What Can I Do if My Washing Machine Overflowed?

overflowing washing machineOver time, your washing machine may experience malfunctions that can lead to an overflow. If that happens, carefully turn off the power to the washer, remove non-fixed items from the flooded area and remove the floodwater. Call a restoration company if the water has penetrated the floor, walls or other rooms. Then, have your washing machine inspected and repaired to prevent future overflows.

What to do when an overflow occurs:

  • Switch off the power supply to the washer at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Avoid pressing the "Cancel" button on the washer's control panel since this can worsen the overflow by activating the drain cycle.  Be careful not to slip on the sudsy flooded floor.
  • After cutting off the power to the machine, remove items such as carpet and furniture from the flooded area and dry them as quickly as possible. Since water coming from the washing machine doesn’t contain many contaminants, your water damaged carpet and furniture can usually be salvaged.
  • Remove the floodwater and dry the room with fans and dehumidifiers. If there is a large amount of floodwater or if it went into materials prone to water damage (concrete or wood flooring, walls, furniture), consider calling a flood restoration company. The floodwater needs to be extracted immediately and the area dried before mold develops and further damages occur.
  • Remove the clothes from the washer and wring them out over a sink in the kitchen or laundry room. Removing the standing water from the washer helps with drainage problems.
  • Check the washer hoses for damage. Pull the washer away from the wall and look for drippings or leaks on the hoses. If there are damages to hoses, you may need to replace them and, if not, make sure that all hoses are secure and in place.
  • If there was a problem with the hoses and you think you solved it, do a test to check that the machine works well. Test out a regular wash with no laundry. Check the machine’s instruction manual to learn what to do when the cycle stops prematurely. If you still notice performance issues, file a warranty claim (provided that the warranty hasn’t expired) or call a technician to inspect the washing machine.

Tips to prevent future overflows:

  • Avoid over-stuffing the washing machine with laundry. Distribute clothes evenly and loosely inside the machine.
  • Check water supply hoses periodically and replace the old ones with newer types that are made of flexible plastic tubing encased in a stainless steel braided exterior.
  • Install a water alarm near your washing machine to notify you of leaks. In addition, install an automatic washing machine shutoff valve to prevent flooding due to broken hoses, leaky valves or other malfunctions.
  • Use the right detergent for your washing machine in order to avoid suds and bubbles that can cause the washer to overflow. Don’t use more detergent than necessary. Contact the manufacturer if you’re not sure what detergent to use.

If you need the help of a professional flood restoration company after experiencing any type of flooding in your home, the PuroClean team is available 24/7.

PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company.  Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States and Canada through its franchise network of 240 offices. Learn more.