Troubleshooting Problematic Dishwashers

Most dishwasher problems can be eliminated by proper and regular maintenance with no need to engage in expensive repairs. But when simple maintenance is neglected, a number of common yet inconvenient situations can arise that demand immediate attention. Troubleshooting dishwashers is easier than you might think. Here is a look at some common problems with dishwashers and how to fix them.

The Dishwasher Does Not Clean Well

If your dishwasher does not clean properly, it may just need some cleaning itself. For instance, check the appliance’s strain screens, door gasket or sprayer arms for accumulated grease, food particles or other debris. It is recommended to run a wash cycle without any dishes in the dishwasher to identify the source of the problem.

In locations where there is hard water, buildup can result which needs to be cleaned regularly. At the same time, low pressure from spray arms may also obstruct proper cleaning of the dishes.

Troubleshooting Dishwashers that are Noisy

Troubleshooting dishwashersAn exceptionally noisy dishwasher may be the result of a faulty pump, or its bearing ring or wash arm seal may require replacement. Another possibility for too much noise could be the spray arm not turning properly. This can cause the arm to hit the dishes or rack and make a racket.

To correct this, inspect the arm to make sure that it moves freely without any obstruction. If not, it may be time to replace the arm.

Cloudy Glasses and Spotty Dishes

When glasses come out cloudy, it can be a typical indication of hard water buildup. This problem can be fixed by switching to a special hard water detergent. A more extensive solution may involve a whole house water softening system to make all of your water-based home appliances last longer.

Likewise, spotty dishes can be rectified by using a rinse aid in the wash. The rinse aid can prevent the water from adhering to the dishes.

Drainage Problems

Troubleshooting dishwashersWhile all problems cause inconvenience, a dishwasher which does not drain well is surely a dreaded issue. Not only does this problem result in dirty dishes, but it also holds the potential to cause water damage to the home. A dishwasher-flooded kitchen can quickly become a major nuisance and cause extensive property damage.

In this case, it becomes important to inspect the check valve assembly in the drain sump. In case this component does not move properly, it will need to be replaced.

This may also be a good time to think about upgrading the drain motor or pump while taking a look at blockages to the solenoid and drain flapper.

Leaking Dishwasher

Another potentially problematic situation is when the dishwasher starts to leak unexpectedly. The first course of action in this case is to check the drainage hose for damage such as cracks and holes.

Troubleshooting dishwashers leaking may lead to several common problems. Problems may be traced back to a defective pump or pump seal. It may become necessary to replace the pump or change the pump seal. Where the door gasket may have become brittle and does not seal properly, a replacement may help give the appliance a better attachment and stop the water from leaking.

Smelly Dishwasher

Troubleshooting dishwashersIn instances where the dishwasher emits an odor after a wash cycle, check the appliance for accumulated grease or trapped food. In most cases, this will be positioned in the strainer screen and in the sprayer arm jets which are located in the door along its bottom edge.

To rid the dishwasher of the bad smell, thoroughly cleanse the parts of food, grease and debris, and run a wash cycle without any dishes inside. It is also a good idea to add disinfectant when running the cycle.

To stop this problem from reoccurring, make sure to thoroughly rinse dishes of food particles and grease prior to placing them in the dishwasher.

Long Wash Cycle

When the dishwasher takes too long to complete the wash cycle, or does not complete the cycle, the problem may be due to technical components such as the thermostat, timer motor or the heating element. In these cases, troubleshooting dishwashers should be performed by a licensed professional.

After identifying these common dishwasher problems, it becomes clear that many of them can be corrected by either replacing parts or even just cleaning the appliance properly.

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