Diagnosing Your Dishwasher Leak

Your dishwasher is supposed to make life easier, and generally that’s the case. However, if you’ve noticed water puddled in front, or a leak trailing out the side of the unit, it probably doesn’t lend itself to peace of mind. Where is your dishwasher leaking, and why is it happening? Let’s take a closer look at the situation and what you’ll need to do to diagnose the leak.

Check the Door Gasket

The most common reason for a dishwasher to leak is a damaged door seal. This is a rubber gasket that runs around the entire door and is supposed to form a watertight seal when you close the dishwasher. Open the door and inspect the gasket for any signs of damage. It could be something as small as a nick from a misplaced steak knife to something more serious like deterioration from age. The good news is that if the seal is what’s leaking, it’s usually a simple fix. You’ll need to buy a replacement seal (specific to your dishwasher make and model), remove the old one and install the new seal.

Problem at the Pump

Your dishwasher has a pump system that’s designed to move water into (and usually out of) the dishwasher. There may be a single pump compartment, or two compartments, but both of them have gaskets to prevent water from leaking out during operation. Dish detergent will dry these gaskets out over time and make them brittle and prone to leaks. They can both be replaced with a little time invested and some elbow grease.

Water Hoses

To get the water to your dishwasher, a series of hoses connect it to the water supply. These are usually made of rubber, and like any other rubber, it will degrade over time. To check them, you’ll need to turn the dishwasher off at the breaker box and then remove the front panel. Reach under the machine and feel the hoses to see if there is any moisture. If there is, then you have a leaking hose that needs to be replaced.

Check the Inlet Valve

The water hoses run from your water pipes to an inlet valve. Inside the valve is a gasket that can deteriorate and begin to leak. If you notice moisture on the valve, but not on the hoses, then this should be your prime suspect. Note that because of the wiring, this type of leak can be dangerous and it should be fixed as soon as possible.

The Wrong Detergent

It happens – sometimes you just accidentally pick up the wrong bottle at the store. If you’ve used the wrong type of soap, or even the wrong brand of dishwasher detergent, it’s possible that things are getting a little sudsy inside. When this happens, it’s possible to get a leak from somewhere near the top of the door as the soap is rising higher than the manufacturer intended.

These are just a few of the common reasons that your dishwasher might be leaking. Other culprits include an incorrect water level, failing solenoid valves and more.

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