Dishwasher Leaking? Here’s Why!

Your dishwasher is one of the most useful appliances in your kitchen! It saves you from having to hand wash every single one of your dishes. When your dishwasher is leaking, it can wreak havoc on your day. Who likes to hand wash dishes after a long day? Your dishwasher can be fixed, but occasionally your dishwasher will need to be replaced.

Safety First

dishwasher leaking

When you are fixing or checking in on your leaking dishwasher, there is water and electricity involved. We highly recommend you turn off the water and power to the appliance. It will prevent anything from happening to you or the wiring of your dishwasher while you are inspecting and working on it. We also highly recommend keeping towels nearby to dry off any water, to prevent water damage.

Wrong Detergent Used

dishwasher detergent

Dishwashing detergent is the only soap formulated to work correctly in your dishwasher. Even dish soap will cause a huge mess in your dishwasher. The reason? Dish soap uses suds to get your dishes clean, while dishwasher detergent uses enzymes to clean your dishwasher. When you use the wrong detergent, soap and water will likely come out of your appliance.

leaky dishwasher

When this happens, immediately stop your dishwasher. After its drained, remove the dishes from the dishwasher. Your dishes will have to be washed again when this process is finished. After that, put about ¼ cup of vegetable oil in the bottom of the dishwasher and run the quickest cycle. You may need to repeat this step multiple times until the suds have gone down. After the suds have gone away, run a rinse-only cycle. The last step is to clean your dishwasher. There are many different products on the market, and any one of them will do the job.

The Door Isn’t Water Tight

repairman fixing dishwasher

This is one of the more common reasons for your dishwasher leaking. As the appliance ages, the seal on the door can wear or dry out. Since the door isn’t fully closed, water will leak, mainly from the sides of it. If you notice water stains on your cabinet or water on the ground this may be the cause.

The gasket that creates the seal is something that can be replaced. This task can be a DIY project. If you are concerned about doing it properly, then it might be best to have a local plumber take a look (check out all our locations here).

dishwasher leaking

To take on this as a DIY project you will need to know what model of dishwasher you have. It will be in your owner’s manual. If you are unsure, a look at the manufacturer’s website should be able to guide you.

The old gasket can be removed by simply peeling it off. We highly recommend that you take this to the home improvement store to ensure you get the right one. Once you take the gasket off, give the area a good cleaning to get any old glue off.

To make the new gasket more pliable, use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting possible. After that, line it up and evenly press down on all sides. To fully seal it, it is best to shut your dishwasher door. After 24 hours, try running a cycle to see if your dishwasher leaks.

Damaged Drain Hose

dishwasher leaking

The drain hose is responsible for draining your dishwasher at the end of the cycle. If its damaged, it will cause a leaky dishwasher. There will be water beneath the dishwasher, coming from under the kick plate. The fix for this involves taking the dishwasher apart in some areas. This isn’t a DIY project and you should call a plumber in to help you handle this.

Water Inlet Valve

On the flip side of this, the valve that lets water into the appliance can cause a dishwasher leak.

dishwasher leak

When this part is damaged or worn out this can cause it to not fully open or close. There is one way to test to see if this is the issue. Start a cycle of your dishwasher, and open the door mid-cycle. If the water stops flowing then it is likely due to another issue. However, if the water keeps going then it is most likely the inlet valve.

Due to the complexity of the dishwasher, the repair for this will also need to be done by a plumber.

Float Switch

A broken float switch could be the reason your dishwasher is leaking. This switch is responsible for telling the dishwasher when to cut the water off. When the water reaches the float switch, it will activate it and cause the water to stop. However, if the float switch is broken the water will continue to flow right into the dishwasher.

dishwasher leaking

If your dishwasher is running and water is leaking everywhere, turn it off immediately, and dry any water you see. This is also a more complicated fix that will require a plumber to fix. The float switch has to be installed in the right place. Too little water will mean that your dishes won’t get clean and too much will cause the dishwasher leak to continue.

Final Thoughts

When you see your dishwasher leaking it can be quite an annoyance. Occasionally, this can be a DIY project, especially if you are handy. However, as we mentioned a dishwasher can be quite a complex thing to fix. Some parts are hidden beneath the dishwasher or panels. If you are unsure of how to fix it, your best bet is to give your local 1-Tom-Plumber a call.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need help with any plumbing, drain cleaning, water damage, or excavation services. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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