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Why Should I Fix My Tap Leak?

A leaking washing machine only results in irritation and waste, not only in time but also in water and money. Here is an illustration to demonstrate how wasteful a leaking laundry tap is. If you have one water valve leaking at home with a frequency of one drip per second and the valve is left unhandled, that adds up to approximately 60 drops per minute, 86,400 drips per day, which means 31,536,000 drops each year.

Now, because each faucet model is different, let’s estimate the average volume of one drip is ¼ millimetre. This means that one valve of water leaking causes 21,600 millimetres a day, adding up to 7,884,000 millimetres a year.

What a significant amount! Now convert it to the price of the water bill you must pay in a year and see why you should have valve repairs as soon as possible.

What Causes Water Leaks In A Washing Machine?

There are a variety of possible scenarios that can cause water to leak, all of which occur because of a malfunction inside the washing machine. Therefore, as a homeowner, you must understand how water flows inside the washer so that you can have it checked and fixed quickly.

There are water supply valves located inside the walls of the washer that control the water heaters during the washing cycle. The water flows from the plumbing valves through two metal hose connections before proceeding to the washing machine.

Your machine has two hoses inside the launder; a fill hose to fill the tub and one drain hose to drain the tub. Combined with other motors and pumps, the equipment incorporates and functions to wash your dirty clothes. Below are some of the primary causes of tap leakage in a washing machine.

Loose Washer Valve or Hose Connection

Since water starts to flow from the pipes to the wall, you should first inspect the interior of the washer’s pipes. When you check the surrounding areas of your leaking laundry machine, you will see two metal tap washers. If you find a leaking tap, it is because of the looseness of their fixtures.

However, if this is not the case, trouble could arise due to the hose connection. You can confirm this by tightly assembling the fixtures back to the washer and then re-running it. If it does not stop leaking, the problem is a result of the water hoses.

Damaged or a Wrongly Assembled Hose Connection

This time, leak detection requires engineers to look inside the leaking appliance and seek the two internal hoses. They are connected to the inlet valves and are supposed to allow the hot and cold water to function effectively. Thus, if they are not intact or disconnected from the valves, they are the reason for the leaking washing machine.

Dismantled or Blocked Drain Hoses

Used as a connector between the drain and the plumbing valve, a drain hose’s aperture is often the same size as the valve. Have a look in case of any issues associated with the hose or pipe, such as wetness or damage. Then, check inside the drain line and beyond the washer outlet to look for any signs of blockages.

Clogs from unnoticeable spots can easily cause backup and result in puddles if not treated well. Broken drain hoses can also result from disconnection or issues with the drain pump. Although it is fine for the water outlet from the washer tub to the drain, a dismantled drain pump can dump water back onto your floor in reverse.

Broken or Loose Shutoff Valve

Many people have encountered this matter when they turn a new water shutoff valve on, and water from the washing machine sprays everywhere. The shutoff valve stem passes through the washer and should provide a watertight seal for users. In the event of a loose shutoff valve, the first thing to do is to tighten the packing nut by a specific degree with a wrench, and the leak will stop immediately.

This method mostly applies to new washer shutoff valves but does not work with damaged ones. The only way to deal with a damaged shutoff valve is to conduct a replacement.

Fault in the Water Level Buttons

If you are familiar with washing machines, then you know the buttons that demonstrate the water level. These buttons tell you the amount of water to fill and which amount is sufficient to use at a time. If you look at their three parts, especially the pressure switch and the air dome tube, which help you in water-level identification, you can spot any signs of brokenness. Their dismantling will lead to leaking or even overflowing.

Preparation For The Repair Of The Leaking Tap

Whatever issue you are dealing with, understanding the repair process goes a long way. If you reside in Australia, where no DIY plumbing work is allowed except for basic tasks like replacing taps or washers, you should only contact professionals for repair. These are the things you should know as parts of the preparation stage.

Step One: Prepare Replacement Parts

As a homeowner, you can buy your machine’s replacement parts beforehand. If you are sure about your tap, valve, hose models, having their spare parts is a plus as it saves time and a bit of money during the repair process. If there are no spare parts, the professionals will have to check your washing machine and buy them for you before the actual valve repair occurs.

