5 Things to Know About Dishwasher Water Damage

dishwasher water damage

Dishwasher water damage often isn’t dramatic but can be very damaging. The dishwasher’s among the most frequently utilized appliances in the house; typically, operated more often than the clothes washing machine. While the average unit only uses about six gallons of water per cycle (far less than hand-washing dishes), chronic dishwasher leakage can rot the floor structure underneath the unit and become a source of mold contamination.

Here are 5 things to know about dishwasher water damage and its various causes:

  1. Leaky water inlet valve. The inlet valve admits fresh water from your plumbing into the dishwasher. Leakage in the valve—or at the water hose connection—typically drips down under the dishwasher and may not be readily visible. Twice a year, remove the kick plate and look underneath the unit with a flashlight for signs of dishwasher water damage. 
  2. Deteriorated door gasket. The soft rubber or vinyl seal around the dishwasher door keeps water from leaking out. This seal may become leaky due to accumulated soap scum or simple deterioration from age. The source of the water is usually obvious as it seeps out around the door on the front of the machine. If wiping the seal clean doesn’t fix the leak, get professional service for a new seal.
  3. Drain hose leak. The drain hose under the unit may crack or otherwise deteriorate over time and begin leaking. This is another cause of dishwasher water damage occurring unseen beneath the unit. Remove the kick plate and inspect it twice a year.
  4. Defective float switch. The float controls the dishwasher’s internal water level. If the level rises excessively high because the float switch fails to shut off the water inlet valve, leakage may occur from the front of the machine. Replacement of the switch is usually required.
  5. Unattended operation. As with washing machines, it’s a good preventive measure to run the dishwasher only while you’re at home and awake. Starting the unit, then leaving the house or going to bed could make a dishwasher water damage incident more extensive and expensive.

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