GE Dishwasher Leaking From Bottom? (here’s why & what to do)

A dishwasher makes a great labour saving addition to your kitchen. Unfortunately like any appliance that uses water, a dishwasher can develop leaks.

Many people will assume that water leaking from the bottom of the dishwasher means the dishwasher will either need replacing or an expensive repair is imminent. However, that’s not always the case, often the leak is caused simply by user error and can easily be fixed without the need of any technical know-how.

If you own a GE dishwasher that’s leaking from the bottom, keep reading. In this article we take a close look at the reasons why it might be leaking and offer the best ways to solve this issue.

Why Is My GE Dishwasher Leaking From The Bottom?

There are several reasons why your GE dishwasher might be leaking from the bottom which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Too Much Or Incorrect Type Of Detergent UsedAlways use the correct type and quantity of detergent
Improper Loading Of DishesEnsure the dishes are loaded correctly
Unlevel ApplianceCheck and improve the dishwasher’s level
Leaking Door SealCheck, clean or replace door seal as necessary
Defective Water Inlet ValveCheck and replace defective water inlet valve
Defective Float SwitchCheck and replace float switch if necessary
Blocked Spray ArmsCheck and clean or replace spray arms as necessary
Loose Vent CapTighten the vent cap
Loose Hose ClampCheck and tighten hose clamps
Defective Drainage SystemCheck filter, drain hose, check valve and drain pump and clean or replace as necessary
Water Pump LeakingCheck water pump and water pump seal and tighten seal or replace the water pump as necessary
Cracked TubContact a technician

Let’s look at each of these issues in more detail;

Too Much Or Incorrect Type Of Detergent Used

dishwasher dispenser

If you use too much detergent or the wrong type of detergent in your dishwasher it is prone to leak. Using the wrong type or too much detergent will cause too many soap suds which will then work their way outside of the appliance.

Dishwashers need a certain amount of soap suds to ensure dishes get clean and the appliance is designed to cope with that amount. Any more and the suds will start to leak out of the appliance and form watery puddles on the floor.

To prevent leaks, you should only use the correct type of detergent that’s formulated for use in your dishwasher and always stick to the recommended quantity.

Improper Loading Of Dishes

loading a dishwasher

If you load too many dishes into the dishwasher or place larger objects in a position where they can obstruct the spray arms, the dishwasher is likely to leak.

All of the water that washes and rinses the dishes is sprayed through the spray arms of your dishwasher. If one of those spray arms is prevented from turning due to a dish or pot handle or even a stray utensil blocking its movement, water will pool in one area and eventually leak from the tub.

The best way to solve this is to ensure dishes are loaded correctly paying particular attention to the spray arms arc of travel.

Unlevel Appliance

If the dishwasher isn’t level, water will pool in one area which will eventually lead to it leaking from the appliance. You should check the level of the dishwasher using a spirit level.

Check back to front and side to side. You can use the adjustable feet to adjust the level. Once the dishwasher is completely level, the leaking should stop.

Leaking Door Seal

Around the door of your dishwasher you will see a rubber gasket or seal. This is designed to prevent water from escaping through the door space when the dishwasher is running.

All it takes is a small crack or minute obstruction to break the seal and allow water to leak from the appliance. Check around the door for any areas that look cracked or damaged or pieces of food, broken crockery, detergent, mould or even limescale.

Clean any obstructions away using a solution of white vinegar and water (50/50 mix). If the door seal is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Defective Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve controls all of the water that enters the dishwasher. Via messages from the control board, the inlet valve allows water in to wash and rinse the dishes by opening.

When enough water is detected in the tub, the inlet valve shuts down blocking the flow of any more water. If it becomes defective, the inlet valve might not fully shut off.

This allows water to continue running into the appliance and eventually leads to it leaking from the dishwasher. In most cases, a defective inlet valve will need to be replaced which is a job best left to a technician.

Defective Float Switch

The float switch monitors the water level inside the tub of the dishwasher. It rises with the water level and once it reaches a predetermined height, it sends a message to the control board which tells the inlet valve to shut off.

If the float switch develops a fault, it can get stuck in the empty position and keep allowing water to enter the tub. This will eventually lead to water leaking from the dishwasher.

In some cases, the float switch is simply stuck in position by food particles, grease, detergent or limescale deposits and can be cleaned to get it functioning correctly again. But in most cases, the float switch will need replacing.

This is a job that is best left to a technician unless you are confident in your DIY abilities.

Blocked Spray Arms

Dishwasher

We mentioned the spray arms earlier in relation to items blocking the movement and eventually causing a leak. But there’s another way that the spray arms can feature in creating a leaky dishwasher.

