GE Dishwasher Leaking From Its Bottom? Here’s what’s wrong!

GE Dishwasher Leaking From Its Bottom

Noticed any puddles below your GE dishwasher lately, even though it’s the middle of summer? Or maybe your appliance is experiencing a persistent leak from somewhere near the corner of the door, but you just can’t figure out why?

No one wants an indoor swimming pool. But don’t you panic just yet!

A leak from this appliance might not be as complicated as you think. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take 10 minutes to fix!

It might just be something wrong with the appliance door, or maybe you’re using the wrong soap — either way, you’ll find a solution if you keep reading this article.

Why is my GE dishwasher leaking from underneath?

Why is my GE dishwasher leaking from underneath

A leak from the bottom of your GE dishwasher may indicate a damaged, worn-out, or loose gasket. In that case, the door seal has to be replaced.

Ensure also that there are no gaps between the appliance door, that you’re using the right amount of detergent, and that the water valve is tightly sealed.

A leak in your dishwasher isn’t always a water supply issue. In typical cases, the problem lies where you’d least expect it — the door!

There’s a rubber seal that goes around your GE dishwasher’s door which keeps the water inside the tub at all times during a washing cycle.

Few things can damage this seal, such as sharp objects, but it can likely wear down due to exposure to excessive suds or harsh detergent.

Moreover, it’s not just damage to the seal that you have to look out for. Stray food particles or other gunk can catch onto the seal and weaken or clog it.

A good starting point in addressing this issue is to scrub down the gasket with a vinegar solution. Here’s a quick rundown on how you can keep the gasket clean and free of debris:

  • Step 1: Take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the rubber seal. While any cloth would do, we highly recommend microfiber ones as it absorbs liquid more effectively and dries them quicker.
  • Step 2: Mix baking soda and water to make a paste. In general, we recommend using warm water for cleaning, but some GE dishwasher models may require hot water instead.

Check your user manual for any special requirements your unit might need. If there is none, use warm water.

You can also use mild soap instead of a baking soda paste.

  • Step 3: Scrub the solution all over the rubber seal, especially in areas where there is thick grime. Work in the paste by wiping it in circular motions using another microfiber cloth.

Use a soft fiber toothbrush to get at the deeper corners of the rubber seal, but make sure to scrub at the surface gently.

  • Step 4: Gently rinse the paste with warm water, then wipe the gasket dry using a clean microfiber cloth.

Routine cleaning of the door seal will ensure its quality and longevity. Cleaning your dishwasher gasket once a month, especially if you’re prone to wash heavy loads of dishes, will keep it from wearing down sooner.

But this is just one quick fix among others — if the problem doesn’t seem to be in your GE dishwasher’s door seal, don’t panic just yet!

We’ve still got plenty of other fixes you can try, as well as other reasons you can look into to solve this issue, so wear your fix-it gloves and keep on reading.

Quick Tip:
• If your GE dishwasher is new, you might need to let the door gasket sit for a couple more turns. New dishwashers tend to take time to let the rubber seal fit into their groove.
• In this case, you can expect a few leaks to happen. If the gasket is undamaged, the leaking will naturally stop after a few washes.

Common Causes of a GE Dishwasher Leaking and How to Fix It

Common Causes of a GE Dishwasher Leaking and How to Fix It

As a general rule in dealing with leaks, we recommend immediately shutting off the water supply. You’d also want to unplug your dishwasher, particularly before you do perform any troubleshooting.

Dealing with a GE dishwasher leak can cost you 10 to 30 minutes, depending on what the root issue is. Below you’ll find a list of possible causes you can look into.

Damaged or Worn-out Door Gasket• Turn off your GE dishwasher.

• Open the appliance door and peel off the rubber seal around the door frame.

• Inspect it for any damages or residue buildup that might be clogging it. Damaged or loose-fitting gaskets need to be replaced immediately.

• If the rubber seal is intact except for filth or mineral buildup, you can go ahead and clean it. We recommend cleaning debris with a baking soda paste and saving the vinegar solution for calcium buildup.
Excessive or Wrong Detergent• Only use dishwashing detergent or pods for your dishwasher. Do not use any other kind of soap.

