Dishwasher Repair: Leaking Door

A man looks at a dishwasher.
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Carpenter's level
What You'll Need
Carpenter's level

A leaky dishwasher door may seem like a daunting dishwasher repair problem, but it is usually a fairly simple repair. You can solve this problem by following the five steps below.

Step 1 - Look First for the Simple Solution

Many times a dishwasher has leaked simply because of someone using too much dishwashing detergent. Sometimes, the wrong type of detergent may have been placed in the dishwasher.

Be careful to avoid adding more detergent than is recommended for your dishwasher, and never use the liquid detergent designed to wash dishes in the sink. Avoid rinsing off your dishes with this kind of detergent before loading them into the dishwasher.

Another simple cause may be loading dishes incorrectly into the washer. You might identify this as the cause if you notice that the leaking water is sudsy or if you notice water spilling through the door vent.

If one of these things seems to be the cause behind your leak, you may not need any dishwasher repairs.

Step 2 - Make Sure the Dishwasher is Level

Examine your dishwasher to make sure that all four legs of the dishwasher rest firmly on the floor. If possible, use a carpenter's level to make sure the dishwasher itself is level.

Step 3 - Check the Door Seal

A slightly open dishwasher.

Sometimes water leakage occurs because of corrosion on the gasket of the door seal. The door seal assists in preventing water leakage but often becomes brittle, shrinks, or tears from wear. If, when examining the gasket, you find that it has become rigid and cracked, you should replace it.

Step 4 - Check the Wash Arm

Sometimes the plastic wash arms of a dishwasher, because of wear, begin splitting at the seams. When this happens, pressure forces the water onto the door and through the gasket. To determine if split spray arms are the cause of leaks, start the dishwasher, open it and check both ends of the spray arms for openings or cracks.

Step 5 - Check the Door Alignment

Examine the door of your dishwasher to determine if it fits properly in the door gasket. If it doesn’t, this may be the cause of the leaking.

Step 6 - Replace the Gasket

A man works on a dishwasher.

If you need to replace the gasket, first remove the old gasket, which is held in a narrow groove in the door. To remove the gasket, simply grip the gasket with pliers and firmly pull it from the groove.

After purchasing a new gasket at your local appliances repair shop, immerse the gasket in hot water for several minutes to soften it. The softening will allow you to insert the gasket more easily into the groove. After inserting the new gasket, begin a wash cycle to determine if your dishwasher repair has solved the leak problem.

Step 7 - Examine the Door Latch

Examine the door latch to see if it needs adjusting. Push the latch in, then unscrew and retighten it. After retightening, close the door and run the dishwasher. If the dishwasher begins leaking, retighten the latch again.