Solved: Commercial Dishwasher Leaking Water

A leaking commercial dishwasher can make things difficult. Even though it will still work and clean dishes, there will be water everywhere to deal with. So, you must look for ways to fix this problem or consult a commercial appliances repair technician. Here are some ways you can detect the cause and fix a leaking commercial dishwasher.

Fixing A Leaking Commercial Dishwasher

Is The Dish Rack Present?

The dish rack may seem like a forgettable aspect of dishwashing, but it’s an important one. If the dish rack is not in its place or is absent, the unit may leak water because of drainage problems and others. So, keep the dishes on the dish rack and then place the dish rack on the dishwasher for cleaning without leaks.

Check The Door

Any issue with the door will lead to a leaking problem. Therefore, if there is a leak, you should check the door.

You should try to close the door and see if it closes properly. If it seems that it was properly closed, check its gaskets. Because even when the door feels closed, worn gaskets can allow water to leak from the dishwasher during the wash cycle.

Moreover, if the door is not closing, then you should adjust the door. You should check if anything is in the way of the door like the dish rack. If nothing is stopping the door from closing, you should consult an expert.

Keep in mind that, sometimes, a leaking issue is just a human error. Maybe someone didn’t close the door properly which led to a leak. So, instruct the staff members responsible for handling the dishwasher to make sure the door is closed before starting a wash cycle.

Clean The Wash Arm Of The Dishwasher

In some cases, the issue of leakage is due to a wash arm, also called a rinse arm, not rotating. Water might accumulate in one part of the unit and lead to a leak. The solution to this problem is to clean the wash arm because it usually stops rotating when food particles and dirt build up on it.

To clean the rinse arm, you have to remove it from the dishwasher first. For that, you can use pliers. Clean the spray arm with warm water and dishwasher soap or any other cleaner you use for cleaning the dishwasher. After cleaning, fix it back into its position. Run the machine to check if the problem is fixed or still there.

Replace The Spray Arm

The spray arm or wash arm is what sprays the water. It’s done with the small holes in the spray arm that spray liquid on the dishes. If the spray arm bursts, there may become a bigger opening for much more water to be released than required. This will cause the dishwasher to overflow with water and leak from any side of the unit.

To check the spray arm, you will need to remove it. Once removed, check the small holes. If some appear bigger or cracked, the spray arm is burst and must be replaced.

Many experts recommend that if you notice your commercial dishwasher leaking, you should replace the spray arm even if it appears fine. But we know. You would not want to replace the spray arm if it’s okay. So, the best course of action should be to have the unit inspected by a professional who can check everything and then carry out repairs or replacements.

Check And Clean The Filter

The filter placed at the bottom of the interior of the dishwasher is to stop anything other than water and liquids from draining. Over time, the filter becomes so clogged that even liquid can get through or does get through but at a very slow pace. When this happens, the unit overflows with water that starts leaking from some place like the sides of the dishwasher.

This is why you must clean the filter regularly to prevent this problem. Moreover, you should also clean the area where the filter is placed because it gathers a lot of gunk as well.

Inspect The Drain

If the drain where the water from the dishwasher goes is clogged, water won’t have anywhere to go so it might start leaking from weird places. So, check the drain and unclog it. There are various ways of unclogging a drain like using a plunger, pouring hot water, using store-bought solutions, and using a drain snake. However, if the drain doesn’t unclog, consult a plumber.

Check The Drain Pipe Of The Dishwasher

Water goes through the drain pipe to the drain so if there is any damage there, water will leak from the pipe. The drain pipe is not visible and to see it, you have to open the cover that’s usually at the lower side of the dishwasher. Do this after powering off the unit.

Once you remove the cover, check the drain pipe that must be connected to the roof of the compartment you’re seeing. If it’s not connected to that or appears damaged, then that’s the cause of the leak. Sometimes, the drain pipe or any other part is worn and must be replaced.

