dishwasher leaking

My dishwasher is a 15 year-old Whirlpool that has been okay up to now. Last night I noticed the adjacent cabinet was wet inside so the dishwasher was obviously leaking and the cabinet must have been wicking up the moisture over time.
I pulled the dishwasher out about 6 inches before I realized the power cord was keeping it from coming out any farther. Since it was after 10 PM I didn't want to mess with it any more but I did take a look underneath to see what was there. The linoleum underneath was discolored and a hole had been eaten through it from the water that had been dripping. It looked like waterdrops were falling from the lowest structure of the dishwasher. I assume it was the pump; it was in the middle of the dishwasher. At the time there was no water running and the unit was off.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be leaking and what to check when I pull the dishwasher out? I realize its probably old enough to replace, but I'm about to spend some money on other household items and if I can fix this myself that would save several hundred dollars.
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Could be the pump, the seal between the motor assembly and cabinet or the cabinet, or a hose, or a drain fitting, or a fill valve. If it is the cabinet itself, buy a new machine.
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I just got done with a similar dishwasher saga, so it must be the season for it, or something. Got a good library or appliance parts store that sells repair books? See if you can find one called "Dishwasher Repair - Cheap and Easy", by Douglas Emley. Written for people who have some skill with tools. Not a fabulous book, but it has some very clear descriptions, pictures and disassembly instructions that may be just enough to help you either fix it, or buy new. I got lucky - my problem involved a $10.00 valve.
Before proceeding, I inquired at a locally owned appliance dealership about the cost of buying new, since I hadn't shopped for one in many years. I was expecting to hear $400-$700, but was told that you can get a perfectly decent (if not fancy) dishwasher for $275.00 to $300.00. The guy's explanation was reasonable and sensible, and was echoed by the person at the parts counter. I won't go into details, but buying new may not be as bad as you expect.
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15 years old? Replace it with a modern machine, and sleep well for another 15 years. Or fix a part now, fix another part in a month. Have the whole thing go kaflooey when you are on vacation, and come home to a real disaster.
Your turn to roll the dice, my friend.
A new one is a cinch to install. Funny thing, they don't give you a new cord for it. Be sure to save the one from the old machine. You may even have to use old plumbing connectors, as they are cheap about the extra parts they provide, even on high dollar units. You said yours was limited accessability. Fix that so on the new one, you can pull it out easily for inspection. And, you don't have to wait until you see a leak. Check it yearly.
We replaced ours last year. We were in shock at the price ranges. But, we selected a quality unit that wasn't so high priced. It works twice as good as the old one, and makes about a third the noise.
Spring for a new one and be done with it.
Do it once. Do it right.
Steve
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The wife called and let me know she has already bought a new one. It looks like I will be installing a new Whirlpool tonight. http://www.whirlpoolappliances.ca/english/product.php?id=DU1100XTP&colou r=B&subatures&PHPSESSID6eacf934f7be35117aad1562d8aa0b Fortunately it was on sale and had a ding so she got them down to $299. I didn't know you could bargain at Lowe's.
I will probably also extend the power cord that is only long enough to reach the hookup of the machine. Anything wrong with adding Romex to the existing line and using wirenuts? I'll make sure it doesn't sit on the floor where it could get wet.
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wrote:

Wire nuts are not appropriate for wires which get moved. Matter of fact, I personally don't think they're good for ANY wiring, but that's just me. Buy a power cord of the right length, meaning long enough to reach wherever, but cut it down so it doesn't want to loop under the machine's wheels as you push it into place.
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Motor failed on my 8-year old dishwasher. I pulled out the motor and found that a replacement was about $200 vs. $375 for a new dishwasher. New one (Maytag) is a much better washer. Electronic controller is superior for one thing. Be sure to keep the installation manual. It gave special key codes to actuate vs. components to test the system. So with a 15 year old unit, it's time to kiss it goodbye.
Good luck.

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Be a detective and locate the leak. With an appliance that old, if you can't fix it easily and cheaply, replace it. I know at any time I might have to spend $1000 to replace an appliance. I keep that emergency money in a money market where I can get easy and fast access to it.
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