[FIXED] Kenmore Washer Leaking From Bottom or Top?

kenmore washer leaking water

It’s a sinking feeling. You start up a nice load of laundry, leave the room for a bit, and come back to find a small lake covering your laundry room floor. Your Kenmore washer is leaking water – again!

Dealing with leaks frustrates even the most mild-mannered laundry-doers. The good news is that Kenmore washer leaks often stem from just a handful of common issues like faulty water supply hoses, worn out seals, and cracked parts.

With some targeted troubleshooting and an understanding of potential culprits, you can diagnose and resolve the leak issue once and for all.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of what causes Kenmore washers to leak from the bottom of the washer as well as from the top. We’ll also provide you with some common repairs you can try out yourself to fix each problem or cause.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into it.

How to Fix Kenmore Washer Leaking From Bottom

Is your Kenmore washing machine leaking from the bottom and you don’t know what the problem is? Truth is, several factors could be responsible for a leaky Kenmore washing machine.

However, in this section, we’ll be looking at the most common reasons alongside a variety of other issues. For each cause, we’ll provide you with detailed instructions to fix them.

Ready to fix your Kenmore washer leaking from the bottom? Continue reading to learn how.

1. Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump is tasked with pumping out water during the wash cycle. A cracked or damaged pump will start leaking underneath the machine, leading to drainage issues.

Signs of a faulty drain pump:

  • Excessive rattling or shaking during the wash cycle
  • Pools of water under the machine from the pump area

Do you have a faulty pump? Follow these steps to replace it:

  • Unplug washing machine and remove excess water around the pump filter
  • Place a bucket underneath to catch additional water
  • Remove front panel to access pump by unscrewing corner screws
  • Disconnect inlet and outlet pump hoses
  • Turn pump 1/8 turn clockwise to disengage the mounting and slide out
  • Install new pump by aligning ports and pushing back into place
  • Make 1/8 counterclockwise turn to re-lock the pump
  • Reconnect inlet and outlet hoses securely
  • Replace front panel and screws
  • Test for leaks to restore drainage function

This should restore the normal drain function or proper water drainage.

2. Damaged Internal Hoses

There are two main internal hoses that can become compromised and cause leaking.

The first is the drain hose that carries used water to your home’s drainage line. The second is the tub-to-pump hose bringing wastewater from the wash tub to the drain pump. Either can develop cracks or small punctures over time, allowing water to leak out underneath the machine.

Not sure if you have a cracked drain hose? To be sure, carefully inspect all segments of your hoses for potential holes or disconnects, especially if the machine area is wet after the cycles finish. Also, confirm if connections at the water pump are tight. Any drips or cracks mean replacement is needed.

Done with the inspection? If your hoses are damaged, then they are responsible for the leak.

In this case, follow these steps to replace a damaged or cracked hose:

  • Unplug the washing machine and turn off the home’s water supply valves.
  • Access the back panel and identify faulty drain or tub-to-pump hose.
  • Loosen hose clamps with pliers and disconnect the damaged hose.
  • Measure and purchase replacement hose of matching size and length (including the OEM part).
  • Gently push replacement hose onto the ports and tighten the clamps securely.
  • Check new hose routing to prevent kinking or abrasion during cycles.
  • Turn on water, check for leaks at fittings before reassembling.

When installing new hoses, avoid overtightening clamps or forcing ill-fitting sizes. Also, make sure routing doesn’t allow hoses to catch or rub on chassis components from machine vibration during spin cycles.

3. Worn Tub Seal

The tub seal is a large rubber gasket at the bottom of the tub responsible for keeping water contained.

Over time, this seal can get small tears or cracks that allow water leakage. While tiny at first, these can worsen over time and let water get into tub bearings. For this reason, if the tub seal requires replacement, plan to replace the entire bearing kit as well.

The washer repair process is a bit difficult since gaining access requires fully disassembling top portions of the machine, all the way down though the suspension springs and tub brackets. But with some patience and proper caution, it’s doable for the committed DIY-er.

To replace a worn tub seal, follow these steps:

  • Gain rear access by removing the back service panel.
  • Detach all hoses/lines connected from the outer tub to other components.
  • Remove tub retaining springs and mounting brackets or clips.
  • With assistance, slide the tub backwards to remove it from the center driveshaft.
  • Inspect and clean tub seal contact areas thoroughly.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to pry out worn seal and bearing kit parts.
  • Press in the new tub seal kit parts provided, and ensure they are fully seated.
  • Reinstall the outer tub in reverse order, and confirm alignments.
  • Secure all mounting springs and brackets firmly before replacing the service panel.

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4. Other Causes

Aside from the major causes discussed above, there are other causes that could lead to leaks from the bottom of your Kenmore washer. Let’s take a look at them:

Damaged Transmission Components

On some top-loader configurations, leaks could come from damaged components around transmission just under the central tub agitation area.

