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How to Fix a Leaking Dishwasher


One of the most helpful, time-saving appliances in our kitchen is the dishwasher. Imagine if you had to wash every pot, pan, dish, and utensil by hand! These handy helpers use water and a lot of moving parts to help your dishes sparkle like the ones in soap commercials. But because they have so many moving parts, they can be prone to leaks. If you see puddles of water underneath your dishwasher every time you use it, it’s likely you have a leak.

A leaking dishwasher is not only annoying for homeowners to deal with, but if you avoid repairs, even a small leak can cause damage to your home. This small bit of water underneath your dishwasher can mean expensive structural repairs. At North Town Home Services, appliance repair and customer service are our specialties; that’s why we’ve put together this guide to troubleshoot a leaking dishwasher.

Read on to discover common causes of dishwasher leaks and how you can repair a leaking dishwasher yourself.

Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking Water?

There are many moving parts that make up a dishwasher that work together to clean your dishes. Whenever there is a broken or defective seal on parts of the dishwasher, leaks can happen in your house.  The first step to fixing a leaking dishwasher is identifying which part is leaking.

Can’t figure out where your dishwasher leak is coming from? The appliance experts at North Town Home Services offer repair services in the Chicago area! Call us at (847) 999-4600 for help.

Problem: Defective Inlet Valve

If the dishwasher is leaking underneath the appliance, there may be a problem with the inlet valve. The inlet valve is the part of the dishwasher that allows water to flow into the appliance at various times during a wash cycle. It is located beneath the dishwasher and connects the appliance to your home’s water supply.

An inlet valve may get stuck in the “open” position, allowing too much water in, which overflows the dishwasher and causes leaks. It can also become loose or corroded.

Solution: Check the inlet valve for cracks or tears on the rubber or plastic hose that is connecting it to the side of the dishwasher. Generally, these parts are not reparable and require installation of a replacement part.

Problem: Broken or Cracked Spray Arm

If you’ve ever peered inside your dishwasher, you’ve probably noticed the plastic spinning arm at the bottom. Some dishwasher models also have an upper or middle spray arm. This part controls the direction of the water spray. Because the spray arm and its support are usually made out of plastic, they can warp or crack after time.

When the dishwasher’s spray arm is damaged, it can force water underneath the bottom of the door, causing a leak.

Solution: If the dishwasher’s spray arm or its support is cracked or broken, it will need to be replaced. Reach out to your local appliance repair company and they will get you set up with the parts and installation for your dishwasher model.

If you don’t see any cracks, inspect and clean the spray arm’s holes to ensure they are clear of food particles, detergent, or mineral deposits that may be interfering with the direction of the water spray.

Problem: Damaged Pump Seal or Pump Gasket

A dishwasher’s pump helps to circulate the water around the dishwasher, and it also drains the water from the dishwasher in some models. Located under the access panel at the bottom of the dishwasher, the pump housing usually has a rubber gasket to help seal it to the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub. With age and use of harsh detergents, the seal can dry out and fail.

Solution: A damaged pump seal or pump gasket requires a replacement to ensure it is watertight.

Problem: Faulty Door Gasket or Detergent Dispenser

If your dishwasher door is leaking water, it’s likely there is an issue with the door gasket or seals. Over time, the door gasket can lose its ability to seal the door properly and cause water to leak out. Sometimes it is the seal around the dishwasher’s detergent dispenser that can cause water to leak from the tub.

Solution:  Install a new gasket or replace the detergent dispenser. While installing a new dishwasher gasket is easily something you can tackle yourself, replacing the detergent dispenser gasket requires unscrewing the front panel of the dishwasher door. When in doubt, call a professional to handle the repairs and ensure the problem is taken care of right!

Prevent Dishwasher Leaks

Because some leak locations can be hard to identify, placing a dishwasher leak pan underneath your appliance can help protect your floor. These floormats are designed to direct water from underneath a dishwasher to the front, allowing you to see a leak and take action sooner.

Who to Call for a Leaking Dishwasher? North Town Home Services!

Since 1927, North Town Home Services has been providing homes in the Chicago area with the most reliable dishwasher services available. We are known for our legendary customer service, and we strive to give each and every one of our customers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Contact us online or by phone at 847-999-4600 to schedule your dishwasher services in the Chicago area with North Town Home Services today!

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