Why would new dishwasher leak???

dakota01February 7, 2011

I purchased the Kitchenaid Superba dishwasher that I love how clean the dishes come out and how quiet it is.

Well, I have only used it a couple of times so far, and I noticed water leaking out from under the side of it.

The builder stopped over this morning for other things, and I asked him about it, he said it's not a plumbing issue, though all he did was ask where the water was coming from and also checked inside the sink cabinet (bone dry),

His plumbers have made alot of mistakes at my house, so naturally I thought the plumber screwed up once again. The dishwasher does not drain into the disposal. My old dishwasher did, when I originally questioned his plumber, he said they never have them drain that way anymore.

So what could it be? the dishwasher or the plumber?

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It's probably the plumber. It may not be leaking, it may be overflowing. Do you have an air gap or a high loop? If not, the drain could be backflowing and causing the DW to overflow - if water gets too high in the bottom it will overflow. Not attaching it to the disposal is news to me - I thought that was the standard way of doing it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Diagnosis is difficult, since I'm not there.

" noticed water leaking out from under the side of it" could mean a number of things. Be more specific. Unfortunately, someone has to do that work. Best it be you.

Leak: where under the side?

Drain: is the DW hose connected to a Tee under the kitchen sink strainer?


    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 11:18AM
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"....questioned his plumber, he said they never have them drain that way anymore."

Totally bogus info. I don't continue with service people who lie to me. This guy certainly did to you.

DW obviously should not be leaking. Suspect overfill or bad input connection unless.....

I'm assuming your install has either high-loop or air-gap. Please advise. If not, either you plumber or installer should be taken to task.

I can see statement "not a plumbing issue" depending. Usually machine or install issue. DW's are simple machines. If unable yourself, get an experienced person to observe and they'll set you straight in no time. Whatever the problem is, it will be simple to fix.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:23PM
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What is an air-gap or high-loop install?

From all the mistakes the plumbers have made at my new home, I have to believe it's the plumbers fault. But, builders says No.

As for where it's leaking - all I can see is water that is coming out on the right side - under my baseboard trim. I'm sure water has also leaked under my hardwood as I did see alittle cupping.

Drain: is the DW hose connected to a Tee under the kitchen sink strainer?

I will look tonite and see if there is a T under there.

If it's overflowing - what part is overflowing?

Sorry, single woman here and I haven't a clue.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 1:54PM
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asolo - you owe plumbers everywhere an apology !

We don't specify or install the DW drain hose into a garbage disposal anymore either - except in very rare circumstances! You see it is much quieter to have it drain into it's own p-trap. A discreet hookup and drain also allows for the homeowner to use his sink if the DW craps out and vice versa. So, her plumber may be a bit inept, but that's a far cry from a liar.

jeannie - I assume the contractor removed the DW toekick (and cabinet kick too) so he could check the connection at the intake and discharge valve? This would be the most common point for a leak. The other option is someone at the factory forgot a hose clamp inside the unit!.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Jeannie, a high loop means that the discharge hose (the larger, flexible hose that eventually attaches to the drain under the sink) is looped up and tacked in place at a level above the waterline of the sink. They do this to prevent siphoning of the water into your dishwasher in the event of a clogged drain and backed up sink.

High Loop

An air gap is a device often seen on sinks in homes with dishwashers. They are the little nubby things sticking up on the back of the sink that seem to serve no useful purpose other than being there. They actually do have a purpose, and it is the same as the high loop: they prevent siphoning of water back into the dishwasher.

Air gap.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:05PM
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At the bottom of the cabinet is a kickspace or toekick or cabinet kick or whatever you want to call it. Get down there and pull off the flimsy cover if the contractor didn't do that. You need to see where the leak is coming from. Whether you are interested in doing this or not, single woman or not, you have to do this. For anything, always begin the diagnostic process by looking for information about reality (the real thing happening) and then share that information you find. Look, observe, remember, note and express.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:16PM
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Hey, antts....

You said: "We don't specify or install the DW drain hose into a garbage disposal anymore either - except in very rare circumstances!"

Assuming from the wording that you're a plumber and knowing that I'm not, perhaps I was too strong and should back off a notch. On the other hand, the quote was: "...he said they never have them drain that way anymore."

