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Dishwasher is leaking

Hole in the dishwasher liner

So you’re emptying the dishwasher and you notice that one of those small rubber scrapers has fallen out of the utensil basket during the wash.  Now you find it laying next to the bracket that holds the heating element at the bottom of the interior.  

When you attempt to remove it, you find it has melted to the plastic liner.  You attempt to pick it up but when you do, you find that when it melted it also caused a hole in liner.  Not a very big hole, but one that will allow water to leak out.

Now you have a problem.  This is why so many people like the stainless steel liner.  That is small consolation, you have a good dishwasher and you can’t use because there is a hole in the bottom.  So, you have two choices, wash dishes by hand or fix the dishwasher.

I don’t like hand washing a ton of dishes and believe it or not the dish washer actually uses less water than washing dishes by hand.  So I decided to call around to see what was involved in repairing the liner.

When I start calling I found that no one knew how to fix it.  My dishwasher was a Maytag and when I called the factory they said they had a repair kit but when I contacted the local authorized repair person they didn’t know anything about a repair kit but for $150 they would replace the liner. 

This was a small hole, I couldn’t believe that this had never happened before, and there was no way to repair it?  I decided to do some research.

I found that most liners are made from PVC plastic, and my Maytag was no exception.  So I went to my friendly local hardware store and started to look around.  I found the this;

The putty has two parts.  To activate the epoxy you just massage it between your fingers and mixed the two parts together.  The directions claimed that it adheres to plastic and once it hardens, it would be waterproof.  It also could handle temperatures up to 450 degrees.  The inside water temperature of a dishwasher would not get hotter than 200 degrees.  

The hole was in the backside so to reach it I had to pull the dishwasher out from the counter.  I was now able to reach the hole from the outside.  I pulled a small pinch off and started to need it in my fingers.  This allows the two parts to mix.  I then started to push it into the hole and spreading it around the hole.  I then reached in from the front and pushed the putty that had come through the hole, back around the hole.   

I wanted most of the epoxy on the outside with as little a presence as possible on the inside.  The outside was rougher and the epoxy would stick to it better than the smooth inside.  Once I finished I allowed it to sit for one day.  The directions said I didn’t need to wait that long but I wanted to make sure it had set.  I first tested it by running a couple of loads using cold water.  When no leak occurred I then went for broke, it ran it on full hot with the heat sanitizer. 

I have been using the dishwasher for two months now with no leaks.  It worked, and so far has been holding up.   How long will it hold? I don’t know but if you can’t afford a new dishwasher right now, this is a pretty good fix.

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