Many of us take our clothes dryers for granted. We never really think much about them until they stop working or some issue like leaking water presents itself. Dryers are supposed to have DRY water, right? So, what in the world is all that water coming from the dryer and pooling on your laundry room floor?
The good news is that water leaking from the dryer is a common issue. It is often caused by a ventilation issue in the dryer’s exhaust vent. There could be several reasons the hot air from your dryer isn’t flowing freely and adequately out of your home, and I’ll discuss them below.
In addition to identifying the reason your dryer is leaking water, I’ll give you some tips for resolving the issue. In most cases, the fix is simple and inexpensive, so keep reading if your clothes dryer leaks water.
- Cause of Water Leaking From Dryer
- Verdict: Dryer Leaking Water
Cause of Water Leaking From Dryer
Water leaking from a dryer is cause for concern. Although many people have experienced this problem, it’s still one that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later as the excess moisture in the appliance can damage its electrical components, not to mention impede its ability to do the one job it’s supposed to do.
Surprisingly, there are more than a handful of reasons why your dryer is leaking water. I’ll explain them below so you can hopefully identify the problem and get it fixed quickly.
1. Ventilation Blockage
One of the most common causes of water leaking from a dryer is a blockage in the ventilation hose coming out of the back of the dryer. A clothes dryer generates heat, which must be able to exit the machine, or condensation can form inside the drum. If there is a blockage of some sort in the dryer vent, the hot, damp air won’t be able to escape the appliance, resulting in the puddle of water you see under your dryer.
It is recommended that you clean your dryer’s ventilation system at least once a year. This should keep lint from building up to a point where airflow is restricted. To do this, you can purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit from your local hardware store, or you can call in a professional to clean the vent for you.
Remember, besides the water leak caused by a blocked dryer vent, you could be dealing with a fire hazard as well as lint is highly flammable and is responsible for nearly 16,000 housefires each year. Don’t neglect the annual cleaning of your dryer’s vent – it’ll save the life of your dryer and possibly yours as well.
2. Vent Duct Not Insulated
Water coming from a dryer may be the result of a non-insulated ventilation hose running through varying temperatures as it leads hot air from the dryer to outside the home. This often happens in colder climates where the ductwork starts in a warm part of the house and travels through a cold attic or basement to the outside. The temperature difference can cause condensation to form and leak from the dryer.
The best way to prevent this is to either replace your current non-insulated dryer hose with an insulated one or buy some pipe insulation to wrap around the existing ductwork to help protect it from varying temperatures.
3. Holes in the Ventilation Hose
For a dryer to function properly, its ventilation system must be intact and solid. Any kind of breach in the duct can cause the airflow to be weak or restricted. If your dryer’s ventilation hose shows signs of damage (cracks, holes, etc.), consider replacing it immediately.
The damage might seem minor, but they can allow water and other things that don’t belong to get inside your dryer. If the damage is minor, you might be able to use special heating/cooling tape to restore the integrity of the dryer vent.
4. Defective Vent Flap
At the end of your dryer’s vent hose, on the outside of your house, there should be a vent flap. The purpose of this vent flap is to keep things (rain, leaves, snow, etc.) from getting into the ventilation system. If this flap is broken or missing, the outside elements can easily enter the exhaust hose and potentially drain into your dryer, thus creating a leak on your laundry room floor.
To check if this is the cause of water leaking from your dryer, go outside, locate the vent flap, and check it for damage. If you notice any of the flaps is missing entirely, replace them right away.
5. Condenser Dryer Reservoir Full
A condenser dryer is different from a traditional dryer that vents outside in that they remove water from the clothing and collect it in a reservoir. Sometimes, this reservoir is connected to a drain so the collected water automatically flows away, and sometimes the reservoir must be emptied manually.
If yours is a condenser dryer, it’s possible that the water reservoir might be full or has a leak. Check for these issues first. If that isn’t the case, the issue could be with the pump or hoses that carry the water to the reservoir. If any of these parts are defective, they will need to be replaced to stop the leaking.
6. Condenser Lint Blockage
Every clothes dryer carries a risk of fire due to the lint that accumulates during the drying process. Failing to keep the ventilation clean and free of lint blockages can cause condensation to form in the dryer itself or the dryer vent, as well as a possible housefire. Again, experts recommend cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year to keep it from leaking or catching fire.
7. Vent Exhaust Indoors
Do you vent your dryer indoors? If so, this could be the reason your dryer is leaking water. When a dryer is vented indoors, the hot, moist air stays inside causing condensation to form. If this is the case, consider switching your dryer’s vent to outside the home.
8. Dryer Ventilation Looped or Bent
Many homeowners don’t realize that the longer their dryer’s vent hose is or the more bends and twists it has in it, the more likely lint is to get caught and build up, thus reducing airflow and contributing to condensation in the vent or the dryer itself.
Ideally, you should use rigid galvanized steel or aluminium tubing for your dryer’s ventilation, and it should be as straight as possible. Dryer exhaust should have the shortest, smoothest route to the outside of your home, so no condensation has a chance to form along the way.
9. Damaged Dryer Door Seal
Because clothes dryers dry moisture, you can expect there to be a small amount of liquid inside the dryer as it does its job. With that said, you should never see it leaking out of your dryer. If it does, it could be that the seal on the door is cracked or otherwise damaged.
The seal on the door is designed to create an impenetrable seal that doesn’t allow water vapour out or cold air in. If the seal is compromised, however, the above-mentioned water vapour and cold air can pass freely, creating condensation that could leak from the dryer. If this is the case, call in an HVAC expert to diagnose and fix the door seal.
You may also be interested in reading Fix a Dryer That Wont Turn Off Unless The Door Is Open
Verdict: Dryer Leaking Water
If your dryer is leaking water, this article should help you diagnose the issue and fix it accordingly. This is a common problem many homeowners experiences, but luckily, as you read above, there are simple, inexpensive solutions that you can do yourself to fix the issue.
While there are several reasons a dryer might leak water, the issue is usually caused by some sort of ventilation issue that allows condensation to form.
Whether due to a blockage, a damaged door seal, or any of the other causes discussed above, water leaking from a dryer isn’t a huge deal, although if it isn’t dealt with quickly, it might damage the appliance itself. Hopefully, this article provides the help you need to solve your water leak problem so you can get on with the wonderful chore of doing the laundry.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.