Dishwasher Leak Pan

Dishwasher leaks damage more wood floors

than even icemakers, in my experience. A dishwasher leak pan is the answer. 

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Recommended Water Alarm

You can choose between pans designed to drain water to a lower level, (say a crawl space or basement,) or pans designed to direct the water forward.

In either case, we only recommend a complete pan that covers the full width and depth of the appliance space,

which is either 18" or 24". (24" is the more common width of washer.)

And we always recommend incorporating some sort of water alarm into your protection plan.

The leaks can be insidiously small and slow and damage your wood floor over time.

Or, they can be catastrophic failures resulting in floods, some of which can't even be explained.

Please consult a plumber and/or a reputable appliance store.  Some dishwashers now come with built in drip pans.  Those are a great idea, but

only protect you from an internal leak.  I would say most dishwasher leaks I see involve a water supply or the drain, not the machine, itself.

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Let's go through the install of a drainless dishwasher leak pan, shall we?

1. Protect the existing floor

We strongly recommend this portable work surface.

2. Remove dishwasher


3. Inspect

the appliance space for level, taking note of any peaks or valleys.

It is very common for the floor to fall away toward the wall. This is particularly common when the dishwasher is located on an interior wall.

Your dishwasher leak pan will only be as level as the floor it's going over.

4. Level

with anything that will last.  Felt chair pads are a handy way to shim the backside of the pan, initially, but may compress with time, as well as hold moisture.


You may even decide to pitch your pan forward, or just from the back corners.

You are the engineer on site. You make the call as to placement.

6. Place the pan.

7. Replace the dishwasher.

We used to include a battery-operated water leak detector in the leak pans we sold, but no longer.

For a battery-operated alarm, we now recommend you purchase either the SmartHome MT400, or the

Gizmode GIWA02, which is also battery-operated, but can be "daisy-chained."

That is to say, the sounder unit can be placed under your sink as one detector, and can also be wired to a remote Gizmode GISP01 Remote Sensor Pad under your dishwasher,

effectively protecting two water problem sources with one alarm.

(I do believe those two Gizmode items used to be sold separately, so have a care when ordering.)

In the following short video, I review a few of the considerations in choosing a battery-operated detector, 

if a battery-operated detector is sufficient for your purposes.  

In the following short video, I review a few of the considerations in choosing a battery-operated detector, 

if a battery-operated detector is sufficient for your purposes.  

The units I compare, as examples, (only to illustrate, mind you,) are:

-The original 9V Gizmode, (taller than the new Gizmode GIWA02)

-The Flood Buzz, (which I refer to as the "Tinkerbell")

-The MT400, by SmartHome.

The five most common causes of home claims according to a Travelers 2022 report were:

  • Exterior wind damage – 25 percent of all losses.
  • Non-weather-related water damage (e.g., plumbing or appliance issues) – 19 percent.
  • Hail – 15 percent.
  • Weather-related water damage (e.g., rain, melting ice, snow) – 11 percent.
  • Theft – 6 percent.

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