Why Your Dishwasher is Overflowing & How to Fix It

By Fix4U Team
Dishwasher, Kitchen Appliances

If you’ve ever opened your dishwasher at the end of a wash cycle to find water flooding out the bottom, you’re not alone. An overflowing dishwasher is a common appliance malfunction. But don’t panic – in most cases the cause of a leaky, overflowing dishwasher can be identified and fixed with simple troubleshooting steps.

This overflowing dishwasher repair guide from Fix4U Repairs will walk you through the top reasons your dishwasher may be overflowing and how to stop it.

What Causes a Dishwasher to Overflow?

Fix4U Repairs' Technicians Fixing Dishwasher Overflowing Problem In Gta

There are a several possible causes of water overflowing from your dishwasher:

Too Much Detergent

The most common reason a dishwasher overflows is too much detergent in the wash cycle. The extra suds have nowhere to go, so they spew out the bottom vent and corners. Always use your dishwasher detergent sparingly and per package directions. Never use hand washing detergent in your dishwasher.

Door Seal Leaks

The door seal (or gasket) creates a water tight barrier to contain the wash water in the tub. If this door seal is damaged – cracked, warped, or otherwise compromised – water can leak out around the door. Inspect the door gasket regularly and replace if worn.

Water Inlet Issues

Problems with the water inlet valve can lead to overfilling. A valve that sticks open, failed solenoid, or defective float switch can all cause continuous water flow. Inspect the water inlet valve and associated components if your dishwasher overflows.

Drainage Blockages

If the dishwasher drain hose or internal sump area clogs with food debris or buildup, it can obstruct proper water drainage out of the tub and lead to overflowing. Periodically inspect and clean the drain line and sump filter screen.

Pump Impeller Jams

The drain pump impeller that pushes water out the drain hose can sometimes jam up with small objects or food particles. A stuck impeller prevents proper drainage. Carefully clean around the drain pump impeller housing if your dishwasher won’t empty.

Motor or Control Faults

If the timer or control board malfunctions, it may continuously signal the inlet valve or drain pump causing overflow. Control board failures are commonly to blame for overflow issues.

Troubleshooting Dishwasher Overflow

If your dishwasher is overflowing, there are several troubleshooting steps to isolate the cause:

Inspect Door Seals

With the dishwasher empty, shine a flashlight all around the door gasket to check for gaps or tears. Replace the door seal if damaged. Verify the door latch fully seals the door.

Test Inlet Valve

Use a multimeter to test the electrical solenoid on the inlet valve. No reading means it should be replaced. Also check that the valve fully closes when not activated.

Clean Drain Pump

Remove any debris around or inside the drain pump impeller housing. Spin the impeller by hand to ensure it moves freely.

Check Control Board

Reset the dishwasher control board by cutting power for several minutes before restoring. Replace control board if overflow persists. Verify control board connections are tight.

Adjust Detergent Amount

Temporarily cut your detergent amount in half to avoid excess suds until the overflow is resolved. Never use detergent pods in excess of one per wash.

Inspect Plumbing Lines

Check under sink connections for signs of leaks allowing water to drip into dishwasher. Tighten any loose plumbing joints.

How to Fix an Overflowing Dishwasher

Once the source of the overflow is identified, the repair is typically straightforward:

Replace Door Gasket

  1. Remove old door gasket by pulling firmly to release gasket lip. Scrape away old gasket residue.
  2. Clean the door groove then seat new gasket, pressing firmly until fully seated in groove.
  3. Use a gasket sealing compound if needed to prevent future leaks.

Replace Inlet Valve

  1. Turn off electrical power to dishwasher at breaker.
  2. Detach water supply line from inlet valve.
  3. Remove two screws to release inlet valve from housing.
  4. Install new inlet valve. Reattach water line and restore power.

Install New Control Board

  1. Turn off power to dishwasher. Open control panel.
  2. Label and disconnect all wires from control board.
  3. Remove control board mounting screws and install replacement.
  4. Reconnect wires to new control board. Close and secure control panel.
  5. Restore power and test dishwasher for normal operation.

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Preventing Future Dishwasher Overflows

Practice these dishwasher maintenance tips to avoid recurring overflow issues:

  • Clean door seals regularly with dish soap and water to prevent leaks.
  • Remove and clean sump filter monthly to avoid drain clogs.
  • Use a water softener if you have hard water deposits leading to clogs.
  • Only use recommended dishwasher detergents. Liquid is preferable to powder types.
  • Level your dishwasher properly so water doesn’t pool in tub.
  • Have dishwasher professionally serviced once per year to identify worn parts.

When to Call a Repairman

If water continues overflowing from your dishwasher even after troubleshooting, call for service. The experts at Fix4U Repairs have the training and experience needed to accurately diagnose your dishwasher overflow and make repairs for smooth operation. We service all major appliance brands and models. Contact us at (647) 363-5205 to schedule a fast dishwasher repair appointment.

Dishwasher Repair FAQ

Still have questions about fixing an overflowing dishwasher? Here are answers to some common questions:

How do I get rid of excess soap suds in my dishwasher?

  • Cancel the cycle, then run a short rinse only cycle with an added cup of vinegar to help breakdown extra suds.

Why does my dishwasher have a foul odor when it overflows?

  • Excess water sitting in the tub breeds bacteria causing foul smells. Disinfect dishwasher interior to eliminate odors.

What should I do if water is leaking onto my kitchen floor?

  • Immediately soak up water around dishwasher to prevent damage to cabinets and flooring. Stop using dishwasher until overflow is repaired.

How much does it cost to fix an overflowing dishwasher?

  • Expect to pay $150 – $300 for professional repair of common causes like failed valves, clogged drains, and control boards.

Is it safe to use my dishwasher if it has previously overflowed?

  • Yes, once the cause of the overflow has been properly repaired, your dishwasher should be safe to operate.
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