Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking? 3 Common Causes and Solutions

From invasive black mold to flooding, leakage coming from a dishwasher can cause serious amounts of damage if left unchecked. Luckily, there are several ways to combat the issue without having to call a repairman. This article discusses the likely causes of dishwasher leaking along with its fixes.

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Reason #1: Failing Gasket Seal 

Located around the dishwasher tub, a gasket seal is a water-tight seal that prevents liquid from leaking out from the dishwasher. After years of use, this seal can dry out, crack, and become brittle, causing leakages. 

Remove the lower rack of the dishwasher door and run a hand along the gasket around the top and both sides of the dishwasher tub. If the gasket is dry, cracked, or caked with old food, it's time for a replacement. 


Replacing a gasket seal is fairly straightforward. Here's how: 

  1. Pull out the old gasket from the recessed channel using a pair of needle-nose pliers. 
  2. Clean the channel with a damp paper towel or cloth to remove caked-in dirt and food. 
  3. Warm the new gasket with a hairdryer on Low Heat to make it more pliable. 
  4. Evenly press the new gasket into the channel across the top and down the side of the tub. 
  5. Trim away any excess with a utility knife, ensuring no more than 3/4 inch protrudes from each side. 
  6. Slide the lower rack into place and close the door. Leave it closed for at least three hours so the gasket conforms to the door. 
  7. Run the dishwasher and check for leaks.

Reason # 2 Loose or Damaged Drain Hose

If you notice water puddling beneath the dishwasher along the hose, you might be dealing with a damaged drain hose. The drain hose connects the dishwasher pump to the garbage disposal or drain. Over time, it can crack, tear, or become loose. Instead of draining the water directly to the drainage, it'll leak water onto the floor. 


Run the dishwasher and closely observe the drain hose for leakage. If you notice water leaking from the hose, follow these steps: 

  1. Cut off the power and the water valve of the dishwasher unit. Then, place a tub or shallow pan below the hose to catch any excess water. 
  2. Disconnect the hose from the pump with your hands or a pair of pliers. 
  3. Screw in the new hose, making sure to tighten the clamp or spring clip.
  4. Position the new hose through the exit hole of the dishwasher, then connect it to the garbage disposal or air gap. 
  5. Replace the kick plate back onto the bottom of the unit, turn the water valve back on, and test the machine for further leaks. 

Reason # 3 Faulty Inlet Valve 

The inlet valve controls the dishwasher's water flow. When defective, water can leak out of the dishwasher. You'll know the inlet valve is faulty if water continues to fill the dishwasher even when it's turned off. 


A faulty inlet valve needs to be replaced. Here's how: 

  1. Locate the valve at the bottom of the dishwasher. If you're using a newer dishwasher, you may need to remove the outer door panel of the machine to get access to the valve. 
  2. Disconnect the screws, hose, and clamp connected to the inlet valve. Pull out the old valve and discard it, as well as any old plumbing tape around the fitting. 
  3. Install the new inlet valve and screw the access panel back into place. 

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