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Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Don’t Panic If You Find Your Dishwasher Is Leaking

My dishwasher is leaking – what do I do? It can be frustrating and annoying when your dishwasher is acting up, especially if it’s leaking. Don’t panic, though, because that will only make your situation worse.

Whether it’s a dishwasher leaking from underneath or out the front, there’s a solution. In this article, we’ll talk about dishwasher leak causes and what you can do to fix the leak. Read on for troubleshooting tips for your leaking dishwasher.

Dishwasher leaking repair tips
Check out the list below for the most common causes your dishwasher might be leaking.

What Causes a Dishwasher to Leak?

Below are the most common causes of a leaking dishwasher.

Damaged or Cracked Water Line

One of the possible causes behind “my dishwasher is leaking” is a damaged or cracked water line. The water line connects the appliance to the household water supply, so if it’s damaged in any way, it’s almost certain you’ll have leaks. You’ll most likely have to replace a leaking dishwasher supply line to fix the appliance.

Clogged Filter

It’s normal for dishwashers to have a bit of standing water near the filter area. But if you find more water, it could be due to a clogged filter. If the filter is clogged, the appliance could be draining improperly, causing too high of a water level. Because the dishwasher is overfilled with water, it leaks.

Improperly Installed Drain Line

Another component of the dishwasher that could be the cause of a leak is the drain line. If it’s clogged or not properly installed, there usually is water left at the bottom of the tub. This water eventually ends up leaking out of the dishwasher.

Sometimes, there’s still standing water even when the drain line is properly installed. In this case, the problem must be a broken drain motor. This is a more complex issue and is best handled by a certified dishwasher technician.

The Dishwasher Is Not Level

Sometimes, dishwashers leak because they are not fully level. When not level, they’re unable to work properly and that leads water to collect under it, causing a leak. In this case, you can usually fix the problem simply by adjusting and making sure the dishwasher is in a perfectly balanced position.

Damaged Gasket or Latch

If you find your dishwasher leaking, check the door latch first or the gasket. It could be that the appliance is leaking around the door because the door latch is bent or loose, so it doesn’t close completely.

Another possible reason is a damaged, cracked, or loose gasket. If the gasket is damaged in any way, it doesn’t seal the door properly and thus allows the water to escape. You may be able to fix a loose gasket but if it’s damaged, you’ll have to replace it.

Damaged or Loose Valves

The hoses and connections inside the dishwasher become loose over time. This could be one of the reasons behind the leaks. In this case, you often just have to tighten or make sure that the valves are secure. But if the hoses are cracked, you’ll have to replace them.

Dishwasher leaking DIY tip ideas
See our list of common repair tips to prevent dishwasher leaks.

Overfilled Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is probably leaking because you overfilled it and it isn’t draining properly. Because it’s not draining properly, the appliance forces the water out to pool at the bottom. This problem could also be due to a malfunctioning float valve or drain.

Wrong Dishwasher Detergent

Are you sure you are using the right dishwasher detergent? You can’t use regular dish soap for a dishwasher. They foam up too much and that can cause leaking. You have to use only dishwasher-intended detergents to avoid this problem.

Worn Out Tub

A hole might be the reason behind your “my dishwasher is leaking” problem. This happens over time when the appliance has had numerous loads since you have had it installed. It’s often due to minerals and detergent, which all corrode the tub and create a hole where the water seeps through. It’s possible to fix a worn-out tub in some dishwashers, but there’s a likely chance you’ll have to get a dishwasher replacement instead.

Blocked Spray Arm

The spray arm spins when it sprays and rinses water on the dishes. But if you loaded the machine with too many utensils, or loaded it incorrectly, the spray arm can’t do its job. They often end up blocked from rotating, which causes them to dislodge or get damaged, potentially leading to leaks.

Dishwasher leaking repair solutions
Each of these solutions could fix your leaky dishwasher problems.

How to Fix a Leaky Dishwasher?

Now that you know the most common causes of a leaky dishwasher, let’s go on ahead and fix it following the instructions below:

Find the Source of the Leak

Start by looking for the source of the leak. Using the list above, check every part of the dishwasher where the leak could be coming from. You may have to open up the dishwasher to do this. If you’re not confident about your knowledge of how this appliance operates, we suggest stopping and calling a professional instead.

Make Necessary Repairs or Replacements

If you find the source of the leak, you can begin the repairs or replace a defective or damaged part. Below are some of the possible fixes you can do:

Find Out Your Faucet Type

As we mentioned, there are four types of faucets. Knowing the type of faucet you have is crucial in knowing which steps to take as well. If you’re not sure what type yours is, know that:

  • Replace old or damaged gasket
  • Replace the damaged water supply line
  • Make sure the drain line is properly installed
  • Replace or tighten the damaged or loose connections
  • Replace the dishwasher pump
  • Replace or clean the spray arm
  • Adjust the float height
  • Replace the damaged water inlet valve

Check if There’s Still a Leak

Once you are done fixing the leaky dishwasher, make sure to test it. Install the replacement parts and put the appliance back together. Plug it and turn it on, ensuring you load it properly and use the correct detergent and in the right amount too. Start a cycle, and inspect the machine for any leaks.

Call in the Experts

If after trying to fix your dishwasher it’s still leaking, then it might have a more serious problem. This means you need a professional’s help, don’t hesitate to call an appliance repair technician you trust. Although you’ll need to pay more, a professional delivers efficient dishwasher repair for most common brands and models.

Leaking Dishwasher FAQs

What Brands Do Appliance Repair Technicians Service?

Most appliance repair technicians fix major brands of appliances. This includes Bosch, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, LG, Kenmore, Samsung, Frigidaire, and Amana. But not all appliance repair companies service this list of brands. You should contact them to know more about which brands they accept.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Leaky Dishwasher?

The average you’ll need to pay to fix a leaky dishwasher is $200, but it depends on what exactly is wrong with the appliance. The price can go as low as $50 or as high as $600, based on factors like age, warranty, type of replacement or repair, and so on. You can find out more accurate pricing by contacting a reliable appliance repair company.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Dishwasher?

Average dishwashers can have a life expectancy of about 8 to 10 years, but higher-end models can last up to 20 years if properly maintained. With proper maintenance and the help of an expert repair technician, your dishwasher can last you a long time.

Is it Worth It to Repair a Leaky Dishwasher?

It depends on the age and problem of your dishwasher. The rule is that if the appliance is more than 10 years old, and is costing you over 50% of the original price to repair, then it’s best to simply buy a new one.

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