Leaky Dishwasher? Don’t Call the Handyman Just Yet


We all get leaks sometimes at home. Whether it’s dishwashers, washing machines, or pipes anywhere around the house, leaks are always a sign that something is wrong and can be a great source of concern.

However, before you get on the phone and drop hundreds of dollars on a repairman, take a look at this guide and see if you can’t hop into the do-it-yourself mindset and fix that leaky dishwasher on your own.

Why do it yourself? There’s two good reasons, and the first one is money.

With the right tools, some patience, and a good attitude, you can fix most dishwasher leaks for under $20 if you do it on your own.

On top of that, getting the job done and being your own boss is scientifically proven to give human beings a big and well deserved boost of confidence and self satisfaction.

So, let’s start with the basics.

Identify the Leak

It might not be obvious where the water or washing fluid is coming from, so be sure to consult your dishwasher’s manual so that you can figure out where all of the relevant parts are.

To identify the leak, run the dishwasher and look below as it’s running to see if you can pinpoint where the liquid is coming from.

Most dishwashers have lower front panels that are screwed into the rest of the machine. Unscrew the panels so that you can get a better look at the washer door and any visible tubes.

If the leak is coming from a visible hole in a tube, you can try patching it with very strong tape or super glue.

However, if you need to replace the entire tube, it may be a job for a repairman.

Check the Door Seal

While running the dishwasher, push gently on the door. Is it loose or giving way?

If yes, this would mean that you have a loose door that is likely the source of your leak.

Fixing a loose door is one of the easiest forms of maintenance you can perform on a dishwasher, and will rarely require outside help if you know what to do.

Check your dishwasher’s manual to identify where the door adjustment mechanism is.

For most dishwashers, it is going to be a fairly simple screw mechanism on the top or the bottom of the door frame. Tighten it, but don’t overdo it. If the door is too tight, it can get stuck or damage the frame.

Check for Other Leak Sources

Most dishwashers leaks can be chalked up to a problem with the door, particularly the door not sealing properly. This is a pretty easy fix you can do yourself.

But if you think the door is not causing the problem, open the dishwasher and remove (if possible) and clean the gasket, or clean it in place using soap or household cleaner and water.

If you still have water leaking through the door, it’s possible that there is a problem with your gasket that cleaning alone can’t fix. Inspect the gasket, looking for cracks or broken parts.

If you find a crack or break, you’ll need to replace the gasket. However, you still don’t need a handyman for this.

Simply order a replacement and follow the manual to reinstall it yourself. You can find high quality appliance replacement parts online to help you get the job done.

Usually, replacing the gasket is just a matter of a few screws.

Let’s say you’ve done all of these steps but you’re still getting a leak while the dishwasher is running. If you haven’t already, check which soap you’re using. Sometimes the wrong type of liquid wash can get bubbly and cause an overflow.

Time for a Professional

Of course, if none of these methods fix the problem, don’t feel bad about calling in a professional to troubleshoot solutions for you.

That said, more than nine in ten leaks are related to the dishwasher door itself, so if this is the likely case, then rest assured the chances are high that you can go it alone.

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