My GE Café Series Dishwasher Leaked and Ruined My Floor

How’s that for a post title?

Last year when we did our kitchen and family room renovation, my wife picked the GE Café Series as her choice for appliances. Everything was installed last October and seemed to work fine except for the dishwasher. Apparantly the dishwasher had a leak that we were unaware of and had been slowly leaking for awhile (how long is anybody’s guess). I never saw evidence of the leak until a couple of weeks ago when I noticed some of the joints in our laminate flooring looked like they were buckling. I figured it was a problem with the way I had installed the floor or thought the kids had spilled something and didn’t clean it up. In other words, I didn’t think much about it.

Until today…

This afternoon I happened to walk into the dining room and I heard a squishing noise. I stepped down on the spot again and noticed water coming up from underneath the flooring. This is not good. I called my contractor and he an another guy came over and spent about two hours trying to figure out what the heck was going on. I went ahead and started pulling up the laminate flooring to see how much damage had been done. Meanwhile, one of the contractors looked under the dishwasher to see if he could spot a leak. There was no evidence directly under the dishwasher but the cement floor directly under the pantry which is right next to the dishwasher looked wet.

We eventually found out that the dishwasher had been leaking from the bottom of the door. It was a very slow leak so it wasn’t noticeable. Over time, the water took the path of least resistance and traveled down the grout between the tiles and to the threshold between the laminate flooring and the kitchen tile. Over time, the water pooled under the laminate flooring and sat there unnoticed until it got to be so big it had nowhere to go but up through the flooring.

I called the place of business that sold us the appliances and she found a phone number for the GE Answer Center (800.626.2005). I called that number, told the lady my story, and she sent me to the Customer Relations Department (800.386.1215). I then told that lady my story and she told me to call the Electric Insurance department AFTER I have the store’s repair department come out and look at the dishwasher. Unfortunately the store’s repair crew can’t come out until next week. So until then we’re going to have a torn up dining room.

I’m hoping GE will replace everything for us since it was a product default that caused the problem. We’ll see… I’ll keep you posted.

Geez, it’s always something…

14 thoughts on “My GE Café Series Dishwasher Leaked and Ruined My Floor”

  1. That’s rough! I remember helping a friend clean up after a busted water heater. Not fun.
    Hope you have lots of pictures! GE better come through. If they don’t, here comes Judge Judy 🙂

  2. I am so sorry, that bites! Let me know how it turns out! Good news for your wife, no cooking!!!!

  3. I worked for GE Appliances for 15 years as an Area Sales Manager. My experience tells me you should be fine when dealing with Electric Insurance. Make sure you do have pictures and keep any estimates and allow them to send an adjuster out to inspect the problem. They will come through for you and correct the damage as long as it was not found to be an installation error by the contractor who installed the appliance. The Cafe products are really terrific and you should expect long service from them. Good Luck. Mike

  4. JLP: I recommend you read your contract with GE very carefully, including the manufacturer’s warranty. Very often, the contract and/or warranty specifies that the manufacturer and/or installer agrees only to replace or repair defective products, and is NOT responsible for any “incidental or consequential” damages (read, damage to your floor caused by the defective product or installation).

    Now, these types of disclaimers (if they are in your contract or warranty) are sometimes void under state consumer-protection laws, in which case you might have a small claims court action.

    Time for JLP to do some homework.

    Oh, and don’t even think about making a claim on your homeowner’s policy. Leaks aren’t covered.

    Good luck.



  5. Hope you can get some satisfaction from the installer or GE.
    However I do have a question. Without doing a daily check how in the world can you know if you have a slow leak that will cost you big? Big leaks are much better, you see them right away and clean up before too much harm is done, but the slow ones can cause soooo much damage before discovery.
    Last year we had one of the slow ones and the ceiling of the bedroom below the kitchen came crashing down before anyone realized we had a problem. We had to do some major remodeling in that room!
    Now I am constantly worried that this dishwasher can be doing the same thing and I would never know it.

  6. This is why I won’t ever install wood flooring in the kitchen or bathrooms(any room that has contact with water). It drives me crazy that developers put wood flooring in kitchens in all the new high-end homes and have been doing this for years and all of us unsuspecting customers walk through the model homes just think its beautiful, but really not practical. It should be tile only in kitchens. You don’t won’t stone either because you must repeatedly seal it or that spaghetti sauce spill will stain your stone.

