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How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Dishwasher that is Leaking

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fix a dishwasher that is leaking
Jan 2023

Discovering a leaking dishwasher is never a pleasant experience. In most instances, you’ll only notice the issue when or after using the appliance. By then, it’d have created a mess for you to clean up. Plus, the device becomes practically useless until you fix the leak.

HomeAdvisor estimated the average dishwasher repair cost to be around $230. But the price can go as high as $600 depending on the extent of the fault.

The more prudent approach is to fix the leaking dishwasher yourself. But you probably don’t know the first thing about appliance repair. So, we’ll discuss tips for examining a leaking dishwasher and how to fix it.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Leaking

To fix a leaking dishwasher, you must first identify what’s causing it. Primarily, a leak indicates a fault with a component in the appliance.

Below are some common issues that cause a leak in a dishwasher.

Faulty Drain Hose

The drain hose is a prime suspect whenever water leaks around your dishwasher. That’s because the drain hose channels waste water from your dishwasher after use.

Since the drain valve is constantly exposed to liquids, it’s prone to corrosion and clogging. Whenever these two happen, it negatively affects how water drains out of the appliance, which may lead to leaks.

The drain hose is the first dishwasher component to check when you notice a leak. Examine it for cracks, loose connections, corrosion, or other faults.

faulty drain hose

Loose or Cracked Door Gasket

The gasket is a rubber or vinyl seal lining the dishwasher’s edges near the door. After months of use, the gasket will become brittle and chip off.

When this happens, it creates gaps around the dishwasher’s doors, allowing water to seep out during use.

If you notice the dishwasher leaking around the door, examine the gasket and consider changing it.

That said, a faulty gasket isn’t the only reason your dishwasher may be leaking around the door. The door’s latch may also be bent or loose. This latch should hold the door firmly closed during use. But a fault with it will reduce its effectiveness.

Clogged Filter

A filter traps food particles and prevents them from entering the drain valve during wash cycles. It’s the gateway into the dishwasher’s drain and may cause problems when clogged up.

Food particles storing up in the filter block up the water passage. That hinders the water from draining through the proper path during the cycle. Instead, it’ll find other means to seep out.

In such cases, the liquid will get out through any spaces or outlets it can find – which are often the cracks in the gasket.

clogged filter

Malfunctioning Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve pushes water into the appliance when in use. Any fault or malfunction with this component will likely cause a water leak.

Water inlet valves are notorious for failing to open or close properly during use. They’re sometimes the culprit in cases of Bosch dishwashers leaking underneath. Their malfunctioning often causes the appliance to overfill, and the excess water leaks through the front.

The water inlet valve rarely develops major faults, and you don’t need to panic if it malfunctions. A bit of maintenance servicing should fix the problem. You can do that yourself or hire a dishwasher repair technician.

To determine if the inlet valve is the culprit, start the dishwasher and open the door while it’s cycling. If the water continues pumping into the tub with the door open, the inlet valve is defective.

Malfunctioning Float Switch

Manufacturers design float switches to maintain an appropriate water level while the dishwasher is in use.

This component consists of a float which rises as the water increases and triggers the switch, which turns off the water at a particular level.

The float switch prevents water from over-filling the appliance and leaking out.

You can identify if the float switch is faulty by examining the dishwasher’s heating element while it’s mid-cycle.

The water level must always be below the heating component. If it’s more, then the float switch is faulty.

Related Article: Common Dishwasher Problems and How to Repair Them

How to Fix a Leaking Dishwasher?

To fix a dishwasher that’s leaking or not draining properly, you must first identify the underlying cause.

Here’s how to find where the dishwasher is leaking from and address the issue.

fix a leaking dishwasher

Tighten or Replace the Drain Hose

Once you identify the drain hose as the culprit behind water pooling around your dishwasher, you should consider replacing the valve or adjusting it.

If there are no noticeable damages on the valve, try tightening the clamps at the joints. Check for loose connections and secure them with a wrench or pliers.

But, if the valve is broken or cracked, then you must replace it with a new one. To do that,

  • Place a pan beneath the valve to collect any water that may spill out when you remove the hose.
  • Remove the valve clamps and pull the valve out.
  • Put a new one in its place and refit the clamps.

Replace Door Gasket

If you notice the dishwasher is leaking around the door, first ensure the latch is in good shape. Then, consider changing the gaskets. To replace the gasket;

  • Pull out the bottom rack in the dishwasher
  • Locate the gasket and remove it with a pair of nose-pliers
  • Wipe the channel to remove debris
  • Soak the new gasket in warm water to make it flexible and supple
  • Install the new gasket and trim out the excesses
  • Replace the rack and close the door.

Clean the Filter

This solution is obvious, but many people overlook it. You shouldn’t wait until your dishwasher develops problems to clean the filter.

Remove the accumulated debris after each use and wipe out all food remnants from the dishwasher.

clean the filter

Repair or Replace the Float Switch

Replacing a floater switch is somewhat complex, and the procedure will vary depending on your dishwasher model. It’s best to consult the owner’s manual and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Or you can call a professional for assistance. It’s the better choice if you can afford it.

Puls reported in 2019 that a dishwasher leak is one of the more common reasons people call repairmen. Employing a technician to look at your dishwasher isn’t a big deal.

Related Article: Tips for DIY Dishwasher Repair

Seek Professional Help For Technical Issues

Professional technicians are in the best position to answer your “why is my dishwasher leaking?” question. They’ll examine your appliance, determine what’s wrong and the appropriate fixes for the problem.

Prime Appliance Repairs can help. Call 647-905-9176 for same-day dishwasher repair services for residents in Ontario. We’ll gladly help you handle the technical dishwasher faults beyond your capabilities.

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