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Dishwasher Repair Tips

Dishwasher Repair Tips

Cloudy or spotted dishes

Sometimes dishes come out of their wash cycle with water spots, or a white residue.
  • Water spots usually occur when water is staying on your dishes too long.
    • If the heating element is doing its job, a rinse aid added to your cycle should do the trick.

  • If you are getting a consistent white residue on your dishes, it is most likely hard water.
    • The simplest way to try and fix this is to get a detergent that aids in softening hard water.
    • If that does not work, and investment in a water softener might be necessary.

Dishes not clean at the end of a cycle

There are a few things you can check to resolve this issue.
  • Make sure that you are not overloading your dishwasher.

  • Make sure that your are at the very least scraping food off of plates before they are loaded into the dishwasher.

  • Check to make sure that utensils or dishes are not restricting the movement of any of the spray arms.

  • Check for blockages in the strain screen or door gasket.

  • Check the spray arms to see if they spin freely.  If they don't, remove and clean them using a pipe-cleaner or toothbrush.

  • If after checking this list of potential fixes your dishwasher is still not cleaning your dishes correctly, you will be able to better inform an appliance repair professional, putting their efforts in the right direction to diagnose the problem and repair it.

Dishwasher starts and then stops before cycle ends

When a dishwasher starts and then randomly stops mid-cycle, there are several things you can troubleshoot to try and diagnose the problem.
  • Start by making sure that that the breaker to the dishwasher is not blown or tripped.

  • Depending on your actual model, if one of these parts if faulty, or not working correctly, it could possibly be why your dishwasher turns off.
    • Check to make sure that door latch is working properly.
    • Make sure that the heating element in the dishwasher's tub is heating up.
    • Check to see if the vent fan is working.

Dishwasher won't start

There are few quick diagnostic checks to start with first.
  • Make sure that there is not a blown fuse or a tripped breaker.

  • Check to make sure that the dishwasher door is closed properly.  If it isn't latched correctly, it will impede the dishwasher from starting.

  • Make sure that the outlet the dishwasher is plugged into is not faulty by plugging in a lamp to see if it works.

  • Unplug the dishwasher and plug it back in again.

  • If these all check out, then it is most likely the fan motor.  Call an appliance repair professional and inform them of your diagnosis, so they can efficiently start where you left off and get your dishwasher up and running quickly.

Dishwasher is not filling up with water

  • Make sure that the water supply to the dishwasher is turned on.  The stop valve is usually located under the sink.

  • Check the float, located in the dishwasher's tub base.
    • Move it up and down to make sure that it float mechanism is working.
    • Remove the float and clean it thoroughly.
    • Re-install the float and make sure that it moves up and down freely.

  • Check that water inlet valve is working correctly.
    • Locate the water inlet valve, usually behind the bottom front panel.
    • Disassemble the valve, so you can see the screen.
    • Clean any visible debris and reassemble the inlet valve.

  • If this doesn't fix the problem, you will need to call an appliance repair professional to diagnose one of several parts that are potentially faulty.

Water is not draining from dishwasher at the end of a cycle

This is usually caused when a new dishwasher is installed and the knockout plug has not been removed from the disposal.
  • Remove the knockout plug from the disposal.

  • Hook up the dishwasher drain hose securely to the garbage disposal.

Dishwasher is leaking

Here are a few troubleshooting items to check to diagnose the reason for a leaking dishwasher.
  • Check to make sure that your door and door gasket do not have any cracks or damage.

  • Look for debris that might be impeding the door from sealing correctly.

  • Clean the door gasket thoroughly, so you can make sure you see any cracks.  If so, replace the gasket.

  • Check the float switch to make sure that it is working properly.  If the float switch is jammed, or has debris impeding it.  The float will not be able to control the water level in the dishwasher, causing the dishwasher to overflow and leak.

  • If you discover that all of these items are working, call an appliance repair professional to discuss your troubleshooting, so they can have a better idea where to start.

Dishwasher not drying dishes

In order to better diagnose the problem, here are a few items to help diagnose the problem.
  • Check your rinse aid dispenser.  If it is empty or not working correctly, your dishes will have a harder time drying.

  • Check to see if your dishwasher is heating up dishes at the end of a rinse cycle.

  • If the heating element is working, then it probably is the high-limit thermostat (this protects the dishwasher from getting too hot).  If you are really ambitious, you can check the thermostat, located on the floor of the dishwasher with a multi-meter.

  • If the high-limit thermostat is working correctly, call an appliance repair professional and relay the steps your have taken to diagnose the problem, so they know where to start diagnosing the problem.

Dishwasher smells bad

When a dishwasher omits bad smells, there are a few places to start diagnosing the problem.
  • Check for food that is left in the dishwasher that did not drain out at the end of a cycle.

  • Carefully check throughout the dishwasher as well as remove the dishwasher's screen and clean it out.

  • If you are experiencing chemical or burning odors, it could be a plastic dish that has fallen and melted at the bottom of the dishwasher.  Remove any residue from the heating element.

  • If these are not the problems, it could be electrical, so call an appliance repair professional to troubleshoot the more technical issues.

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