How To Deal With the Most Common Dishwasher Problems
There are lots of helpful videos out on the internet that can help with specific issues for specific models of appliances. Generally speaking, you should be able to get 10 years of use or so out of a good dishwasher before it’s time to replace it. That said, here are some of the most common easy-to-fix issues.
My Dishwasher Stinks!
It’s probably 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 gum up the works. It’s designed to be easily clipped in and out, and who among us (ahem) actually read the manual and kept to the suggestion of washing the filter out on a weekly basis?
If this little item of maintenance has somehow slipped your mind, scrubbing it up and replacing it will probably remove the odor. If it’s been damaged, it’s probably replaceable.
Not Cleaning So Well
Might be time to unclog the spray arms! These are the longish, flattish plastic arms that spray and rinse the dishes and other items you put in the dishwasher as they spin about. They are designed to be unclipped, cleaned, and reinstalled. Don’t forget to clean the mounting while you’re at it.
Occasionally cleaning the spray arms can significantly improve the performance of your dishwasher.
Wobbly Rolling Basket at the Bottom
Replace the wheels. They are designed to snap on and off, and it’s certainly worth avoiding the hair-pulling frustration of trying to coax the thing in and out if it’s bothering you.
Detergent Dispenser Broken
Another item that’s generally easily replaced, if your unit isn’t too old, is the detergent dispenser. This is going to be a more involved fix, because the front panel of your dishwasher is going to have to be unmounted, electrical connections undone, and everything replaced. This is one of those situations where you may want to view an online video, especially if it treats your specific model, and to have all the tools you need immediately on hand. Naturally, if you have qualms, it may be best to call the experts at Dave’s.
Replace the 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 hard to install them yourself.
Dang Thing Leaks
Likely this is due either to faulty door hinges or door seals. Or it may have to do with the hoses, which we mentioned above.
If the door seems to drop heavily or seems misaligned, it could well be a hinge. You’ll need to remove the side panels to get a good look, and it’s a good idea to watch a video on replacing the mechanism. Also, it’s probably a good idea to replace both at the same time.
If you’re not that handy, it may be time to call in the skilled repairs folks at Dave’s Appliance.
Check the upper door seal, which goes from one side, around the top, and down the other side of the door. Usually a new seal costs $30 or so, and it’s not a hard job to replace it. The lower seals is another matter, since it involves disassembling the entire door, and is best left to the professionals.
Again, that would be one you’d want to call Dave’s Appliance about.
The Dishwasher Isn’t Draining Well
It’s probably the drain pump, located at the bottom of the appliance, that pushes wastewater out of the dishwasher and into the adjacent sink drain. Bits of food, chips of dishes, slivers of glass, and other material can get caught in the pump and prevent it from working efficiently. It’s not a hard job to disassemble and clean the pump, but it does involve tilting the dishwasher on its back and removing the baseplate.
The biggest challenge here may be in reversing the process of disassembly while reassembling the dishwasher. Documenting the process with cell phone pictures might help. Or, if it seems not in your wheelhouse, the experts at Dave’s will be happy to help.
More Advanced Problems
Water’s Not Heating Up
Could be the heating element has burned out. You’re going to need a multimeter for this one.
Lay the unit on its back. Remove the baseplate and anything else that might be blocking the element. Remove the wires to isolate it. Check it with your multimeter by touching to the terminals.
If a fault is indicated, replacing the heating element ought to do the trick.
Dang Thing’s Not Filling Up
Pretty much the same as above for the heating element, but this time you’re checking the water valve, located behind the back plate, near to the fill hose. Remove the wires, check with a multimeter, and replace if faulty.
Bleeping Thing Won’t Start
Disqualify the obvious first. Check to make sure it’s properly plugged in and that the circuit breaker isn’t tripped.
If you know your way around a multimeter, you may be able to track down the problem on your own and fix it. There are some useful videos available online that bring you through the troubleshooting process in a reasonable sequence. Otherwise, it’s time to call Dave’s Appliance.
And remember, a dishwasher that’s served you for 10 years has lasted pretty well. It may just be time to get a new one. The experts at Dave’s will advise you well.