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Common Appliance Plumbing Problems and How to Resolve Them

Common Appliance Plumbing Problems and How to Resolve Them


There are few challenges more frustrating than encountering sudden plumbing issues and the accompanying difficulties with household appliances. Even the best appliances and plumbing setups will have problems that require treatment and professional maintenance eventually. But luckily, you don’t have to go out and buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine just because something’s off. 


Let’s take a closer look at some common appliance plumbing problems, how to resolve them, and when it’s time to call the professionals at The Plumbing Works for all your plumbing service needs.

Leaky Refrigerator

If you’ve found puddles of water near or under your refrigerator, don’t just clean it up and forget about the issue. It could be the result of something not working as intended with your refrigerator’s plumbing. Some possibilities include:

A Clogged Defrost Drain

Take a close look at your unit’s defrost drain hose. This tube might be located underneath the freezer portion, usually located below the produce storage area or behind the unit itself. Food particles and other debris can get caught in the drain hose. This clog can, over time, cause melted condensation to leak out onto the floor.


How to fix: A quick at-home solution could involve using a turkey baster to flush the drain hole inside of the fridge with warm water. If the clog still doesn’t move, try pushing it carefully through with a pipe cleaner or coat hanger. Next, find the defrost drain hose and clean the hose’s drain valve with plenty of soap and water. If the drain or its hose were the culprits, after you take out any blockages and dirt, your fridge should be working properly.

A Damaged Drain Pan

At the bottom of your refrigerator is a drain pan that slowly takes on any condensate water from the evaporator fins. By design, the water in the drain pan eventually evaporates; there’s never a need to empty it. However, if the pan is dented or cracked, collected water could seep onto the kitchen floor.


How to fix: Thankfully, a refrigerator water leak is occasionally a simple fix! Just pull out the drain pan and look around it for any cracks. If you find any damage, it’s time to replace it. Head over to your local hardware store for a new pan, or call us directly at The Plumbing Works with any questions or concerns.

Dishwasher Drainage

Discovering that there’s a standing pool of water near your dishwasher after completing a cycle is never good news. Typically, any water used will drain before you even open the door. But if water isn’t able to drain, you could have a sink full of dirty dishes to contend with or, even worse, a soaked or flooded kitchen floor. 


It can take a little trial and error to figure out the exact cause(s), so here are some tips for how to troubleshoot your dishwasher’s drainage and standing water issue:


Is the issue with the plumbing system or the dishwasher unit? Clean the filter and basket. If the dishwasher properly drains after that, you’ve fixed the issue!


Are other drains in the house still working? Occasionally, whole-house plumbing issues such as a clogged main sewer line can result in a non-draining dishwasher. Do your toilets, showers, and sinks drain without any problems? If everything works, then the problem is likely with your dishwasher.


Is your dishwasher getting power? Your dishwasher can’t properly empty without a functional power source. Check that the outlet has power and check the breaker box for any circuits that aren’t working.

How to Fix a Non-Draining Dishwasher

Now that you’ve diagnosed the problem, it’s time to address it. Start with the simplest fix and continue on from there:


First, activate the garbage disposal. The drain hose pours into the garbage disposal drain. If any food particles are stuck in the disposal, your dishwasher may not fully drain. Clearing the disposal could solve the issue.

Then, remove the clog(s). A clog that is in your dishwasher will stop any draining. Take out the filter basket and check that it’s not full of food particles. Wipe down the interior and carefully clean the filter for any missed debris.

Lastly, examine the drain hose and verify that it’s in good condition. It should be free of damage and maintain a tight seal. You can use a wire hanger to remove or loosen clogs.

Washing Machine Drainage And Temperature

Because washing machines are used so often, you can have a real issue if it stops working. It is usually best to call a The Plumbing Works professional if you need repairs done, but you can keep a watchful eye out for signs to look for so that you can catch plumbing issues before they escalate. 


Take a look below at a few signs that your washing machine may have a plumbing issue that needs attention:

Water Is Draining But Spilling On The Floor

Your washing machine’s drain box is where the lines and hoses from your unit connect to your home’s plumbing. If the water is clogged there, it’s a crucial sign that the problem is with the plumbing. 


Because it’s common for kitchens and washing machines to share the same drain, food particles and grease can get caught, slowing the water flow. If the draining issue gets bad enough, it could stop altogether. This not only backs up your kitchen sink but can also back up your washing machine as well.


Additionally, sometimes water might back up in the kitchen sink while you’re doing a load of laundry, or your bathtub will fill with water. Either challenge means that your main drain line is likely clogged and that you should contact one of our expert professionals to clear the drain for you. The good news is that you can prevent major clogs by not putting food and grease down your kitchen drain.

The Washer Can’t Fill Up or Is the Wrong Temperature

This issue often means there’s a problem with your washer’s water inlet valves. The inlet valves connect two water hoses to your unit, which adjust the flow of hot and cold water.

Sometimes, mineral deposits can grow within these valves, causing blockages that impede water flow. If mineral deposits do build up, then the electric mechanics that open or close the flow of hot/cold water can be reduced or damaged.


You can mitigate this issue for the future by installing a water softener in your house. Hard water comes with minerals that can damage appliances, so softening the water can save your wallet from costly repairs. 


Contact us at The Plumbing Works if you’d like us to inspect any part of your home’s plumbing to ensure your appliances and plumbing work properly, and that every member of the home is comfortable and safe!