Washing machines and dishwashers use sensors to detect when the machine has enough water to do its job, and other sensors to tell it if something goes wrong. But things don’t always work the way they should.
When flood sensors don’t work:
The flood sensor in the bottom of most dishwashers and some front load washing machines are typically a rudimentary switch mounted above a styrofoam disc. If water flows into the base, the styrofoam floats up and actives the switch. The machine knows there is a leak, and commonly will display an error code and operate the drain pump.
If the switch is broken, or corroded, or if the styrofoam disc is dislodged, or if the leak occurs in a house outside the machine then you will experience an unpleasant problem.
The worst scenario, is the last one listed: when the leak occurs in a hose at a point outside the cabinet of the machine.
Many litres of water can flow through your carpet, floor boards and into your cupboards, before you know there’s a problem.
When you go away turn off the taps to your washing machine and dishwasher. If you see a little leak, especially in a cupboard or under a bench, check it out. Behind the scenes there may be more going on than you realise.