There are three popular plumbing valve models, which you can easily find online or your local hardware store and order from the comfort of your home. Typically, repair kits consist of O-rings, bushings, and plastic packing nuts. These parts are compulsory in a repair kit as they easily wear off over time. Some of them will also have plastic or Teflon inserts for rebuilding the valve.

Step Two: Turning Off the Mains Water Supply

If the stop valve is inside your household, you will find it on the pipe below the tap handle, where it will need to be screwed closed. Turn on the tap to make sure there is no water supply. If there is, you need to turn off the water supply from the nearest stop valves before conducting the official repair. Otherwise, you may find the stop valve outside your house, on the property border near the street. Their labels should be in good condition and lay under an iron cover, accompanied by the water metre beneath.

Repairing A Leaking Washing Machine Tap

Once you are done with the preparation step, the duty now relies on plumbers 100%. You will find them accomplishing it by the following steps:

Step One: Dismantle the Tap Handle Cover

Start by dismantling the tap handle and cover (or the combination of tap handle and cover) and the tap body by unscrewing the tap headgear nut. The plumbers must hold the tap firmly by the faucet in hand instead of the spanner to prevent the whole tap from doing a 180-degree turn-around.

Such a turn-around can damage your pipework and crack your sink. Then, the nut and tail should be covered by a cloth to avoid scratching during use. In case the nut is stuck, penetrating oil is a good choice for lubrication.

Step Two: Remove the Washer

Once the body is successfully removed, they will continue removing the washer from the pin at the bottom using pliers. If it does not work, they might have forgotten to take out a small nut or screw.

Once the washer is taken out completely, the damage that causes the drip becomes visible. In case its condition is still good, the plumbers will need to continue removing the valve seat inside the fitting using specialised tools.

Step Three: Add a New Washer

Assembling a new washer might come up too tight to get it over the pin. If so, the plumbers will lubricate it using petroleum jelly and strong force to push it down with the help of pliers or a spanner.

Step Four: Replace the Tap Headgear

The final step is to replace the tap headgear. Meanwhile, the plumbers must ensure that the tap is securely held when tightening the nut before completion. Lastly, they will turn on the main water supply then confirm it is on by turning on the tap.

Although the above steps are specialised for the repair of leaking washing machine taps, the general stages are the same as shutoff valves.

Tips For Other Possibilities

When it comes to dealing with leaks, valve leaks and leaking tap repairs are only two of a kind. In the context of this blog, the steps addressed are those taken to repair a leaking washing machine tap, but there are more possibilities that could frustrate you.

It could be fixing a leaking washing machine hose as mentioned above, which requires the plumbers to acknowledge the internal hot and cold hoses to connect them right. It could be a leaking outside tap.

Although the basic steps to approach the solution are the same, garden taps still require the plumbers to treat them differently using other specialised tools.

Advice For Homeowners

Whether you own your home or rent it, reserving the water usage facilities at your place is essential as it is a part of the obligation of continued water supply. While a leaking washing machine tap seems like a minor issue, it can contribute to a devastating loss in water and money or even result in flooding inside your home if left unattended. Therefore, if you face this matter, you should have it fixed as soon as possible to prevent any later consequences.

In Australia, professional plumbers have long been known for their reliability and swift and affordable plumbing services. Local plumbers are available 24/7 anywhere in Australia, only waiting to serve you. Do not hesitate to contact them to help you out.


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Christopher Chow

I called Hero Plumbing to unblock a shower drain and was unable to get a quote over the phone, but Sam the owner was here same day. After his first try, he made quick work of the blockage. I opted to also get the acid cleaner stuff poured down. Sam had run out, but made a trip to go pick some up to finish the job. If you opt for this treatment make sure you can easily air the bathroom as it’s extremely strong and produces a lot of fumes. Great Service and Honest Pricing.

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Hero Plumbing has been excellent since there first phone call.
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The technician was excellent called me 30mins before arrival explained the whole job to me and gave me an upfront price.
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Jared Evans

We've used Hero Plumbing previously. Both times reliable and flexible with changing times (helpful during covid ISO periods!)
Hayden was on time and explained the issue clearly, fixed it,then also did some extra checks on water pressure and taps to ensure there were no underlying issues.
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They replaced our hot water system with excellent workmanship, professionalism and in a timely manner - as always!

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