It’s a situation you probably don’t want to imagine. You suddenly notice your dishwasher is leaking from the bottom of the door. At this point, you’re not just thinking about the damage to your appliance but the harm that might come to your kitchen.
It’s important to deal with this issue as soon as it crops up. The following guide will help you locate and correct the cause of this problem so that your dishwasher and kitchen remain in top form.
5 Causes of Dishwasher Door Leaking
Of course, it’s understandable that a leaking dishwasher can cause a great amount of concern. But don’t worry. Spotting and fixing the cause yourself can help you avoid having to call in any expensive repair professionals.
What follows is a list of the most common reasons for leaking dishwasher doors and the best ways to fix them. Let’s jump in!
1. Door Gasket Is Damaged or Dirty
The door gasket is the rubber seal put in place to ensure the water stays inside the dishwasher during its cycle. However, the door gasket can sometimes accumulate grime because of continual usage. If left unchecked, this grime could cause your dishwasher door not to seal properly, causing water to seep out and possibly damage your kitchen floor.
If you suspect your door gasket may be damaged, you’ll first need to inspect the rubber seal for any accumulated grime or other signs of general wear and tear. Next, use a damp cloth to gently clean the surface of the door gasket. If the leak persists, you may consider purchasing a new door gasket.
Replacing The Dishwasher Door Gasket (Rubber Seal)
Step 1: Make sure the replacement seal you purchase is suitable for your specific model of dishwasher.
Step 2: Open the dishwasher door and gently remove the old gasket from the groove of the door.
Step 3: Remove any remaining grime from the groove using a damp cloth.
Step 4: Beginning at the top corner of the dishwasher door, firmly press the new gasket into the door groove, working your way around the perimeter.
Step 5: Once the new seal has been installed, run your dishwasher on a light cycle just to check if any leaks remain. If you still have any questions on how to replace your dishwasher door seal, here’s a handy video to walk you through the process:
2. Air Gap Is Blocked
Your dishwasher’s air gap is usually located on the sink. This is what prevents any water from the sink from getting into the dishwasher. If the air gap gets blocked for any reason, this can cause a backflow of water and leakage.
If a problem with an air gap isn’t addressed quickly, you won’t just have unclean dishes. You’ll also have a dishwasher overflowing with excess water.
Clearing the Air Gap
Step 1: Find your dishwasher’s air gap. This is usually a small, cylinder-shaped device located on your sink.
Step 2: Remove the cap from the top of the air gap and remove any lingering debris.
Step 3: Next, clean the inside of the air gap using a small brush. This should allow for a greater airflow and prevent any damaging leaks.
3. Drain Sump, or Filter Is Clogged
Your dishwasher’s drain sump and filter are important when properly cleaning dishes and draining excess water. These components can often gather food particles, detergent residues, and other unwanted items, leading to harmful clogs in your machine and a dishwasher that won’t drain properly.
A quick visual spot-check is the first thing in determining if a clogged drain sump or filter is the reason for your dishwasher’s leak.
Step 1: Open your dishwasher door and take out the bottom rack. You should now see the base where the drain sump and filter are located. You may have a blockage if you notice any stagnating water or food particles collected around these components.
Step 2: Check your dishwasher’s filter. Your filter may be either flat or cylindrical with a mesh covering. This is designed to trap larger food items and prevent them from entering the drainage system. If you notice any massive food particles or build-ups of grease, your filter may be clogged. In this case, it may need a thorough cleaning or even a replacement.
Step 3: Check your drain sump. Next to your dishwasher’s filter, you can see the drain sump. This is typically a small basin where excess water gathers before being pushed into the drainage system. Carefully feel around this area for any obstructions like broken glass or larger food particles that might prevent a smooth water flow.
Step 4: Run a test cycle. Run a short rinse cycle after you’ve cleared away any noticeable debris from your filter and drain sump. At the end of the cycle, you most likely have a clogged drain sump or filter if you see any excess water remaining.
Step 5: Listen for the drain pump. When your dishwasher begins its drainage phase, you should hear your drain pump’s whirring or humming sound. If you don’t hear this noise or a loud, shrill noise instead, you might have a blockage in your pump.
How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter:
First, remove your dishwasher filter. In most dishwasher models, you’ll have to turn the filter counterclockwise before gently lifting it out.
Next, thoroughly rinse the filter under a tap of warm water.
Using a soft-bristled brush, gently clear away any lingering particles or residues.
If you want a more thorough clean, leave the filter to soak in a warm, soapy water container for around 10 minutes before brushing.
How to Clean a Dishwasher Drain Sump:
You can see the drain sump once you’ve removed your dishwasher filter. Again, this is a small basin for collecting water at the bottom of your dishwasher.
Carefully using your hands, remove any noticeable debris like large food or broken glass items.
Next, use a soft, damp cloth to remove any lingering residue.
Lastly, to reinstall your dishwasher filter, simply place it back in its regular position. On most dishwasher models, you’ll need to turn it clockwise so that it can lock into place.
4. Wrong Type of Detergent
Another possible reason for your dishwasher’s leak may be that you use the wrong detergent. If the product you’re using creates too many suds, this can easily lead to an overflow.
Ensure you are using a detergent specifically designed for dishwashers and if you see any excessive soap suds, a good idea is to run your machine on an empty cycle to help clear them away.
5. Is Your Dishwasher Level?
If your dishwasher is sitting on an incline and therefore not level with the floor, this can likely cause problems with water distribution and even lead to leakage.
Consider using a professional level to check the feet on your dishwasher, making sure that they’re even with the floor.
Dishwasher Door Leaking FAQs
Why is My Dishwasher Still Leaking After Replacing The Seal?
If there is still a leak after replacing the door seal, carefully inspect the following: door latch for misalignment, a malfunctioning float switch, and pressure buildup from a clogged vent.
If the problem persists, it may be time to call in the services of a professional repairperson.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.