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Thread: Leak under floorboards when washing machine is on (not coming from machine!)

  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Leak under floorboards when washing machine is on (not coming from machine!)

    Hi everyone,

    I live in an apartment building, and I have a combined washer / dryer in a small closer (provided by the property managers). I've never had a problem until the last few days....

    When the washing machine runs on any type of cycle, with any volume of water, water appears under the machine and seems to seep under the nearby floorboards, and I can hear it when I step around. (The floor of the closet is tile, but there are fake wooden floor planks only inches away.)

    It takes about 10 hours for the water under the floorboards to dry completely.

    I ran the machine on an extra-small cycle today and watched exactly what happens. To my surprise, the water DOES NOT COME FROM THE MACHINE (at least not directly). With my own eyes, I saw the water come out from under the floorboards and then go under the machine!!

    It seems to happen exactly once in the cycle, towards the end (during final rinse / spin / drain).

    QUESTIONS (any answers or input or comments appreciated):

    -I'm thinking there might be a leak in a drain pipe in the wall near the closet?
    -Why does it only happen so late in the cycle?
    -I don't feel any water on the walls anywhere or on the baseboards...just under the floor planks, seeping into the closet where the machine this consistent with a leak of a pipe in a wall?
    -The amount of water is not nearly as much as what was in the machine...thoughts? Could something in the wall or in the floor be "overflowing" instead of leaking? (Grasping at straws here....)
    -Will this weaken the floor / seep into apartment below / cause some sort of electrical mishap (circuit breaker is on nearby wall) / other really bad thing?
    -Will this be a monstrous job to fix, i.e. tearing wall open?

    Like I said, any advice appreciated.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    It may be possible drain water is overflowing the drain pipe. That could be due to suds in the drain water (possibly from using too much detergent or if a front loading washer model, not using an HE or low sudsing detergent) or the drain draining too slowly. The latter could be caused by a partly obstructed drain line or a problem with the plumbing vent. In either of the latter cases you should probably have the landlord look into it.


    Dan O.
    The Appliance Information Site



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