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7 Common Causes of Leaking Dishwashers
common causes of leaking dishwashers

7 Common Causes of Leaking Dishwashers

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A leaking dishwasher is an inconvenience, messy, and potentially dangerous at the best of times, and even more so right now with everyone at home during this pandemic. Water leaking from your dishwasher can damage flooring, cabinets, and be an unnecessary danger in busy kitchens. Not to mention, it means a whole lot more dishwashing by hand in the sink!

So, what are the common causes of dishwashing leaks? And what can you do about them?

Remember: always disconnect power to the unit before undertaking any repairs!

Cause 1: Leaking Dishwasher Door

If water is accumulating directly under the dishwasher door, a leak in the dishwasher door may be the cause of your problem. Check to see if your door latch is bent or loose or not latching correctly, and if so, tighten the latch with a screwdriver to secure the closure. If this doesn’t solve the problem, a new latch system will need to be installed. If the latch doesn’t seem to be the problem, it could be the gasket, the rubber seal on the dishwasher door. If the gasket is damaged, including breaks, cracks or brittleness, a new gasket will need to be installed.

Cause 2: A problem with the spray arm

If water is leaking from the bottom of the dishwasher door, the problem could also be the spray arm of your unit. The spray arm is located in the middle of the base of the tub, the interior basin of the dishwasher unit, and is what sprays the dishes with water during cycles. You can check to see if there are any cracks, blockages or other damage to the spray arm. If you discover an issue here, it’s best to call your local plumber to assist.

Cause 3: A hole in the tub

If water is accumulating underneath your dishwasher and your dishwasher has dealt with a lot of dirty dish loads over its lifetime, a hole may have been worn into the bottom of the tub. Detergents and minerals can gather at the base of the tub and corrode a hole, through which water escapes, collecting underneath your dishwasher unit. Depending on the age of your dishwashing unit and how severe the problem is, your plumber might be able to fix this, but you might need to replace your dishwasher.

Cause 4: Misaligned unit

If water is gathering underneath your dishwasher, it’s also possible that the unit itself is misaligned. To check this, place a level in the base of the tub. If the level shows that your unit is misaligned, you can place shims underneath the unit and adjust until perfectly level.

Cause 5: Loose or damaged valves or hoses

If you don’t think that it’s any of the above issues, it could be a case of loose or damaged valves on one or more of the various connections into your dishwasher unit. Inspect the connections into your unit to check that the valves, the drain hoses and the clamps holding those hoses are still secure and that the water inlet valve hasn’t become stuck. You can retighten valves or clamps if necessary, and if the hoses have cracked, new hoses can be installed.

Cause 6: A problem with the pump or its components

It’s also worth checking the pump and all of its components. These can be found underneath the dishwasher, usually behind the access panel or kickplate at the front base of the dishwasher. Use a torch to see the pump, the motor, and the gasket, and check for any cracks or other damage. If you discover an issue here, it’s best to call your plumber.

Cause 7: Wrong dishwashing suds used

Lastly, although it may seem obvious, only use detergents specially designed for dishwasher use, not regular dish soap or detergent. Even if residue remains from rinsing your dishes with soap or detergent before loading them, the solution can bubble up, put unintended pressure on the door seal and eventually cause a leak to occur.

What next?

The best thing to do in the case of a leaking dishwasher is to call in a professional plumber who can assess and diagnose the problem, propose solutions, and efficiently undertake any expert work required. If you need a quick assessment and expert service for your dishwasher, contact us at Zabs Plumbing on 0448 177 762 today.

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