Nothing is more frustrating than finding water pooled on the floor below a dishwasher leaking from the bottom. Many homeowners have discovered this unwelcome puddle, only to realize this issue and flooding nearby cabinets. However, not all dishwasher leaking originates from the bottom. In some cases, a dishwasher leak may also occur from the door or from the bottom left corner.
In others, a leaking dishwasher could be losing water from underneath instead. The good news is that by establishing precisely where and how you can tell where your dishwasher is leaking from, you can properly diagnose and resolve the underlying issue causing the appliance to leak.
All Possible Reasons For a Dishwasher Leak
There are several common reasons why a dishwasher may suddenly begin leaking.
Damaged door gasket:
One of the most common causes of a dishwasher leaking from the bottom is a damaged or degraded door gasket. This rubber sealing strip is crucial to preventing water from escaping when the appliance is running a cycle. Over time, continual exposure to hot water and detergent takes a toll on the gasket’s integrity. It may start to dry out, crack and shrink away from the door’s edge. As a result, it no longer exerts enough pressure against the door to form an airtight barrier.
Clogged Drain Pump:
Another common culprit behind a dishwasher leaking is a clogged or obstructed drain pump. This small water pump is tasked with draining out dirty water through the drain hose during and after each cycle. However, debris can sometimes bypass the filter screen and accumulate inside the pump housing over time. When this occurs, the drain pump may not be able to fully expel water trapped inside during the cycle. The partially drained water can then leak through a compromised gasket or opening when the door is opened.
Faulty water inlet valve:
A less common but still potential reason involves a defective water inlet valve. This small valve is responsible for precisely controlling the flow of water into the dishwasher during spray cycles. However, normal wear and mineral buildup over many uses can interfere with its ability to fully shut off the water source when the spray cycle ends. If it leaks even a small amount of water after the cycle finishes, this residual water may escape via a crack or compromised gasket and pool under the open door.
Cracked Hose or Pipe:
Mineral deposits from hard water can also lead to small cracks developing over time in vulnerable plastic components found in many dishwashers. Chief among these are drainage hoses and internal plastic piping. Thin, brittle stress points may fracture with repeated heating and draining cycles. If such a crack occurs in the drain hose or a lower internal pipe, it can allow water to escape unseen until tracking its way down to be discovered on the floor below after the cycle.
Overloaded Dishwasher Rack:
Occasionally, overfilling or overloading the dishwasher racks themselves can contribute to water leaking issues over time. Placing too many dishes or pots and pans within the racks puts undue stress on the door gasket seal when it tries to close with the extra weight.
This extra pressure may cause the gasket to bulge slightly or distort its shape. While still making contact around the door, these subtle changes can allow small leaks to develop. Always maintain the correct weight distribution and take care not to overload the racks beyond their rated capacity.
Improperly installed dishwasher:
An improper installation can also set the stage for future water leakage issues from a dishwasher. It is critical the appliance sits level side-to-side and front-to-back on all four legs once in place under the kitchen counter. If it is even slightly tipped in any direction, it distorts how the heavy inner mechanisms and door seal sit within their frames. Over many cycles, such continual imperfect positioning may cause premature wearing of gaskets or misalignment of drain components. As a result, small leaks could incipiently form.
How can I tell where my dishwasher is leaking from?
If you notice water leaking beneath your dishwasher, determining the precise source or location of the leak is important for identifying the right fix. Carefully inspect all potential trouble spots and pay attention to any water trails.
Check the door gasket seal for compression and integrity all around. Look inside around the door latch area as well as down by the bottom drain assembly for signs of a dishwasher leaking from the bottom of the door.
Also, inspect underneath the dishwasher and around the bottom left corner for evidence of a dishwasher leaking from underneath or from the bottom left corner. With the appliance emptied of water, run another cycle and closely observe from above and below for any dripping motions.
You may also want to use a tap light or mirror held at various angles around the bottom for immediate pinpointing. You can address root problems like a worn gasket or loose drain connection more effectively.
What are The Consequences of a Leaking Dishwasher?
Beyond causing damage from accumulating water underneath the appliance, a continuously leaking dishwasher can pose several other problems if not addressed. Constant moisture exposure may lead to mold or mildew growth in the surrounding cabinetry or floors over time.
Electrical components inside the dishwasher itself face the risk of water damage if leaks go uncared for as well. There is also the hassle of inconveniently discovering a puddle each time the dishwasher is unloaded.
From a safety perspective, leaks that go unfixed for an extensive period raise the chances of structural deterioration like rotting wood. It is therefore important to quickly determine the root cause and make necessary repairs as soon as indications of a leaking dishwasher first appear.
How to Fix a Leaking Dishwasher
There are a few typical methods for fixing a leaky dishwasher depending on the identified source. Replacing a cracked rubber gasket seal around the door is a common solution. Remember to fully clean and dry the surface first. For restricted drain pump issues, simply removing any clogging items may solve it.
A faulty water inlet valve often requires component replacement. Use thread sealant on the new valve connections. Small cracks in plastic can sometimes be repaired with an adhesive specifically for dishwasher repair services. For serious plumbing, consult a professional as disassembling pipes poses safety risks if not done properly. Beyond fixes, also be sure to inspect the installation if the culprit is uncertain. Scheduling annual preventative maintenance helps catch small issues before they worsen.
Helpful Tips To Prevent a Dishwasher Leak
There are some proactive steps homeowners can take to help prevent leaks from developing in their dishwashers in the first place. One is routinely cleaning the filter screen to avoid debris buildup blocking the drain pump. Another is using rinse aid to reduce water spot formation leading to cracks. Inspecting installation for levelness yearly may also catch small foundation changes early.
Overfilling racks or selecting improper wash cycles that overload the door gasket should be avoided as well. Regular maintenance like examining hoses/connections, wiping down the door seal with a moist cloth and inspecting for mineral deposits helps catch issues before they worsen. With mindful usage habits and periodic maintenance checks, the service life of the dishwasher can often be extended well past its warranty period without worrying about water leakage issues.
Dishwasher Repair Services From Ash Appliance
Professional repair services are highly recommended to properly diagnose and fix the issue. Ash Appliance Repair, with over 15 years of experience serving the area, carries a wide inventory of genuine dishwasher parts for all major brands and quick access to specialized components if needed.
Their certified technicians are fully equipped to handle any repair job, large or small. From simply replacing a worn-out door gasket to repairing more serious plumbing complications, the skilled team at Ash Appliance can efficiently correct the underlying cause of your leaky appliance, returning it to smooth operating condition. Their flat rate pricing and financing options make booking emergency or routine maintenance accessible.
Contact us for expert dishwasher repair services.