If the nozzles on the spray arms become blocked with food debris, grease, detergent or limescale, the water will leak from elsewhere on the spray arm and cause pooling. This will eventually lead to water leaking from the dishwasher at some point.

You should inspect and clean the spray arms ensuring that the nozzles are clear and free from any blockage. You can prise any blockage from the nozzles using a cocktail stick or toothpick. Take care that you don’t force the blockage even further into the spray arms.

Damaged Spray Arms

It is also possible that the spray arms can become damaged over time. They are typically made from a form of plastic that can perish with age. This would lead to the actual spray arm leaking and causing  water to pool which will eventually leak from the appliance.

Loose Vent Cap

If your dishwasher has an external vent, it allows hot, moist air to escape towards the end of the cycle. This is part of the normal drying process and nothing to be concerned about.

If the vent cap has become loose, water could leak from the door of the dishwasher. You can usually tighten the vent cap by hand to stop the leak.

Loose Hose Clamp

If water is leaking from underneath the dishwasher or you notice water puddling beside the appliance, it could be due to a loose hose clamp. 

You will need to inspect and tighten the clamps on the inlet and drain hoses.

Defective Drainage System

Dishes

All of the wastewater from your dishwasher flows through the drainage system. There are various areas in the drainage system that can become blocked and lead to a build up of water that will eventually leak. These areas include;

Twisted, Kinked Or Clogged Drain Hose

The first place to check is the drain hose, check for any twists or kinks that could impede the flow of wastewater from the appliance. Straighten the hose and then check if there is a blockage.

If the drain hose is blocked, you may need to disconnect it and run it under a fast flowing tap or push a plumber’s snake through the hose to dislodge any blockages.

Clogged Filter

The filter on your dishwasher is designed to trap any food particles or other debris that could damage the internal components of the appliance. Over time the filter can become clogged which could cause a backing up of wastewater leading to a leak.

Consult your handbook for the correct way to remove the filter on your GE dishwasher. Some are cylinder shaped and need to be unscrewed before lifting out. Others are flat and are simply pushed to remove.

Once the filter has been removed, it will need to be washed under a fast running hot tap to remove any stains. Any stubborn stains can be dealt with by soaking the filter in a bowl of warm water with added detergent. For really stubborn stains a white vinegar/warm water (50/50) solution works well.

Defective Check Valve

The check valve is a one-way valve that allows water to leave the dishwasher but prevents it from re-entering. If the check valve becomes defective, it can get stuck in either the open or closed position.

This means it will either allow water to run back into the dishwasher or prevent it from leaving in the first place. Either way, your dishwasher will have too much water left in the tub which could cause a leak.

We recommend getting the check valve inspected and replaced if necessary by a technician.

Faulty Drain Pump

All of the wastewater that leaves the dishwasher is forced out by the drain pump. If the drain pump develops a fault, it will not remove all of the wastewater which can lead to the dishwasher leaking.

This problem can be caused by food or other debris clogging the drain pump or pump components wearing out. We recommend getting a technician to investigate and repair or replace the drain pump as necessary.

Water Pump Leaking

The water pump in your dishwasher forces all of the water to the various places in the appliance. If this pump fails it can leak but more often than not, the leak is caused by the seal around the pump becoming loose.

In many cases, the seal can be tightened to make it watertight once again. However, if the pump is defective, it will need to be replaced which is a job best left to a technician.

Cracked Tub

If the tub of your dishwasher has a crack it will allow water to leak out as the dishwasher fills and operates. If this is the case, the tub will need replacing.

We recommend contacting a technician to investigate and advise you on whether it is worth replacing the tub or whether a new dishwasher might make better financial sense.

SEE ALSO: How To Clean A GE Dishwasher Filter

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my GE dishwasher leaking from underneath?

If your GE dishwasher is leaking from underneath, it is likely to be caused by; using too much or an incorrect type of detergent, incorrectly loading the dishwasher, the dishwasher is unlevel, the door seal is leaking, the inlet valve is faulty, the float switch is faulty, the spray arms are blocked, the vent cap is loose, one of the hose clamps is loose, there is an issue within the drainage system or the water pump is leaking.

Is it worth fixing a leaking dishwasher?

Whether it is worth fixing a leaking dishwasher depends on the age of the appliance and the cost of the repair. The average lifespan of a dishwasher is 10 years. If the appliance is 5 years old or less and the repair will cost less than 50% of the price of a new appliance, it is worth doing.

What is the average lifespan of a GE dishwasher?

The average lifespan of a GE dishwasher is anywhere between 10 to 12 years assuming it is well looked after and maintained.

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