How to Troubleshoot a Dishwasher

By March 7, 2016Blog
A malfunctioning dishwasher can be repaired or replaced by a plumber.

An improperly loaded dishwasher by sound noisy.

Is your dishwasher on the fritz? While a dishwasher isn’t a necessity, is does make life better. Dishes pile up fast, especially if you have kids. If the dishwasher is down for even a day or two, household routines can be disrupted. Before you throw in the towel and call a repair service, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot and possibly fix a misbehaving dishwasher.

First, a caveat: If you work on a dishwasher, turn off the water and electricity to the appliance before making any repairs.

Here are some quick answers to commonly asked questions about dishwashers.

Why Is My Dishwasher Leaking?

  • Cracked or brittle seals on the door can lead to leaking. Install a new seal, also called a tub gasket.
  • Make sure you’re using dishwashing detergent. If you use dishwashing soap, suds will overflow the machine.
  • A machine that’s tilting to one side may leak. Use a level to check the appliance. Adjust the legs on the bottom of the machine.

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Drain?

  • Check for and clean a clogged filter. The filter is on the bottom of the appliance.
  • Check that the cycle was completed. If the cycle didn’t finish its run, restart the machine.
  • A kinked or improperly elevated drain hose can keep the unit from draining.

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Fill?

  • Is the door latched, the cycle selected, the machine and water turned on?
  • Does the machine have electricity? Check the circuit or fuse box.
  • You could have a problem with the inlet hose. Look for leaks or sediment in the hose.

Why Is My Dishwasher Noisy?

  • Rhythmic thumps happen when the wash arm bumps items that are improperly loaded. Pause the cycle and adjust the dishes in the rack.
  • Unusually loud bangs indicate a problem. Stop the machine and look inside. Look for items that have fallen or broken.
  • If the noise continues, there could be a problem with one of the parts. You’ll need to call a repair service.

Why Don’t My Dishes Get Clean?

  • An overloaded washer doesn’t get dishes clean. Place fewer dished in the machine.
  • Too many large items in the bottom rack can block water from circulating.
  • The ideal temperature for dishwashers is 130 degrees. You may need to adjust your water heater if the water isn’t hot enough.
  • Check the spray arms for blockages caused by food or other debris.

If your out-of-sorts dishwasher is old or can’t be easily repaired, it may make sense to buy a new one. The lifespan of these appliances is about 9 years. Simpson Plumbing can help you install a new dishwasher. Give us a call at  503-313-4827. We’d be happy to help you with a new appliance installation.

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