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5 Common Dishwasher Problems And How To Fix Them

Dishwashers are easily one of the best inventions for cleaning. They leave your utensils spick and span, without much effort. They last between 7 to 12 years and are worth the investment. However, with every appliance, arises the need to maintain and repair it. Dishwashers are no exception. But the good news is that sometimes you can control the situation and you can fix the issues yourself too. This becomes important, especially after the warranty expires. Let's help you gain insights on what the commonly faced problems are and how to solve them:

1) Dishes don't get cleaned properly.

This problem defeats the entire purpose of the dishwasher-cleaning! There could be many reasons for this problem.

  • Incorrect loading- The dishwasher may have been overloaded, or the kitchenware may not have been appropriately placed in the racks. A utensil could be interfering with the spinning action. Loading plates without scraping food chunks can also cause dirt to stick to the plates. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual and correctly follow the instructions for loading.

  • Check detergent dispenser- The detergent dispenser may be clogged. It might be full of old sticky detergent which doesn't get adequately released for cleaning. You can clean the container or replace the part.

  • Check stain screen, gasket, filter and spinning arms-Check that all parts of the dishwasher like gasket and stain screen are free of dirt. The spinning arms shouldn’t be clogged, lest they stop moving freely. If the arms are dirty, remove them and clean them with a brush. The gasket if loose, would require replacement. Keep cleaning the filter frequently, especially if soiled spots can be seen on it.

  • Use a water softener or rinse aid- If you see water spots on your dishes, it maybe because water is staying on too long on their surface and not getting dried up quickly. A rinse aid helps in faster drying. If there is a white film on the dishes, it may be due to the minerals in hard water. Use a water softener or a strong detergent that softens the water.

  • Running an empty cycle- Once all the above has been addressed and still there has been no improvement, run a cycle without dishes. Load the dishes in the next cycle and see if they come out cleaner.

2) Dishwasher doesn’t run smoothly

The dishwasher might not start, or when it starts, you notice that it doesn’t run properly. Let’s investigate the different possible cases:

  • Dishwasher door doesn’t latch

    (a) The appliance may not start if the door doesn’t close properly. The latch or the door seal may have worn out or may need replacement. (b) It could also be due to the misalignment of plates that are not allowing the door to close.

  • Dishwasher won’t start

    (a) There may be a problem with the supply of power to the dishwasher. Check the power outlet. A blown fuse, damaged wiring or incorrect plugging of the dishwasher are often responsible for this bottleneck. (b) Have a look at the timer if the motor doesn’t kick off.

  • Dishwasher runs for too long

    (a) It could be due to the low household water temperature that doesn't transmit enough heat to the dishwasher for cleaning. The temperature rises very slowly, leading to a prolonged cycle. The temperature in the heater should be set to at least 120°F for faster dishwasher functioning. (b) It could also be that the cycle chosen is longer- it has more processes, which is the case with many new models of dishwashers. (c) Check the different parts of the dishwasher like timer, motor, thermostat, heating element-if all of them are working in a proper condition or not.

  • Dishwasher doesn’t dry dishes

    (a) Check the functioning of the thermostat/heating element- they may not be effectively heating the dishes during the dry cycle. (b) Use a liquid rinse aid for drying, separate from the detergent normally used, as it will not let water accumulate on the surface of the dishes. Also, inspect the rinse aid dispenser.

3) Dishwasher doesn’t fill up or keeps filling up and leaking.

A dishwasher needs the right amount of water to carry out the cleaning. Sometimes, the water fails to do its job, or it can go places you don't want it to. Here are some reasons for it.

  • Dishwasher door doesn’t latch

    (a) It could be that the float switch is faulty or the timer is stuck because of debris. Sometimes the switch of the door reads as open even when the door is closed. This anomaly prevents it from filling. (b) It could also signal a problem with the water inlet valve.

  • Dishwasher won’t start

    (a) There may be a problem with the supply of power to the dishwasher. Check the power outlet. A blown fuse, damaged wiring or incorrect plugging of the dishwasher are often responsible for this bottleneck. (b) Have a look at the timer if the motor doesn’t kick off.

  • The dishwasher keeps filling up

    (a) It overloads due to the malfunctioning of the same components mentioned above- float switch, timer and water inlet valve. The continuous filling up can lead to wastage of water. (b) The detergent you use might be causing the buildup of too many suds, because of which they might overflow onto the floor.

  • The dishwasher leaks

    (a) Leakage can cause substantial damage. Check if the door closes properly and look for cracks in the body. The issue could also be with the door gasket or the seal. (b) The drainage hose and the pump might be damaged. Fix the connection of the drainage hose if it is loose.

4) Dishwasher makes too much noise.

Every dishwasher makes noise. However, if the sound seems to be increasing, it could be due to underlying issues.

  • Misalignment- The spray arm might be hitting the dishes or the racks which means the dishes are ill-fitted or the spray arm isn't functioning correctly. Try to spin the arm yourself but do so while the power is off.

  • Defective pump- The pump is situated at the base and is responsible for water circulation. Inspect if the faulty pump might be responsible for the jarring noise.

  • Worn-out rings or seals- The rings or seals in the dishwasher might be loose or old that may be causing the rattling motion. This issue warrants a replacement.

5) Dishwasher smells bad

The last thing you want is your dishwasher to smell bad. Unless you are leaving your dishes in the dishwasher for very long periods, a bad smell can arise because of the following causes.

  • Trapped food- The dishwasher might smell due to old decomposed food that has been trapped and has not been cleaned out by the filter. Clean the filter and the screen at the bottom. Make it a habit to pre-rinse dishes to make it easy on the dishwasher.

  • Melted plastic- Another possibility could be that if you use plastic dishes, one of them may have melted due to the heat generated by the dishwasher and caused a chemical smell.

While we have given you all the tips for repair, we also recommend that you carry out the above steps with caution and use your judgement. Do not to take matters into your own hands if there are cracks in the dishwasher and if it has been heavily damaged. Soap and water could get leaked into the mechanical parts and considering that the dishwasher runs on electricity, handling the repair work by yourself wouldn’t be a safe bet. Some damages are irreversible and the dishwasher then needs complete replacement. To find the perfect dishwasher and to get great advice, you can visit one of our premium retail outlets near you or call us at 8001279999 for assistance.