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 Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: paxetbonum (NY)

I need some help settling a dispute with my landlord. I recently purchased a portable dishwasher, after finally wearing my landlord down so he'd let me get it. Now there's some leaking in the apartment downstairs, and he's convinced it's the caused by the dishwasher. This in spite of the fact that the tenant there says there's been periodic leaking for years. I'm thinking it's a coincidence.

Anyway, for months my landlord told me I couldn't get it because he was concerned about the "pressure on his plumbing." I did a lot of research into portable dishwashers in general as well as the model I eventually purchased, and I could not find any evidence online of people having plumbing problems, pressure, leaks or any other type. I read reviews and called stores and manufacturers, and I was repeatedly told that it would cause no additional pressure on the plumbing.

So the question is, can a dishwasher hooked up to a sink faucet somehow add pressure to the system? And if this is actually possible, is there anything I can do to solve the problem? Or, was the leak a coincidence and does he just need to fix his plumbing?

Finally, regardless of the pressure question, are there any major concerns a landlord should have about allowing a portable dishwasher?

I'm looking for details so I can show him this thread as evidence to settle our disagreement. I certainly hope to keep my $400 convenience purchase, but if he's right I'd rather have an honest relationship with him and not risk losing my security deposit (for repairs) if the dishwasher is a problem, now or in the future.

I'm glad to have found such a knowledgable community. Thanks in advance for any knowledge you can offer.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

1.) When the Landlord said he did not want a DW in HIS apartment, that should have been the end of the story.

2.) A portable dishwasher CAN cause problems, especially when connected to certain type faucets.

3.) The leak to the unit below is probably not from the DW unless there is water under it or under the KS cabinet, which would be obvious.

4.) The Landlords Plumber needs to be brought in to troubleshoot the leak to see if the cause is from your DW.

5.) "after finally wearing my landlord down" That statement alone would cause me to seriously consider not renewing your lease when it's up. I would think, "What's next with this tenant?".

e-plumber
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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: hj (AZ)

It can cause pressure problems in the faucet, but once the water enters the sink it is no differnt than if you ran the faucet into it. If it were a faucet problem, then you would have water in the cabinet under the sink. That is the only problem a portable DW can cause.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: paxetbonum (NY)

e-plumber -- thanks for the thoughts, esp. re: bringing a plumber to troubleshoot the leak. Can you specify the problems a portable dishwasher can cause, or what kind of faucets are problematic?

Do you agree with the other post here, which says the only problem it can cause is in the faucet, or directly under the sink (obviously I'm not seeing those issues).

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: hj (AZ)

The faucet that would have the most problem with it would be one with a "pull out spout" which a rental property would be very unlikely to have. Other than that a faucet with a worn spout or stem seal could leak due to the backpressure even though it might not leak if the DW were not connected.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: paxetbonum (NY)

But can this backpressure you describe cause problems further back in the plumbing than the faucet? Sounds like you've been saying no, but I'm trying to be crystal clear. Thanks again.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: paxetbonum (NY)

And, no pull out spout here, as you guessed.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: tnoisaw (MT)

Anything affixed to your faucet spout that was not there from the factory will void the faucet warrantee. It also puts strain on the spout with it hanging off it.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: jerco (MD)

All the water pipes are ALWAYS under pressure just waiting for you to turn on a faucet and let the water come out. A portable DW will not add and additional pressure to those lines. The faucet is designed to handle water pressure up to the point where the water is allowed through when you turn the faucet handle on. After that point, the faucet is not designed to hold pressure. Normal conditions would allow the water to just come flowing through the spout and out through the aerator (the thing with the screens that screws onto the end of the spout). When a portable dishwasher is attached to the end of the spout and the water is turned on at the faucet, the spout is instantly under heavy pressure until the dishwasher calls for water. And when the dishwasher doesn't need any more water it stops water from going into the dishwasher and instantly puts all the water pressure back on the spout. The spout is not intended to handle this and WILL start leaking at some point soon, but NO additional pressure will be put on the plumbing inside the walls (water or drain) just the faucet will be adversely affected. (My finger hurts)

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: dlh (TX)

i agree with jeracos' assement. if the plumbing other than your faucet is leaking it isnt caused by the dw.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: hj (AZ)

No. Everything before the faucet is already at system pressure. Back pressure at the faucet spout could only increase to system pressure when the DW was not filling with water.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: hj (AZ)

Since the factory would never know about it, there is little chance of the guarantee being voided.

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 Re: Can a portable dishwasher cause plumbing problems?
Author: steve_g (CA)

Offer to pay a plumber - one that your landlord chooses - to diagnose the leak. Unless it's a very odd leak, it shouldn't take more than one hour. Just a thought.

I'll bet that it has nothing to do with the portable dishwasher.

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