• Consult your user manual for the right amount of detergent your unit model can consume. 

• Consider carefully if your household uses hard water. Hard water may have special requirements you need to meet to ensure that the soap you’re using would be effective.
Faulty Water Inlet Valve• Unplug your dishwasher and shut off its water supply.

• Take the appliance out of its cabinet and tip it on its back so you can access its bottom panel.

• Unscrew the drip tray to remove it, then unscrew the water inlet valve from its mount.

• Disconnect the valve’s wire harness, then release the clamp around its hose.

• Once the clamp is loosened, pull the hose completely off the valve and replace the water inlet valve.
Clogged or Damaged Spray Arms• Unplug your dishwasher and shut off its water supply.

• Open the appliance and remove its bottom rack.

• Reach into the tub and rotate the spray arm to unscrew it. If it’s particularly tight, use a flathead screwdriver to prompt it loose.

• Remove the spray arm completely to inspect it for damages. If there is residue accumulation or calcium buildup, scrub it out with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap.
Loose Vent Cap• If your GE dishwasher uses a vent cap, inspect it for any damages.

• You can find the vent cap on the corner of the appliance once you open it.

• Use a flathead screwdriver to nudge the vent cap and rotate it clockwise to remove it.

• Replace the cap if there are any damages. If there is any accumulation that might clog it, clean it out with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap.

Damaged or Worn-out Door Gasket

As we’ve mentioned above, the primary suspect in a leak from your GE dishwasher is a damaged or worn-out door gasket. In general, if the dishwasher door doesn’t close all the way, a leak will likely happen.

While your GE dishwasher is designed to pause operations when it detects an open door, a loose or damaged door seal creates small gaps between that can bypass this detection, and hence create leaks.

Some GE dishwasher models also have an extra gasket running along the bottom of the appliance.

More importantly, once a gasket is damaged, it cannot be repaired, only replaced.

Solution: Refer to your user manual to confirm if the model you’re using has a bottom door gasket. If it doesn’t, you can proceed in replacing the rubber seal around the door.

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Turn off the appliance or unplug it for safety measures.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door and locate the rubber seal in the door frame. Simply peel the seal off starting from one corner.
  • Step 3: Insert the replacement gasket. Make sure that the ribbed side is facing inwards towards the turn.

Then carefully insert the seal into the groove, pressing down on it along the way to secure it in place.

  • Step 4: Go around the doorframe and make sure that every part of the new rubber seal is flat against its housing. There should be no gaps or lumps along the way.

And voila! You’ve got a new gasket installed!

Meanwhile, if you’re using a model that has a bottom door gasket, here’s how you can replace that part:

  • Step 1: Ensure that the appliance is unplugged and turn off the water supply.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door and unscrew the outer door panel. There are three screws on each side of the door holding the panel in place.
  • Step 3: Once removed, close the door again, then carefully pull the outer door panel down to remove it. 

Some models will have extra screws on the bottom that secure the panel. If your GE dishwasher model has these, remove them as well.

  • Step 4: With the outer door panel out of the way, you can see plastic rivets or additional screws attached to the inner panel. The design may vary from model to model.

If your GE dishwasher uses three screws on each side, similar to the ones holding the outer door panel in place, all you have to do is unscrew them as well.

If your unit uses plastic rivets instead, you don’t have to do anything. You can pull the inner door panel out without removing them, though you’ll have to exert a little more force in removing the panel.

  • Step 5: Once you’re done with the previous step, open the dishwasher door again and, with a screwdriver, lift the panel and slide a supporting block underneath it to hold it in place.
  • Step 6: Hold the panel cover steady using the support, and with a needlenose, reach in between the door hinge to pull out the lower door gasket.
  • Step 7: Once the old lower door gasket is removed, place the new gasket into place. Make sure that the lip of the gasket is facing down as you place it into the rim.

After replacing the lower door gasket, reinsert the panels that you’ve removed by tracing back on the previous steps.

