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Dishwasher Repair & Maintenance

Dishwashers are such a welcome part of your kitchen. Not only do they virtually eliminate the tiresome task of washing dishes, cutlery, pots and pans by hand, they also ensure that germs are eliminated as well. So it’s a real problem when your dishwasher isn’t working right. In this post, we’ll look at some common dishwasher problems and what you can do about them.

Maintenance – Clean the Filter

The filter sits at the base of the inside of the dishwasher and traps large food particles that might otherwise get into the mechanisms and cause significant issues. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning it once a month, and it’s really worth it to follow that schedule. A dirty filter can cause noxious odors, and it’s hard to believe your dishes are actually clean when they come out of a stinky unit. Cleaning the filter isn’t hard; it’s designed to be clipped in and out. Simply take it out and give it a good clean with hot, soapy water. If it’s been damaged, it’s probably replaceable.

Maintenance – Spray Arms

Spray arms are the longish, flattish plastic arms that spray and rinse the dishes and other items you put in the dishwasher as they spin about. If your dishes are coming out with food particles still in place, it probably means that the spray arms are clogged. These, too, are designed to be removed easily, cleaned, and reinstalled. And remember to clean the mounting too. This maintenance job doesn’t need to be done monthly; 3 or 4 times a year should do the trick.

Repair – Bottom Basket Wheels

If getting the bottom basket out is difficult or it is unstable, it may mean that you should replace the wheels. They are designed to snap on and off, and most models have parts readily available at any reputable appliance store. Certainly, Dave’s Appliance would be able to help you source them.

Repair – Hoses

The fill hose brings water into your dishwasher, and the drain hose removes the wastewater. In time, these can corrode, degrade, or get clogged, reducing the performance of your dishwasher. It’s usually possible to get replacements and not too hard to install them yourself.

Repair – Door Seals

A leaking dishwasher may indicate an issue with the door seals. Depending on which seals are not working, it may be an easy fix. Check the upper door seal, the one that goes from one side around the top and down the other side of the door. If it is cracked or damaged, you can replace it. Usually a new seal costs $30 or so, and it’s a repair you can do yourself. If it’s the lower seals, though, that’s another matter. It involves disassembling the entire door, and is best left to the professionals at Dave’s Appliance.

Repair – Door Hinges

Another reason the dishwasher may be leaking may be faulty door hinges. If the door drops heavily or seems misaligned, that’s a sign that something’s wrong with the hinge. This is another repair where it’s probably best to call the experts at Dave’s Appliance. If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll need to remove the side panels. It’s a good idea to watch a video on replacing the mechanism and remember to find one that deals with your specific make and model. Additionally, if you replace one side, you should do the other too.

Repair – Detergent Dispenser

Sometimes the detergent dispenser gets damaged and needs to be repaired. While this is something you can do on your own, it is a more complicated repair, so you might want to ring the experts at Dave’s Appliance. If you decide to do it yourself, you’d be well advised to view an online video, especially if it treats your specific model, and to have all the tools you need immediately on hand. The front panel of your dishwasher is going to have to be unmounted, electrical connections undone, and everything replaced.

Repairs that Require Professionals

If there’s still a lot of water in your dishwasher when it’s completed its cycle, there’s probably an issue with the drain pump. It probably needs to be disassembled and cleaned. If the water isn’t heating up, that’s a serious problem since the intense heat kills the bacteria on your dishes and cutlery. It might be that the heating element has burned out. Here again, you should contact the experts at Dave’s Appliance. If the dishwasher isn’t filling, it’s another case where experts will need to remove wires, check everything with a multimeter, and replace the faulty parts.

Remember, a dishwasher that’s lasted 10 years may just be done. It might be time to get a new one.

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting