It has happened to even the best of us. We fill the dishwasher in our Idaho home with dirty dishes from dinner, start the machine, and then go check on the kids or watch television in the other room. We then come back to find our dishwasher flooding and our socks soaking wet. In this article we’ll help you uncover the causes of dishwasher flooding, what to do when it happens, and how to prevent it.

Why is My Dishwasher Flooding?

There are a few reasons your dishwasher may be leaking. The most common culprits include:

  • Your water line is damaged: A cracked or damaged water line, found under your dishwasher, can cause water to leak from the unit.
  • The filter is clogged: If your filter is filled with debris, it can cause the dishwasher to not drain properly and the water levels to rise. This can cause the water level to rise high enough that it begins to leak out as it overflows.
  • The drain line isn’t properly installed: A clogged or improperly installed drain line can result in leftover water gathering at the bottom of your dishwasher and eventually leaking out.
  • Your dishwasher isn’t level: If your dishwasher is not level and leaning to one side, it can cause water to run out during a cycle.
  • The door is damaged: If the door latch of your dishwasher is damaged or bent, it can allow water to escape during a cycle.
  • The gasket is cracked: The purpose of your dishwasher gasket is to seal the door and prevent leakage. If the gasket has been damaged or is loose, it can’t do its job and will allow water to escape.
  • The float switch is stuck: The float switch is responsible for preventing your dishwasher from overflowing with water, so when it gets stuck, the water level can increase too much and cause a leak.
  • The water inlet valve is faulty: The water inlet valve controls how much water is used during a dishwasher cycle. When the valve is faulty or damaged, leaks can occur as the water overflows the dishwasher.

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Floods 

Don’t panic if your dishwasher starts to leak. Start by unplugging the dishwasher or shutting off the circuit breaker. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, so you need to make sure that you are safe before doing anything. With the power turned off, check for any broken dishes and begin to clean up the water, making sure to clear any debris from the drain gate. Then, wait to see if the water starts to drain.

If the water drains at this point the problem is solved. If water is still not draining from the dishwasher, it may mean that there is a problem with the hose that connects from the back of the dishwasher to the kitchen sink. Begin by using a bucket to scoop water out of the dishwasher so it can be pulled from the wall. When you can move the dishwasher from the wall, remove the hose from the dishwasher and run water from the kitchen sink into the hose. Once all is put back together the flooding should not happen again. 

If these solutions fail to fix your dishwasher and leaks continue to happen, there is likely a bigger issue at hand. Contact us at Express Plumbing, Heating, & Air and we will send out a technician to diagnose the problem with your dishwasher. It’s important to have your leaking dishwasher assessed as soon as possible as the water may contain microorganisms or chemicals that can impact your health.

How to Prevent Dishwasher Flooding

While some causes may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to prevent your dishwasher from flooding your kitchen. Here are a couple of tips to keep your kitchen floor free from leaks:

  • Use a detergent designed for dishwashers and follow the recommended amount. Less isn’t always more. If the detergent suds too much, it could cause a leak.
  • Load dishes properly. Improperly arranged dishes may cause water to spill through the door vent.
  • Check the gasket around the door. Leaking around the door edges may signal a door gasket that needs to be replaced or adjusted for tightness.
  • Consider installing a water softener in your home. Many locations in Idaho have hard water, which can damage your dishwasher and contribute to future leaks. Installing a water softener helps to reduce the minerals in your water and has many benefits for your home appliances.

Prevention is always the best solution, but leaks can still occur. To avoid costly repairs and flooding, make sure to also check your dishwasher for food build-up or wearing hoses.

Call Express Plumbing, Heating, & Air For Dishwasher Leaks

If you notice a leak or see any signs of dishwasher damage, contact us at Express Plumbing, Heating, and Air. We can help with all of your dishwasher needs including repair, maintenance, and replacement. With our high-quality service and expert technicians, you can trust that we’ll get the job done right.

As Boise’s number one plumbing & HVAC company, Express Plumbing, Heating, & Air is the go-to choice for reliable and efficient service. We offer coupons, discounts, and flexible financing options so you won’t have to worry about the bill when disaster strikes. Our trusted management team will dispatch an experienced technician and ensure you get the best price for your service.


Why does my dishwasher keep overflowing into my sink?

If your dishwasher overflows into your sink when you run a cycle, there are a few things that may be occurring. An obstructed dishwasher, jammed garbage disposal, clogged sink, and blocked air gap can all contribute to your sink filling with water from your dishwasher. Contact us to have a technician come to diagnose the problem and get it fixed.

How do I know if my dishwasher drain hose is clogged? 

There are early warning signs to look out for that indicate a clogged dishwasher drain hose. You may hear gurgling, have a slow-flowing drain, see backed-up water in your kitchen sink, discover standing water, or notice your dishes aren’t being cleaned. If you see any of these signs, contact us for repair.


Brad Jordan

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