Make no mistake, your washing machine is part of your home's plumbing system and plumbing problems can affect it just as easily as any other drain or tap in your home. Knowing what they are can help you diagnose them and schedule a repair quickly.
1. Blocked Home Drain
The washing machine empties into a main drain line, which is likely shared with the other drains in your home. This line can be blocked at the entrance by lint and debris from the washing machine, or it can become blocked items put down another drain, such as waste from the kitchen. When this happens, the washer will likely leak from where its drain line enters into the main drain. Having the drain pipe cleaned out will solve the issue.
2. Damaged Drain Line
Sometimes the clog is actually in the drain line that connects your washing machine to the home drain. This is usually made of flexible tubing, so it is possible for it to become kinked. A kinked line won't drain so water will stay in the machine when the cycle is over. Blockages can also occur, generally from lint or items left in clothing pockets, like paper. Another issue is leaks in the line, which means you will have to install a new one.
3. Leaking Supply Pipe
The water supply lines can spring leaks, which can lead to reduced water pressure in the machine so that it fills up more slowly or fails to fill at all. When this happens, the lines will have to be inspected so the leak can be found. Often, supply line leaks occur hidden in walls, so there may also be water damage that will need to be repaired after the line is replaced.
4. Valve Failure
For most washing machines, there is a hot water and a cold water hook up valve between the machines supply line and the home's supply pipes. If the seals around the valves fail, water will leak whenever the washing machine is filling with water. Replacing the seals will fix the issue. Sometimes the valves fail completely, often due to corrosion and will need to be replaced.
5. Broken Supply Line
The water supply line or hose connects the machine to the main water pipes. Much like the drain, these hoses are flexible so they can become kinked or they may develop a leak. If you have hard water, a supply line can also become blocked with mineral buildup, which means it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Contact a plumber for more help if necessary.