Quick Tip:
Regular maintenance is a key factor in prolonging your GE dishwasher’s door gasket’s lifespan. Aside from routine cleaning, here are other tips you can observe to ensure the rubber seal’s quality:
1. Do not overload the dishwasher.
• Too many dishes can get in the way of the water jets inside the tub.
• When that happens, water can get misdirected into unsealed areas instead. When they accumulate in these areas, they will eventually cause a leak.
• If you find yourself with a mountain of dishes to wash, it’s better to separate them into smaller batches.
2. Keep sharp utensils away from the door.
• Most GE dishwashers will have utensil racks with cell cages that make it more convenient for their users to place their silverware.
• However, in case your model doesn’t have one, or if you’ve run out of space in the cell cages, you can put your utensils on the regular racks.
• When doing this, make sure that all knives are facing downwards, while other utensils are arranged facing alternate directions. Keep the forks as far away from the door as possible.
3. Level the dishwasher.
• This is applicable for newly bought units, or if you’ve recently moved your appliance elsewhere.
• Make sure that your GE dishwasher’s feet are both touching the floor and that the appliance’s body doesn’t wobble at the smallest contact.
• GE dishwashers have adjustable legs that you can fine-tune as needed.

Excessive or Wrong Detergent

While it’s your dishwasher’s job to make sure that your dishes are squeaky clean, feeding too much detergent into its dispenser can do the appliance more harm than good.

Too much soap creates too many suds, and these bubbles are always quick to escape through tightly sealed spaces, which eventually leads to leaking.

Using the wrong kind of detergent also leads to excessive suds, and if you use particularly harsh soap, it can damage the door gasket.

Solution: The amount of detergent you need to use depends on the kind of detergent you’re using. Furthermore, GE dishwashers are designed to use only specific types of soap.

You can find more information about that in your user manual. Meanwhile, to give you an overview, here are a few tips on how to properly load your dishwasher with detergent:

  1. Use dishwasher detergent only. You might think that hand soap or regular detergent may be a good substitute for when you suddenly run out of dishwashing soap — but you’ll be wrong.

Dishwashing soaps are specially formulated to work with high-temperature and high-pressure water. Handsoaps, on the hand, are meant to clean only hands — at most, they can only endure tap water.

Furthermore, dishwashing soaps have special ingredients to them that specifically wash out grease, dirt, and bacteria from food. Not all soaps — especially not handsoaps — are manufactured with such ingredients.

Hence, using non-dishwashing detergent doesn’t just create excessive suds, it poses a health risk as well, as it won’t be effective enough in clearing out leftover food from your dishes.

If you’re looking for alternatives to the traditional detergent, try detergent pods! They can save you the hassle of measuring the amount of detergent you’ll need.

  1. Use the right amount of detergent. As we’ve mentioned, using too much soap on your dishwasher will result in excessive bubbles that can leak past the rubber seals.

The amount you need will depend on the type of detergent you’re using, the GE dishwasher model you’re using, and the hardness of the water in your area.

If your household uses soft water, filling the wash cup ⅓ of the way with detergent will be enough. But if you use hard water, you’ll have to completely fill the wash cup.

  1. Use rinse aids or agents. Rinse aids are ideal for households that use hard water.

As the name suggests, they can help in rinsing off the water more easily, which reduces the presence of films and spots that usually form from hard water.

They also help in drying your dishes faster!

  1. Observe proper storage of detergent or pods. Detergents typically need to be stored in cool, dry places away from moisture and heat.

If they get exposed to these elements, they can clump or harden and lose their effectiveness in cleaning.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

If you notice your GE dishwasher’s tub overfilling alongside an existing leak, you might want to check the water inlet valve.

This part of your dishwasher opens and closes upon signal. When it is opened, water will flow from the source and into the tub.

When there is a mechanical fault in the water inlet valve, it will have difficulty closing even if it receives a signal to do so. With this component left open, the dishwasher tub will overfill with water until it causes a leak.

Solution: Similar to gaskets, a faulty water inlet valve cannot be repaired, only replaced.

