Problem 2: Water pools on the floor—door leaks

A. Pinpoint the source (5 minutes)
A poorly sealing door causes most leaks, and this section concentrates on solutions for this problem. Check for a bad seal when washing the next load of dishes by looking for drips directly under the door. If you find moisture, go to the next step. If you don't find any and a puddle appears, unscrew the lower front panels and look for drips around hoses and other parts. Sometimes you can tighten a hose connection, but most repairs for these types of leaks are difficult. We won't cover these repairs in this article.

B. Eliminate simple door leak causes first (10 minutes)

  • Check the gasket (Photo 10). If you can't find obvious damage, simply clean it with a sponge and all-purpose household cleaner.
  • Clean the float switch. A float switch stuck in the lowered position will cause the tub to overfill. See Photos 4 and 5 for cleaning directions.
  • Use the detergent specified for dishwashers only. Hand dishwashing liquid will over-foam, produce leaks and make your kitchen look like an old “I Love Lucy” episode.

C. Adjust the door (5 minutes)
Test your door to see if it needs adjustment. First, close and latch it. It should fit tightly. If you can jiggle it, it's too loose. Second, run the dishwasher and listen. Then push in on the door. If the sound decreases, the door is too loose.

Most dishwashers have an adjustable latch plate centered at the top of the frame (Photo 11). Adjusting this plate to tighten the door will help the gasket seal better. Adjust it in small increments, testing the door fit after each adjustment. The door should fit snug, but not so tight that you have to force or bend the latch.

D. Replace the door gasket (20 minutes)
If the leak around the door persists, the gasket is probably cracked, brittle or worn. Buy a new door gasket from an appliance parts store. Some types are tricky to install.

Read the instructions that come with the new gasket. Observe how the old one fits when you pull it out. And a couple of tips: Rub petroleum jelly on flanges to help them slip in easier. And soak them in hot water to soften the kinks and help prevent creases. If you can't make the new gasket watertight, don't hesitate to call a service pro for help.