Should You Turn Off the Water When Not Using the Washing Machine?

Last Updated on: 14th June 2023, 06:35 pm

A small apartment laundry with a washing machine
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Washing machines require water in abundance for optimal wash and the interruption in the water supply could lead to stains on the clothes or the motor malfunctioning. This problem may not occur right away, but these possibilities can’t be written off.

Some of us may have thought about whether or not we should turn off the water supply to the washing machines. It’s obvious that a washing machine needs water while washing clothes, but does it need water when it’s turned off?

Perhaps, the latest washing machines take water according to the clothes quantity, but that’s not the point. The question is whether or not you should turn off the water supply for every washing machine when it’s not being used.

It comes down to this: 

It depends on the type and model of the washing machine. An automatic washing machine takes water automatically and the amount of water is also determined by the washing machine without any human input.

However, the old, manual washing machines don’t turn on and off the water supply automatically. Instead, they require human assistance for that.

Since I have a top-loading Samsung automatic washing machine, I don’t have to turn off the water after the wash. The water hose is attached to the washing machine and the washer takes the water when it starts washing clothes. However, I clean up the Samsung washing machine’s filter after a month or so.

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What happens to the washing machine if the water is cut off?

Most automatic washing machines take cold water from the water supply when the wash cycle begins, and it happens automatically.

You must know that you should never turn off the water supply to an automatic washing machine because it’s programmed for water intake as soon as the wash cycle begins. Once the required amount is taken by the washing machine, the water supply cuts off automatically.

If the water supply cuts off during the wash cycle, the automatic washer would give an error and the washing machine would stop washing clothes.

However, the story is quite different from the traditional, manual washing machines – they require users to manually put water into the washer drum before starting the wash cycle.

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How do I turn off the water line to my washing machine?

Before you turn off the water supply to a washing machine, it’s vital to understand whether or not you should do that. The reason is that automatic washers intake water automatically through the dedicated water lines, which should never be cut off.

If you must turn off the water line for some reason, then the process for turning off the water line to your washing machine will depend on the specific plumbing configuration of your home. Here are some general steps that should help:

1. Locate the water valves: The water valves for your washing machine are typically located near the back of the machine. Look for two valves, one for hot water and one for cold water.

2. Turn off the valves: Once you have located the valves, turn them clockwise to shut off the water flow. You may need to use pliers or a wrench to turn the valves if they are difficult to move.

3. Test the valves: After turning off the valves, run a quick cycle on your washing machine to make sure that the water has been fully shut off. If water continues to flow, you may need to turn off the main water valve for your home.

4. Consider installing a shut-off valve: If you find it difficult to access the valves, you may want to consider installing a shut-off valve that is easier to reach. A plumber can help you with this task.

Remember, turning off the water line to your washing machine is an important safety precaution to prevent flooding or water damage.

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Do washing machines drain automatically?

Most washing machines are designed to drain water automatically after each wash cycle. Once the wash cycle is completed, the machine’s pump will begin to remove the water from the drum and pump it out through the drain hose.

The pump will continue to operate until most of the water has been removed from the machine. However, if the drain hose is clogged or the pump is malfunctioning, the water may not drain properly.

In such cases, you may need to manually remove the water from the machine or seek professional assistance to fix the problem.

It’s important to ensure that your washing machine’s drain hose is clear and unobstructed and to periodically check the machine’s pump and drainage system for any issues that may interfere with its proper functioning.