My son moved into an apartment a while back. The unit came fully equipped with appliances, including a dishwasher. I received a call one evening saying the dishwasher was leaking all over the floor. I suggested he turn off the machine and call the landlord. He said, “I would, except the dishwasher isn’t running. I called the landlord and he had a repair guy come over but didn’t find anything wrong.” He went on to say, “In fact, when it’s running, everything seems to work fine. It’s only after we don’t use it for a few days that we start getting leaks.”

I dropped by the apartment and looked under the sink. This is what I saw:

The white plastic drain tube running from the dishwasher to the sink drain was draped along the bottom of the sink cabinet before going up and attaching to the sink drain. In using the kitchen sink, the water going down the drain was also diverting down the drain tube and ending up in the bottom pan of the dishwasher. Eventually, after several days of working in the kitchen, the pan filled up with water and began leaking onto the kitchen floor. When the dishwasher was turned on, the water pump expelled the water out and down the sink drain and the cycle was started all over again.

One solution would be for him to use the dishwasher a little more, instead of hand washing the dishes. That would require that he purchase some more dishes and service ware. The other solution is to create a  ‘high loop’ in the drain hose, like this:

The drain hose on a dishwasher is pretty long, and we simply looped the hose up and hooked it to the underside of the counter. The high loop prevents water from flowing back into the dishwasher and the problem was resolved.

It is surprising how often I find a missing ‘high loop’ when I inspect the dishwasher hookup underneath the kitchen sink cabinet. It’s a simple fix that will potentially avoid issues down the road.