Dishwasher Shennanigans: Dishwasher Leaking

Inviting a houseful of guests, or entertaining your extended family for Christmas week sounds all fun and games when you have got your tech-savvy, high-functioning dishwasher doing all the dirty work. It saves an incredible amount of time and allows you to sip on that extra glass of wine after dinner’s done and dusted. We tend to take our big machines for granted, thinking they’ll always do their thing and everything’s going to be just fine. 

But it’s no surprise when you step on a small puddle of water that’s been forming since the night before when you’re filling the dishwasher. Sometimes, we just wipe it up and pretend nothing’s happened. But when it is persistently occurring, every once in a while, it is a cause for concern. One of the most common issues with dishwashers around the world is leakages. If you’re here today for a way around it, a solution, let’s get on with it.  

However, before we do get on with it, we have to make sure you take all the precautionary measures. Unplug the electrical lines by switching off the circuit breaker and close the water valve as well. 

Gasket Seal Error

If water is leaking from the sides of your dishwasher, just open the dishwasher door and look for stuck-on residue like dried food, cracks, etc. along with the gasket. One of the most prominent reasons a dishwasher leaks is when the gasket seal stops functioning. The rubber material works just fine when new and flexible, but, over time it can lose its newness, become dry and stiff, and may even tear away. Moreover, food residue can get stuck on the seal and prevent the door from snugly closing. Just run your hand along the rubber material to check if there are any cracks, food residue, etc. 

How to Fix

When you do find it damaged, don’t worry as you can replace it yourself. Just check the package for the certain model and its information like serial numbers, and order a replacement from the manufacturer or from your nearest store. 

dishwasher leak from bottom

In order to remove the gasket, start peeling it away from the door. Use warm and soapy water to rinse the channel of any residue. Use a hairdryer on Low Heat to heat the new gasket. This will ensure any folds are smoothened out to make the gasket more supple. Make sure to align the center of the gasket rubber with the top frame of the door, and evenly press the rubber along the top and bottom sides of the door frame. Now, shut the door to see if the gasket seals tightly into place. 

Spray Arm Malfunctioning

The spray arm is located on the bottom of the dishwasher’s interior. It spins during the rinse and wash cycles and sprinkles water at fast speeds onto the dishes. But, if you stack up the dishes in the wrong arrangement or overload the dishwasher, it may prevent the spray arm from rotating adequately or simply not allow it to move. This can cause the spray arm to be permanently displaced and damaged over years of use. 

To check if that’s the case, open the door to your dishwasher, take off the bottom dish rack, and try rotating the spray arm to see if it moves easily and freely. If it doesn’t do so, clear the area of any residue, silverware, etc., and unscrew the spray arm to inspect it for any damages. 

How to Fix

dishwasher leaking from side

Once again, check the package for model information, and order the specific spray arm replacement from the manufacturer, and you can do the rest by yourself as well. If you haven’t removed the old spray arm, unscrew it counter-clockwise and take the new one. Place the new spray arm’s center on the opening for spray arms located on the bottom of the dishwasher and screw it tight clockwise. Rotate the spray arm to see if it spins freely, and if it does, relocate the dish rack to the bottom. 

Float Switch Facade

The float assemblage includes the float switch and the float itself that ensure adequate water levels are maintained during every wash and rinse cycle. As water fills up the dishwasher, the float rises until a certain level is reached; the switch is triggered to turn the water off. However, a malfunctioning switch would prevent the maintenance of adequate water levels, and water may rise above a certain point causing leakages to occur. 

You can easily spot this issue by monitoring whether the water level reaches above the heating element. During a wash cycle, open the dishwasher door and check if the water level is above or below the heating element. If not, you need a replacement. 

How to Fix

dishwasher leaking from bottom of door

This fix may be slightly tricky, so if you’re not exactly tech-savvy, you may call a technician. Check the package for the dishwasher model and order a new float switch. Install the float switch by screwing it tight, reattaching the specific wirings to the float assemblage, and finally close the protective panel. 

Drain Hose Not Draining  

The drain hose is responsible for getting the dirty water out of the drain pump, the drain line, and then out of your kitchen sink drain. This is only visible to the eye when you remove the protective panel from the bottom of the dishwasher. Over time, all three connections can start to become loose or ineffective, or the drain hose itself can be damaged or torn apart, and you may wake up to a puddle of dirty water greeting your cold feet on the kitchen floor one morning. 

In order to ensure this is the issue, simply take off the protective panel from the base of your dishwasher door while the dishwasher is running and inspect for leaks along with the hose.

How to Fix

causes of dishwasher leaking

You can either order a new drain hose or make do with what you have. When your dishwasher’s cycle ends, turn off all electric connections, and place a bowl under the hose to collect any pouring water. Use pliers to take the hose off from the pump while nipping the hose clamp. Repeat the same process at the kitchen sink drain to take the hose off from both sides. Now, attach the new drain hose to each end, use new clamps and install the protective panel back on again and you’re good to go. 


We looked at the most common issues that occur with dishwashers and some of their simple solutions. However, your dishwasher may still remain faulty and leak anyway, and this might mean your problem is much bigger than a simple DYI fix at home. If that’s the case, call your manufacturer, if you have a warranty then utilize that, or simply hire a technician. Good luck!

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