Keeping the Kitchen Dry: Preventing Dishwasher and Refrigerator Leaks

When it comes to kitchen water damage, the sink is the usual suspect—not dishwasher leaks or the fridge. However, both the dishwasher and the refrigerator ice maker are connected to the household water supply and receive water under about 45 pounds of pressure. Dishwasher leaks or a faulty ice maker connection generally occur out of sight, underneath or behind the unit. Leakage may be ongoing for some time before it becomes conspicuous. Structural damage like wood rot and issues such as mold damage are thus more likely.

Here are a few checks to prevent and/or pinpoint dishwasher leaks and refrigerator ice maker problems before too much damage is done.

Dishwasher Leaks

  • Every six months or so, remove the kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher while the unit is running. Take a look underneath with a flashlight. If you notice dampness or water dripping you may have a defect like a leaking tub, bad pump seals, a defective solenoid valve or a loose hose connection.
  • If there's water on the floor in front of the unit after a wash cycle, it's probably leaking out around a worn or defective door seal. Another cause of leakage around the door is excessive sudsing due to using some kind of soap—like liquid dish soap—instead of recommended dishwasher detergent.

Ice Maker Leaks

  • Many refrigerators come with a plastic water supply tube for the ice maker. These may deteriorate and begin leaking—or rupture totally—at any time. Replace the plastic supply tube with a stainless steel braided water line for better reliability and longer life.
  • When you pull the refrigerator away from the wall for cleaning or any reason, make sure there's enough slack in the water supply line so you don't yank it loose or damage the connection. When you push the refrigerator back to the wall, take care that the line isn't kinked.
  • Check behind the refrigerator a few times a year with a flashlight for any signs of moisture or leaking.

For professional advice on dealing with kitchen water damage from ice maker and dishwasher leaks, contact Rytech, Inc.