Diagnosing a Countertop Dishwasher Leak: 4 Things you Should Check First


Serious problems may result due to leaks from your countertop dishwasher. If it’s leaking where you can see it, then you might have a bigger problem than just a wet floor or countertop. Mildew and mold are two problems that could develop because of residual moisture in the surrounding areas of your washer. If you don’t address them quickly, mildew and mold can spread throughout your home which can result in serious health issues, especially if you have a baby; this is why it is vital that you fix all leaks coming from your dishwasher. Below are some steps you can take to diagnose a leaking countertop dishwasher. 

Step 1 – Check the Gaskets

The first thing you want to do is check and see if the rubber gasket that is installed around the door is dry rotted or cracked. If is dry rotted or cracked, this may be where the leak maybe coming from. To determine if it is the door’s gasket, start with visually inspecting it for any tears. If you cannot see anything, try using a small piece of newspaper or note paper and place it between gap along the top of the door. Then close the door on the paper and try to pull the paper out of the door gently. If you find that the paper does not come out with slight pulling pressure, open the door and slide the paper over a little. Close the door and repeat trying to slide down the length of the gasket and do so going all the way around. If the gasket for the dishwasher door is good, pulling the paper out should not be easy.

Step 2 – Inspect the Water Supply and Return Lines

 I spoke earlier of two lines running to and from your washer: the supply and return lines. They’re about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Now that you have access to them, run your hand over the exterior to see if you can feel a wet spot. Also, search around the counter and floor for evidence of leaks. If you do find wet spots in these areas, make sure the hoses are securely fit to their connecting points. If they are not, tighten them. Additionally, look for punctures in the lines. Doing so will help you isolate which hose is bad. Any damage will call for a replacement.

Step 3 – Check to Ensure no Leaks at Pump or Inlet Valve

The Inlet valve let’s water into the tub, and the pump distributes and drains the water. The valve rests on top of the water inlet line near the bottom of the washer. If you find the line at the pump corroded, this could be where the leak is. There’s a seal in the pump you want to check also. Remove the pump to inspect it, but also examine the pump housing to see if it is cracked. If so, replace the entire pump assembly.

Step 4 – Check the Water Level

Your washer will leak if the water level inside the dishwasher is too high. With no dishes loaded, turn your dishwasher on and let it run until it pauses during the wash cycle. Open the front door when you hear the water stop running. The water should be slightly below the door ledge. If it is coming past the ledge or just about to, check the spray arms at the bottom of the washer for clogged ports; this might stop the water from draining properly.

Another thing you might want to check is the plastic float in the bottom of the washer. If it is damaged or not operating correctly, it will not send the signal to the inlet valve to close. Lastly, and this should be first, check to make sure you are not overloading the dishwasher. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper loading procedures for your washer.

The steps provided are not the final solution, but they are the most common ones found in a leaking countertop dishwasher. If your washer still leaks after trying these inspection tips, you might want to call the customer hotline or a plumber.

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