Dishwasher Has Standing Water after its cycle? 3 easy things to check.

My dishwasher has standing water in the bottom after its cycle. When we run it at night, on the next day we have some amount of clear standing water at the bottom of the dishwasher. Sometimes it will leak onto the floor if left unattended for couple days.
I needed to press cancel/reset button on the dishwasher in order to drain the water out. I have been dealing with this issue for a while and I am not sure what exactly caused this issue and how to fix it, but any help would be really appreciated. – Joseph

If you’re experiencing similar issues with your Bosch, Whirlpool, Maytag, or Kenmore dishwasher, then most likely you have an issue with one of the following: 

a Stuck Water Inlet valve could be why your dishwasher Has Standing water

If the water inlet valve is allowing water to go through even when the dishwasher is off, it’s likely because of calcium deposits built up inside the valve solenoid, which causes it to stick open.

This is very common for the areas with hard water.

So if you live in the area with hard water, sooner or later you will probably have this issue with your dishwasher inlet valve. That might be why your dishwasher has standing water after a cycle.

Dirty dishwasher water inlet valve = dishwasher has standing water

If clogged with hard water deposits, you’ll need to replace the water inlet valve. There is really no practical way to clean it properly, so we recommend that you replace it. Otherwise, you may just find yourself doing this all over again!

First, turn the dishwasher water tap under the sink OFF.

Next, locate the model number of your dishwasher.

Once you get the model number (usually located on the side of the tub), you can find the right part for your dishwasher.

In order to change the inlet valve, you will need to take the bottom kickplate off and you will see on the left side, a water hose connected to the water inlet valve.

Every dishwasher has its own procedures on how to access and change the inlet valve. Please refer to your model’s manual (usually available online).

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bad Check valve causes standing water

The purpose of the check valve is to keep dirty water from backing up into the dishwasher from the sink, once water been drained. If your dishwasher has standing water in it after it finishes its cycle, check the check valve.

Normally, the check valve works only in one direction, but if it gets stuck open, water will end up travelling the wrong way through the drain hose.

The check valve is often located in the drain hose, near it’s connection to the drain pump.

You will need to disconnect the hose from the pump. Then take a look inside the hose to make sure nothing has jammed or clogged the check valve (for example, toothpicks or nutshells).

Also, make sure that the check valve is not damaged or malfunctioning in any way.

dishwasher check valve

Not all check valves are located in the hose. Some Bosch and Samsung dishwasher models have a check valve that is accessible from inside the tub of the dishwasher.

But don’t fret… it’s relatively easy to access it. You’ll simply need to pull drain fine filter out and you’ll see the check valve behind it. 

Samsung dishwasher filter and check valve location
Samsung Dishwasher Check Valve Location

Drain hose laying flat under the sink causes standing water

If your dishwasher has standing water, another cause could be the improper position of the drain hose. 

When the hose is laying flat under the sink, dirty water will have a tendency to go backwards into the dishwasher drain hose, and down toward the dishwasher.

For this reason, the drain hose needs to run higher than the level of the inlet (where the hose attaches to the sink drain pipe or garbage disposal) before it heads back down to the dishwasher – preferably at least 10 inches higher.

This is called a drain hose High Loop. This is a secondary method (along with the check valve) which prevents water from backing up into the dishwasher.  See drawing below.

Dishwasher drain hose high loop drawing

Reader Comments (20)

  1. my whirlpool dishwasher has CLEAN WATER in bottom of dishwasher …no water on the floor . ive lived in this house for 20 years …the house is 40 years old. it might be original dishwasher. i dont want to replace washer any suggestions how to fix pls .thank you

    Reply
    • Hello Beth,
      Since it’s clean water, the most likely cause of this is a bad inlet valve. See tips in the article and other comments. It could also be a leak in the inlet line, but not as likely.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Hi Eugene, my dishwasher suddenly started causing water hammer- I asked my condo assoc about, and they sent over a workmen who turned up the volume of water going to dishwasher. Now I have water accumulating at bottom of dishwasher, and if I don’t push drain button it will begin to leak on floor. I’m thinking what needed to do was not increase volume of water to dishwasher but decrease it. Any thoughts?

    Reply
  3. This was helpful! I replaced the inlet on my old Frigidaire. It was only $15 on Amazon plus about an hour awkwardly fiddling around with pliers, flashlight, and wrenches.

    So far so good. Fingers crossed. Saves me having to buy a new unit for a while.

    Reply
  4. Hello. I have the same problem with my Siemens dishwasher SE55A532EU/01.
    I’ve replaced the regeneration valve (part n. 00166875), but clean water appears at the bottom after 1 day.
    Can it be the Aquastop valve? How can i do a simple test on this valve without take it off? I blew air with some force into this Aquastop valve to see if any bubbles were circulating in the water inlet circuit, but I didn’t see anything unusual. Probably my breath is probably not strong enough…

    Reply
  5. I just replaced my water inlet valve and it still seems to be dripping from the valve just little drops every few hours made sure everything was tight and stuff but still continues to drip.

