MetLife, Your Life®

Simple Tips for Life’s Unpredictable Moments

Put a Stop to Dishwasher Leaks

Identify and fix dishwasher leaks before they cause water damage.

A small dishwasher leak may seem inconsequential, but if ignored, it can become a big problem. The good news is that you can fix most issues on your own with little to no hassle — or cost. Use this guide to troubleshoot some of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks.

 

Problem: Worn gasket
Test the door’s sealing power by closing it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, the seal is inadequate. Replace torn or cracked gaskets.

Fix: Buy a new gasket and soak it in hot water to soften the kinks. Pull off the old gasket, noting how it fits, and replace it with the new, presoaked gasket.

 

Problem: Damaged valves or hoses
Unscrew the lower-front panel and look for loose or brittle hoses. Also check for cracks, traces of rust, or mineral deposits that could prevent the inlet valve from sealing properly.

Fix: Start by tightening connectors and hose clamps. If the leak persists, call an appliance repairman, since hoses and inlet valves can be tricky to replace.

 

Problem: Clogged drain
Turn the dishwasher on and open the door after the water shuts off. Is the water level higher than the door’s bottom edge? If so, there’s likely a clog somewhere.

Fix: To unclog a drain, pour 1 tablespoon of baking soda down the drain, followed by 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Use a straightened hanger to pull out debris.

 

Problem: Faulty door
Inspect the door latch and hinges. If they wiggle, the door doesn’t shut properly.

Fix: For a more secure seal, tighten loose screws and replace missing or corroded parts.

 

Problem: Wrong soap
Check the owner’s manual to see which type of soap you should use in your appliance. Some models have specific soap requirements — and hand-washing dish soaps can cause suds to overflow.

Fix: Scoop out as much of the suds as you can. Clean the dishwasher by running a cycle with a half cup of olive oil.

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