Overloading your washing machine can cause the machine to leak water. This can happen to both top-loading and front-loading washing machines. Overloading your washer can also cause damage to the machine’s motor and bearings. This damage can be expensive to fix. To prevent overloading, fill your washing machine no more than three-quarters full.
How Do You Know if You Overloaded Your Washing Machine?
The most common sign of an overloaded washing machine is water leaking from around the door. For front-loading washers, the leaking water will usually drip down from the bottom of the door. When a top-loading washer is overfilled, it will leak from the top and drip down the front or sides of the machine.
- An overloaded washing machine will commonly leak around the door.
- Overfilled washing machines leak around the door of the machine.
- Overloading a washing machine causes machines to rock back and forth, which contributes to the leak.
- Filling a front-loading washer with too much clothing can stress the door seal and cause it to leak.
An overloaded washing machine may rock side-to-side, which can cause a leak. Also, the cleaning action of the machine may put stress on the door seal or displace water when the machine is overloaded. An overloaded washing machine leaks because the machine is not meant to hold so much clothing and water at once.
What Should You Do When You Overload Your Washer?
If your washing machine is showing signs that it is overloaded, immediately change the washing machine cycle control to “Spin Cycle”. This will trigger the washing machine to drain the water from the drum. This should stop the leak immediately. Then, mop and dry the floor so the laundry room is safe to work in.
- Turn the washing machine to “spin cycle” or “off,” to trigger the machine to drain the water from the drum.
- Wait for the washing machine to drain fully.
- Dry the floor thoroughly, so you can identify any future leaks.
- Remove half of the clothing from the machine.
- Start a new wash cycle with half the clothing.
- Watch for leaks.
Once the water has drained from your machine, remove half of the clothing or bedding from the machine and set it aside. Start a new wash cycle with the other half of the clothing. If the leak was caused by overloading, this will stop the problem. If the leak continues, it may have another cause.
How Can You Tell Your Washing Machine is Leaking Because of Overloading?
The quickest way to determine if your washing machine leak is caused by overloading is by reducing the amount of clothing you put in your washer. The next time you use it, fill the washer only halfway with clothing. If the leak stops, it was caused by an overfilled washing machine drum.
- If your washing machine is leaking, begin by running half-size loads in the washer to see if the leak stops.
- If leaking continues after you reduce your washer load sizes, your machine may be damaged.
- Leaks from the back of the washer machine may be caused by a leaky hose or P-trap.
If your washing machine is still leaking after you reduce the size of the load, search for the source of the leak. A leak around the door of the machine is most often caused by a failed seal. Leaks from the back or bottom of the machine may be caused by a leaky drainage hose or a P-trap at the incorrect height. In the worse case, washer leaks may be caused by damage to the machine due to chronic overloading. A machine with damaged bearings or a ruined belt may continue to leak even when you fill it with smaller loads.
Can You Damage a Washing Machine by Overloading it?
Even worse than a water leak, you can damage or destroy your washer by overfilling it. Washing machine motors are designed to handle a certain weight of water and fabric. By overloading the machine, you stress the motor. This can cause the motor to burn out, which means your washer will stop working entirely.
- Repeatedly overloading a washing machine can burn out the motor, which may require total replacement.
- The belt or bearings that help your washing machine spin properly may be damaged if the machine is overloaded.
- A washer with a damaged belt or bearings won’t spin or clean clothes properly.
- Damaged washing machines often have ongoing leak problems.
Washing machines have a belt or bearings that ensure the washing machine spins smoothly and evenly. Overloading the machine stresses the belt or bearings and causes the washing machine drum to spin in an erratic pattern. This can cause your washing machine to bang or squeak as it is running. If the belt or bearings are damaged, the machine may not spin properly, which means the machine won’t properly clean your clothes until it is repaired.
Is it Better to Underload or Overload a Washing Machine?
Both underloading and overloading a washing machine are damaging to the machine. An overloaded machine can leak, damage the motor, and put stress on the bearings or belt. Plus, an overloaded machine will not properly clean your clothes. Underloading is also bad for your washer. The clothing in the machine may clump on one side of the drum, which can stress or destroy the bearings or belt.
- Underloading and overloading a washer are both dangerous for the machine.
- Overloading a machine results in water leaks, poorly cleaned clothes, a damaged motor, and stressed bearings or belt.
- Underloading a machine can cause imbalanced loads that damage the machine’s belt or bearings.
- Load your washer between one-third and three-quarters full for a proper load.
When loading your washing machine, fill it one-third to three-fourths full. This is the ideal amount of material for the machine to work properly without risking damage. A washing machine that is less than one-third full is underloaded. A machine that is more than three-fourths full is overloaded.
Will an Overloaded Washing Machine Leak?
Your washing machine may leak if it is overloaded. Here’s how to tell if your washing machine leak is caused by overloading:
- Water leaking from around the door of a washer is a common sign of an overloaded machine.
- Both top-loading and front-loading washers can leak when they’re overloaded.
- An overloaded washing machine may rock from side to side, rumble, or squeal.
- Fill your washer no more than three-fourths full to prevent overloading.
- Overloading your washer may damage the machine’s motor, belt, or bearings.
- Damaging a washer through overloading may create the need for costly repairs.
Although overloading is not the only cause of a leaking washing machine, it is among the most common. If your washing machine is leaking down the front or sides of the machine, immediately stop the washer. Switch to a spin cycle to drain the machine. Then, run the machine again with a smaller load.