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How To Fix A Leaking Washing Machine On/Off Water Valve Behind Washer

My washing machine water shut-off valve behind the washer is leaking. I have made sure the hoses are tight but the leak seems to be coming from from another part of the valve. When I put the valve handle in the upright position the water is turned off to the washer. When I pull back on the water valve handle the water turns on to the washing machine. If I turn the valve completely off, no water leaks. The valve is only leaking when I have the valve in the turned on or open position. The water leaks out in the area where the valve handle connects to the valve and sometimes under the things that look like big flat head screws. It is not a very bad leak, it is not spraying everywhere. It is just a very slow drip but enough to get the wall wet. I don’t want the wall to get mold on it and I am afraid that the leak could get worse. Can you guys provide a me a very simple, easy fix that a non technical person can follow?

Fix Leaking Washing Machine Water Valve

The easiest way to fix a leaking washer water valve is to replace the o-rings or bushings. This is an easy fix and involves turning off water, disassembling the valve, and replacing the old worn out o-rings, bushings, or Teflon rings. The most common reason for a leaking washing machine water valve is loose hose connections or worn out o-rings/bushings.

NOTE: There are various types of washer shut-off valves. This page will help you to better understand the different types of valves and how to fix a leak yourself. See the images and videos below for the different types of valves that may be behind your washing machine.

First, check to be sure the water hoses are tight. Also check the o-rings in the water hoses where the hose screws onto the valve. Make sure the water hose o-rings are smooth and not ripped, broken, or too compressed. If the hoses are not leaking and the leak is coming directly from the valve itself, then replacing the o-rings should fix the leak. If the water valve has a crack in it, then it cannot be repaired. If you do find an actual crack in the valve itself, it will need to be removed and replaced.

exploded view of washer water valveExploded view of a typical washer water shut-off valve

To replace the bad leaky o-rings or bushings fast and easy, look up the exact type of valve you have. There are usually 3 different types of water valves used for washing machines. Find the correct type you have by searching Google for “Washing machine water valve” and search under images to find a picture of one that looks just like yours. Once you know the exact water valve type you have, search for a valve kit or plumbing valves for your water on/off valve. A repair kit will consist of o-rings, bushings, plastic packing nuts, and possibly plastic or Teflon inserts that are used to rebuild the valve and fix the leak. O-rings and bushings can wear out over time so replacing them is needed when leaks occur.

maintain washer water valve instructionsO-ring replacement instructions for typical washer shut-off valve

Try this easy fix if the leak is at the handle:
1 – To repair certain types of washer water valves, first turn off the leaky valve with the handle. Use a crescent wrench and tighten the nut (clockwise) at the base of the stem while holding the handle in place.

2 – Open and close the valve multiple times. If the leak has stopped, you have fixed the leak by simply tightening the nut. If the valve still leaks, the o-ring or bushing on the packing nut needs to be replaced. Replace and test. If no leaks you have successfully fixed the leak. If not see below…

How to replace a common washer connection head

To fully rebuild your washer water valve, use this method below:
1 – Turn off the water supply to your complete home (usually located outside and under a panel or along the exterior of the house).

2 – Remove the screw or nut that holds the handle of the washer valve to the valve stem and remove the handle off the stem.

3 – Take off the nut (counterclockwise) with your crescent wrench. Remove the rubber o-ring or fiber Teflon disk bushing inside the valve by sliding it off the stem. You may need a flat head screwdriver to remove the bushing if it is compressed.

4 – Get a new bushing/o-ring/fiber Teflon disk and put it onto the stem where the old one you just removed was. Put the nut on the stem and tighten it down with your crescent wrench.

5 – Put the handle back on the stem.

6 – Once fully assembled and tightened, put the valve in the off position.

7 – Open the main water supply valve to the house and test the washer water valve for leaks.

other type of washer water valvesAnother type of washer water shut-off valve – notice hot and cold are separate and color coded

types of washer water valvesAnother type of washer water shut-off valve – notice hot and cold are old style handle

Leaky Washing Machine Valve Fix

Have a better way to repair a leaky washer shut-off valve? Please leave a comment below to assist our other readers.

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9 thoughts on “How To Fix A Leaking Washing Machine On/Off Water Valve Behind Washer”

  1. Fixed in 30 seconds after reading your guide and watching the last video. So clear and concise. Eternally grateful.

  2. My laundry valves are similar to the setup in the last video, where the pipes aren’t visable/accessible. I have a leaking/running cold water valve – it was a drip, now it’s constantly running, even with the valve all the way off. How do I fix this? I have been told it’s an o ring/washer that needs to be replaced but there’s no way to take the valve off of the pipe that I can see. Thanks!

  3. Tommy Guerriero

    My machine shut off valve leaks when I turn the water on only…can I spray some WD-40 or something else in the valve and turn it on/off 10 times and fix the leak…thank you…tg…

  4. Sogladifoundu

    Thank you so much for posting this information. The diagrams are immensely helpful. Thanks in part to your website I was able to quickly determine what steps to take to troubleshoot and replace a leaky o ring. Thanks again!

  5. The water shut off valve behind my washing machine has been leaking, and it has me concerned. I’ve never done any valve repairs before, so I’ll be sure to follow your instructions on disassembling the valve.

  6. Wow, this is a great guide for a layperson like myself! I have very little experience with any kind of plumbing, so an article like this is just great for me. I’m also having problems with my on/off water valve, but I think it’s a bit more serious (there are spurts of water, for example). Is this still something I should tackle myself, or would it be wiser to call a plumber? Again, keep in mind that I have zero plumbing experience.

  7. DIY Project Help Tips

    Go to YouTube and type in MAKE and MODEL for “REPLACE DOOR SWITCH ON WHIRLPOOL WASHER”. We could explain here but you haven’t given us much info to go on.

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