Why machines flood houses…

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.

In theory…


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.

Why you need to check your drain hose after moving

The plastic drain hoses in washing machines and dishwashers can become brittle with age. When installed in a single location, and not regularly moved or disturbed, the hoses can become stiff in position. Although the hose was fine before you move the appliance, flexing a stiff hose may result in a crack. This can result in anything from a small leak to a flooded house.

Things to look for are:

  1. Crackling noises when flexing the hose
  2. Stiff sections
  3. White stress marks between the ridges of the hose

If you’re worried about damaging the hose, just remember, it’s better for the hose to break in your hands than fill your house with water. And if the hose breaks while being flexed it needed to be replaced anyway. So pull, push and flex the hose until you’re confident it’s not going to cause you problems.

And no matter how confident you are that the hose is okay, always stick close by any appliance being used for the first time after a move. If it works okay the first time chances are nothing has been damaged in transit.

And if you need a hand or advice, call Washerman!