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What Causes a Dishwasher to Leak Underneath

dishwasher with leak water

You’ve enjoyed a lovely dinner and sat on the soft to relax while your trusty dishwasher takes care of the cleaning up – life’s good!

Now, it’s time to empty the dishwasher and handle the easy part – putting those cleaned and dried dishes away. But wait, you notice a large puddle of water on the floor around the dishwasher – a leak!

If the dishwasher leaks, act immediately. Since a large amount of water is used during a wash cycle, it can cause possible water damage to floors and kitchen cupboards, and of course, is slippery underfoot.

In an emergency, the kitchen is flooded, which is associated with high costs and causes even more headaches.

Dishwasher appliances leak for a variety of reasons, and because of gravity, water will almost always appear underneath or around the bottom of the appliance, making it tricky to find the source. Let’s explore some of the possible causes of where the water is leaking from your dishwasher, and what fixes need to be done.

Possible Causes

The leakage of the dishwasher can have a variety of causes, which require their own approach. Therefore, when inspecting the dishwasher, you should try to locate where the water is leaking from, which may mean removing the dishwasher and getting in behind the check the plumbing.

Here are 7 things to look for when your dishwasher leaks;

  1. Hose torn or kinked
  2. Hose not connected properly
  3. Clogged drain filter
  4. Door leaking due to dishes pressing on the door or something stuck in seal
  5. Inlet Water connection leaking
  6. Drain and circulation pump defective
  7. Sensors defective

Since dishwashers are appliances that are often used every day, parts are susceptible to wear and tear, just like a washing machine or any other appliance with moving parts. For this reason, you should especially check seals and hoses. S

Seeking professional help if your appliance is insured or under warranty should be your first course of action. But if you’re a hands-on type of person, then let’s go through this troubleshooting list to find this leak.

1. Burst Hoses Somewhere

dishwasher inlet water hose

One of the most common causes of a dishwasher leaking water is a cracked or kinked hose. The inlet and waste water hoses supply the machine with the necessary water and also pump out the dirty water after rinsing. If these are damaged, clogged, split, cracked, or kinked, the water cannot flow into or out of the dishwasher and may end of forces it onto the floor. The following hoses can be found that are used in a dishwasher:

  • Drain hose
  • Water inlet hose
  • Connecting pipes and hoses inside the machine

The reason for the damage to the hoses is often incorrect storage from hoses that are stretched excessively, bent, kinked, or wrapped.

Another problem here is material fatigue in the hoses. Due to the heavy daily use, hoses can wear and tear over time and rupture, causing a flood. Even if one of the hoses is only kinked, problems can arise here, as the water builds up pressure inside the machine.

You can easily replace any hoses on the outside of the appliance, but you need a professional to change the inner hoses. Problems with the inner hoses are to be expected if water collects under the machine and all external hoses are free from damage after inspection.

If you find a broken hose it’s an easy fix. Buy a replacement hose, disconnect from the power supply, replace the hose and you’re good to go.

2. Check Connection Points

dishwasher drain hose

It is important that the individual hoses, especially for the inlet and outlet, are correctly connected. If these are turned on incorrectly and thus not firmly connected, water will escape from the individual interfaces. This is easy to spot, unless you have an integrated dishwasher, as this will involve more work to remove and gain access to all hose connectors at the rear of the machine.

If a rubber washer was missed, or the connections are not screwed on tightly, or screw threads are not aligned, then the watertight seal is lost and you’ll have a leak, so check all connection points.

This error can happen, for example, after changing the hose or due to movement of the dishwasher. Make sure to stop the program here and connect the hose to the dishwasher correctly. If the hose is attached with a screw cap, it must not be forcefully forced. Simply screw it tight without using much force and also pay attention to whether the screw mechanism is worn out.

3. Blocked Filter

The filter is one of the most important parts for a dishwasher to function correctly. The dishwasher needs a filter to filter out food particles – big and small – grease and other coarse materials to protect the pump and prevent the drain hose from getting clogged up.

Failure to clean it can clog the dishwasher, which inevitably leads to leakage as the machine is unable to properly drain waste water away. You should therefore always clean your dishwasher filters at regular intervals to prevent this from happening.

Failing to keep the filter clean means not just leaks, but:

  • Poor cleaning performance
  • Unpleasant smell from the interior
  • Puddle of dirty water
  • And of course, a possible leak from excessively high water levels

The dishwasher can no longer clean properly due to the clogged filter which leaves deposits on the dishes and causes bad smells to build up inside the dishwasher. Remove and check for drain blockage inside the filter and the drain sump itself.

4. Door Not Sealed

Small bits of food or a cooking utensil could be jammed in the rubber door seal, despite the small size, this will break the watertight door seal and will cause a leak.

If you notice water coming out from around the door, you should stop the program and open the door. Look for foreign objects or dishes that could be causing breaks. If all looks clear but the problem persists as the wash cycle continues, the seal could just be damaged and require replacing. This is the same kind of thing that can happen to refrigerator door seals.

The door of the dishwasher is responsible for ensuring that the water remains in the machine during the wash cycle and does not leak out. If the seal is damaged, the water can no longer be held in the machine and it will run out.

You can recognize a damaged seal by the condition of the rubber seal on the edge of the door. If this is frayed, perforated or the rubber is no longer hard enough, the seal must be changed. Do not use the dishwasher until the seal has been replaced. A dishwasher door is leaking for one of the following reasons:

The wear of the seal is the most common cause here, as the rubber can no longer withstand water pressure and steam, especially in machines that have been in use for several years.

Give the door seals a wipe down and check over at regular intervals, as stubborn food residues can get stuck here, rot and damage the rubber.

5. Inlet Connection Leaking

In modern kitchens, the machine is connected to the internal water circuit via the inlet connection. The connection is usually located directly under the sink and is made possible by an extra connection that is simply connected via the wastewater and inlet hose.

When connecting, make sure that the connection is tightened, otherwise, the water may drip from the hose or splash in large quantities. Since the connection is not directly on the dishwasher, the excess water comes from near the sink and is likely to leak out of the kitchen cabinet. Because of this, you will become aware of it quite quickly.

6. Damaged Water Pumps

Inside the dishwasher there are powerful pumps that are necessary for supplying, circulating, and draining water from the machine.

  • Drain pump: pumps dirt water out of the dishwasher
  • Circulation pump: pumps water from the inlet source to the heater and spray arms

If either of these two main pumps is badly damaged, water will leak from them and out from the bottom of the appliance. A typical defect in the pump is the leakage of water at only one point.

Problems with the circulation pump are mainly caused by foreign bodies that get into the pump and then penetrate the impeller housing. There, the foreign objects make a clicking noise that you shouldn’t ignore. In the worst-case scenario, the engine will burn out and you will have to buy a new pump. A defective drain pump can be traced back to the following faults:

  • Clogged waste water hose
  • Foreign object bypassing filter
  • Kinked sewage hose
  • Wear and tear

If this is not the case, the pump is probably ineffective and the circulation pump is still spraying water into the dishwasher. The consequence of this is an overflow and the leakage of water over the floor pan, which cannot hold these large quantities. If the pumps are gone, you’ll need to call in a professional.

7 Defective Sensors

Some dishwashers have sensors, some more than others, and these sensors inside the dishwasher are necessary so that the dishwasher can effectively measure where and in what quantities water is required. This could send the wrong message to the computer causing the appliance to generate far too much water which can overwhelm the dishwasher and cause a leak.