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Archive for the ‘dishwasher’ Category

How Long Should Your Dishwasher Last?

October 14th, 2021

A typical dishwasher should last about 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to spend money on repairs during that time. In fact, Consumer Reports surveyed its members and found that 30% of all newly purchased dishwashers are likely to have issues within five years of installation. Does that mean you should replace your dishwasher when it starts requiring repairs? The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no.

The 50% Rule

As with other appliances, the 50% Rule applies: if your dishwasher is over 50% of its expected lifespan of 10 years, and it costs more than 50% of its replacement cost to repair it, it may be time to think about replacement. Obviously, that calculation also changes if you are remodeling and want something that’s a better fit either in style or dimension, or if you want something more efficient than what you’ve been using.

New Dishwasher Costs
There are two factors to consider here: the cost of the appliance itself and the cost of installation. Dishwasher prices vary wildly, depending on the quality and design features you desire. You can get a dishwasher for under $500, but it will be noisy and have a plastic tub. Those between $500 and $1000 will be quiet, have a stainless steel tub, and more versatile racks. Over $1000, dishwashers will be virtually silent, with design features and wifi. So that’s the first decision you need to make. Then, there’s the installation cost. In the Milwaukee area, those vary from around $150 to $300 (again type of dishwasher is a factor here). So if you have a high quality dishwasher that will cost almost $1000 to replace, then a $300 repair becomes a much more attractive option. Likewise, if you have a dishwasher that was inexpensive to begin with, you may want to replace it.

Repair Costs
Obviously, the cost to repair your dishwasher will depend on what is wrong with it. If it’s a simple thing like door seals, it could be as little as $50. If it’s major, it could run into hundreds of dollars. Many dishwasher repairs arise from neglected maintenance, so it’s a good thing to have a maintenance contract with a reputable appliance place, like Dave’s Appliance. That way, your dishwasher will get regular servicing, minimizing the need for high-cost repairs.

There are simple things you can do to prevent dishwasher repairs being necessary. For one thing, make sure to remove debris from plates and bowls before loading them into your dishwasher. Small chicken bones, for example, can clog your dishwasher’s drain hose or damage its other components. Use your dishwasher appropriately—don’t run it when it’s half full, and don’t overfill it either. Beware of forcing dishes into positions on the racks that strain the construction. And always use proper automatic dishwashing detergent, not dish soap made for hand washing.

If treated right, your dishwasher could last beyond 10 years, but that’s the general life-span of a dishwasher. If you have any questions about whether your dishwasher should be replaced or repaired, reach out to the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We’ll give you a straight answer.

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Is Your Appliance Worth Repairing?

May 13th, 2021

Appliances help us keep our lives on track. Where would we be without our refrigerator/freezer, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, and garbage disposal? When any one of these stops functioning, it can quickly turn from an inconvenience into a disaster. Your immediate impulse might be to replace the appliance that is broken. But is that always the right option? Here is a quick guide to help you decide whether your appliance is worth repairing.

How Much Would It Cost?

Generally, the larger the appliance the costlier it is. So if your stove breaks, you’re looking at a major investment to buy a new one. But if your microwave goes, you can purchase one for under $75. Consumer Reports advises that if the cost to repair your appliance is greater than half the cost of a new one, it makes sense to replace it. Obviously you won’t know how much the repair would cost without consulting an appliance repair service. At Dave’s Appliance, our experts can diagnose your appliance’s problem and give you an estimate for the repair. With all of that information, you can make an informed decision.

Which Appliance Is it?

Other than cost, you have to consider how much you value your current appliance. Your refrigerator/freezer may have external ice and water dispensers, pull-out shelving, and other features you really appreciate. Your washer and dryer may fit just perfectly into the space in your utility room. Maybe you love to cook and bake and your stove suits you perfectly. It might even be that your appliances coordinate with your decor. These are definitely legitimate reasons to hesitate about replacing them when they break. Again, a visit from one of the friendly members of Dave’s Appliance team will help you understand the extent of your problem.

How Old Is It and Is It Still Under Warranty?

Major appliances like refrigerators or chest freezers often last from 10 to 20 years. Other appliances like trash compactors have an average life span of about 6 years. Most appliances also come with warranties, and often those can be extended if you choose to do so. When an appliance breaks down, it would be a good idea to find out if its warranty is still in force. If it’s not, check to see what the average life span is for your brand of that particular appliance.

What’s The Environmental Impact?

Often, the environmental impact of repairing or replacing isn’t considered at all. But perhaps you should think about it. If your appliance is old and inefficient, it may be using a lot of electricity. That’s bad for the environment and bad for your utility bills. If your appliance was made after 1992, it should have an Energy Star Rating to let you know how efficient it is. You can compare it to current appliances’ efficiency. On the other hand, your old appliance can’t just be thrown out. Major household appliances are banned from landfills in Wisconsin and the state urges that they be reused or recycled. In many places in Wisconsin, appliances are not picked up at the curb with other recyclables, nor are they accepted at many general recycling drop-off sites. It may be the more environmentally-responsible choice to repair rather than replace.

