As a homeowner, home buyer, or Realtor, you may not think much about your dishwasher’s overflow until it starts causing problems. Dishwasher overflow occurs when the water in your appliance exceeds the safe level and spills onto your kitchen floor. Not only is this a nuisance, but it can also cause water damage to your home. In this blog post, we’ll explain how the dishwasher overflow works, what to do when it doesn’t work, how to repair it, and how home inspectors inspect this device.
How the Dishwasher Overflow Works
The dishwasher overflow works by preventing water from spilling over onto your kitchen floor. When you turn on your dishwasher, water is pumped into the appliance and fills up to a certain level. The overflow switch, which is located at the bottom of the dishwasher, detects when the water level is too high and turns off the water supply to prevent further flooding.
What Happens When the Dishwasher Overflow Doesn’t Work?
If the dishwasher overflow doesn’t work, water can spill onto your kitchen floor and cause significant damage to your home. The most common reasons for dishwasher overflow failure include:
- Clogged Drainage System: When the bottom of the dishwasher is clogged, water can’t escape, and the dishwasher overflows. This is often caused by food debris, soap scum, or mineral deposits.
- Faulty Overflow Switch: If the overflow switch is stuck or defective, it won’t detect when the water level is too high, and the dishwasher will overflow. The switch connected to the float which can fail as well, so check both (see #4 below).
- Malfunction of the Water Inlet Valve: The water inlet valve controls the amount of water that enters the dishwasher. If it’s malfunctioning, too much water can enter the dishwasher when it is not in use, causing it to overflow. The water inlet valve is usually located under the dishwasher and connected to the water line coming from the sink
- Damaged Float: The float is a small plastic device that moves upward, and tells the dishwasher when to stop filling with water. If it’s damaged or stuck, the dishwasher will continue to fill with water, causing it to overflow.
- Too Much Soap creates excessive suds. This issue has to do with the detergent. If you use too much, the dishwasher will create more suds than in can handle, causing the excess to overflow out from the top of the door, and onto the floor.
- Faulty Door Gasket. The dishwasher door gasket creates a waterproof seal around the door. The gasket can become dry, brittle or broken if the seal breaks, water will leak out onto the floor. Sometimes you can repair the dried out seal with petroleum jelly to stop the leak, but if it is in poor condition you should replace it.
Proper Repairs and Who Can Make the Repair
If you’re experiencing dishwasher overflow, it’s essential to get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. Depending on the cause of the problem, you may need to hire a professional appliance repair technician to fix it.
If the issue is a clogged drainage system, you may be able to fix it yourself by cleaning out the drainage system. You can remove the dishwasher’s bottom rack and use a cloth or sponge to wipe away any debris or soap scum. If mineral deposits are causing the clog, you can use vinegar or a commercial dishwasher cleaner to remove them.
If the overflow switch, water inlet valve, or float is the problem, you’ll need to hire a professional appliance repair technician to fix it. These parts are delicate and require specialized knowledge and tools to repair properly.
How Home Inspectors Inspect the Dishwasher Overflow
When you’re buying or selling a home, a home inspector will inspect the dishwasher overflow to ensure it is functioning correctly. The
inspector will run the dishwasher through a cycle and monitor the water level to ensure it doesn’t exceed the safe level. They’ll also check for any signs of water damage around the dishwasher.
If the home inspector detects any problems with the dishwasher overflow, they’ll note them in their report, and you can use this information to negotiate repairs or a price reduction with the seller.
The dishwasher overflow is a critical component of your dishwasher that prevents water from spilling onto your kitchen floor and causing damage to your home. If you’re experiencing issues with your dishwasher overflow, it’s essential to get it repaired as soon as possible. Depending on the cause of the problem, you may need to hire a professional appliance repair technician to fix it.
When buying or selling a home, the home inspector will inspect the dishwasher overflow to ensure it is functioning correctly. If any problems are detected, you can use this information to negotiate repairs or a price reduction with the seller. Remember, a properly functioning dishwasher overflow is essential for the safety and well-being of your home.
For more information about things around the house, visit Coastal Property Inspections! We are the Best Orange County, CA Inspector and would love to help you inspect your new home or your current home if you are thinking about selling in the near future. We are here to help! 949-401-8996