If the cycle of wiping up puddles of water from under your dishwasher is as consistent as the wash cycle itself, we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve got a leak on your hands. Pooling water is messy but can also be dangerous. Fortunately with a little know-how, most dishwasher repairs can be done at home. Here we’ll cover 6 common causes of dishwasher leaks to help you master the mess.
A great place to start? Consult the owner’s manual or research your model number online for additional tips and resources. Many of the major dishwasher manufacturers, including Bosch, GE, Fridgidare and Kitchenaid have terrific consumer-friendly websites packed with helpful information. You can find a local retailer for parts or even chat with an expert online.
Leaky Dishwasher Door
Is the water accumulating directly under the door? A leak in the door itself is likely the cause of your issue. Your door latch may be bent or loose, or not latching properly. Tighten the latch with a screwdriver to secure the closure. New latch systems can also be installed. If water still runs from the door, it may be time to replace the gasket. This is the rubber sealing on the door that prevents water from flowing out of your dishwasher. If your gasket is damaged, this can be replaced with relative ease. Soak your new gasket in warm soapy water, which will make it pliable and easier to install. While you’re working on the door, go ahead and tighten the hinges if they’re loose. Safety alert: Always disconnect power to the unit before doing any kind of repairs. Water, electricity and a novice repairman (no insult intended) don’t mix!
If your dishwasher has seen its fair share of loads, a leak may have developed from a hole worn in the tub. Detergents and minerals can corrode the bottom of your tub, causing water to seep through and collect under your dishwasher. It’s possible to fix some tubs, but depending on the age of your unit and severity of the problem, you may need to replace your dishwasher entirely.
Loose or Damaged Valves
Over time, connections and hoses inside your dishwasher can work loose. Check your drain hoses to ensure everything’s securely connected (including the clamps holding the hose in place on either side) and verify your water inlet valve isn’t stuck, which would certainly cause flooding. If you have cracked hoses, they’re easy to replace with a trip to the hardware store.
Your dishwasher needs to be level, else the possibility of water gathering under your unit is highly likely. Place a level in the bottom of your dishwasher. If misaligned, place shims under the unit and measure again. Adjust until you’ve perfectly leveled your dishwasher.
Regular dish soap is a big no-no—it foams up too much and can lead to leaking. Only use detergents specifically intended for dishwashers. Even if you’re rinsing your dishes with soap prior to running them through the dishwasher, the solution on the dishes can bubble up and put pressure against the door seal, causing it to eventually leak. Avoid using dish soap when rinsing dishes to avoid this problem.
Your unit may be taking in more water than it should and not draining properly. This will force water out of your dishwasher and on to your floor. You may be experiencing problems with the drain itself or the float valve isn’t sealing properly. Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, this would be a good time to consult your owner’s manual and/or the manufacturer’s website.
Appliance issues can be a pain in the neck, and dishwasher leak repair is probably not on your list of favorite things to do, but patiently troubleshooting the problem can save you a lot of time and money in waiting for a professional repair service to come to your rescue.