Typical Dishwasher Leaks

Written by misty faucheux
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Typical Dishwasher Leaks
Repair common dishwasher leaking issues, and save money on repair fees. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dishwashers clean your dishes with a combination of heat, water pressure and detergent. The tub fills up with water, and a spray arm moves water around your dishes. A common problem with dishwashers is that they leak water, mainly from the door or from the back. You can usually fix minor leaking issues without taking your dishwasher to a repair person.


If you see water leaking from the rear of the dishwasher, check the water inlet and drainage hoses. These hoses can leak if the connections are too loose. Tighten these connections. Examine the hoses, and see if they are punctured or split. Repair the hoses with patches, or purchase new hoses. Clean out the hoses if they are clogged, as this causes water backups.


Water commonly leaks from the dishwasher via the dishwasher door. Remove any objects that may be preventing the door from properly closing. If the gaskets are not sticking to the track properly, reinstall them. Clean the gaskets if dirt has built up on them. Purchase new gaskets if the current ones are ripped, brittle or extremely worn. Completely push in the dishwasher racks. Always load the bottom rack of the dishwasher to prevent the spray arm from directly spraying the door with water. Avoid placing large pots and pans near the door to keep water from bouncing off them. Never use water above 65.6 degrees Celsius, as this can compromise the seals. Lower the temperature setting on your hot water heater if necessary.


The main seal is located on the base of the dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack, spray arm and impellers to access the seal. If the seal is worn or cracked, pry it out with a crowbar, and purchase a new one from an authorised parts dealer. Only use new detergent to clean your dishes. Clumping or old detergent causes excessive suds, which leak through the dishwasher door and sides. Never use more detergent than you need, and use less detergent if you have soft water.

Additional Issues

Verify that the dishwasher is level. If it's not, water can leak out of the sides. Adjust the levelling legs, or fix the floor beneath it. Do not block the condensation vent with dishes. Check the water inlet valve on the back of your dishwasher. This valve has a tube that runs through it. If the tube is split, replace or patch it. If the valve itself is leaking, get a new one, since you usually can't fix the valve.

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