Potential Causes Of A Leaking Dishwasher – And Whether You Can Fix It Yourself

by Claude Walters

Has your dishwasher started to spill water out onto the kitchen floor? A leaking dishwasher isn't efficient or fully functional. And the spilled water can start to create water spots or erosion damage to your flooring. So fixing the problem is often an urgent priority.

If you have some do-it-yourself experience, you can perform a few checks to determine the cause of the problem. Some of those problems you can fix yourself, while others should be left to an appliance repair technician or a plumber, depending on the specific issue.

Here are a few of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks.

Broken Door Latch or Gasket

Water can leak out of a dishwasher if the door isn't closing properly. The door has two methods of closing and sealing shut: a latch and a rubber gasket.

Test the latch by shutting the dishwasher completely and then wiggling the door firmly to see If the latch releases when it isn't supposed to. If it opens, that means the vibrations of the dishwasher cycle could be popping the door open slightly, which allows water to leak out.

If the latch seems secure, you can check the gasket. The gasket is the rubber seal that runs entirely around the outer edge of the door. This creates a watertight seal between the door and the main body of the dishwasher. Check the gasket for any obvious signs of damage.

Run your dishwasher and watch for where the water is leaking through. If the water is coming out around the edges, you might need a new gasket.

A new latch or gasket is available at most hardware or home improvement stores in the appliance or plumbing products supply aisle. Follow the package instructions to install the new part.

Leaking Inlet Valve

Consult your owner's manual to find out where the water inlet valve is on your unit. The inlet valve is the spot where your plumbing line attaches to the dishwasher to supply the water. There's a gasket inside the valve that ensures the water from the pipe goes straight into the unit's sprayer instead of randomly flooding into the dishwasher tub.

Perform a test run of the dishwasher. Open the dishwasher and locate the inlet valve. Check to see if there is excess water directly around the inlet valve. Perform a visual inspection of its gasket to see if there are signs of wear or tear.

You can replace the gasket, if needed, with a trip to the hardware store and following package directions. If you can't visibly see what's causing the leak around the inlet valve, call an appliance repair person who will better be able to narrow down the cause.

Float Assembly Problem

The amount of water coming into the dishwasher is monitored by a float assembly system, which has a few different parts that check to make sure too much water doesn't enter the unit's tub.

Fixing the float assembly is a bit more advanced and is best left to an appliance repair technician. Make a service call if you've already ruled out a broken door and a leaking inlet valve.