This must be fixed by a commercial dishwasher expert to make sure that the drain pipe is sealed properly. Keep in mind that, in some cases, the drain pipe may appear fine, but it may leak water due to a broken seal. This is why this must be inspected and repaired by a licensed professional.

Check The Float Switch

The float switch keeps the water levels in the dishwasher in check. If it becomes faulty, the water will rise above the required levels because the float switch won’t signal the control board to turn off the water inflow. Due to this, the dishwasher may leak water.

A faulty float switch or float assembly must be replaced. It’s the job of an appliance repair expert.

Replace The Dishwasher

This is not a fix for a leaking dishwasher. This only shows that the dishwasher is old enough to be replaced. Why?

Because dishwashers experience wear and tear over time. They are exposed to moisture so they develop rust and corrode slowly even though they are made of corrosion-resistant materials. If an internal part of the dishwasher corrodes, there may come a time when it will allow water to leak.

Corrosion leaks in commercial dishwashers are usually not repairable. However, you should still get an opinion from an expert. If not repairable, your only option would be to replace the unit. If you used your commercial dishwasher for 10-15 years, you did well and a replacement should not be a surprise.


Commercial dishwasher leakage is an annoying issue because your dishwasher may work, but it will leak water and create a mess. So, you must check the dish rack and the door first thing. Then, check other parts like the spray arm and the filter. Some leaks are due to a clogged filter or drain pipe, so clean your dishwasher regularly. This will also reduce limescale buildup that can corrode important components. Most importantly, if an issue arises, you should consult a commercial dishwasher repairs Springfield expert for advice and repairs.



How To Fix A Commercial Dishwasher That Won’t Clean Dishes?

You need clean dishes to serve your customers food, but your commercial dishwasher is showing problems and the dishes are not coming out clean. Your staff member will have to clean dishes manually when the kitchen runs out of clean dishes, which will increase the workload and slow down your service. Therefore, you must have it fixed by a commercial kitchen appliance repair expert quickly.

In case you want to do something yourself, here are some things to check if your commercial dishwasher won’t clean dishes.

Change The Detergent

A detergent makes it easier for water and the dishwasher to clean the dishware. However, some detergents may not go well with the dishes, types of stains, or the type of dishwasher you have while some detergents are outright bad.

So, your commercial dishwasher not cleaning dishes may be because of the detergent. Therefore, try changing the detergent and determine the right amount you need to add for each cycle.

A simpler way to choose a dishwashing detergent is to check out which detergents similar restaurants or canteens are using and use the same one if your dishwasher is also similar.

If you want to know which detergent is the best, it depends on various things. However, a good detergent should produce less foam, could break down dirt on the dishware, could remove scale, and must not be corrosive or have volatile substances.

You should make the decision factoring in your dishwasher whether it’s a high-temperature dishwasher or a low-temperature one. You will need a sanitizing chemical for low-temperature dishwashers while for high-temperature models, you don’t need any.

If you don’t want the slightest change in your food or drinks’ flavor, don’t use low-temperature sanitizers and use a high-temperature dishwasher.

Use Rinsing Aid

If the dishes come out comparatively clean, but you notice spots on them later, they may be due to hard water or mineral deposits on the dishware. You can add a rinsing aid in the final cycle to avoid these marks on the dishes, glasses, and other items.

A rinsing aid is 90% water and 10% other things like alcohol, citric acid, etc. It reduces the surface tension of water so it’s removed from the dishes more easily. As water is removed from the dishes before drying, the minerals that cause spots are also removed with water.

You should correctly determine how much rinsing aid to use depending on the dishwasher and the hardness of the water.

Install A Water Softening System

The last point was about removing mineral buildup on dishes that is caused by hard water. However, hard water also causes other problems even if you use a rinsing aid for resolving one problem.

