Two bowls in the top rack of a dishwasher

Leaking dishwasher causes & how to fix them

Dishwasher leaks can cause more problems than just a puddle in your kitchen. A damaged water supply line, unlevel dishwasher, or broken latch are all problems that could cause your appliance to leak. Read on for tips on possible fixes for a leaking dishwasher.

An open dishwasher with all of the racks full of dishes

How do you find a leak in your dishwasher?

Whether your dishwasher’s leak is coming from underneath the unit or from the door at the front, there are several possibilities that may be causing the problem. Before attempting to troubleshoot the leak on your own, it is important to consult your Use and Care Guide for instructions and dishwasher parts specific to your model. Some tips for repairing a dishwasher leak include: 

  • Always disconnect the unit’s power supply before beginning repair by unplugging the appliance or turning it off at the breaker.

  • Ensure the water valve beneath the sink is closed.

  • Keep towels or a sponge handy to wipe up water and prevent the floor from becoming slippery.

If you own a Whirlpool® Dishwasher, you can also visit our YouTube Channel, or our Service & Support page for more tips about getting the most out of your appliance.

 

An aerial view of a Whirlpool® dishwasher opened just enough to see the top rack

Why is your dishwasher leaking?

Dishwasher leaks can be attributed to multiple causes. If you’re unsure of where the leak is coming from, the following possibilities are a good start:

A water supply line against a white background

Does your dishwasher have a water supply line leak?

Leaks caused by a damaged water supply line will typically be found underneath the unit. To find out if the leak is being caused by the water supply line, you’ll need to locate and inspect it.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from the water supply line

  • Turn off power to the appliance at the breaker or by unplugging it.

  • Take off the lower kick panel by turning the fasteners.

  • Remove the panel and sound insulation, making note of the installed orientation and position.

  • Locate the water line hookup at the front left corner of the unit. 

  • Inspect the water connection and check the floor for dampness. 

  • Hand tighten the hose if needed until the coupling is tight. Using pliers, check the tightness of the coupling. An additional 1/4 to 1/2 turn may be required to seal the rubber gasket.

  • Teflon is not needed when the fittings and or hoses have a rubber gasket.

 

A dishwasher drain line against a white background

Is your dishwasher drain line correctly installed?

Excess water in the dishwasher tub may indicate a problem with your dishwasher’s drain line. In this case, you’ll need to check under the sink to inspect your drain line’s connection.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from drain line

  • Check to see if the drain line comes through the bottom of the cabinet.

  • Check your model’s owner manual to ensure the drain hose connection, installation and position are consistent with the instructions (varies by model).

  • Check to see if the hose clamp is positioned correctly.

  • If the drain line appears to be installed correctly, it may be clogged and will require the help of a professional.

A closed Whirlpool® Dishwasher set between white cupboards

Is your dishwasher level?

In order to perform correctly, your dishwasher must be properly level. Leaks resulting from an unlevel dishwasher will cause water to overflow the tub top and exit beneath the door. You will need to level out your dishwasher in order to stop the leak.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from unlevelness

  • Place a level against the top front of the unit to check if it is level.

  • If it is not level, turn off power to the appliance.  

  • Remove the cabinet anchor screws. 

  • Take off the lower kick panel by turning the fasteners.

  • Remove the panel and sound insulation, making note of the installed orientation and position.

  •  Adjust the leveling legs up or down until the unit is square in the cabinet and evenly supported by the rear wheels.

  • Reinstall the cabinet anchor screws.  

  • Restore power to the appliance.

A dishwasher latch against a white background

Does your dishwasher have a damaged latch or gasket?

If your dishwasher appears to be leaking from the door on the front of the unit, you may have a damaged latch or gasket. A bent or loose latch will prevent the door from closing correctly, while a soiled, loose or cracked gasket will prevent the door from being properly sealed.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from damaged latch or gasket

  • Check to see if the latch is bent or loose.

    • If the latch is loose, use a screwdriver to tighten it into place.
    • If the latch is bent, you will need to replace it.
  • Check to see if the gasket is soiled, loose or damaged.

    • If the gasket is soiled, it can be cleaned with mild soap, water and a sponge.
    • If the gasket is loose, secure it back into place.
    • If the gasket is damaged, you will need to replace it.
  • In some cases, the door screws can become loose preventing the gasket from sealing.

    • If any of the door screws are loose, hand tighten them until they firmly make contact with the door surface.

If you’re looking for replacement parts for your Whirlpool® Dishwasher, start by checking out Whirlpool®  Dishwasher Parts to find the right one for your model.

A detergent dispenser on a dishwasher

Was the correct type of detergent used?

Occasionally your dishwasher’s leak may be caused by using the wrong detergent. Certain soaps, such as hand soaps, dish soap or laundry detergent, can produce an excess of suds that can overflow from the unit.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from detergent used

  • Ensure that only automatic dishwashing detergent is used.

  • Store detergent in a dry, cool place to keep it fresh.

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Is your dishwasher door gasket soiled or dirty?

If your dishwasher door gasket is soiled, it may be preventing the door from sealing properly and causing a leak.

How to fix dishwasher leaking from soiled or dirty door gasket

  • Use a damp washcloth to wipe down the gasket.

  • Scrub the gasket clean using a toothbrush and warm, soapy water.

  • Spray any present mold or mildew with 3% hydrogen peroxide.

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Does your dishwasher have a damaged component?

If a component under the dishwasher besides the inlet hose or drain line is the source of the leak, service is required. You can schedule service for your Whirlpool® Dishwasher here and be sure to turn off the water supply line until the unit is repaired.  

Explore Whirlpool® Dishwashers

If you’re ready to purchase a new Whirlpool® Dishwasher, you can choose from several efficient and long-lasting options.

Learn more about dishwashers

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