Whatever your appliance concern, the experts at Dave’s Appliance will be able to tell you what the problem is and help you decide whether or not it’s worth repairing. Give us a call.

Posted in appliance repair, clothes dryer, dishwasher, disposal, freezer, general, microwave, refrigerator, seasonal, stove, washing machine, wine cooler | Comments Off on Is Your Appliance Worth Repairing?

How To Deal With the Most Common Dishwasher Problems

December 1st, 2020

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.

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Will Dishwashers Kill COVID-19? Best Way to Wash Dishes During Crisis

April 28th, 2020

The particular strain of the Coronavirus known as COVID19 has created an unprecedented situation around the world. Here in the United States, the number of people with confirmed coronavirus cases tops 217,000 (as of Friday, April 3rd), more than China, Italy, or Spain. Thirty-eight states, Washington, D.C., and the territory of Puerto Rico have declared lockdowns, where residents are instructed to stay at home, nonessential businesses are closed, and only essential workers are out and about. Even states without lockdown orders have metro areas on lockdown, and a few states have ordered nonessential businesses to close without adding that residents need to stay at home. All told, about 90% of America’s population (297 million) are at home. And they’re worried.

The Science of Soap

In order to best protect yourself and your household, it is important that you understand what COVID19 is, how it is transmitted, and how you can fight it in your home. COVID19 is a virus made up of three different elements, and one of them is a layer of lipids (or fat). That makes it vulnerable because soap and detergents break down fats. Without this lipid layer to hold the virus together, it breaks apart. So hot water and detergent make the coronavirus inactive.

Dishwashers Deliver

Your ordinary household dishwasher is the best method of delivering detergent designed to cut through lipids (grease) combined with water at high temperatures. Most standard dishwashers operate at 150º – 160º F and often have a sanitation final rinse cycle of 180ºF. Even the older models wash at temperatures of at least 120ºF. So your dishes, cutlery, pots and pans will be blasted with the best combination around to ensure any COVID19 virus disappears down the drain. Here are some pointers to get the best out of your dishwasher during this pandemic:

*Check your water temperature settings. In order for your dishwasher to use water as hot as it is designed to use, the temperature setting on your boiler must be set accordingly. Many people have boilers set several levels below the highest. Find out what your boiler is set for and adjust it if needed. You want really hot water in your dishwasher right now.

*Remember that COVID19 can live on surfaces up to 72 hours. That means that stainless steel, glass, ceramics, and plastics could all harbor coronavirus for days. Putting all your dishes through the dishwasher wouldn’t be a bad idea. And put your used items through the dishwasher immediately after the meal. It’s not necessary to wait for the dishwasher to be completely full.

*Choose a grease-specific detergent. All detergents have lipid attacking qualities, so the brand of dishwashing detergent is not critical. However, some detergents advertise as particularly tough on grease. Using one of these may give you even more assurance that your dishwasher is dealing with COVID19.

If you do need to hand wash any of your dishes, use gloves and the hottest water you can stand along with a dishwashing liquid designed to cut through grease. It’s better to use the dishwasher, even for very small loads. At Dave’s Appliance, we want to support your family staying safe during this crisis. Using your dishwasher is a great way to do just that.

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Dishwasher Air Gap Leaking? Here’s How To Fix It

January 20th, 2020

Your dishwasher does more than clean your dishes; it is an important part of maintaining your family’s health. One way it does that is by draining away wastewater through the air gap. When your air gap leaks, it indicates a problem. The last thing you want is for wastewater, with the bacteria it contains, to flow back into your dishwasher. You need to eliminate that air gap leak. In this post we’ll look at several ways of dealing with a dishwasher air gap leak.

New Garbage Disposal

If you have just had a garbage disposal installed, and suddenly your dishwasher is backing up all over the place, the likely culprit is the small insert where the hose connects to your garbage disposal. This knock-out insert should be removed at installation, but sometimes it isn’t. Obviously with nowhere to go, the wastewater goes everywhere. Simply disconnect the hose, hold a screwdriver against the insert and tap the end of the screwdriver with a hammer until the insert is pushed into the disposal tank. Once this blockage is removed, your dishwasher air gap should work perfectly.


The most likely cause of a dishwasher air gap leaking is a clog. Most of the time, you can make this dishwasher repair yourself. First remove the metal casing from the air gap and then take off the plastic top. Depending on your make of dishwasher, this plastic top may unscrew or it may lift off after pinching the sides. Once you have access to the air gap itself, check if you can see any material clogging any part of the air gap. If so, simply remove it with tweezers.

Blowing Clog Away

If no obvious clog is visible, try blowing the clog away. Simply place a roll of paper towels over the air gap and blow hard through your end of the tube. You’ll be able to tell how significant the clog is from the air resistance. Hopefully, a couple of powerful blasts will dislodge any clog. Finally, pour hot water down the air gap to deal with any greasy particles. If you can’t get any air movement or a clog is still present, you may need to snake it out.

