Easy Fixes for a Leaky Dishwasher

September 15, 2015

A malfunctioning dishwasher can be frustrating, but many minor issues can be fixed with a little know-how. Follow the below tips before calling a plumber or buying a new appliance.

Easy Fixes for a Leaky Dishwasher

Identify the source and stop the flow

Occasional or persistent leaks

If the leak is a one-off, check that you have loaded your machine correctly; if the dishwasher's spray arms are stopped from spinning by a protruding pan or knife handle, water may be jetting directly at the door seals and leaking out of the machine.

If the leak is persistent, you'll need to locate its source.

  • Empty the dishwasher, pull it away from the wall and run a normal cycle.
  • Watch the machine to pinpoint whether the leak is coming from the front or from the inlet or outlet hoses at the rear.

Check the door seals

Remove residue

If water is dripping from the front of the machine, check the filter and waste hose; blockages will cause the water level to rise within the dishwasher and breach the rubber door seals.

Open the machine and check the rubber door seals.

  • If they are dirty or covered in lime, wipe them down with a cloth soaked in white vinegar.

Worn or cracked seals will need to be replaced. The seals at the top and sides are easy to replace; lower seals are harder to replace because the door needs to be removed first — leave this job to a professional.

  • Pull out the old seals, making sure to remove any fragments of rubber trapped around the edges.
  • Clean the metal frame beneath the seals with household detergent.
  • Press in the replacement rubber. You can buy this direct from the manufacturer or from online parts stores: make sure you buy a seal suited to the make and model of your machine.

Adjust the plumbing

Tighten compression joints and inspect hoses

  • If water is leaking from the inlet or outlet hoses at the rear of the machine, try tightening any plastic compression joints between the machine and your plumbing and waste systems.
  • Check the hoses for cracks; depending on the model, damaged hoses may be simple to replace with new ones, or may require partial disassembly of the machine.
  • If the leak is from the body of the dishwasher, it is likely to need a professional repair.
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