Is your steamer spitting out water? Your nozzle might need a good cleanup. Here are 5 steps to solve it.
Whether you’re a modern-day professional, or someone who simply enjoys having their clothes looking as fresh as possible, you know that steamers are life-savers.
Can you imagine preparing for a business meeting without a freshly-steamed garment? No, thank you.
Now, I’m not here to sell you a new model. If you’re here reading this, you already own one, and it’s spitting out water everywhere. Why?
There are many possible culprits to this situation. From a blocked nozzle to an improperly closed tank. But enough with the bad news.
Can you fix it? Definitely!
Below, I’ve prepared a list with the most common causes behind this occurrence, and the simplest steps you can take to address them. I’m confident that, if you stick to them religiously, your steamer will be back to normal in the blink of an eye.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Fixing a Malfunctioning Steamer
I know, you’re eager to fix your appliance as soon as humanly possible. Steamers are just one of those things that can cause a lot of problems when they fail, because of how heavily we rely on them.
While I understand your frustration, we need to go about this in a detailed, and orderly way. Please, bear with me, and be patient.
Here are the 5 steps you can take to solve this problem:
- Check your power cord
- Close the tank
- Check the tank
- Clean the nozzle
- Check your hose
#1 Check Your Power Cord
Damaging your power cord is easier than you think
First, I want us to take a look at your power sources.
While apparently sturdy, your steamer’s power cable could have sustained some damage over time. Remember that, while from the outside you can only see one big, thick cable, your cord is actually made up of much smaller ones that can be very easily broken.
Now, I’m not saying that using your steamer normally will damage them, but if you keep your cable stored away in a small space, tangled, or pressed against a wall at a weird angle, you could be contributing to the appearance of this issue.
Provided that everything else works with your steamer, it’s quite possible that the damage is only partial. And while this might sound like good news, it’s not.
Having your power cord supply electricity intermittently to your appliance could cause it to short circuit, and damage it permanently.
If your steamer is spitting out water, and your power cord looks suspicious, It is strongly advised that you stop using your unit immediately.
Solution: Replace the cable.
Having spare cables for testing is always a good idea. If you happen to have one, go ahead and use it. This will save you time, money, and provide you with an immediate answer.
If you don’t have a spare one lying around, that’s okay too. You can do a quick Google search on your unit’s make and model to find the right replacement at any online marketplace.
#2 Close Your Tank
Make a checklist before operating your steamer
Moving on to more physics-related situations, let’s check out your water tank.
As you know, in order to properly operate, your steamer needs hot water, and pressure buildup, so that it can push the steam outwards, and towards your clothes. When these conditions are compromised in any way, you could encounter a number of problems.
I know this may sound obvious, and like something that would never slip your mind, but failing to properly close the water tank before using your steamer is among the most common culprits of this occurrence.
After all, it’s the most seemingly unimportant things, that we tend to overlook the most.
Solution: You’re probably going to laugh at me, but you should try using a post-it note as a reminder. It has worked wonders for me!
#3 Check Your Tank
Look for small fractures on your tank
Okay, let’s say that your water tank-closing game is on point. What now?
Perhaps the tank is broken.
Yes, you’re absolutely right, your steamer’s water tank looks resistant…and it is. In fact, damaging it is quite difficult. But sturdiness and indestructibility, are not the same thing.
If your appliance has been around for a few years, or if you’ve dropped it accidentally a couple of times, chances are a small hairline fracture in your water tank is causing it to spit out water.
As I mentioned in the previous point, in order to generate and expel the steam that you use to get your clothes presentable, your steamer relies heavily on high water temperatures and pressure buildup.
Any kind of damage to the water tank could be compromising this pressure buildup, and letting some steam escape inadvertently, thus making it very hard for your unit to release steam as usual, and causing it to spit out nothing but water.
Solution: If at this moment, you don’t want to spend money on fixing your steamer, you can always try using duct tape, or other industrial-grade adhesives to try and fill out the cracks, but to be honest, I’d advise against it.
While this may work temporarily, it is definitely not a long-term solution, and you’ll end up having to pay for the repairs anyway. It’s better to get it over with from the start.
To get a new tank, you can either call your manufacturer or look for your machine’s make and model online. Either solution will work fine, but if you’re still under warranty coverage, you might want to try the former first.
#4 Clean the Nozzle
Watch out for sediment buildup
As surprising as it may sound, the water you’re using to operate your steamer could contribute to the formation of sediment in the nozzle over time. Sediment is not a bad thing per se, but you don’t want it in your steamer.
Depending on your appliance cleaning habits, and the water conditions where you live, this issue could manifest itself sooner or later. Sediment can form in your nozzle and obstruct it, wreaking havoc, and rendering it useless.
If your steamer is spitting out water, chances are it’s begging you for a much-needed cleaning session.
Solution: Clean your steamer more frequently.
Most manufacturers will recommend cleaning the water tank once a week and descale it at least twice a year. In order to do this, you will need water and vinegar. This mixture will not only kill any lingering bacteria but also dissolve the sediment stuck to your nozzle.
Please follow these steps:
- Carefully unplug your appliance, and let it cool down
- Throw out any water in the tank
- Prepare a mixture made up of 1 part vinegar, and 3 parts water
- Pour it into the tank
- Turn your steamer on, and let it operate from anywhere between 30 minutes, to an hour
Ideally, this will get rid of any sediment buildup and unclog the nozzle.
#5 Check Your Hose
Small tears in your hose could let steam escape
Lastly, let’s take a look at your steamer’s hose.
You could say this is the lifeblood of your appliance. Not that your water tank, nozzle, and all its other internal components are not important, but any damage to this little tube can compromise your steamer’s ability to function adequately.
As stated previously, your machine needs pressure buildup to both to generate, and expel the steam that you use to treat your clothes. If your hose has holes or tears, steam could escape through these, causing your unit to spit out nothing but water.
Solution: Try to look for any indicators of a steam leak from the sides of your hose, and replace the part if you find them. If you’re unsure as to how you can disassemble your machine, there are tons of online videos you can check out.
Be very careful, though, the steam coming from this tube is extremely hot, so going about this carelessly could injure you. Proceed with caution.
When Should You Call a Pro?
The answer to this question will depend greatly on the status of your warranty.
If you’re still under coverage and don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks for your manufacturer to pick up your appliance and send it back fixed, you can definitely give them a call. Unless specified otherwise, they should be able to take care of the repairs for free.
Alternatively, if your warranty has expired, you’ll have to weigh the cost of repairs vs the cost of buying a new model. As a general rule, paying for repairs that cost 50% or more of the price of a new model with similar features, is a bad investment.
To have your steamer keep spitting out water can be extremely frustrating. Especially if it happens when you have an important business meeting the following morning.
Luckily, as you’ve learned in this piece, in most cases, addressing the causes behind this issue is fairly simple. All it takes is a small modification to your user habits, and sometimes, a quick replacement of a failing part.
That being said, do not let the simplicity of this repair fool you. Your appliance can generate steam at extremely hot temperatures, so please be sure to go about this DIY process carefully, and call a professional if you ever feel unsafe.
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Enjoy your wrinkle-free clothes!