Front Load Washer Problems: Overflow

an overflowing front-loading washing machine
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
Small Plastic
Tube Pliers
What You'll Need
Small Plastic
Tube Pliers

Doing the laundry is easy when everything goes smoothly. However, when overflow happens, the situation can be irritating and with the resulting mess, there is a need to address the problem immediately. You can troubleshoot your front loading washing machine problems and save yourself from high costs of repair and labor. Here’s how.

Step 1 - Determine the Cause of Overflow

Normally the cause of overflow is when the fill valve is stuck open. Sometimes this is caused by problems with the pressure tube or switch. You have to check these but you first have to determine if the cause is electrical or mechanical.

To determine if the overflow problem is mechanical, start filling the washer. As it gets filled with water, turn the timer off. If the washer continues to fill, unplug the washer and if it continues to fill despite the lack of electrical power, your front load washer overflow is due to mechanical reasons. Otherwise, the cause is electrical.

Step 2 - Check the Pressure Switch

Get a small plastic tube. Unplug the front loading washer and open the panel where you can find the pressure switch; it is the switch with a clear or black rubber tube. Remove the tube and replace with the small tubing. Blow into the switch and observe if it clicks. When you release the pressure, you should again hear another click. If this happens, this means that the switch is functioning well.

Step 3 - Check the Pressure Tubing

With the washer plugged back in, wipe the pressure tubing that you removed from the panel in the earlier step. Blow into it and feel the level of restriction as the air passes through the tube. If you find it hard to blow into the tube, the port is clogged.

If this is the case, remove the clamp of the pressure tube just outside the tank and remove the tube by pulling it gently. You have to remove the washer front by removing the two screws at the bottom and the two hex screws at the top. Loosen the hex screw with a pair of pliers. Remove the hose or the tubing and flush it with water to remove the clog. At the same time, clean the tank fill valve before re-attaching the hose.

If blowing through the tubing is easy and the air flows through it, check on the tube and see if the tube is swollen or is loose. If this is the case, you can cut a portion of the affected part and return the tube.

Step 4 - Check the Bellows Assembly

Some front load washing machine models have a bellows assembly that keeps clothing inside the container while washing. Sometimes, this bellows assembly is not utilized and small pieces of clothing, dirt or accumulated lint can slip out of the wash basket and can go through the narrow area that leads to the drain. When this happens, clogging can cause overflowing and you need to clean this part. Free the assembly from all the accumulated parts that have caused the clogging.