Snaking Clog Out

Just like snaking other plumbing features, you can eliminate a clog in your air gap by forcing a tool through the pipe. Traditional snakes are too big, though, so you’ll need to use something else. A long bottle brush works well, or a length of cable. Push the tool through the larger hole at the bottom of the air gap outlet and work it back and forth as you progress. Be careful not to exert too much force as you could puncture the tube, creating an entirely different problem. Watch the drain in the sink or garbage disposal, and when you see the end of the tool emerge there, you know you’ve dislodged the clog.

Vacuuming Clog

Another strategy when your dishwasher is clogged is to vacuum the clog away. Take your wet/dry shop vac and put the hose end on the air gap outlet. Be sure the switch is turned to suction. Fill the sink or disposal area with hot water, then turn on the shop vac. The force of the suction should dislodge the clog. Allow about a gallon of water to run through after the clog is cleared, about 30 – 40 seconds.

Keeping your air gap in good working order is important for your dishwasher’s proper function, and more importantly, for your family’s health. If you have concerns about your dishwasher air gap leaking that you’re not comfortable dealing with, call the expert’s at Dave’s Appliance.

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3 Serious Dishwasher Repair Signs to Look Out For

June 26th, 2019

dishwasher utensil rackDishwashers – they’re a modern marvel. They prevent the dishes from piling up and take away the burden of washing dirty pots and pans by hand. When it’s operating efficiently, the dishwasher can be your best friend. But when something goes wrong, it can mess up your daily routine. Keeping your eye on the signs can help prevent the need for dishwasher repair in the future.

Three Major Signs You Need Dishwasher Repair:


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Mechanical Part Repair and Replacement for Your Dishwasher

November 16th, 2018

hot water connection on a dishwasherIf your dishwasher is still under warranty or is less than 10 years old, it’s better to have it repaired rather than replaced. We also recommend extending the life of your dishwasher through professional maintenance and repair services. Even if your broken dishwasher is an older model, we can still repair it with quality parts and servicing so that it operates like new again. You’ll be pleased to know that these repairs usually cost much less than starting over again with a new dishwasher.

Cost-Effective Part Repair and Replacement

Angie’s List is one of the most trusted consumer review websites in the home improvement and trade service industries. The experts at the site recommend getting a professional to examine your disabled dishwasher to determine if your appliance’s problem is a simple fix that requires inexpensive parts or one that is more complicated. We frequently see older dishwashers that have worn seals and gaskets that we can fix quickly and inexpensively. We also specialize in dishwasher repair services and replacement of parts such as switches, drain pumps, valves, door latches and rack wheels. Today’s new dishwashers range in price from about $250 to up to $2,000.  Budget dishwashers are serviceable, but they often come with cheaper, less durable parts and shorter warranties. They are also sure to have fewer bells and whistles than mid-range and high-end dishwashers. By repairing your old dishwasher (add repair cost link), you give yourself time to save for the appliance that you really want without compromising convenience or performance now. (more…)

Posted in Angie's List, dishwasher | 1 Comment »

How Dishwasher Repair Services Save Time, Money, and Embarrassment

November 5th, 2018

Real men like to load and unload the dishwasherAs the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, you’ll start to think of all the great recipes that you need to dust off for that special meal with family and friends. In addition to doing a lot of cooking, you plan to spend a great deal of time socializing with your dinner guests. You need a dishwasher that works. Strange noises coming from your dishwasher can be embarrassing! Now a dishwasher that won’t start, or a dishwasher that has corroded racks are just some signs that your handy kitchen appliance needs some care as soon as possible. If you’ve been relying on auxiliary dishwashers, also known as your kids, then it’s probably time that you invested in a more efficient, reliable, and convenient dishwashing solution. You can obtain this by either replacing or repairing your current dishwasher. Since paying for a brand-new dishwasher right before the holidays may not be in your budget, we’d like to share some dishwasher repair and maintenance tips that will have your machine running optimally for less money. (more…)

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Signs Your Dishwasher May Need Repairs

March 27th, 2018

dishwasher rackYou depend on your dishwasher on a daily basis. Spotting early warning signs that this appliance may need maintenance from a qualified Milwaukee dishwasher repair professional can help you avoid breakdowns that could end up costing you time and effort in cleaning your dishes. Here are some of the most common warning signs that your dishwasher may require immediate repair: (more…)

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Why Hire a Repairman For Your Home Appliance?

November 27th, 2017

toy in dishwasher sudsIf your dishwasher or another appliance in your home has recently broken, you are likely wondering what you should do so that you can solve the problem as quickly as possible. A broken dishwasher can cost you time and money if you don’t take steps to get it back up and running, but you might not know where to turn for answers. The good news is that you can come to us when you need dishwasher repair services, and we promise that we won’t let you down. You will know that you are in good hands as soon as a member of our team arrives at your door, and you will uncover the top benefits of hiring us. (more…)

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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