Troubleshooting a Kitchen Aid Dishwasher

Close-up of controls on dishwasher
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If your Kitchen Aid dishwasher has been acting up, you may be worried about having to pay for a repair or replacement. Before you spend the money, take a look at the following Kitchen Aid Dishwasher Troubleshooting guide. Some of the most common issues are simple and easy to fix yourself.


A Kitchen Aid dishwasher can leak for various reasons. If your unit is leaking, look for the following causes:

  • Not level: A dishwasher needs to be level to work properly. Verify that your dishwasher is level to rule this out as the cause of the leak.
  • Water supply line leaks: If the water supply line that feeds water to the dishwasher is leaking, it can look like the dishwasher is leaking. Remove the dishwasher’s cover panel and look at the water supply line connection to see if this is the source of the leak. Replacement supply hoses are widely available and are very easy to install. 
  • Operation with an empty rack: If you run a wash cycle with an empty lower rack, the water may be directly spraying the door of the dishwasher, causing it to leak. Run the machine making sure that both racks are full and then watch for leaks.
  • The door is not sealing: Look for anything that may be preventing the seals on the door from closing completely. Also, check for any damage to the seals. Often, merely clearing away obstructions can fix this problem. Replacing a door seal is possible for DIYers, though you will probably need to order the correct seal from the manufacturer. You won't find them stocked at your home center. 
  • Water temperature is too high: The recommended maximum water temperature is 120 F. Check your water temperature to make sure that it is not set higher, as this can cause the dishwasher to leak.

Not Filling

If you find that your dishwasher is not filling with water, the cause may be quite simple to identify.

  • The door is not closing: Make sure the door is properly closed. Check to make sure there is nothing in the way of the door or the latch.
  • Water supply interrupted:  Verify that the water supply line to the dishwasher is turned on. If the water is turned off for any reason, it is easy to forget to turn it back on.
  • Overfill float is not working:  Locate the overfill float in the front right corner of the tub and make sure that it is not being restricted. The float should move freely up and down.

Not Draining

It is important to note that in many newer dishwasher models, a small amount of water will remain in the bottom of the dishwasher pan after it has drained. The reason for this is to make sure that the pump seal does not dry out. But if your dishwasher has a significant amount of water in the pan, you may need to look for these causes.

  • Siphoning from the sink: Since the dishwasher drain is tied into the kitchen sink drain, your unit could be siphoning water from the sink. Check to make sure that the dishwasher drain hose is hooked up high under the counter, or passes through an air gap device mounted to the countertop or the sink. 
  • Kitchen drain malfunctioning: Often, when a dishwasher is not draining, it is because there is a drainage problem in the kitchen.