Is Your Dishwasher Leaking? It’s A Common Issue, So Here Are 7 Fixes

Flooded kitchen floor

Is your dishwasher leaking?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I know how frustrating it can be to have this happen, as it can result in costly repairs and higher utility bills.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to fix this issue.

Some of the most common reasons why your dishwasher might be leaking have to do with the door seal, the spray arm, and the float switch. No matter what the issue is, you need to quickly diagnose the problem before you decide if you have to repair or replace the part.

Keep reading to learn different ways to solve the issue!

Why trust us? This article was written in collaboration with James Blackford, our appliance repair expert. James has over 16 years of experience as an appliance technician, works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair company.

7 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Is Leaking

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen complain about the constant need for towels and frequent clean-ups due to dishwasher leaks.

Unfortunately, this issue may happen due to numerous reasons. Some of the most common ones include:

#1 Damaged Door Gasket

Your dishwasher is going to spray water throughout the inside of the compartment. In order to make sure this water stays on your dishes and not all over the floor kitchen, there is a door gasket that is responsible for creating a seal between the dishwasher and the door.

If the door gasket has never been cleaned up or is worn out, it may not effectively seal the door, resulting in water leakage. A brand-new seal costs around $10 to $20, so it might be worth replacing it before attempting any other solutions.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to take a look at the manual to figure out what model is right for your dishwasher. That way, you know you end up with the best possible part.

Here’s how to replace it:

  1. Clean the channel of the gasket with warm water. You should use soap to remove any debris that might be present. 
  2. Make sure the new door gasket is warm when you put it in place. The goal is to make sure the door gasket molds to meet the shape of your dishwasher door.
  3. Make sure you press the gasket evenly on both sides. When you close the dishwasher door, make sure it seals appropriately. This will prevent the leak from coming back. 

#2 Your Dishwasher is Leaning Forward

If your dishwasher is leaning forward, it can disrupt the proper flow of water, as it may accumulate towards the front. This can result in leaks around the door.

So, please make sure your dishwasher is not leaning forward.

When you compare the size of your dishwasher to the surrounding cabinet, you can determine the direction in which it’s leaning. Ideally, you want your dishwasher to have a slight backward lean rather than leaning forward.

#3 A Faulty Spray Arm

The spray arm is responsible for rotating inside your dishwasher, cleaning the dishes. If it’s damaged, broken, or clogged, water can go everywhere.

Open the dishwasher door, remove the dish rack, and spin the spray arm to make sure it is moving appropriately. 

If it’s cracked or damaged, it can result in water being forcefully expelled straight out instead of being directed upwards through the spray holes. As a consequence, the water will hit the dishwasher door and lead to leakage.

If you find that the arm is not rotating evenly, then you should take a look at the utensils and make sure they are not in the way. If there is something blocking the spray arm, you need to remove it.

You should also take a look at the arm and make sure it is not clogged due to residue buildup. If it is, please clean it.

Spray Arm From The Inside
Oftentimes, when the spray arms in a dishwasher begin to malfunction, it is due to them simply being worn out and needing replacement.

If you have done all of this and the spray arm is still not working properly, you need to order a new model. Take a look at the manual and see what type of spray arm you require.

When the new option arrives, unscrew the spray arm and remove it from the dishwasher. Then, take the new arm and align it with the central hub. Screw the arm in place, and make sure it can spin freely. That way, you make sure it is working properly. 

#4 There’s an Issue With the Actuator

If the water is leaking from the bottom of your dishwasher, there’s a good chance there’s an issue with the actuator.

An actuator is responsible for controlling the direction of water flow between the lower and upper spray arms.

It is a motor that is powered and operates a stem that extends up through the sump, which is the area that holds the water. The stem is connected to an assembly that moves and performs certain functions related to water flow.

Along the path to the sum, there’s a small seal. If it becomes worn out or damaged, it can result in a leak.

To solve this issue, it might be best to reach out to a professional, as accessing the actuator can be a bit challenging.

#5 You Have a Drain Hose That Is Damaged

There is a drain hose that is responsible for supplying water to the dishwasher from the drain pump. If you remove the kick plate at the bottom of your appliance, you should be able to see this hose.

Eventually, the connections may come loose or the hose itself could crack. When this happens, the dishwasher may lose water because it connects to the hose. So, if you see water all over the floor, there could be an issue with the hose that connects to your dishwasher. 

You should take a look at the hose from top to bottom. You may want to squirt some water through it to see if there is a leak present. If there is a leak, you can solve the issue in two different ways.

When the wash cycle is over, remove power from the appliance. Then, place a pan underneath the dishwasher and pinch the hose clamp tightly, making sure the fittings are tight. Consider running another cycle. See if there is still a leak present. 

If there is still a leak present, you need to replace the hose. Take a look at the manual and see what type of hose is recommended.

Then, when the new hose arrives, you can swap out the old one for the new one. If you are not comfortable with this process, you should reach out to a professional who can help you. 

#6 The Inlet Water Valve Is Not Functioning Properly

You should also take a closer look at the inlet water valve of your dishwasher. This is located at the bottom of the appliance and allows water to flow into the dishwasher tub during the cycle.

If this part is not opening and closing properly, it is possible your appliance may overflow. As a result, the excess water could end up all over the floor.

To test this problem, you should start a wash cycle. Then, in the middle of the cycle, open the door. If water continues to fill in the dishwasher even when the door is open, then there is probably an issue with the inlet water valve.

You need to fix this problem quickly because you could end up with a serious leak all over your kitchen floor. 

A Leaking Dishwater
If water flows out from under the dishwasher, you could have a water hose or valve issue.

The only way to deal with this problem is to replace the inlet water valve. It is impossible to repair a damaged piece, so you need to order a new one and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. 

There are a lot of steps involved in this process. You need to remove the kick plate panel, remove the hose and screws, and remove the clamp that is connected to the water inlet valve. Then, you will need to disconnect the wires before you install the replacement part.

Clearly, this is a lot of work, so you may want to reach out to a professional who is familiar with the wiring of a dishwasher. 

#7 The Float Switch Is Not Working Properly

Your float assembly includes a float and a float switch. All of this is required to make sure your dishwasher maintains an appropriate water level. When your dishwasher runs, the float lifts as the water level rises.

When the dishwasher reaches a certain water level, there is a float switch that is responsible for turning off the water. If there is something wrong with a switch, then the water may never shut off. As a result, the dishwasher overflows, leading to a leak

To figure out if this is the problem, you should open the door in the middle of the cycle. Take a look at the heating element and compare this to the water level. If the water level is above the heating element, then this is a sign something might be wrong with the float switch.

If you cannot get the door open in the middle of a wash cycle, you can also test the float switch using a multimeter. Make sure there is no electricity flowing through the float switch. If there is not, it is time to replace it.

If you need a new float switch, you should take a look at the manual to figure out what you need. Then, I recommend calling a professional.

If you start messing with the internal components of the electrical wiring of your dishwasher, you could risk voiding your warranty. Furthermore, this could be a serious safety issue. If you are not comfortable with this, you should reach out to a professional who can help you.


Ultimately, these are just a few of the most common reasons why your dishwasher might be leaking. You can handle some of these issues on your own, but you may be better off working with a professional in some situations. 

I hope you enjoyed this article and learn more about why your dishwasher might be leaking. Take a look at a few related articles below! 

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more