My Washing Machine Drum Is Cracked

A washing machine drum or washtub is an essential component of the washer. It not only holds laundry but also agitates and spins to clean clothes and wring them free of water. If the drum cracks from misuse or overuse, the drum's performance will be significantly hampered and possibly completely diminished, depending on how badly the drum is damaged. When a crack develops in the drum, it frequently results in a leak.

Don’t attempt to use the washer if you suspect that its drum is cracked.

Drum Basics

Most washing machines have a drum surrounded by an inner washtub. Water fills the outer drum while clothes are held in the inner tub. The materials used for both tubs can be the same or different based upon the brand of washing machine you own. In general, most drums are either steel or plastic. Some drums have a steel exterior and plastic lined interior. Although largely constructed of a durable material, a drum can crack sooner or later. When a drum cracks, it usually leaks and sometimes won't spin.


If you overload the washing machine by filling the drum to its very top with clothing, you risk damaging the drum. Although the drum is designed to hold a significant amount of weight, it can't tolerate consistently heavy loads without eventually fracturing from the added pressure. A plastic drum, more so than a steel one, is especially vulnerable to cracks from bearing too much laundry over time. Refer to the washing machine's manual for operating instructions. In general, you should only fill the washer with clothes so that the drum is no more than three-quarters of the way filled. Furthermore, take bulkier items, such as slipcovers, quilts and curtains to a laundromat that has an industrial washing machine, rather than washing them in a residential machine.


A plastic or steel drum can split, crack or puncture from overuse. Quite simply, the more you use your washing machine, the greater chance that a component will fail, including a drum. Although a washing machine is generally built to last about 10 to 15 years, various parts of the washer can deteriorate sooner. While a steel drum is generally more resistant to cracks than a plastic one, a steel drum is more apt to rust than a plastic drum, which can cause a steel drum to disintegrate. Review the washing machine's manual for routine maintenance and care recommendations to ensure the longevity of your washing machine's drum.

Repair Vs. Replace

Once a crack develops, the drum must be replaced. Regardless of the size of the crack, the break can't be repaired. Due to the high cost associated with replacing a drum, purchasing a new washing machine is usually more economical. Consult a washer repair technician who can advise you of your options.