    I had wood flooring in the kitchen of my last house and over time of opening the refrigerator door, those little wisps of cold moist air from the fridge caused the floor near the door to buckle and discolor.

  7. To: Ken.

    Amen on hardwood floor in the kitchen. Yup, bought our house in 1978 (new) when hardwood floors were all the rage in the kitchen and elsewhere. Now, I must admit the hardwood floors are beautiful. But with even a few drops from the sink day-by-day, not to mention one minor refrigerator leak, it has been a chore keeping the floors polished and waxed. Hardwood floors and water generally don’t mix well.

    Oh, well, look at the bright side. At least you have a house. I keep telling myself that, over, and over, and over, well . . ..

    Off-topic: our herb garden has morphed into an herb and tomato garden. Ready for planting this weekend. Actually had half the herbs last through the winter, so we have a head start. My wife is quite the gourmet cook, so my taste buds are getting revved up.



  8. JLP,

    This exact same thing happened to us. We just bought a house at the end of January, a foreclosure (vacant for 1.5 years). A couple weeks ago I noticed a glisten where the dishwasher cabinet meets the hardwoods (see others comments about hardwoods in kitchen, I completely agree). I pulled off the dishwasher kickplate, and what I saw was completely disgusting. The dishwasher was slowly dripping every 30 seconds, and mold was growing everywhere. That dishwasher must have been leaking years before the past occupants moved out. Luckily we have a homeowners policy against mold.

    Someone, other than you should be paying for that damage. Good luck with it all.

  9. It is always something. I just had new gutters installed – no big deal – take down the old, put up the new – improved water flow. Well they didn’t completely take down a downspout that was being eliminated – I’ll either have to do that or pay someone to do that. Now I just noticed they knocked some of my shingles lose. I’m not a repair person – no way will I get on a ladder and climb 30 feet in the air to repair some shingles.

    I really don’t like to do home improvement for just this reason. They’ll make something look better or work better, but they’ll break something else or it will be hell trying to get it done right. My advice is don’t fix anything that isn’t broke (unfortunately my gutters were broken and not working). And don’t make unecessary improvements. Who cares what it looks like as long as it works. Save your money.

  10. JLP I installed the same GE Cafe Dishwasher in Sept of 2008 and I have the same problem, but not the damage, I put down procelon tile. My wife thought I got water on rug in front of the sink all the time. But it was the dishwasher. GE sent a repairman out and said we needed a door vent leak kit WD35X10345, I sure the leak has been there from day one and this must be a problem with this model. GE wants to charge me 189.00 labor plus the part, the repairman didn’t know the price of the part and they don’t list it in their parts. I looked around on line and found out it would cost around $280 for this part and one on ebay for 165.00. Im calling GE back, I thing it should be warranty. So what was your out come?

  11. Follow up on my cafe dishwasher door leak. Today I called GE and got transfered a few times and I got somewhere after about and hour on the phone. GE would not pay the labor for the repair but offered the parts for free and one year warranty. The part was listed for 217.50 and 189.00 to install it. I was ready to replace it with some other brand, but I’ll see how this works out.

    Good Luck with anyone the has a GE CAFE Dishwasher.

  12. I have the same problem. The representative of Electric Insurance(owned by GE?)lied to me and told me that an “installation” problem caused the leak. This is in spite of the repair beig made foc as a “warranty” problem. My claim was denied.

    My situation remains unresolved.

  13. We purchased the entire line of GE cafe appliances in September 2008. The ice maker broke in November 2010 and cost $200 to replace. I was told to change the filter more often than GE recommends. I did not have an extended warranty. The dishwasher started leaking in December 2010. It was a venting issue. The cost was $0 since I had an extended warranty. I recently noticed that the fan grinds against something when using the convection oven. I believe I have an extended warranty for the range. Suggest getting extended warranties on all GE cafe appliances…

  14. I am having the same problem with our GE Cafe dishwasher. It occasionally leaks from the door. It is covered under our homeowners warranty, since we just bought the house a few months ago and the dishwasher came with the house. I have had a repair guy out twice and he still hasn’t managed to fix it.
    In addition, the GE Cafe series stainless steel refrigerator is a waste of space – the most poorly desgined refrigerator I have ever seen. There isn’t room for anything in it! I thought these were supposed to be top of the line appliances – they are not!

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