Whirlpool Dishwasher Leaking? Here’s Why

Paradise Appliance
June 3, 2024
Dishwasher Repair

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is leaking, this guide will help you get to the bottom of it. There can be several possible causes, and we’ll run through them all here. You will be able to fix some of these problems yourself with some basic handyman skills. So, don’t rush out to hire a plumber until you’ve read until the end and tried some of the tips below.

Here are six reasons your Whirlpool dishwasher might be leaking:

1. The dishwasher is unlevel

Leaks can occur when a dishwasher is unlevel since water can pool in areas it shouldn’t and overflow the edge of the tub. Having a level dishwasher is also key to it functioning properly and efficiently. Here’s how to level your dishwasher:

  1. Check if your dishwasher is level front to back by placing a spirit level vertically on one side of the font panel.
  2. Then, check if it is level side to side by opening the door and placing the spirit level on the top front frame of the tub.
  3. If unlevel, remove the kick plate at the bottom of the appliance. You may need a screwdriver.
  4. Remove any other panels or insulation under the kick plate to gain access to the leveling legs.
  5. Adjust the leveling legs using a wrench, raising or lowering each corner until the appliance is level.
  6. Ensure that all the legs are in full contact with the floor. 

2. Damaged or dirty gasket

If your dishwasher’s gasket is dirty or damaged, the door may not seal properly, leading to leaks while it’s in use. The gasket is the rubber seal that runs along the perimeter of the door.  

If the gasket has come loose, you may be able to press it back into the channel where it sits. If it is dirty or moldy, clean it with warm, soapy water and a sponge, cloth, or toothbrush, ensuring you clean the entire gasket.

If the gasket is worn, cracked, or damaged, it will need replacing. Replacement gaskets are usually inexpensive and easy to fit since they just press into place.

3. Wrong detergent

Believe it or not, using the wrong type of detergent can actually cause leaks. That’s because it can lead to excessive suds that overflow from the tub and seep out of the appliance through the door. Using the wrong detergent may even damage your appliance, so it’s best avoided.

Ensure you’re using a detergent specifically formulated for automatic dishwashers and not regular dish soap, hand soap, or anything else.

4. Drain line issue

An issue with the drain line, such as a blockage or incorrect installation, can lead to leaks. Another telltale sign is if the dishwasher isn’t draining properly, with water remaining in the tub. Follow these steps to check the drain line:

  1. Turn off the water supply and unplug your dishwasher.
  2. Locate the drain line connection under the sink where it connects to the plumbing.
  3. Look for moisture around the connection point. If you find some, try tightening the hose clamp to see if this stops the leak.
  4. Inspect the drain line for cracks, damage, or blockages. It will need replacing if it’s damaged.
  5. If you suspect a blockage, disconnect the drain line and use a plumber’s snake to gently push out any obstructions from the hose.
  6. Ensure the drain hose is properly installed according to the instructions in your model’s user manual. 

5. Water supply line issue

If the water supply line is damaged or not tightly connected, it may leak. An issue with the water supply line may also cause the dishwasher not to fill with water properly. These leaks will usually be found under the dishwasher since this is where it connects to the appliance.

Follow these steps to fix a leaking water supply line:

  1. Unplug the appliance for your own safety and turn off the water supply.
  2. Remove the kick plate on the lower front of the appliance. Then, remove the panel and insulation behind the kick plate.
  3. Inspect where the water supply line connects to the dishwasher, usually at the front left of the appliance.
  4. If the connection appears loose or damp, use a wrench to gently tighten it without overtightening. 
  5. Run your finger along the water supply line to check for holes, splits, or damage, feeling for dampness too. If damaged, the water supply line will need replacing.
  6. Mop up any water on the floor under the unit using paper towels, then reassemble the appliance, turn on the water and power, and run a cycle to see if the leak is fixed.

6. Door latch issue

If you notice water leaking from the door, it could also be an issue with the door latch. A damaged or loose latch can stop the door from closing properly, leading to leaks. 

You can check by opening the door and inspecting the latch at the top of the door for damage or buildup. If it’s dirty, give it a clean; if it’s damaged, it may need replacing.

You can test the latch by slowly closing the door and listening for a clicking sound. If it doesn’t click, or the door doesn’t stay properly closed, the latch may need replacing. 

Follow these steps to replace the latch:

  1. Turn off the power and water supply to your dishwasher.
  2. Open the dishwasher door, and remove the screws keeping the inner door panel in place, found around the inside edge of the door.
  3. Then, close the door and remove its outer panel.
  4. Remove the door latch by pressing the locking tabs to release it and then disconnecting its wiring harness.
  5. Install the new door latch by connecting its wiring harness and pressing it into place until the locking tabs click.
  6. Reassemble the door, turn back on the power and water supply to your dishwasher, and run a cycle to see if the leak has stopped.

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