One of the essential parts of your front load washing is the rubber gasket. If you plan on getting a washing machine or want to learn more about them, one main part you should know is the gasket.
So what is the gasket of a washing machine? And how does it function?
In this article we will explain what a washing machine gasket is and all you need to know about it.
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Here is what a washing machine gasket is:
A Washing gasket is a circular rubber ring that sits in between the drum and door of a front load washing machine. It serves to prevent the outflow of water from the washer during use.
How does a washing machine gasket work?
The washing machine gasket works by acting as a watertight rubber that serves as a seal to prevent water from flowing out of the washer during a cycle.
The sealing effect is created by the door exerting compressive forces on the rubber gasket which elastically deform the gasket.
Where is the washing machine gasket located?
The washing machine gasket, the circular rubber ring, is located in front of the drum of a washing machine.
It can be accessed by pulling off the top of your washing machine and removing the screws that hold it in place.
How to remove an old washing machine door seal or gasket
One of the most common parts of your front load washing machine that you’ll be replacing is the rubber door seal, also known as the gasket.
This is because the gasket constantly gets in contact with water during washing, and some of this water remains seated at the bottom, causing the rubber seal to wear out, and perish over time causing leakages on your washing machine.
Now, changing the door seal of a washing machine may differ slightly depending on the brand, but the steps below will guide you to easily remove your washing machine door seal without any stress.
- Step 1. Safety first- Unplug the washing machine
Before you begin removing your front load washing machine door seal, you need to unplug your machine from the socket.
Your washing machine should not be connected to a power source while you are working on it. This is to prevent any possibility of injury to you.
- Step 2. Remove screws of the front panel if possible
Removing the front panel is the way to get access to the rubber seal but this is not possible on all washing machine models.
The screws are located at different places on different models. It is even possible to remove your gasket without taking off the front panel.
Tip: You can google your model and add the search term “remove front panel” to find out exactly how to remove your front panel.
What to do if the front panel is is unremovable:
If you can’t get access to remove your front panel then follow these simple steps to help you remove your gasket easily.
– Try unscrewing and removing the lid of your washing machine to give you good access to the door seal.
– Unscrew and remove the washing machine door hinges if possible
– Position the washing machine carefully on its back so that the drum moves a bit away from the door to leave ample space for you to get to your door seal.
- Step 3. Take off the outer retaining band
In most washing machines, you’ll find this plastic band against the outer edge of the rubber door seal which needs to be removed first.
Use a flat-head screwdriver to peel away and pull off the plastic band entirely.
This is not always the case and since not all washing machines have this plastic band. If yours doesn’t, then you may skip this step.
- Step 4. Fold rubber door seal/gasket into the washing machine
Carefully and gently fold the rubber seal off the edge of the washing machine drum using your fingers or a flathead screwdriver. This will let you access the inner band around the drum.
Check to see if there are any clips holding the seal down. If there are, remove the screws using a screwdriver. Not all washing machines have these screws.
- Step 5. Take off retaining spring/band
This spring is what holds the door seal firmly in place. They are usually held in place by a screw which you should loosen so the door seal can be removed.
To access this screw, unscrew and remove the top of the washing machine. And using a screwdriver, loosen the screw of the retaining band and take off the rubber door seal.
Using a flat head screw, start from the bottom and carefully pry the spring from the drum.
- Step 6. Take note of the drain holes of your old door seal
You’ll find tiny holes close to the bottom of the rubber door seal which serves as drainage holes.
Take note of that because your new door seal should have its drain holes in a similar position for water to drain properly.
- Step 7. Pull of the rubber door seal
Pull the seal from the edge of the drum to remove it. Depending on your model it may come off rather easily or you may find it tough to pull off because it has been glued.
Also, some models will require you to unscrew the door lock before the seal can be pulled off.
How to Install a new washing machine gasket/rubber seal
After you have successfully removed your old washing machine rubber seal/gasket, the next thing will be to install the new one.
Follow these simple steps to install your new washing machine gasket with no hassle:
- Step 1. Clean the exposed area and drum
Before you even start any installation, clear off any excess grime and mould that may be present from the area using a damp cloth.
- Step 2. Lubricate
Some new gaskets or seal seals come pre-lubricated. If yours isn’t, don’t worry. Get a little washing liquid soap and rub along the lip of the seal to reduce the friction and make it easier for you to install your new seal.
- Step 3. Position the new seal over the drum
Properly align the seal and make sure the tiny holes are positioned at the bottom just like your old seal.
- Step 4. Fix the retaining spring band back
Fit in the band onto the lip using a flat head screwdriver to hold the seal in place. It might be more difficult than when you removed it first. So don’t fret when it’s a bit hard.
- Step 5. Install the new door seal
After getting through all the steps above, you can now install your new door seal. Unfold the seal onto the outside of the drum and put the outer retaining band back in place to hold the seal in place.
- Step 6. Re-install all the other parts
Now, screw back all the components you removed earlier such as the front panel and door. After that, plug back your washing machine.
Tip: After installing all the parts back, consider running your washing machine with water without any clothes to observe if there are any leakages. If there are, you need to dismantle and reinstall properly and firmly.
How long does a washing machine gasket last?
Typically, a washing machine gasket will last about ten (10) years on average. This lifespan may be shortened due to certain environmental factors such as location and intensity of use.
Thus, if you keep your washer in a garage or basement, it probably will deteriorate faster than if you have a laundry room in your house where you keep it.
How does a washing machine gasket get damaged?
Your washing machine gasket or rubber seal can be damaged in a number of ways which may not be aware of.
1. Metallic objects catching the rubber seal when loading and unloading your washing machine.
2. Overloading of your washing machine.
3. Washing clothes that have been soiled with grease and greasy stuff.
Read also: Washing machine shock absorbers