    Reply
  6. I have a Maytag dishwasher that as soon as I turn the supply line open water ones gushing out of the port on the left hand side (about 4 inches from the bottom)
    I cancelled the wash cycle and the water drained. What’s going on is that normal?

    Reply
  7. We’ve replaced our water inlet valve in our less than 2 year old Frigidaire dishwasher, the other was not gunky like the one pictured above. As soon as we turned the power back on, it started running water again. What would cause this?

    Reply
  8. Hi Eugene,

    We have an old Whirlpool that’s easily over 10 yrs old & except for needing a new control panel 6 yrs ago, has worked like a champ.

    The last few months it’s been making a noise like maybe something was coming loose. Ever since last week it’s been filling with clean water coming up from whatever the round thing in the tub bottom is. I’ve gotta remove the water 2-3x/day so it won’t spill onto the floor. It’s clear/clean water, so don’t think it’s coming from the sink. Leak does seem faster during the day than overnight. The mystery water has never been hot, it’s usually cold, tho today it felt a little warm.

    Any idea what it might be — float? Impeller? Solenoid? Inlet valve? Something else?

    Many thanks for your help!!

    Reply
    • if its clean water – replace the water inlet valve
      if its dirty water – check the drain hose, water is backing up from the sink

      Reply
      • Definitely clean water. I just noticed that there’s a thin rusty water trail coming from the Inlet Port in the left wall of the dishwasher.

        That wasn’t there before so I wonder if it’s rust being pushed from a faulty Inlet Valve thru the Inlet Port into the dishwasher tub? Or is the issue actually a broken Inlet Port?

        Huge thanks!!

      • To clarify, the rusty water leak out the left wall port wasn’t there before we noticed water building up in the tub, so I’m thinking it’s a symptom of the leak & not a clue to the cause, but how would I know!

  9. I literally just got my brand new Bosch installed on Thursday and it is now
    Sunday night. I haven’t even used
    my dishwasher aside from the test cycle the installer did after the installation. That night after install, I found a pretty significant amount of water on the bottom. I YouTubed how to reset the washer and I thought it fixed it. Saturday I put some dishes in (Im by myself, it can take 4-5 days for a full load). I open the washer and there is more water at the bottom. I reset it again. I live on the top floor of a condo so I’m starting to panic a bit because I don’t want it to flood. I reset it, same thing Sunday. I took all the dishes out, washed them by hand and watched because I couldn’t figure out why water was still coming in when I hadn’t run it yet. I noticed a leak coming from the this weird plastic piece at the side. I have since turned my water off and it is still leaking. What do I do? I obviously need to get it replaced but in the mean time I need it stop leaking.

    Reply
  10. Hi Eugene, – Bosch dishwasher SHX68R55U/63. We run the machine over night, for 2 consecutive mornings there was water in the bottom. On the third morning turned off the machine cleared water and decided to do a test run to see if something was malfunctioning. Pressed start – water inlet opened immediately (there is usually a delay and a brief pumping before the inlet opens – I think), also, none of the panel lights were on. Opened the door and the inlet valve remained open.
    So present situation – turn machine on water inlet opens immediately with door open or closed and no panel lights are illuminated. Turn off machine and water valve closes.

    Reply
  11. Hi Eugene,

    I’m reading your site for info on how to troubleshoot my problem. Some good clues here. I’m not finding exactly my situation, so here it is:

    It’s an old Kitchenaid dishwasher. Hasn’t been used in at least 10 years. When I moved in I was told it didn’t work and that was fine with me – I like to wash dishes by hand. In the 8 years I’ve been here I haven’t even opened the door.

    We were hit by hurricane Ida and left for 12 days. Came back to find the house is fine. Except for a puddle of water under the dishwasher’s door hinge. Opened it up to find the bottom filled with clean water. I bailed it out, totally dry with towels. Next morning it was full down there again, puddling on the floor again.

    Nothing has changed for that dishwasher except a storm going through town. I’ve now bailed again and wiped every surface dry. I’m watching the dishwasher bottom and feeling periodically to find a spot where it’s coming from. Nothing. Dry. Maybe coming from the sunk-in round area in the center with the mechanism?

    I’ve run the sink faucet and watched – nothing coming from the sink. The plumbing to dishwasher was a rubber hose DIY job by the owner, probably in the 80s. I don’t see a shut off valve for water to the unit. Calcium deposits have been noted on the plumbing in this 1940s house.

    Where should I look next? How should I stop this slow but steady filling?

    Thanks, Al

    Reply
    • If you discovered water underneath the dishwasher (sorry the wasn’t clear for me where exactly you found water) First thing, You need to find a shut-off valve for the dishwasher, it must be somewhere.. Then, turn that valve OFF and see if the leak is still there or not. If it will stop leaking, then just replace water hose from the valve to the dishwasher.
      If you found water inside the dishwasher in the sump and then eventually it leaks on the floor, REPLACE water inlet valve in the dishwasher (not shut-off vavle)

      Reply

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