Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions

Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions


Dishwasher leaks and malfunctions are exasperating. These leaks create accumulated water that is not just messy, but that can also disrupt your day to day chores and activities. If left unchecked, pooling water can produce mold, mildew,and a smelly and undesirable environment.


Moreover, dishwasher leaks can even be costly as they can cause structural damage to your home when left too long. Hiring a serviceman or plumber to fix your dishwasher leaks and malfunctions for you is the safest and easiest solution to this problem.


Before calling in the professionals, take a look at our list of common dishwasher leaks and malfunctions. If you’ve caught your leak early in the game, a DIY fix might still be possible. If it's something else other than a leak, maybe a clogged dishwasher as an example, where water doesn’t drain, but pools, as an example, however, it’s always best to get a professional opinion than risk structural damage.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Dishwasher Door and Door Gaskets


If the water pools directly under the door then your problem is most likely the door itself. Common causes include a loose, bent latch or a cracked, old, brittle door.


Using a screwdriver to tighten the latch, which should secure the closure, or installing a new latch system is a quick and easy solution to this problem. It is also important to check if the door is properly aligned to the tub opening and the gap is the same on both sides.


If the water still accumulates around the door after fixing the latch, the problem may be the door gasket. Door gaskets are watertight seals made of soft rubber and vinyl attached around the door or the tub opening of the dishwasher.


Door gaskets become brittle and less flexible over time causing it to be easily damaged and not to seal properly. Check the door gasket to see if it should be replaced. To top off the door repair, check and tighten any loose hinges.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Water Inlet Valves


Water inlet valves are the main source of water to the dishwasher. If stuck, water inlet valves can be the source of leaks and can cause flooding.


The water inlet valve is located just behind the lower kick plate. It is either copper tubing, a rubber hose or a braided hose that supplies hot water to the inlet while the outlet of the valve has a rubber or plastic hose connected to the side of the tub.


To check the state of the water inlet valve, first fill the dishwasher then check if the supply connection of the inlet valve is secure. Also check for cracks or tears in the hoses, injector of the tub, and the plastic body of the valve. Hoses can easily be found in hardware stores to replace damaged ones.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Pump Seals


Pump seals circulate and drain the water in the dishwasher. You can check if the problem comes from the pump seals by checking if the water drips from the motor or pump housing.


The pump seal is located at the bottom of the dishwasher and consists of two separate compartments; one for circulation and the other for draining. The pump housing can dry out or create leaks due to detergents or aging.


If water leaks around the seal, simply remove and replace the seal to prevent further leakage.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Accumulated Suds


There are specific detergents intended for dishwashers. Using the wrong type of detergent or using regular soap may accumulate suds. Even if you’re just rinsing dishes in your dishwasher it could still accumulate suds that exerts pressure on the unit and can be the main cause of leakage.


Using the proper detergent as well as avoiding using regular dish soap when rinsing solves this issue.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Float and Float Switch


Floats are devices that fill dishwashers or prevent them from overfilling. The float can be found inside the tub beneath the dishwasher, while the float switch is just directly below the float.


Faulty floats or float switches can cause water flow problems, always draining the dishwasher or causing the dishwasher to overflow and start leaking. Checking the float switch first, inspect if the switch is operating properly and that the wires are secured.


You can check if the float switch is working by removing the wires and testing it for continuity using a multimeter. Then, check the float for any debris that may restrict its vertical movement.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Hose Clamps and Hoses


Hose clamps and hoses can be found at the bottom of the dishwasher by removing the kickplate. Hose clamps secure the circulating hose to the dishwasher which also includes the drain hose.


Clamps may come loose or break due to aging which can then cause a leak. Check the clamps on the drain hose and the circulating hose. If found to be the cause, refit or replace the clamps.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Tub


The tub is the largely visible part of the dishwasher and functions as the protective casing for the dishwasher. A leak may develop from a hole in a tub due to corrosion caused mainly by detergents or minerals.


Fixing the tub is still possible depending on the type or age of the unit you are using as well as the severity of the problem. If the tub is in too poor of a condition, you may be forced to replace the entire dishwasher.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Door Switch


Located just behind the door panel at the top of the door, the door switch mechanism functions as an off/on switch that prevents the dishwasher from operating when the door is opened. A malfunctioning door switch causes the dishwasher not to fill.


To check, separate the inner door from the outer door then remove the wires from the switches and check for continuity using a multimeter.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Over-Filling


Using appliances in the best possible way is crucial to avoiding malfunctions and problems. Overfilling your dishwasher can cause it to not drain properly. In the worst case, overfilled water will be forced out of the dishwasher onto your floor causing more problems.


It would be best to read and follow the manual for the unit or consult  the manufacturer’s website.


Dishwasher Leaks and Malfunctions: Other Parts


Above are just the most common causes of dishwasher leaks and malfunctions. If you’re unable to troubleshoot the problem it is best to contact a certified plumber.


Solving some problems independently may be more efficient and save you money in the short run, but it might be more beneficial to seek professional help to avoid more costly complications in the future.


So Cal Services is Here for You


The team of certified professional plumbers at So Cal Services is ready to help you with all your dishwasher leaks and concerns. No matter how big or small, we’re here for you.


Call us at (951) 926-1978 now for a free quote!



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