Why is my dishwasher leaking?

If your dishwasher is leaking, the first task is to follow the source of the leak. Check the main tub seal, the door latch, the door gasket, the water-inlet valve, and the fill and drain hoses.

If there are suds in the water, you may be using too much dishwasher detergent or detergent not meant for the dishwasher. The solution is to cut back on your detergent amount or use detergent meant for a dishwasher. Detergents made for the hand-washing of dishes encourages foaming and can cause your dishwasher to leak.

Sometimes a large dish or improper loading of dishes will cause flooding. This is an easy fix, simply readjust your load or remove or readjust larger dishes, pots and pans. Rerun the cycle and watch for leaks.

The Main Tub Seal

The main tub seal is located underneath the drain impeller. When working properly, the seal prevents the water in the dishwasher from leaking into the shaft of the motor. There should be some water left in your dishwasher after a cycle, to prevent the seals from drying out. You should only have water levels that barely cover the heating element. Anything more than that could indicate an overfill problem.

Door Latch

An improperly aligned door latch can allow water to leak from the door. Check the latch to make sure that it is not bent or deformed in any way. You can purchase a new latch and replace this part if it is defective. The latch might also keep your dishwasher from working at all, since it needs to engage in order for your dishwasher to start its cycle. It is a good idea to fix or replace this part.

Dishwasher Door Gasket or Seal

The gasket or seal for your dishwasher is located where the door meets up with the tub of your dishwasher. Over time it can lose its ability to seal properly and will need to be replaced.

Water-inlet valve

The water-inlet valve is usually at the bottom left or right of the dishwasher, behind the lower access panel. The water-inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher and is connected to the main water lines from the house. The float switch tells the water-inlet vale to close, but sometimes the valve becomes stuck in the “open” position. If the water-inlet valve is not closing, it can allow water to continuously flow in causing flooding. If you believe this is the cause of your leak, then replace the water-inlet valve.

Hose connections

Water coming from under the dishwasher might signal a leaky of loose hose. Remove the service panel that is just below the door and check all the hoses connected to your dishwasher. Sometimes the hoses become loose or damaged. If your dishwasher’s hoses are damaged, your best bet is to replace them with new hoses. If your hose is connected to a drain or garbage disposer, check the connections and make sure they are tight or clamped properly. You may need to replace the clamps.

Finally, make sure that you dishwasher is level with the floor. Use a leveling tool and adjust the leveling legs accordingly.

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4 responses to “Why is my dishwasher leaking?

  1. An important source of leaks not mentioned are the two places where electrical wiring for the heating element enters the bottom of the washer tub.

    My GE Dishwasher (See the Parts Diagram at http://lookup.partadvantage.com/lookup/ge/71904/00000487.i03# )
    is leaking at the point where the gate shaft exits the housing pump assembly (Part #311).
    Can I install new parts #415 and #417 (new gate shaft seal and push on nut) without removing the housing pump assembly?? Is it a fairly easy job?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  3. FREE TIP: Make sure you don’t put any bowls on the bottom rack.

    My dishwasher was leaking randomly (usually at the rinse cycle at the end of the wash). I just paid someone $60 to find out nothing was wrong with it. The problem was that I would put bowls in the bottom, and when the water was shot upwards, it would reflect off the bowls, hit the door hard enough that it would leak passed the seals. Make sure you load your dishwasher properly.

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