Washing Machine Overflows – Causes and Clean-Up

Overflowing washer

If a washing machine overflows in your Chicago area home, it can be quite a headache.

But before we discuss what to do if it happens to you, here are the leading causes of why it happens.

Knowing this information may save it from happening to you.


Washing Machine Overflow Causes
  • Malfunctioning water inlet valve this is the part that connects the two water hoses to the washing machine, controlling the flow of hot and cold water. If it doesn’t shut off after filling the wash tub with water, it will overflow. To test if this is your problem, shut off the power to the machine while filling. If it keeps filling, that valve is your problem and will need to be replaced.
  • Broken pressure switchthis switch stops water from flowing to the inlet valve once the water has reached its set level. When it’s not working, there’s nothing to stop water from continuing to flow into your washing machine.
  • Low water pressure – with this issue, your machine’s water inlet valve might not receive the signal to shut down the flow of water. Typically, your water pressure should be at least 20 PSI to trigger the valve.
Ways to Prevent Washing Machine Overflows
  • Don’t put too much laundry in the machine. Distribute the clothes evenly and loosely.
  • Regularly check the water supply hoses. Replace old rubber ones with stainless steel braided hoses because they’re much more durable.
  • Install a water alarm/detector that lets you know when you have standing water where it shouldn’t be. Also, install an automatic washing machine shutoff valve to prevent flooding from broken hoses, leaky valves, or other failures.
  • Use the correct detergent for your machine to avoid the production of too many suds that can cause overflows. Also never use more detergent than necessary.
Washing Machine Overflow Clean-Up

If your washing machine does overflow, here are the immediate steps you should take:

Step 1: Turn off electrical power to the machine at the circuit breaker. Don’t push the “Cancel” button on the washer’s control panel because, depending on the problem, the situation may get worse as this will activate the drain cycle.

Step 2: Mop up the water and remove any wet rugs or furnishings from the area and dry them out immediately. Since the water from a washing machine will not have many contaminants, those items can usually be salvaged.

Step 3: Take the clothes from the washer and wring them out outside or over a sink. Removing all the water from inside the washer will help if there’s a drainage problem.

Step 4: Check the incoming water hoses for damage. Move the washer and look for dripping or leaking on the hoses. If they’re damaged, replace them.

If a worst-case scenario occurs in your Chicagoland home where no one is around to notice the overflow before it’s too late, you may have a minor flood on your hands. In that case, it’s not recommended that you try to clean it up yourself. Water will not only cause damage to areas you can see, but it can flow into hidden areas and cause unseen damage while promoting mold growth. Call ServiceMaster By Simons to extract the water and completely dry out the area.


Choose a Trustworthy Company

ServiceMaster By Simons is a reputable disaster restoration company you can rely on. We’ve been in business for many years and take great pride in serving the expansive Chicago metropolitan area and its surrounding suburbs. Our company stands as the preferred choice in Chicagoland for both commercial and residential disaster restoration services. Our expertise includes Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, and Smoke Odor Removal. With a team of highly skilled professionals who are certified by the IICRC, we’re equipped to handle insurance claims of any size. Call 773-376-1110 or contact us online.

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