Dishwasher troubleshooting: how to fix your dishwasher

Dishwasher Troubleshooting: What’s Wrong with Your Dishwasher?

Dishwashers have great potential to improve our lives: if they work properly. They can make the daily task of cleaning our tableware more convenient and efficient. Even so, they can cause headaches when they stop working. Just like when your child runs a fever, often you can tell something is wrong by the symptoms, even if you aren’t a doctor with a cure.  If something is wrong with your dishwasher: it is a recipe for a headache.  If you are unable to troubleshoot the issue, your dishwasher may simply be at the end of its lifespan–in which case you should contact Fletcher’s Plumbing and Contracting Inc. to replace it.


Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain

If an excessive amount of water (typically more than a cup or so) sits in the bottom of your dishwasher after a wash cycle, it is typically a draining issue and you’ll want to find the cause. You may have food clogging the sump area or the drain hose. If this is the case: you should be able to check for clogs and remove them yourself.  Another reason your dishwasher is not draining may be attributable to a filter clog–after repeated washes, food particles and debris can cling to the filter, making it difficult for your dishwasher to drain properly.  This can be repaired by clearing any food or trash from the filter area of the dishwasher.

So you’ve cleared away all obstructions within the dishwasher, the next step is to check the drain hose and valve bracket.  Check the drain hose for clogs, sometimes it may need to be blown out.  The valve bracket may also need to be examined to ensure that it is working properly.


It Keeps Leaking

A leaky dishwasher is a nightmare for all property owners.  Not only can significant damage be inflicted upon your property, but it is can also interfere with your ability to use the dishwasher at all. A variety of problems can cause water to leak from your dishwasher. The first step to stopping the leakage is determining the source.  

If the water is coming from under the dishwasher: remove the panel and see where the leak is coming from. Check the pump, motor, housing, seal and gasket for any cracks or voids that could be causing the leak.  In some cases, the pump may not be working.  If the leak is coming from the door: the issue could be with the pump, hose, or door gasket: check these items for cracks or indications of damage. Also, ensure that the hoses are locked securely in place.  


Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

There are a variety of issues that could be preventing your dishwasher from starting properly. This issue could be as simple as the door not latching or as complex as the motor not functioning. The first step is to examine the door latch to ensure that is intact–the door not closing properly is enough to prevent your dishwasher from starting. The next step is to ensure that the electronic control of the dishwasher is functioning. It may be an issue with the electronic panel: at which point, you should contact a professional to repair the issue or have Fletcher’s Plumbing replace your dishwasher with a new one. Some other issues that may prevent your dishwasher from starting include: malfunctions with the selector switch, drive motor, or thermal fuse.

Typically, these issues are the most costly to repair–therefore, the best option may include simply replacing the dishwasher.


The Door Won’t Stay Shut

Check the door latch, strike plate, hinge, gasket, and spring when your dishwasher door won’t latch or stay latched. The first, and easiest fix is to make sure that no dishes are obstructing the doorway.  If there are no dishes sticking out and preventing the door from closing all the way, the problem may be with the door latch.  The latch may need to be realigned or replaced. If the latch is not the issue: the door hinge, seal, or door spring may need to be replaced.


You Dishwasher is Making Weird Noises

Hissing, humming, and sloshing noises are signs that your dishwasher is running normally. If you hear grinding, thumping, squealing, or loud buzzing, there’s a good chance something is wrong. To tackle these odd noises coming from your dishwasher, check the chopper blade area, the pump, and the pump motor. In all likelihood, one of these parts needs replacement.


Your Dishwasher is Not Cleaning Properly

Dirt and gunk in the spray arm, door gasket, and virtually anywhere inside the dishwasher can prevent your dishes getting completely clean.  Overfilling it with dishes can also hinder its ability to effectively clean all items inside.  So the first step towards cleaner dishes is to make sure that you are loading it appropriately.  Sometimes the dirty dishes issue can be resolved by removing the spray arm and cleaning it with a sponge or brush, or by inspecting the inlet valve.


Still stumped?

If you encounter any of these issues with your dishwasher that your own troubleshooting efforts can’t cure, sometimes, the most affordable option to simply replace the dishwasher.  Fletcher’s Plumbing and Contracting Inc. can install, replace or disconnect your dishwasher.  Give us a call today!