Although professional plumbing inspections are a necessity for a well-maintained house, every homeowner should also stay on top of home maintenance by using drains mindfully and checking for visible leaks. In addition to checking under your sinks for leaks, you should also check over any appliances with water hookups.
Here are five important places to check your major appliances with water hookups — like the refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher — for water leaks.
1. Hoses and Supply Lines
The lines that bring water to the appliance can spring leaks. These are especially common at the ends of the lines where they connect to the appliance or to the water supply pipes. Your dishwasher also has a recirculation hose that can go bad and cause a leak.
Use a clean, dry tissue to check for moisture on the lines. But remember that if it’s a cold-water line, there could be some naturally occurring condensation that doesn’t necessarily indicate a leak.
2. Pan or Drip Pan
The pan of the dishwasher where water collects and the drip pan under a refrigerator can both spring leaks. These parts are often made of plastic, which can be damaged more easily once it’s old and brittle.
If your refrigerator drain pan is dripping, though, that doesn’t always mean it’s damaged. When you see a leak under the fridge, check the pan to see if it’s actually full and overflowing instead. If so, that could simply indicate that the condenser fan has died.
3. Drain Lines
The drain line is another common spot for leaks on both the dishwasher and the clothes washer. Seals around where the dishwasher drain line connects can also start to leak when they become old and cracked. Check these seals periodically and wipe the drain lines with a tissue to check for leaks.
Although your refrigerator doesn’t regularly discharge gallons of wastewater like the clothes washer and dishwasher, the refrigerator does have a condensate drain line that can clog and cause a leak. Typically this water leaks inside the refrigerator, meaning the puddle could be hidden under your vegetable drawers, so be sure to check there periodically.
A clogged condensate line is, fortunately, relatively easy to fix and can even be a DIY project.
4. Dishwasher and Washing Machine Door Seals
If you have a modern or high-efficiency washing machine, chances are it’s front-loading. Unlike top-loading machines, these washers rely heavily on their door seals, like dishwashers. But the washing machine door seals are prone to leaking not only if they wear out but also if they become full of lint and other debris. So be sure to wipe the washing machine seal regularly.
Both the washing machine and the dishwasher should have their door seals checked for brittleness, stiffness, and cracking. If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to replace the seal. Your machine may already have a leak, or if not, it could develop one in the near future.
5. Drain Pumps
Drain pumps on both the dishwasher and the clothes washer can go bad in a variety of ways. The seals where they connect to the drains and to the machine can fail, or the drain pump itself can start to leak (or the pump can simply stop working, meaning the machine doesn’t drain properly, which is another possible cause of leakage).
You can check the seals around the drain pump yourself, but if you see the pump leaking or suspect that it’s not working correctly, you’ll want to call in a professional to diagnose and repair the damage for you.
These are five common spots you should check when looking for leaks. Many appliance leaks will make themselves known early on because of the large amount of water they emit (although tracking down the exact source of the leak can still be a problem). But even a slow drip that you don’t notice can still waste gallons and gallons of water.
For more information on the plumbing maintenance and repair services we provide, call Moon Valley Plumbing today.