To Fix this problem, do the following:

  • Unplug the washing machine and turn off the water supply lines.
  • Remove the back service panel to access the internal transmission near the center driveshaft.
  • Visually inspect seal between outer tub and inner drum around driveshaft for deterioration or gaps.
  • Check vertical drive shaft housing for cracks and ensure couplings are intact.
  • If seals or couplings are compromised, replacement of the entire transmission assembly may be required. Consult your service manual for the right steps.
  • Contact service technicians to inquire about transmission assembly replacement. They’ll also be able to offer you their expert analysis of the problem. If it’s too much for you, then you can as well schedule a repair.

Worn Door Boot Seal

Another culprit can be worn door boot seals or failed retaining rings, allowing water to leak from around the closed door during wash cycles.

For this problem, visually inspect the door gaskets for any signs of visible damage such as cracks or wall bulges that signal failure.

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Inspect the rubber door seal for any tears, gaps, or deformation that could allow leaking.
  • Pull seal tab to dislodge current door seal and discard if damaged.
  • Clean the door rim contact area thoroughly before fitting the new gasket.
  • Align and press the new door boot seal fully into place around the door perimeter.
  • Confirm even compression when the door is closed before retesting the machine.

For a damaged boot seal retaining ring, do the following:

  • Pry out the damaged retaining ring around the door seal perimeter using a flathead screwdriver.
  • Purchase replacement retaining rings of correct dimensions for your model.
  • Press the new retaining ring completely and evenly into the door seal channel around the perimeter.
  • Close door and verify ring provides consistent compression to maintain watertight door seal.

Cracked Water Inlet Valve Housing

Finally, although less common, cracks in the water inlet valve housing itself could manifest as leaks underneath.

For a cracked or faulty water valve assembly, you’ll have to replace it to stop the leak.

To replace it, follow these steps:

  • Turn off water lines and disconnect the machine from the power source before accessing the valve.
  • Disconnect faulty valve hoses using pliers to loosen clamps.
  • Remove mounting screws to detach the faulty or clogged water valve assembly from the chassis for inspection.
  • Assess valve housing cracks and integrity to determine if full replacement is needed.
  • Purchase new replacement inlet valve assembly with hoses if required.
  • Secure the new inlet valve tightly. Reconnect water lines and check for leaks during fill test before using the machine again.

How To Fix Kenmore Washer Leaking From Top

Kenmore washing machines do not only leak from the bottom, they can also leak from the top too.

Same as with bottom leaks, there are several culprits also responsible for leaks from the top. Here are some potential causes for Kenmore top leaks and how to resolve them:

1. Too Many Suds/Overuse of Detergent

Kenmore washers have a small overflow outlet on the back to prevent oversudsing issues.

However, using too much detergent or the wrong type can create excessive suds, leading to leaks as water overflows this outlet.

So how can you prevent leaks due to suds or overuse of detergent? Do the following:

  • Review your washer manual and confirm that you are using the detergent type and quantity recommended for your model.
  • For front-loaders, switch to an HE detergent to prevent oversudsing.
  • Run an empty vinegar rinse cycle to help dissolve any residual buildup.
  • Wipe debris/residue from door seals and bellows around the dispenser.

2. Damaged Dispenser Drawer/Loose Connections

The dispenser drawer houses components like the detergent and fabric softener cups. If the dispenser develops cracks in the housing, leaks can occur even when the drawer is fully closed.

To fix this problem, do the following: 

  • Pull the dispenser drawer completely out to inspect for cracks in housing.
  • Check dispenser supply hoses for secure fittings or pinhole leaks.
  • Remove stubborn buildup clogging supply channel openings. Periodically running empty soap deposits will prevent the supply channel from being clogged in future.
  • If cracked, order replacement dispenser drawer assembly specific to your model.
  • When installing, ensure hoses are clear of any snags or crimps.

3. Small Items Caught in Dispenser

Believe it or not, small handkerchiefs or other items can become lodged under or in the dispenser. If caught in just the wrong way, they can stop proper water flow between components.

To fix this problem, carefully remove any trapped items and clear any stuck residue before testing the machine again. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Pull the dispenser drawer fully out and inspect for any trapped clothing items blocking openings.
  • Check door bellows and gaskets for similar issues preventing proper seating around the dispenser.
  • Remove any found items carefully to avoid tearing seals or damaging components.
  • Wipe away any stuck residue remaining before gently closing the dispenser.

4. Overloading

Finally, overloading wash capacity for your model or washing especially bulky items can physically strain components. This added stress can manifest as atypical leaks from unusual spots as components shift.

To stop yourself from overloading your machine, do these:

  • Refer to your owner’s manual for the maximum load capacity for your machine.
  • Avoid stuffing extra items or weights beyond recommendations to prevent strain.
  • Wash bulky items like blankets separately to prevent uneven component stress.


And there you have it! As you can see, Kenmore washers can develop leaks both at the bottom and the top from a handful of common issues like worn seals or damaged hoses.

But with some thorough diagnosis paired with the repair tips we covered, you can troubleshoot the root cause of the problem and implement the fix to get your washer back washing worry-free once again.

Just be sure to always exercise caution and unplug any appliance when disassembling for repairs.

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