Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking? 5 Potential Reasons

You’ve just walked into the kitchen and noticed the floor is wet. You nervously scan the room and spot a pool of water that’s slowly spreading from the bottom of the dishwasher. Why is your dishwasher leaking? How is it possible for a dishwasher to leak when it isn’t running?

Like any other appliance, dishwashers break down from time to time. Unfortunately, this problem can create quite a mess on your floor and in other areas of your kitchen. To prepare for those situations, you’ll want to understand what’s protected on your home warranty plans, assuming you have one. Also, here are common causes of dishwasher leaks and potential fixes.

The Door

The first place you should look to locate the leak in your dishwasher is the door. It’s the most accessible component to analyze and it opens and closes regularly, which can make it susceptible to leaks. Grab the latch on the door and see if it’s loose; if it is, take a screwdriver and tighten it. While doing so, feel the area to find out if any moisture is near the latch, as this may indicate that the latch is slightly loose and needs tightening.

If you want to take another step, you should look at the gasket. The gasket is the rubber sealant/tubing that lines the frame of your dishwasher door. It’s designed to prevent moisture from escaping your dishwasher while it runs. You may find that part of the gasket is no longer attached to the door frame, or you may find a tear in it. Either way, you should replace it by purchasing a kit for your particular machine.

Dishwasher Alignment

If you have recently moved your dishwasher for any reason and it started leaking, it could be an issue with your alignment. You need to level your dishwasher, because when its unbalanced, it may start collecting water. That water will begin to leak out, and eventually, you’ll notice it on your floor. Your first step should be to take a level and see if your dishwasher’s alignment is proper. If it’s not, it could be why your dishwasher is leaking.

You can adjust the height of each corner of your dishwasher with a wrench, as there are screw tabs that you can turn to get the process started. Depending on your model, you may need to remove the kick plate to get to those adjustable screws. Keep the level in place and adjust the unit until it’s level. Once that’s done, see if the leakage continues. If not, then your problem is likely solved.

The Tub

Dishwashers come with tubs, which are basins at the bottom of each unit that captures water as it runs off during cycles. Over time, these tubs can wear out from all the water and chemicals that are in the soap. If the tub corrodes even a slight amount, it could create a leak, and water doesn’t need a large opening to escape. If you can see any potential for leakage from your tub, then the leak probably begins underneath the unit.

If this is your problem, then you can either research your model to find out if replacing the tub is a practical option or if you should replace the unit. You may want to seek the input of a professional when making this decision, as knowing how to fix a leaking dishwasher is different than understanding when it’s time to make a change.

The Valves

Every dishwasher has a series of valves that are used to bring water in and to remove water as the machine completes a cycle. These valves need to be connected to a water source, so one reason why your dishwasher is not working could be a problem with one or more of those valves. Fortunately, if this is the problem, it’s generally a simple solution because you’ll need to buy a replacement part or kit and install it.

Before you do that, check every hose and every valve connection. If you see that those hoses are too worn, consider replacing them. Also, if you notice any loose connections, decide if you should tightening them or ordering replacement parts and installing them.

The Soap

It’s common for people to rinse their dishes before they put them in the dishwasher. If there’s a tough stain on a dish, it’s also common to do a bit of scrubbing with regular dish soap before placing that item onto the dish rack. Doing this could create a problem, depending on the amount of dish soap used and the type of dishwasher involved.

When any more than a few drops of dish soap get into a dishwasher while it’s running, it tends to bubble up and expand. That expansion can lead to an overfilled compartment and, as a result, leaking. Generally, this leaking will occur through the gasket, as that’s the most pliable component in a dishwasher. Do not use anything but dishwasher detergent inside a dishwasher, and if you’ve been making this mistake you may want to look at your gasket.

Home Warranty of America Can Help

The ideas above are not an exhaustive list with regards to how to fix a leaking dishwasher. Still they do represent common problems that you may be able to handle without spending money on a professional technician. No one wants to face the possibility of having to cover a repair expense, but if you have protection, you could avoid most of this cost. Home Warranty of America provides this protection, and you can check here to see how much a home warranty costs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, please feel free to call us at 888.492.7359 or contact us online at any time.

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