spots we show inFigure A.
Hoses tend to leak around a worn-out spring clamp. First try to remove the spring clamp with an adjustable pliers. If you can’t get it, you’ll need a special $15 hose clamp pliers available from your local parts supplier. Replace the old spring clamp with a new worm-drive clamp. If the hose itself is cracked and leaking, remove it and take it to the appliance parts supplier for a replacement.
Unplug the machine before performing any repairs.
Washing machine parts are available at appliance parts distributors. (Look in the Yellow Pages under “Appliance Parts.”) Try to find a parts supplier with a well-informed staff, ideally ex–repair technicians, who can provide diagrams and help diagnose any problems specific to your brand of machine. A great Internet source is www.searspartsdirect.com. Enter your model number to access exploded-view diagrams and a thorough parts list for easy on-line ordering.
You’ll need the brand and model number for proper part identification. Model numbers are usually stamped on a small metal plate located under the tub lid or on the side or back of the machine. Copy down all the plate information and take it along to the parts distributor.
Third, Replace a Leaky PumpFourth, Replace Worn-Out Tub Fittings
The most challenging repair is fixing a leaking tub fitting, whether it’s the air dome seal ($5), the center post gasket ($8) or the tub seals ($15 to $20). Before proceeding, make sure that telltale drips are coming from around the tub. The details of this repair vary by brand and model. The details we show are for most Whirlpool and Kenmore belt drives. Study a schematic drawing or consult a parts specialist if your machine is different from what we show.
You’ll need a special $15 spanner wrench to remove the tub and replace the tub fittings on this type of machine. It’s available at your local appliance parts supplier. You can open the top of many machines by releasing the spring catches. However, on others you have to unscrew several screws and lift off the entire cabinet. Look in your owner’s manual or at a parts diagram. (See the manufacturer’s Web site or one of the sites listed in “Buying Parts.”) You’ll have to unscrew the water inlet and the tub snubber before unclipping the ring. Fastening systems for these vary by brand, as do attachment methods for the agitator and inner tub.
There are four tub seals that secure the outer tub to the cabinet, each consisting of a bolt with a rubber and metal washer. Rust often develops around one of the tub seals, causing a tub leak. A new tub seal kit will come with four new bolts and oversized rubber and metal washers that will seal small leaks. But if the tub is completely rusted through around the bolt, it’s time to buy a new washing machine. Replace all four tub seals.
If the leaking occurs only when the machine is agitating, a bad center post gasket (“doughnut”) is the culprit. Remove the outer tub to replace the center post gasket. While you’re at it, replace the air dome seal as well. Reassemble the washing machine and run a test cycle.