GOOD Home is a biweekly column published in partnership with PuroClean of Wilton | Ridgefield about home safety, maintenance, weather preparedness, and damage prevention, with the goal to save homeowners from the hassle and headaches of severe property damage. Located in south Wilton (24 Danbury Rd., Suite 204), PuroClean provides 24/7 water damage remediation, fire and smoke restoration, and mold and biohazard removal services to the Fairfield County community and across southwest CT and Northeastern Westchester County.
If you have a dishwasher, you may have had or will experience a leak. Dealing with dishwasher leaks can be frustrating and messy, but they don’t have to be a long-term hassle. In most cases, dishwasher leaks can be fixed relatively easily. This blog discusses why a leak may occur and tips to resolve and prevent leaks.
What Are the Causes of a Leaking Dishwasher?
There are a few different reasons that dishwashers may leak. The most common causes are:
- Loose door seal: Water can escape through the opening if your dishwasher’s door seal is loose.
- Broken drain hose: A dishwasher’s drain hose can wear down and degrade over time. When this happens, water will leak from the hose.
- Clogged dishwasher: A dishwasher can become clogged with food, grease, and other debris, causing water to leak out of the appliance.
- Dishwasher misalignment: The appliance should be evenly leveled; otherwise, leaking will occur. Pooling and pressure around the gasket can destroy its seal. Misalignment means water doesn’t flow directly into the drain, resulting in a pool of water forming at the bottom.
- Damaged tub: If the dishwasher tub is badly damaged, water will leak. To fix it, you will need to replace it with a new one.
- Damaged spray arm: The spray arm is found inside the dishwasher, at the bottom center of the unit. It showers the dishes with water during the wash and rinse cycles. Inspect the spray arm for cracks, warping, blockages, or other damage.
- Faulty water inlet valve: If the drain hose is functioning and you still notice your dishwasher leaking water underneath, the water inlet valve may be at fault. This valve opens and closes to allow water to flow to the dishwasher from your home supply. A malfunction may cause it to leak from one of its components.
Signs of a Leaky Dishwasher
Now that you know the causes of a broken dishwasher, there are several signs that you may have a dishwasher leak. If you notice any of the following, it may be time to check for leaks:
- Water on the floor: A puddle around your dishwasher is a surefire indicator of a dishwasher leak.
- Dampness inside the dishwasher: If your dishwasher feels unusually warm or humid inside, a leak might be the cause.
- Water spots on dishes: Water spots or streaks on your dishes and glasses can be expected, but if they begin to appear frequently, it can be a sign of a leak.
- Mold or mildew: Mold or mildew is a sign that your dishwasher is not running as it should. An undetected leak may be the cause.
How Do I Prevent a Dishwasher From Leaking?
A leaking dishwasher can typically require little effort to resolve. Many people can fix the problem on their own, whether due to a faulty gasket or simply overloading the dishwasher. We have compiled a few tips on how to fix common causes of dishwasher leaks below.
The easiest way to prevent a dishwasher from leaking or malfunctioning is to avoid overloading it. Ensure that dishes are arranged in an organized fashion before running a cycle. Additionally, remember to double-check that the dishwasher detergent is the correct one for the type of dishwasher you have.
If your dishwasher leaks from the door, it is likely because the door seal is loose. To fix this, tighten the screws around the dishwasher door. It’s also possible that your machine may be unleveled and requires setting to ensure it is leveled with the ground. You can do this by using a dishwasher leveling kit.
Replacing the dishwasher door gasket is a common solution to repair a broken dishwasher. If you have noticed that your dishwasher gasket is damaged or requires immediate attention, your best bet is to replace it. Always ensure the appliance is not running before removing the old door gasket. Then, take the new one and install it at the top of the door area. Don’t forget to read your dishwasher manual for specific instructions on how to replace the gasket.
Another tip to further prevent leaks is to replace the dishwasher drain hose. If your dishwasher’s drain hose is cracked or damaged, replacing it with a new one may be necessary. Consult your dishwasher manual for specific instructions on how to do this.
Even if there is no obvious wear, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail.
If your dishwasher continues to cause problems, consider replacing the drain pump. It may be defective. The dishwasher’s filter traps food particles that aren’t flushed down the drain during a wash cycle, preventing them from damaging the drain pump. However, if the filter isn’t cleaned regularly, it can become clogged with these particles. When this happens, water won’t be able to drain and will puddle inside, resulting in a dishwasher leaking from the front. Cleaning the filter should quickly fix the issue.
Will a Dirty Dishwasher Cause Leaking?
Take the time to clean out your dishwasher. Dishwashers can gradually become clogged with food, grease, and other debris. When this happens, water can back up and leak out of the dishwasher. Cleaning your dishwasher often can help prevent this from becoming an issue.
To clean your dishwasher, start by running it empty on the hottest setting. Then, add a dishwasher cleaning tablet to the detergent dispenser and rerun the dishwasher. If you have a particularly dirty dishwasher, you may need to deep clean it with a vinegar solution. To do this, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and pour them into the dishwasher’s detergent dispenser. Run the dishwasher on the hottest setting and let the vinegar solution work its way through the dishwasher.
By following these tips, you can help prevent dishwasher leaks and keep your dishwasher running smoothly for years to come. Remember, whatever the repair, reconnect the water supply and turn the power back on before resuming use.
PuroClean is Available 24/7 for Your Restoration and Remediation Needs
Dishwasher leaks can cause extensive water damage to your home. If you require water damage restoration, it’s important to act quickly. PuroClean of Wilton | Ridgefield is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist you with water damage restoration, mold remediation, and fire restoration. We will work quickly to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. Look us up on Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram; call us at 475.277.2400; or email us.