It becomes hard to imagine your life without a dishwasher once you get used to it. Many people take their dishwashers for granted and delay maintenance and cleanup. Hence, dishwashers start creating problems after some time.
Millions of dishwasher users report that their dishwasher leaks at least thrice a year from the bottom. There is nothing awful than walking into your kitchen and finding water all over your kitchen floor while you were expecting clean dishes.
The dishwasher leaking from the bottom problem can be fixed at home most of the time. A simple checkup and some maintenance can solve the problem without requiring professional inspection.
In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons behind a leaking dishwasher. This article will also cover the dishwasher leaking problem for famous brands like Frigidaire, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, and GE dishwashers.
Why my Dishwasher is Leaking from Bottom [Reasons and Fixes]
Please note that dishwasher leakage causes and solutions are generic for all the brands and dishwashers. Hence, this guide will help you deal with leakage issues for almost all dishwashers.
Reason # 1: Defective Inlet Valve
This is the point from where water enters your dishwasher. If there is some issue with the inlet valve, it may get stuck in the open position overfilling the dishwasher.
If this is the cause, you will notice a pool of water in your kitchen, and this water will not stop unless you turn off your dishwasher’s main inlet valve.
Solution: Replace the Defective Valve
Please note that the defective valve is not repairable; it must be replaced with a new one.
- Nut driver set
- Slot screwdriver
- Channel-lock pliers & standard pliers
- Towel for collecting water
- Unplug the machine and wear work gloves to protect your hands.
- Close the water supply valve supplying water to your dishwasher.
- Remove the screws from the inner door panel. Make sure you support the outer door panel with your other hand while removing the screws. You can also ask a friend or family member to help you during the process.
- Slightly separate the inner door panel from the outer door panel. They are connected with a wire harness. Remove the wire harness to separate the door panels from each other.
- Remove the screws that hold the bottom front access and toe panel and pull it out.
- Place a towel under the water inlet valve and remove the dishwasher water supply line using channel-lock pliers.
- Remove the mounting screws and pull the water inlet valve out of the mounting bracket. It is connected with a wire harness. Remove the wire harness to free the inlet valve and release the clamp to pull it out.
- Pull the inlet valve from the water inlet tube and connect the new inlet valve to the tube.
- Secure the inlet valve and the inlet pipe with the clamp and follow all the steps you perfumed for removing the inlet valve.
- Put back the door panel in the same way you took it apart.
- Test your dishwasher and notice the results.
Reason # 2: Blocked Water Filter
All the food particles, grime, grease, oil on your dishes, and broken pieces of glasses gather at the bottom of your dishwasher. This is where the filter is located. The filter captures these pieces so that they don’t block the drain pipe.
A blocked filter will hinder the water flow, and it may lead to flooding on your kitchen floor when the cycle is running. Moreover, you can also assess a blocked filter if you notice a pond of water at the bottom of the machine after it finishes a washing cycle.
Solution: Clean the Filter
You will need to clean the water filter to ensure it processes water smoothly. It is a simple process, and you don’t need any technical knowledge to do this. Follow the steps below to clean your filter.
- Turn off your dishwasher and remove the standing water at the bottom of the machine.
- Remove the spray arm and filter on your machine. Refer to the user manual for doing this.
- Place the water filter in a bowl of vinegar to loosen the gunk. Clean it with an old toothbrush and rinse with tap water.
- You need to clean the dishwasher’s drain pipe as well. For this, mix 4-5 spoons of baking soda in a glass of tap water.
- Boil some water on the stove or kettle. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into a cup.
- Add baking soda mixture to the bottom of the dishwasher, followed by vinegar, and then pour boiling water.
- Please note that you must not mix these components. They must be added in the sequence discussed here.
Cause # 3: Leaking Door Panel Seals
Electric appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators have a rubber seal that keeps things inside the machine. The rubber door panel or gasket seals the inside of the door. If this seal is damaged or torn, water can flow out of the dishwasher.
Solution: Replace the Door Seals
Inspect the door seal for any damages or tearing. Replace it if it is damaged. Replacing the door gasket on your dishwasher is the only solution as it cannot be repaired.
Cause # 4: Broken Water Pump System
The water pump in your dishwasher is responsible for delivering clean water and pushing the dirty water out of your dishwasher. If this pump goes bad or loses continuity, you may become a victim of a leaking dishwasher. Not only the pump, the hoses and leaks on the dishwasher can also get damaged, blocked, or kinked, and it can force the dishwasher to leave a huge amount of water on your floor.
Solution: Inspect/Repair the Drain Pump
There are two solutions for a faulty drain pump. Picking the right solution depends on the problem. If some water enters your dishwasher and there is water underneath it, it can happen due to damaged hoses or clamps. You will need to visually inspect the dishwasher and then replace the hoses or clamps.
If no water reaches inside the dishwasher or no water is pushed outside, then there is a big chance that the water pump system has gone bad and needs a replacement.
Please note that replacing the dishwasher’s water pump system is not an easy task. You should call a professional to assess and replace it.
Cause # 5: Broken Wash Arm/Spray Arm
A damaged or cracked spray arm can cause water leakage on the floor. Spray arms have jets that direct high-pressure water streams towards the dishes, so that food particles are removed.
If there is a crack on the spray arm, the water flow will be disturbed, causing leakage on the floor. Replacing the spray arm is an easy task and doesn’t require you to call professionals. All you have to do is assess the spray arm when the dishwasher is running. If water is coming out from any place other than the designated jets, you need to replace it.