I read "never". Did you read "never"? Could be true as far as himself or his company is concerned. Maybe that's what he meant by "they" referring to himself or his company as opposed to all plumbers whereas I took it to mean all plumbers. If so, I certainly mis-spoke (As Reagan's press secretary used to say.) and do owe that apology -- which I hereby gladly provide. You were correct to call me on it. As I said, I'm not a plumber (nor do I play one on TV) but where I live, I have not yet seen any house with a DW and a disposal that does not have the DW draining into the disposal's designed-in fixture for the purpose. Maybe it's different where you are.

Certainly it does not have to be done that way. Direct to drain is fine, too. I even agree that direct is superior. In any event, I would be very surprised to learn that connection is any part of the OP's problem.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:26PM
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By the way, I meant to suggest that the first thing you should be looking for is a loose fresh water connection. I believe in starting with the easiest and most common problems first and moving on from there. The fact that it was just installed leads me to suspect, first thing, that you have a loose connection at the fresh water supply. The fresh water line is generally routed underneath the machine and connects to a solenoid valve assembly underneath the machine just behind the toe kick access panel. This can be easily checked by you. Get a screwdriver and remove the screws holding the toe kick panel and look for moisture dripping from the fitting. Feel around the fitting for moisture. Any drips and you have found your problem.

It'll look something like this:

It is always a good idea to unplug the dishwasher prior to removing the toe kick access panel, just to be on the safe side. If there is no plug, meaning the dishwasher is hard wired into the electrical supply then turn the power off at the breaker.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:40PM
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We installed a new KA DW in our last house and had a leak. In our case, it seemed to be somewhat inconsistent, but it was always on one side in front. The service guy discovered that the gasket seal around the door opening has a very clean cut in it. You couldn't really see it without running your hand around and moving it. It would leak more or less depending on how smoothly the seal was together when the door closed. If anything put pressure on it (like a utensil in the basket) it would leak the most. Tech said it was probably defective when installed and not noticed or got sliced somewhere along the line, but neither of us could fault them for not catching what we couldn't easily see when looking for a problem.

Check the seal --

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Stop worrying and Don't mess around with it.
Call KitchenAid and have a service call set up right away. The service tech will give it a full inspection, find the leak and fix it. He will also let you know if it was a factory issue or an install issue.
If it is an install issue and you get charged for the service visit, make sure the tech clearly outlines in writing on the service ticket exactly where the install issue is. You can then bill back the builder installer for the service visit.
The last thing you want to do is start trying to change things yourself because if you do the wrong thing everyone will blame you. The builder will say you did the damage and KitchenAid will refuse to honor the warranty.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:00AM
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My sister built a new home and the dishwasher leaked the first time she used it. She called her builder and told him thinking it was a plumbing problem. He came out and checked, said he saw no water. The next time she used it, it leaked again. She called him back, he said to call GE, that it must be a problem with the dishwasher. GE came out and checked it out, sure enough the stainless steel tub had a small split/crack(?) in the corner and was causing the leak. GE replaced the dishwasher, so I would call KA and get them to take a look at it. It could be the door gasket,also is yours level? Too much "tilt" to the front or to the side it is leaking on might be a factor.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Sometimes the problem is due to something unusual....

I had leaking with my new Bosch dishwasher, but it was intermittent. I called Bosch and they asked if I was using the thin, flexible cutting mats, which I was. Apparently, their air intake (or something like that) is in the side of the dishwasher, and if you put one of those mats next to it, it will suck the mat towards it, eventually sealing the hole and forcing water to come out the front of the dishwasher becuase the pressure builds up too much (I'm sure I'm explaining wrong, but you get the general idea). Once I started putting those cutting mats on the other side of the dishwasher away from the vent, the problem went away.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:02PM
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I don't think anyone has asked the obvious question.. Is the water coming out soapy or clear? If the water feels slippery in your hand, then it's the drain or bad seal. If it's fresh, then it has to be the supply. If it's the supply, it must be inside the dishwasher between the valve and the pump because it only leaks when the dishwasher runs. So, if the water coming out is not soapy, then call the dealer and demand a replacement. Otherwise, you need to contact whomever installed it and get them to diagnose it. Make them *show* you the problem.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:25PM
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The next obvious question is, is it still leaking after 6 months?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Spam tends to pull up old threads.

Hope it's not leaking now, but since the point was made -- you can get fresh or soapy water in a leak from the seal since the soap is not always present during the cycle. And a seal leak can be intermittent. A clean slice like ours can only leak if it gets pushed out of whack and not leak when everything is in line perfectly.

Let's hope the spam doesn't come back up in 6 months. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:45PM
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