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Question DetailsAsked on 5/16/2013

water drains under my sink and flows out all over the floor. I think it is a hose, do I need a plumber for that?

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4 Answers


If it is draining inside of the cabinet and not under it then it is most likely the hose or the connection to the drain (usually a garbage disposal if you have one). A handyman can quickly change that out for you or reconnect it if you don't feel up to the task. Look to see if the hose is broken or disconnected before calling someone so they can bring the appropriate part with them and save you money. Then you don't have to pay for the time it takes to go get the needed part(s). If the leak is not inside the cabinet the dishwasher could have a cracked or broken part. A handyman might be able to do repair or replace it as well but an appliance repair person certainly can.

Make sure you take the toe kick off of the bottom of the cabinet so it can dry completely. Mold can start to grow in dark and damp areas very quickly and is often found under sink cabinets that have had leaks.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Likely sources for the water:

1) leak or split in fresh water line (would flow continually as long as the shutoff valve on the pipes under the sink is on)

2) leak, break, or broken or slipped hose clamp on discharge line - would leak only when it is pumping out water, and maybe 10 seconds thereafter as it drains out, UNLESS leak is at the dishwasher end, then would likely leak whenever water is in the tub

3) leak pretty much whenever running - could be bad door seal, pump/impeller seal in bottom of tub, or broken pump housing

4) discharge hose plugged, causing backup to the air-breaker valve - leaks only when pumping out

5) discharge hose came off discharge end at drain pipe or garbage disposal - leaks only when pumping out

First, look where the leak is. If it is spewing out under the capp or thorugh a slot in the side of the cap on the air breaker (typically a slip-off chromed or plastic cap over a 2-hose connection, located next to the faucet, mounted in a hole through the back flange of the sink). If this is where the water is coming out, then the discharge hose is plugged somewhere between there and the hose discharge point (either at the drain pipes under the sink, or more likely to a small fitting on the side of the garbage disposal). Blockage at the garbage disposal is very common, as the hose fits OVER a hose fitting on the garbage disposal rather than inside it, so food particles and slime cathc and build up there and eventually blocks it. Simple hose clamp removals (both ends), pull hose off (be ready with a pan -it will have sludge and water backed up in it), clean out protruding hose fitting, flush out hose (NOT in that sink - either side, as wash water will drain out open fitting), reassemble. Lots of videos on web about this.

If coming from under sink - if continuous while the water shutoff valve is open, then broken fresh water pipe or loose fitting (may be copper tubing, or clear or braided plastic hose leading to the bottom of the dishwasher) or leaking shutoff valve under the sink.

If coming from under dishwasher itself - would require (after disconnecting power cord under sink first) pulling off bottom front kick panel (usually just drops in or just 2 very small bolts or screws), and looking in underneath with a flashlight and hand mirror to see if you can see any broken or disconnected hoses. You may also see where water is dripping off the bottom of the dishwasher, realizing it will flow to the lowest point to drip off.

If not visible, then if you are brave and inclined to figure this out yourself, spread a bunch of old towels underneath with a large pan (baking pan ?) on top, then while you are looking with a strong flashlight start it up empty and let it run until you can see where the leak comes from. Be prepared to hit STOP quickly as soon as it starts leaking. Then shut off, let drain into pan. Depending on whether the leak is in the drain side or incoming water side, you may also have to bail out the tub after this or let it all drain into the pan (have 2, so you can swap out after one fills up, as you are talking as much as 2 gallons of water. If you immediately unplug the power after shutting it off, you may be able to use a hand mirror and flashlight to look in underneath to see exactly where the water is coming from.

Likely sources if leaking underneath-

1) cracked water pump plastic housing (very common) - medium difficulty to replace on most dishwashers, fairly cheap part ($25 about)

2) failed pump shaft seal where pump passes through bottom of tub - commonly requires pretty much complete motor/pump removal to fix, and may require tools like a bearing puller that a homeowner would not usually have - repair kit runs about $25-50

3) cracked hose or failed hose clamp on drain hose (easy to buy new and replace, maybe $10)

4) cracked fresh water hose(s) or failed/loose connection to dishwasher (easy to buy new and replace, maybe $10-15)

5) leaking solenoid-driven water inlet valve - easy to replace, about $15

All these types of problems except leaking shutoof valve under the sink an appliance repairman can handle. Leaking copper pipes, main shutoff valve, water fill and drain hose a plumber can also handle, though they usually charge more than an appliance repairman.

Repair cost might run from little more than the visit charge ($50-90) to $150-300 depending on problem and whether water damaged electronics or motor. Know in advance what a new one that you would like costs, so you do not spend more on repairs than it is worth to you. Typical dishwashers last 7-12 years, so if it is pretty old it might make sense to get a new one instead if repair cost is high.

If you do decide to do it yourself, you may have to disconnect power cord and 1 or both hoses/tubes before pulling it all the way out - do not break these pulling it out. Also - there will probably be a couple of screws vertically up through metal tabs at the top front of the washer holding it flush with the countertop.

Also -related question previously answered:

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


I think you asked this question twice - other answers here.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Had after-thought while walking the dog - it may be you are blaming the dishwasher when it is not it's fault at all.

When garbage disposals go out, a common mode of failure is erosion of the wear ring as the grinder pushes waste material up against the outside of the disposal - wearing through the casing, starting as corroded pinholes. These might not leak much with normal wte flow down through the disposal - it mike take heavy flow like the dishwasher or full sink emptying to cause it to leak. Since the dishwasher commonly discharges (through a hose) into a fitting about 2/3 or the way up the side of the garbage disposal, this water could then leak out the side of the garbage disposal, ending up in the cabinet under the sink. Run a paper towel around the outside of the garbage disposal to be sure it is dry, then run it with water going down through it from the sink. Then check with a dry paper towel to see if there is any water on the outside - if the wetness is not at the dishwasher hose leading into the garbage disposal (froom a hose or clamp leak), then the garbage disposal may be your problem. Also check by putting the plug in the sink and filling it up with about 6 inches of water (have a pan or bucket ready under the garbage disposal to catch the water, and keep the plug ready to put back in), then let that go down the drain. Look for drips, and paper towel check for wet spots again. Since it starts as pinholes, but eventualy opens up as a gap a good portion of the way around the garbage disposal, it may only leak when there is a lot of water going through it - like from the dishwasher.

If garbage disposal leak - then time for a home repair job or a plumber.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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