Whirlpool Dishwasher Leaking? (here’s why & what to do)

Dishwashers like washing machines are connected to the water supply and therefore have the capacity to leak. If you notice a leak from your dishwasher, it can be worrying and you might be thinking it’s going to cost a lot to get it fixed.

In some cases however, the solution can be an easy fix that can be done without any technical knowledge at all. If you own a Whirlpool dishwasher and you’ve noticed a leak, keep reading.

In this article we take a close look at what can cause your dishwasher to leak and offer the best solutions to these issues.

What Is Causing My Whirlpool Dishwasher To Leak?

There are several reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher has started to leak which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Using The Wrong Type Or Too Much DetergentAlways use the correct type and amount of detergent
Faulty Door SealInspect and replace the door seal if necessary
Faulty Water Inlet ValveContact a technician
Leaking HoseInspect the inlet and drain hoses for any damage or loose connections and tighten or replace as necessary
Spray Arm IssuesInspect the spray arms and clean or replace as necessary
Faulty Float SwitchInspect and replace as necessary
Damaged detergent DispenserInspect, clean or replace as necessary
Clogged FilterRemove and clean the filter
Faulty PumpContact a technician
Tub DamagedInspect the tub and if damaged, contact a technician
Dirt Buildup In The DishwasherRun a hot service wash and clean thoroughly

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Using The Wrong Type Or Too Much Detergent

dishwasher pods

If you use the wrong type of detergent (like washing up liquid for instance) in your dishwasher it can cause excessive soap suds. This can lead to your dishwasher leaking because the soap suds will eventually overflow and leak out of the appliance.

The same issue could be caused if you were to use too much of the right type of detergent. If your dishwasher is full of soap suds, place a bowl of milk on the top rack and run a wash cycle. The soap suds will bind to the fat in the milk and get washed away.

You can prevent this from becoming a problem in the future by only using the right type of detergent in the right quantity.

Faulty Door Seal

If you notice water leaking from the front of the dishwasher, it could be due to the door seal (or gasket). The rubber seal around the door is designed to create a watertight seal once the dishwasher door is closed.

It’s possible that some dirt, food particles, debris, detergent residue or even limescale could become caught in the rubber seal and prevent the door from closing fully.  

Which could lead to the dishwasher leaking. You will need to wipe away any dirt or debris using a soft cloth and soapy water.

You should also inspect the door seal for any fraying or other damage which could also be the cause of the leak. If you find any damage, you will need to replace the door seal to prevent further leaks.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve allows all of the water used in the dishwasher to enter. The water’s entry is controlled by the inlet valve opening and closing at the correct time after receiving messages from the control board.

If the inlet valve develops a fault, it could cause too much water to enter the dishwasher which would eventually lead to it leaking out and potentially flooding your kitchen.

This is definitely a job for a technician to investigate and replace the inlet valve if necessary.

Leaking Hose

Your Whirlpool dishwasher relies on 2 main hoses; the inlet hose and the drain hose. If either of these hoses becomes damaged and starts to leak, or the connections at either end of these hoses become loose, the dishwasher will leak.

You will need to inspect both the inlet and drain hose looking for any signs of a leak or any damage. Then check the connectors for any signs of a leak. If either hose appears to be damaged, it will need to be replaced and if the connectors are loose they will need to be tightened.

Spray Arm Issues

Dishwasher

Water is distributed all around your dishwasher and all over the dishes via the spray arms. This is achieved by the spray arms turning in all directions.

It’s possible for one of the spray arms to get blocked by a protruding dish, pot or utensil. This would cause all of the water to get concentrated on one area which could lead to a leak.

Or the spray arms can become dirty with a buildup of food particles, detergent residue or limescale. This could lead to the water backing up and eventually pooling in one place leading to a leak.

You need to ensure there are no items in the dishwasher blocking the spray arms and check that the spray arms are not dirty. You can remove the spray arms to clean them in warm soapy water.

You should also inspect the nozzles to ensure they are not clogged. If you notice any blockages in the nozzles these can be carefully removed using a toothpick.

Faulty Float Switch

There is a small device situated at the bottom of the tub which controls the amount of water entering the appliance. This is called the float switch and it works by lifting as the water level in the tub rises.

Once it reaches a predetermined height, it sends a message to the control board to shut off the inlet valve to prevent any more water from entering the tub.

If it becomes stuck, it can cause too much water to enter the tub eventually leading to a leak.

You can check the float switch by gently lifting it to check whether it is stuck or not. If it proves to be faulty, we recommend getting a technician to investigate and replace it for you.

Damaged Detergent Dispenser

dishwasher dispenser

If the detergent dispenser becomes damaged, it can cause the dishwasher to leak. You will need to inspect the dispenser and check for any signs of damage.

It’s possible that it might have detergent residue which will need to be cleaned off to facilitate better inspection. This can be done using soapy water and a toothbrush.

If the detergent dispenser does prove to be damaged, it will need replacing. We recommend contacting a technician to replace the detergent dispenser.

Clogged Filter

Dishwasher filters are designed to trap all food and other particles to prevent them from returning to the clean dishes and stop them from damaging sensitive components on the dishwasher.

If you don’t regularly clean the filter on your dishwasher it will become clogged which can impede the flow of wastewater from the appliance. Which can lead to water leaking from the dishwasher.

Consult your handbook on the location and method of removal for your Whirlpool dishwasher’s filter. Once removed, clean the filter in warm soapy water and remove any stubborn stains using a white vinegar/water (50:50 mix) soak and a toothbrush.

Faulty Pump

The water pump on your Whirlpool dishwasher is susceptible to leaks if one of the component parts becomes defective. You can possibly identify that the leak is coming from the pump if the water leak is directly under the appliance.

It could be caused by wear and tear to a part or a crack in the pump housing. As the pump is difficult to access, we recommend getting a technician to investigate and replace the pump if necessary.

Tub Damaged

The tub of the dishwasher is the main interior area. If it has any cracks or signs of wear, it could be responsible for the leak. 

You will need to remove the lower rack to inspect the tub properly and if you see any evidence of cracking or excessive wear, you’ll need to switch the appliance off and contact a technician.

Dirt Buildup In The Dishwasher

Sometimes the reason for a leaky dishwasher is simply a buildup of dirt, detergent residue, food particles, broken crockery or limescale. To clean your Whirlpool dishwasher, you should run a hot service wash using a commercial dishwasher cleaner or a bowl full of white vinegar.

Once the service wash has completed, you should wipe the door seal, clean the filter as well as the detergent dispenser. This will help to remove any dirt or other buildup and should be done at least once per month to keep your dishwasher running smoothly and leak free.

SEE ALSO: Whirlpool Dishwasher Diagnostic Mode Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Whirlpool dishwasher leaking at the bottom?

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is leaking at the bottom, it could be due to; a defective float switch, a defective pump, a faulty inlet valve, a leaking hose, a damaged tub, a defective door seal or a clogged filter.

Why would my Whirlpool dishwasher leak from the front door?

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is leaking from the front door, it could be caused by a damaged, leaky door seal. In some cases this could be caused by a build up of dirt, detergent residue or limescale. If that is the case a simple clean should solve the issue. If not, you may need to replace the door seal (gasket).

Why is my Whirlpool dishwasher’s bottom spray arm leaking?

If the bottom spray arm on your Whirlpool dishwasher is leaking it could be because the spray arm is cracked, damaged or the nozzles are blocked.

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