Why is My Dishwasher Leaking Underneath?

Brad LackeyCleaning Tips and Checklists, Water Damage

Woman Looking At Repairman Repairing Dishwasher
Woman Looking At Repairman Repairing Dishwasher

Dishwasher can cause major water damage to the property

Household appliances that use water, like the dishwasher, can malfunction and cause a serious case of water damage. A homeowner will spend significant time and money in repairing not only the leaky appliance, but the resulting water damage to the kitchen floors.

A standard dishwasher uses up to three gallons of water in a single load. Older dishwasher models, such as those manufactured before 1994, can utilize up to 20 gallons. A leak, like one coming from underneath the appliance, can cause major water and structural damage to the flooring.

What causes a dishwasher to leak from underneath?

A handful of common causes can trigger a leak from underneath the dishwasher. Pinpointing the source of the leak is necessary to arrive at the correct repair solution. Once a homeowner detects where the leak originated, a quick DIY repair task is not too far away.

1. Faulty Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve allows water to enter the chamber of the dishwasher. This valve pumps water at a certain pressure level into the appliance. Failures of the water inlet valve can result in major leaks and are common causes of leaks from the bottom of the dishwasher.

Signs of an inlet valve problem include leaks that fill the dishwasher when the appliance is not running and the dishwasher filling unusually slowly when in use. Sometimes, the dishwasher will not fill at all. The dishes may remain uncleaned, or the homeowner may hear noises when it is running.

2. Clogged Filter

The dishwasher is built with a filter that allows water to drain out. When this filter becomes clogged with food particles, a leak underneath the dishwasher is likely. Water backs up and out of the dishwasher basin when the filter is clogged with food.

Occasional clogs in the filter are expected. But when food particles cause dishes to appear grimy after a wash cycle, check the filter for blockages. In addition to gritty dishes, the homeowner may find dirty water remaining at the base of the dishwasher after a cycle.

3. Leaky Door Panel Seal

Closing the dishwasher ensures a watertight seal. The inside of the dishwasher door is lined with a plastic or rubber seal called the door panel seal. Held in place by a clamp lining or adhesive, the seal is located where the main part of the dishwasher meets the door panel.

Over a period of time and after multiple dishwasher cycles, the door panel seal can become worn. The heat and soap from the dishwashing process puts chemical and structural stress on the seal, leading to wear, tear, and loosening. This could cause a leak from the bottom of the dishwasher.

4. Broken Water Pump System

During the wash cycle, the dishwasher receives water from the water pump. The water pump system also empties water out of the drain. If the water pump system breaks without warning, the dishwasher can start to leak from the bottom.

Hoses, and clamps on the hoses, are also built in, and both deliver and drain water from the appliance. Over time, the hoses or clamps can loosen or break. When either occur, the dishwasher will leak large amounts of water from both the sides and the bottom of the machine.

Checking dishwasher for problems

What are solutions for a leaky dishwasher?

Try the following solutions if you find the dishwasher is leaking underneath, contact a professional when necessary.

1. Inspect the Water Inlet Valve

Check the water inlet valve for signs of flaws, such as leaks or drips. Hard water buildup may have even developed around the valve. Access the water inlet valve from the bottom plate on the front door of the dishwasher.

2. Clean the Filter

A clogged filter is easy to fix: Check the filter for food particles and clean it. Maintaining a clean filter is the best way to ensure clogs do not occur. One way to do this is to rinse off solid food particles from dishware before placing them in the dishwasher.

3. Replace the Door Panel Seal

A defective or damaged door panel seal can be replaced. Tears, worn areas, and pieces that are falling off are indicative of a flawed door panel seal and will cause it to lose its watertight seal. Replace the old product with one that is similar in size and material.

4. Replace the Water Pump

A failure in the water pump can be the culprit when the dishwasher leaks underneath and water fails to reach the area inside the appliance. It is important to test the water pump. If the testing reveals a failed water pump system, the homeowner is advised to replace it.

Water may still enter the dishwasher yet cause water to accumulate underneath it. When this occurs, visually inspect and replace the hoses and clamps for the drain or water inlet. Replace the hoses when cracks develop and tighten loose parts in the clamps.

Contact a Water Damage Restoration Company

While repairing the leaky dishwasher can be a DIY task, restoring the water damaged areas should be left to the professionals at ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors. We offer prompt and reliable water damage restoration services to return your home or business to its pre-loss condition.

Crews of experienced water damage cleanup technicians from ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors arrive onsite and begin extracting the excess moisture using powerful water extraction equipment. Our high-tech machinery pulls out water from structures and concurrently eliminates moisture from the air.

Drying equipment is set up throughout the space to fully dry the property as quickly as possible. Mold growth can occur within 24 to 48 hours after porous materials are exposed to water. If a mold problem has developed, our specialized crews perform mold remediation to clean up the spores.

Whether caused by burst pipes, leaky appliance, or storms, water damage is an emergency situation. The water damage cleanup crews at ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors are available 24 hours a day to respond to calls. We serve commercial and residential properties in Fort Wayne, IN and all of Northeastern Indiana. Call us at (260) 420-1502 when water damage strikes.