Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking? Top 6 Causes & Quick Fixes

Dishwasher Leaking

People never appreciate the convenience of a dishwasher. They are happy to use it and get their dishes clean, but they realize its importance when something goes wrong only. If you end up with a puddle of water by the dishwasher or inside it, chances are your dishwasher leaks. Water leaking is the most common problem out there and fortunately, there are ways to fix it.

But then, why is my dishwasher leaking? While you do have solutions for every problem, identifying the cause of the leak might be the problematic part. Becoming familiar with the most common causes will help you figure out what fixes to implement. Make sure you target the root of the problem, rather than the actual result – the leak.

Things To Consider


Door seal issues

If the puddle of water is outside the dishwasher or under it, the door seal might be the issue. The leak is caused by the door. These seals are heavy duty and made to last for ages. They can take thousands of opening and closing movements, but their lifespan is still limited. At some point or another, depending on the quality of the seal, yours might give up.

The first step is to open the door when the dishwasher is not running and give it a thorough inspection. Check every single part of it and make sure it is not worn or damaged. Sometimes, a bit of dirt might cause the issue. If you can see food remains stuck to it, that is probably the cause of your leak. The rubber seal around the dishwasher door may also be damaged.

Clean all the food and make sure the door closes properly.

The situation is a bit more complicated when it comes to the lower side of the door. The seal is not that easy to check. You can see it, but you cannot determine whether or not it closes perfectly. Removing the door is more complicated and requires a bit of experience – you might be better off calling a plumber.

Other than that, rubber also tends to go brittle with time, as it hardens. This means the seal is no longer perfect, so water tightness is gone. Sometimes, it might be pushed out of alignment, so you just have to make sure it is pushed back into its channel.

If you see the damage, you will probably need to replace it.

Leaking water valve

A dishwasher leak can also be caused by a problematic water valve. You can normally tell if this is the problem – just pay attention to it while it runs. If the water overflows, the water inlet valve could be the culprit.

This valve has a simple role – it takes water from the water line and sends it into the dishwasher. If it is damaged or problematic, water will come out of it. In other words, while some water will make it to the dishwasher, some of it will be lost on the way.

The results of this issue are more diversified. Not only do you end up with a leak in front of the dishwasher, but you will also notice that your dishes are not thoroughly cleaned. It is essential for this valve to work properly then.

So, how do you know if this is the issue? Look at the bottom of the dishwasher and find the bottom plate. This is where the valve is located in almost every model out there. Remove the bottom plate and voilà – access to the water inlet valve.

You can tell if it leaks if you can see or hear a slow drip coming from the top of it. Other than that, you can also visually inspect the valve – look for some corrosion or the effects of hard water, such as limescale. If you notice a leak, simply turn the water supply off and get a new valve – quicker is better.

Problematic hose clamps

Damage hose clamps can also be the issue where your dishwasher is leaking. Their main role is to ensure the drain hose is securely fitted, as well as the circulating hose. They must be secured to the pump. Indeed, these are not among the most common causes of a leaking dishwasher, but you still have to give these clamps a quick check.

Where do you find these clamps and hoses? They are located under the kick plate, which is normally at the bottom of the appliance. Make sure the clamps are not loose. Inspect the hoses too. Can you see any cracks? Any of these issues can underline a leak. If a clamp looks loose, get a screwdriver and tighten it. If it is severely corroded, you will most likely have to replace it.

You should check clamps on both hoses – the circulating and drain ones.

Clogged filter

This is the most common issue when it comes to leaking water. Call a plumber over and most of them will inspect the filter first. The filter must be cleaned on a regular basis. Failing to do so will clog it. There will be lots of food particles stuck in there, meaning your dishes are less likely to get thoroughly cleaned.

If the leak also comes with a poor cleaning performance, your problem is most likely in the filter. Anything left behind from cleaning is trapped in there. Luckily, you can clean it without too much hassle. You should do it once a month. If you use the dishwasher on a daily basis, you might need to clean it more often.

Unleveled positioning

This is a common cause among new dishwasher owners. They end up with leaking water straight away though. This is not the type of problem that occurs overtime, but straight away. Practically, for maximum efficiency, the dishwasher should be leveled. Otherwise, water will pool up. You will end up with an uneven water level throughout the appliance, leading to leaking water.

To level the machine, simply check the vertical and horizontal levels, then adjust it properly.

Problematic pump

Finally, a problematic pump is not to be overlooked either. The water supply may be good, but a problematic pump will not be able to handle it, causing a leak. It may not necessarily be the pump, as the seal is also exposed. The primary role of this part is to circulate water and dishwasher detergent before draining everything.

It is located at the bottom of the dishwasher and consists of two parts – one for the draining part and another one for the circulation. If you can see visible damage, you will have to replace it.

Frequently asked questions

Whether you deal with a problematic float switch, a clogged filter or no visible issues, there will be times when dealing with a leaking dishwasher will raise some question marks too.

What is the most common cause of a dishwasher leaking?

The clogged filter is by far the most popular issue associated with a leaky dishwasher. No matter how many plumbers you call over, most of them will look at the filter first. It is common sense. Most people do not worry about maintenance until the cleaning performance drops or they end up with leaks. You will be surprised by the buildup around the filter – after all, this is the main role of this filter. Clean it once or twice a month for maximum efficiency.


Why is my dishwasher leaking underneath?

A leak can go anywhere, but when it goes in front or under the dishwasher, problems are quite obvious. With water splashing all over the inside of the dishwasher, you need a perfect door seal. Dishwasher seals go brittle, damaged or out of their channels with time, so they tend to lose their water tightness. Make sure your seal is in good condition and this problem should go away.


How do I stop my dishwasher from leaking?

Each problem out there has at least one solution. The good news is that no matter what the issue is, you will most likely be able to fix it yourself. There is not too much fixing involves, so you will most likely have to inspect, clean and replace. There are more causes wherefore your dishwasher might leak and you will have to inspect all of them.


Can a leaking dishwasher be repaired?

Absolutely. You can do it yourself. There is not much fixing involved, but mostly cleaning or rearranging things around. At times, you might need to replace parts, such as a seal. Again, these operations make great DIY projects.

Final words

So, why is my dishwasher leaking? There are more reasons out there and a few clues may tell you what parts to inspect first. Identifying the cause will help you target the root of the problem. Make sure you keep the dishwasher clean both on the inside and the outside. Stick to cleaning cycles on a regular basis and get rid of all the food particles once or twice a month to prevent the most common problems.

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