The type of valve you’ll need will depend on the model of your GE dishwasher, so it’s best to consult your user manual for specifications. Afterward, you can follow these steps to replace the old broken valve:

  • Step 1: Unplug your GE dishwasher and shut off its water supply.
  • Step 2: The water inlet valve is found in the bottom panel of the appliance. For this, you’ll have to pull the dishwasher out of its cabinet and tip the unit body back to rest on its back panel.
  • Step 3: With the appliance on its back, unscrew the drip tray located on its bottom panel, then move the tray out of the way.
  • Step 4: You can locate the water inlet valve at the corner of the panel. Unscrew its mounting screws, then unplug its wire connector.
  • Step 5: Release the clamp around its hose to free this part from the valve. Once loosened, pull the hose completely off the water inlet valve.

Be careful as water might drip out as you remove the hose.

  • Step 6: Install the new water inlet valve the same way you removed it.

Clogged or Damaged Spray Arms

Your GE dishwasher uses spray arms, also known as water jets, to diffuse water onto the dishes throughout a washing cycle. These arms rotate freely to make sure that water reaches every corner of the tub.

They’re located at the bottom of the tub, right above the filter, hence all the food particles that dribble down onto the filter have a chance of sticking onto the spray arms and clogging them.

Mineral deposits in hard water — also known as calcium buildup — can also accumulate in the spray arms’ nozzles and block them. When this happens, water can back up into the system and cause a leak.

Solution: Inspect the spray arm for any clogging or damage. Clogging can be cleaned out easily, but if the spray arm is damaged, especially if it can no longer rotate in place, it needs to be replaced.

To check on your GE dishwasher’s spray arm, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug your GE dishwasher or shut the power at its circuit breaker. Then, shut off its water supply.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door and remove the bottom rack. Set it aside.
  • Step 3: Reach into the tub and unscrew the spray arm. 

You can try unscrewing it by hand only, but if it’s particularly tight, all you need is a flathead screwdriver to loosen it.

  • Step 4: Pull the spray arm out of the dishwasher. Inspect it for damages, especially around the nozzle.

Replace it if necessary.

Cleaning the spray arm, meanwhile, isn’t any different from cleaning the filter or the door gasket. Just take a damp microfiber cloth and scrub it down with mild soap and warm water!

Also, use a soft-bristled brush to clean the corners of the jet, as well as the nozzles.

If there is any calcium buildup on the jets, take a mixture of water and vinegar and spray it all over the spray arm to get rid of the accumulation. If the buildup is severe, soak the spray arm in vinegar solution for 10 to 30 minutes.

Then, rinse it down with warm water. Moreover, if there is calcium buildup in your dishwasher due to hard water, run an empty cycle on it and use a descaler.

Quick Tip:
• While you’re troubleshooting the spray arm, you might as well keep an eye out for the filter. Clogging in this area might result in food particles catching on other parts near the filter instead, like the spray arm.
• Make sure to clean the filter at least once a month.

Loose Vent Cap

Some GE dishwasher models have an external vent where moist air escapes towards the end of a drying cycle. It’s a large, circular vent on the corner of your dishwasher door — you definitely won’t miss it!

This vent has a cap on that collects the moisture while your dishes dry. When this cap loosens, due to wearing down or damage, the moisture will leak down your dishwasher door instead.

Solution: Loosen the vent cap using a flathead screwdriver, then rotate it clockwise until its released from its housing.

Inspect the vent cap for any damage or loose fitting. If there is residue buildup around it — whether from soap, food particles, or hard water — take the vent cap out and clean it.

As usual, severe mineral buildup requires soaking this part in a vinegar solution.

And you’re done!

A leak from your GE dishwasher may seem alarming at first, but it’s not anything that will require professional service immediately. It’s easy to troubleshoot on your own, even if you’re not particularly handy with tools.

The next time you experience a leak from the bottom of your dishwasher, take this guide with you and retrace the steps you did — or better yet, follow our tips, and this might be the last time you’ll ever experience a leak!

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