6 Common Causes of a Leaking Dishwasher (and What to Do About It!)

A leaking dishwasher can leave a big mess and cause an even bigger headache. We explain 6 causes of a leaking dishwasher with tips on what to do about it.
An open empty dishwasher with racks visible.

Did you step in a puddle when you went into the kitchen? Leaks are the worst, especially in the kitchen where there are several water-based appliances that can be the culprit.

If you’ve narrowed the problem down to a leaking dishwasher, you still may not know what the problem is. Here are some possible causes for a leaking dishwasher and what to do about it! 

1. Needs Leveling 

Many homes aren’t built with level floors, especially older homes. Even if the foundation is level, the flooring can be slightly off-kilter, meaning that any appliances sitting on the floors aren’t level either. 

Just as your stove has leveling legs that screw in and out to create custom-height legs, your dishwasher can also be leveled. If you’re calling friends saying, “My dishwasher is leaking!” then you may have a dishwasher that needs leveling to prevent leaks. 

2. Door Not Sealing 

You may need a dishwasher repair if the door isn’t sealing properly. The door gasket should create a watertight seal so that no water can escape while a cycle is running. 

If the gasket has any tears or cracks, it won’t do its job. The gasket can be replaced if you determine that’s the cause of the leak. 

3. Pump Stopped Working 

If you’re wondering, “Why is my dishwasher leaking?” it could be that the pump stopped working. The pump is the mechanism in your dishwasher that makes the water circulate and drain when the cycle is over. 

If the pump isn’t draining the water, the dishwasher can fill with water that has nowhere else to go, which can cause a leak. 

4. Leaking Dishwasher: Clogged Filter? 

Did you know you should be cleaning your dishwasher filter regularly? If you don’t, it can get clogged with bits of food and other junk. To keep it free of buildup, empty the filter at least once a month, or the clog could cause a leak (and unneeded stress!). 

5. Not Loaded Correctly 

It’s possible the dishwasher isn’t loaded correctly, and that’s causing the leak. If the spray arm can’t spin, then it can’t do its job. Overcrowding your dishes often means that the spray arm can’t turn. 

Tall utensils or larger dishes can block the spray arm or disturb it as well. The spray arm can even come off if it hits something hard enough. A detached spray arm can break your dishes, and it can also cause a leak. 

If you’re wondering how to fix a leaking dishwasher, you may need to fix a bent or broken spray arm. 

6. Bad Float Switch 

One reason your dishwasher is leaking could be that the float switch isn’t doing its job. The switch is designed to tell the dishwasher when there is enough water inside. It floats on top of the water, and when it reaches full, it tells the dishwasher to stop filling with water. 

If that’s broken, it will keep filling. Too much water can cause a leaky dishwasher, so if the float switch is bad, you’ll need to have it replaced. 

Leak-Free Kitchen 

If you have a leaking dishwasher, you may have any of the problems above. If you need help reattaching the spray arm or changing out the door seal gasket, or any number of other appliance repairs, having a professional do the repair can give you peace of mind. 

Give us a call today for help with your leaking dishwasher.


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