One of the best conveniences is to have a washing machine in your home, but it is not without responsibilities and the potential for problems. Preventing plumbing issues can help you avoid considerable damage to your machine and your home.
Be Careful About What You Wash
Sometimes items may need to be rinsed before putting them in the wash. This might include anything with solid waste materials or caked in dirt or mud. For example, people who use cloth diapers typically dump any solids into the toilet before washing. You might also chose to soak items for a few minutes in a bucket to loosen anything that might clog pipes and simply dump the dirty water in the toilet. Many solid particles inside your wash could potentially clog the drain line or you may end up with debris at the bottom of the machine that you will need to clean by hand to prevent it from soiling other items.
Use A Strainer
One of the best ways to minimize the amount of debris that ends up in the drain line of your washing machine is to use a strainer. Many types of clothing will produce lint during washing or your clothing might have many shed hairs on it and you want to catch as much as possible with the strainer. It can also help to use a paper towel after you finish washing a load of clothing to wipe out any pieces of debris remaining in the machine. Not only will this minimize what goes down the drain, but it will prevent significant amounts of debris from attaching to your next load of clothing.
Check Hose Attachments
You should keep an eye on the hoses connecting your washing machine to the water source and drain. Many of these hoses are made from plastic or rubber and can weaken considerably, causing leaks. If you normally just let your washing machine run without supervision, make a point to check it at least weekly. Just watch the lines as the water flows into the machine to make sure you do not see any water leaking from the lines. When the machine empties, check again for any signs of cracks in the drain line. Keeping an eye on the hoses can prevent substantial flooding if one of the lines were to fail. As an added precaution, you might consider installing a flood detection system near your washer. If the washing machine were to overflow or one of lines broke, the system would warn you so you could quickly stop the washing machine.
Taking simple precautions can keep common plumbing problems at bay when you use your washing machine.