Hard water reduces foam formation and thus reduces the cleaning ability of water even when detergent is used. This may be why your commercial dishwasher is not cleaning dishes well enough. You will need to use more detergent than usual and may have to increase the wash cycles to get clean dishes which will reduce the efficiency of the dishwasher and increase dishwashing costs.

A better method of fixing this problem is the installation of a water softener. It’s a type of water filter that gets rid of minerals from water which are responsible for scale buildup on dishes.

As you will use a water softener, your detergent will work better, your dishwasher will be more efficient, and you won’t need to use large amounts of rinsing aid.

Clean The Dishwasher

Hard water doesn’t only cause spots on dishes but also leaves white scales or limescale inside dishwashers and other appliances as well. This can clog critical parts of the dishwasher that help in cleaning the dishes.

So, whether you install a water softener or not, make sure you or your staff clean the dishwasher at the end of every business day. During the cleaning process, remove food particles, gunk, and debris from the dishwasher first before thoroughly rinsing and washing the interior of the dishwasher with warm water. Then, allow it to drain.

After this, clean the spray nozzles with white vinegar to reduce limescale buildup on them. Empty and clean the filter of your commercial dishwasher. Afterward, move to the wash and rinse arms of the dishwasher and clean them.

Regular cleaning and descaling a dishwasher are two different techniques. You must be cleaning your dishwasher every day as mentioned above while descaling should be done depending on the hardness of water in your facility and how quickly the limescale layer forms on the interior parts of the dishwasher.

For descaling a commercial dishwasher, follow these instructions:

  1. Fill your dishwasher with water.
  2. Mix the descaling product in the water.
  3. Let it be for one hour.
  4. After an hour, run a complete wash cycle.
  5. Check the dishwasher for limescale. If there is still limescale, repeat this process.
  6. Once you have checked that there is no limescale left, drain the dishwasher.
  7. Fill the dishwasher again for a final rinse cycle.
  8. Let it air dry.

Rinse The Dishes Before Putting Them In The Dishwasher

This is a common practice in most professional kitchens, but in case your staff is not doing it, instruct them to do so. Rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher makes cleaning easier for the dishwasher, the dishes come out squeaky clean, and the dishwasher doesn’t get too dirty too quickly.

When rinsing or handwashing the dishes before their wash cycle inside a dishwasher, don’t use a household detergent because it can lead to foam formation inside the dishwasher. This foam formation can affect the efficiency and washing capability of the dishwasher.

Clean The Spray Arm

You will be cleaning your dishwasher at the end of each day, but if your commercial dishwasher is not cleaning dishes and you want to try something yourself, clean the spray arm. It’s the component that spins and sprays water on the dishes. If it’s clogged, it will spray less or no water, so the dishes won’t be cleaned.

You can simply remove the spray arm from the dishwasher and manually clean it. If the dishwasher still doesn’t clean dishes and you notice it’s due to the spray arm, you will have to replace this component.

Check The Detergent Dispenser

The detergent dispenser is responsible for releasing detergent. A blocked or defective detergent dispenser will only lead to dirty dishes at the end of the wash cycle. So, turn off the dishwasher and check the detergent dispenser. Clean it and if it’s defective, have it replaced by getting help from an expert. Similarly, if your dishwasher has a rinse aid dispenser, check and clean it as well.

Moreover, you should also check other related components like the detergent dispenser’s door spring, the wax motor, and the bi-metal switch (older dishwashers).

Make Sure Your Dishwasher Is Filling Up With Water

During the wash cycle, the dishwasher must fill up with water. If it doesn’t, the dishes will be left dirty. This can be caused due to a faulty float, malfunctioning float switch, clogged or damaged inlet valve, or a bad door switch. Have an expert check these components.


The issue of a dishwasher not cleaning dishes can happen due to many factors. You should begin with smaller things like cleaning the dishwasher and then move to checking the components of the appliance. It’s better to leave this to a commercial dishwasher repairs Northern VA technician who will completely inspect the machine and perform repairs as required.