Can an Unbalanced Washing Machine Cause Water Leaking?

Christie Gross

An unbalanced washing machine can cause water to leak from the washer in a number of ways. The machine will vibrate and shake as it agitates and spins, which can cause water to spill out the washer’s lid or door.

Perform a balance check as part of yearly washing machine maintenance.

Moreover, an unbalanced washer can shake so intensely that it breaks a component, causing the washer to leak underneath or at the washer’s rear. Routinely verify that your washing machine is balanced to avoid it leaking.

Door or Lid

Running a large laundry load will require that your washing machine fills almost entirely with water. If the washer isn’t completely stable on the floor, the washing machine will likely shake and shimmy as it runs through the complete wash cycle. When this happens, water may leak from the door of a front-loading washing machine or spill out the lid of a top-load washing machine due to the vibration the washer makes.


Although a washing machine’s washtub is a fairly sturdy metal or plastic part, it will split and crack from repeated damage caused by the washer shaking violently on the laundry room floor. If the tub starts to leak, you’ll usually find water pooling on the floor below the washer. Since a tub replacement isn’t an economical repair, complete washing machine replacement often is required. As soon as you hear your washing machine vibrating, assume that the washer is unbalanced, and take action to balance it to prevent permanent damage. Refer to your owner's manual for tips on how to balance a washing machine.

Water Pressure Switch

The water pressure switch is a long, plastic fragile tube located in the outer washtub that regulates the washing machine’s water level. If the tube breaks from vibration caused by an unlevel washer, the machine may overfill with water and send water flowing from its lid or door onto the floor. Turn off the water supply valves, and call a washing machine repair technician to replace the water pressure switch. Adjust the washing machine’s leveling feet to the proper length needed to steady the washer. You can refer to the washing machine’s user guide for instructions if needed.

Rubber Seal and Gasket

A front-loading washing machine has a rubber door seal and gasket that keep water in the washing machine while the washer is running. However, continuous vibration from an unbalanced washing machine will impact the seal and gasket’s ability to hold back water in the washtub, and eventually water will drip from the door every time you use the washer. Once the door seal and gasket fail, both components will need to be changed out after the washer is securely balanced.