As you probably know, it’s essential for your dishwasher to remain watertight during the washing process. Not only is it messy and inconvenient if you have to soak up a puddle of water from under your dishwasher every time you run it, but it can also cause water damage to your floor if it happens enough times.
If you find that your dishwasher is leaking from its door, there are a few possible reasons as to why. The most common reason is that your dishwasher’s air gap is blocked, but the issue can also be caused by a leaky door gasket or a clogged dishwasher drain.
We’ll be taking a look at these and other issues that can potentially cause your dishwasher door to leak, and we’ll show you how you can resolve each of them. Let’s get into it!
Blocked Air Gap
Not all dishwashers require an air gap, and even if you do have one you may not be fully aware of what it actually does. For those who don’t know, air gaps are installed to prevent dirty drain water from flowing back into the dishwasher if the drainage line gets clogged.
You can identify whether or not your dishwasher has an air gap by taking a look at your sink. If your sink has a small fitting with a few holes in it next to one of the taps, you’ll know you have an air gap installed.
If the air gap itself gets clogged, however, the water flow from the dishwasher can become restricted and the dishwasher may start leaking from its door. Fortunately, fixing a blocked air gap is pretty simple.
- All you need to do is unscrew the air gap cover from the sink, and clean out any food or other debris that may be trapped inside it.
- Check the air gap hose for any obstructions as well, and remove any that you find.
- Reassemble the air gap, and you should be good to go!
Worn-Out Door Gasket
The door gasket in your dishwasher is the rubber seal that runs along the edge of the dishwasher door and ensures that the dishwasher remains watertight when in use. However, if your door gasket becomes damaged or worn out, this watertight seal can become compromised.
Door gaskets can fail if they become cracked or ripped, which can happen if you have an old door gasket that has become somewhat brittle. This can also happen if the gasket gets gunked up with food residue or random bits of debris.
If your door gasket is merely dirty, you can fix the issue by wiping any foreign substances off the gasket with a damp cloth, but if the gasket is actually damaged you’ll have to replace it. Luckily, replacing a dishwasher door gasket is pretty easy, and you can do so yourself without any extra tools.
- Simply open the dishwasher door to access the gasket, and pull on the gasket to remove it from its groove.
- Then, push the new gasket into the same groove, and you’re all done.
Blocked Dishwasher Drain
If you notice that your dishwasher door seems to be mainly leaking from the bottom, it’s likely that your dishwasher’s drain has become clogged. Over time, your dishwasher drain can be blocked by bits of food, detergent residue, and other assorted debris that ends up in your dishwasher.
The effectiveness of the door gasket only goes so far, and if your dishwasher fills up with enough water, there’s not really all that much the gasket can do to hold it back. If you’ve determined that your dishwasher is not draining correctly, you’ll have to clean out your drainage system.
- Start by disconnecting the dishwasher from its power supply, and then remove the bottom rack to have access to the drain.
- Remove the cylinder filter and clear out any food bits that are caught in it, and then use a drain snake or a length of wire hanger to deal with any blockages that are further down the drainage hose.
- You can also try pouring a mixture of 1 tbsp baking soda and 2 tbsp white vinegar into the drain if there are any blockages you can’t quite reach.
- The acidity in the vinegar may help to loosen up any particularly sticky pieces of gunk.
Believe it or not, using the wrong kind of detergent in your dishwasher can make it leak. In particular, you never want to substitute regular dish soap for dishwasher detergent.
You may be wondering why it makes such a difference; after all, both dish soap and detergent are used to clean dishes, so why would dish soap make your dishwasher leak? The answer lies in the suds.
Regular dish soap is made to create lots of suds when it’s used, whereas dishwasher detergent is not. If you use regular dish soap in your dishwasher, the suds generated inside will build up to the point where the gasket can’t contain them anymore, and you’ll wind up with a bunch of soapy water all over your floor.
If you’ve run out of your usual dishwasher detergent, try this trick instead:
- Fill up your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser about 3/4 the way full with baking soda.
- Add 2-3 drops of dish soap on top, and run your dishwasher.
The dish soap you’ve added will clean your dishes as normal, while the baking soda will significantly reduce the buildup of suds.
Broken Spray Arm
The spray arm in your dishwasher spins around and sprays water evenly over your dishes. If the spray arm becomes broken or clogged, however, it may cause your dishwasher to start leaking.
The spray arm can stop working if a fallen piece of cutlery jams it up, or if there’s a buildup of detergent residue or food particles that are clogging it. If the spray arm is merely clogged, you can solve the problem by cleaning it out, but if the arm is actually broken you’ll need to replace it.
Replacing a spray arm is easy, as all you need to do is unscrew the old one from the dishwasher and screw a new one in its place.
Faulty Float Switch
Many dishwashers come with a float assembly, which ensures that the dishwasher doesn’t overfill itself by accident. The float assembly consists of a float and a float switch. As the water level in the dishwasher rises, so does the float inside of the assembly. When the water level reaches its maximum height, the float hits the float switch, which shuts the water off.
If the float switch stops working, however, the water will fail to shut off at the right time and the dishwasher will start leaking. You can determine if your float switch is still working by using a multimeter to test it for continuity.
If your float switch is indeed broken, you’ll have to replace it. This is somewhat of a complicated repair, though, so it’s probably best to leave this one to a certified repairman.
Faulty Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve, as the name implies, controls the flow of water into the dishwasher. If the valve fails to close properly, your dishwasher can easily overflow and start leaking.
- To test your water inlet valve, start a wash cycle and then open the dishwasher door midway through.
- The water should stop as soon as the door opens. If it doesn’t stop, there’s a good chance your inlet valve is busted.
- Once again, replacing this part is the only way to solve the issue.
- You may want to have a repair technician take care of this one, as replacing the inlet valve involves working on your dishwasher’s electronics.