Solution: Replace the Spray Arm
You cannot repair the spray arm. It needs to be replaced. You need to make sure that you buy a spray arm compatible with your dishwasher. Once you have the new spray arm with you, remove the old one and install the new one. Some dishwashers use screws to hold the spray arm, some have clips, and some have toggles. Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual to check how to remove the spray arm.
Cause # 6: Broken Motor Shaft Seal
If you notice that the water leak is coming from the base of the dishwasher, there is a high chance that the motor shaft seal of the dishwasher is cracked.
Solution: Replace the Motor Shaft Seal
Depending on your model and make, you may solve this problem by replacing only the shaft seal, but some models may require you to replace the entire pump and motor assembly if the problem is not solved by replacing the seal.
Cause # 7: Air Gap Blockage
All the built-in dishwashers are connected to your kitchen’s drainage system. Some use air gaps to regulate the flow of dirty water. Air gaps prevent water from coming back to your dishwasher. If you don’t know what an air gap is, it is a small metallic structure that sits on top of your sink.
Food particles, debris, oil, and grease on your dishwasher can gather over time in the pipes leading to air gaps and disrupting the draining process. As a result, your dishwasher will not be able to force water out of the dishwasher, and it will leak on the floor.
Please note that a blocked air gap is not directly responsible for leakage on the floor; it impacts the drainage process that leads to the dishwasher leaking from the bottom.
Solution: Clean the Air Gap
If leakage is due to a blocked air gap, you can clean it to solve the problem. All you have to do is remove the air gap cap and remove any stuck debris or food particles from your dishwasher. You can use a steel wire hanger to check if there is any blockage inside the air gap.
Cause # 8: Unbalanced Installation
A properly leveled dishwasher is necessary to avoid leaks. Such issues usually happen after installation or when you pull out the dishwasher for maintenance or repairs. An imbalanced dishwasher can slow down the draining process leading to increased chances of leakage. It can also strain the door gasket, risking its integrity.
Solution: Balance the Dishwasher
The solution is simple. All you have to do is use leveling legs to balance the dishwasher. You can use a carpenter’s level to check that your dishwasher has been balanced.
Cause # 9: Wrong/Excessive Dishwasher Detergent
A good dishwashing detergent cleans your dishes and takes care of your dishwasher. A wrong one can make more mess than leaving your dishes dirty. You need to take care of water chemistry in your home. If you have soft water and use a detergent specifically built for hard water, it will cause suds, which may come out from your dishwasher.
Solution: Use the Right Dishwashing Detergent
You must use the right dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher. If the manufacturer recommends a particular brand, go for it or use a water detergent according to the level of hardness in your water.
Cause # 10: Using too Much Rinse Aid
Rinse aid helps remove debris and food particles from your dishes during a wash cycle. Rinse tends to foam up if used more than required. This foam can overflow and start leaking.
Solution: Use the Right Amount of Rinse Aid
You must use the right amount of rinse aid in your dishwasher. Moreover, make sure you don’t buy cheap and low-quality rinse aid for your dishwasher.
Cause # 11: Damaged Dishwasher Tub Hole
Though it may rarely happen, a dishwasher’s tub can get damaged over time. It usually happens in older models and dishwashers with plastic tubs.
Stainless steel tubs may develop holes because of rust and corrosion caused by salts in the detergent. Hence, you must keep your dishwasher neat and clean.
Solution: Replace the Tub
If the tub is damaged, you will need to replace it. There is no other solution for a damaged tub.
Troubleshooting Guide for Dishwashers from Leading Brands
Frigidaire Dishwasher Leaking from Bottom
Frigidaire is rated as one of the best dishwasher brands with affordable prices and great cleaning capabilities. To troubleshoot a Frigidaire dishwasher leaking from the bottom, list all the causes mentioned above and check what is wrong with your dishwasher.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Leaking from Bottom
KitchenAid dishwasher leaking from the bottom can be fixed at home most of the time. However, it may need some professional inspection because it is a complex machine. You can diagnose the problem yourself by following the checklist given above.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Leaking from Bottom
Whirlpool dishwashers are not technologically advanced, meaning that they don’t have all the latest features that come in other brands. A technologically less advanced machine is difficult to diagnose since it won’t give any errors or display any messages.
However, the troubleshooting guide remains the same for all the dishwashers regardless of the make and model.
GE Dishwasher Leaking from Bottom
GE is one of the oldest American home appliances brands, but many people are reluctant while buying its dishwashers because they are difficult to maintain and repair. The troubleshooting guide is the same for all dishwashers but removing parts and reinstalling them makes it difficult.
What’s the point of checking things yourself when you can access the parts and have to call a professional every time you need to make a repair or fix your dishwasher.
Why is my Countertop Dishwasher leaking from the Bottom?
A countertop dishwasher is a lifesaver for people living in apartments, rented homes, RVs, and those who can’t buy or install a built-in dishwasher.
A countertop dishwasher may leak due to the following reasons
- Hose damage
- Cabinet damage
- Unleveled placement
- High water pressure
- Loose fittings
- Broken gaskets
- Excessive detergent
Appliances can get tough to handle when they start creating problems. However, patience is the key when dealing with issues like dishwashers leaking from the bottom. You need to list all the causes discussed above and then diagnose the problem.