What to know before
leveling a dishwasher

A level dishwasher is essential for proper cleaning performance. It may be unlevel because it wasn’t installed properly or because the floor itself isn’t level. Either way, an unlevel dishwasher can cause draining issues that lead to standing water and leaks, as well as unwanted vibration and noise. Any built-in dishwasher should come with at least two leveling legs that adjust easily using a few common tools:

Hex head socket or adjustable wrench
Hex head socket or adjustable wrench
Standard level
Standard level
Phillips-head screwdriver
Phillips-head screwdriver
(if dishwasher already installed)

How to level a dishwasher, step-by-step

Whether you’re installing a new dishwasher or leveling one that’s already been installed, these simple steps will get it working right. Make sure to check your dishwasher’s Use and Care Guide for model-specific information. 

Dishwasher access panel with screws.

Step 1: Disconnect power and prep the appliance

Use the circuit breaker to disconnect power from the appliance. If your dishwasher has already been installed, use the screwdriver to remove the toe kick and/or access panel located at the bottom of the dishwasher, below the door. 

 

Vertical level against the front of a dishwasher.

Step 2: Check that the dishwasher is level from front to back

Place a level vertically against the front panel of the closed dishwasher to gauge if it’s leaning forward or backward. 

Use a wrench to rotate the legs.

Step 3: Adjust front or back legs if needed

If the dishwasher wasn’t level front to back, you’ll need to adjust either the front or back leveling legs. Firmly pushing or pulling against the top of the dishwasher can take some weight off the leveling legs, making them easier to adjust.

  • To raise the dishwasher, turn the legs counterclockwise; to lower it, turn them clockwise. 

  • You can use your hands but it may be easier with a hex head socket or adjustable wrench.

  • Some models have screws beneath the toe kick that let you adjust the back legs from the front, while others may be accessible by reaching underneath the appliance.

Maytag tip icon.

Ask someone to size up your work

If possible, have someone watch the level as you adjust the legs. Since you won’t be able to see the whole dishwasher, a second set of eyes could help cut out time spent on trial and error.

Horizontal level along the top edge of an open dishwasher.

Step 4: Level the dishwasher side-to-side

Open the dishwasher and place the level along the front, top edge. If it’s unlevel, adjust the right or left legs as needed, using the methods from Step 3.

Dishwasher in kitchen with equal spacing on all sides.

Step 5: Check your work

  • When you think the dishwasher is level, check front-to-back and side-to-side using the methods above. If it still isn't level, continue to adjust the legs and check your work with your level until the job is done.
  • Make sure the dishwasher is centered in the cutout so there’s equal space on both sides, and that the door doesn’t hit the counter when you open it. Learn more about finding the right fit with this dishwasher dimensions guide.
  • Reattach any pieces you removed and restore power to the appliance. 

MORE ESSENTIAL DISHWASHER INFO

 

Understand the parts that drive your dishwasher and find replacements.

Learn about standard dishwasher openings so you come home with the right fit.

Help keep your dishwasher performing at its peak by cleaning your dishwasher filter periodically.

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