10 Common Dishwasher Problems & Solutions -How to Fix

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A dishwasher is surely not one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. But in these tough times of COVID-19 has it become one? Well, in my house it clearly has.

Spending more time at home means pampering yourself to delicious meals. Eating yummy food surely releases the ‘feel-good hormones. Complex cooking involves complex vessels, doesn’t it? From large-sized Tawas to kadhais to fancy cutlery, everything is put to use.

At this point in time, a dishwasher felt like the best invention by mankind. But the more you use it, the more you encounter the ‘strings’ attached to it. I witnessed a whole lot of common dishwasher problems, which I am going to discuss with you today. Because it’s easy to buy one but even easier to maintain it, if you know the drill. And what am I here for?

Let’s look into the dishwasher problems and solutions.

Most Common Dishwasher Problems:

Problem No 1: Dishwasher is noisy

Hearing out some controlled noise is alright. If you hear a hiss of water rushing through the pipe or some kind of motor noise, you don’t have to panic. But if you notice an unusual and disturbing sound then there’s a problem. This can happen if the drain pump or wash motor pump is broken. It can also happen if the spray arm does not turn properly.
Solution? Get the drain and motor pump rectified. Keep a constant check on the spray motor. Replace it when required.
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Problem No 2: Dishes and glass come out cloudy

Ever experienced your dishes and glasses coming out spotty and cloudy? Let me tell you why this happens. If you have a hard water supply, there are high chances of deposits building up in the dishwasher. These deposits can clutch to your glasses and dishes resulting in them getting cloudy and spotty.
Solution? Use a detergent that is specially designed for hard water. Using a water softening system can also help.
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Problem No 3: Dishwasher is always smelling

This is one of the most common dish washer problems. Trapped food, grease, or food debris can cause your dishwasher to smell awful. In any of these situations, there will be a high chance of bacteria buildup.
Solution? Add some dishwasher detergent and run an empty wash cycle. This will clean and sanitize the appliance. You can also take some white vinegar and run a hot cycle. You can also pull out the filter and clean in.
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Problem No 4: Dishwasher is leaking

If you notice some leakage problem in your dishwasher, it may be because of two reasons. One, the door has a crack or damage. Number two, the water level indicator is faulty. Due to this, the dishwasher can get overfilled and result in water leakage.
Solution? Get your internal hose checked, repair the damages and clean the gasket.

Problem No 5: Spray arm not functioning

Do you see an unusual cleaning pattern? This can happen if the spray arms are not moving properly. The biggest culprit for this to happen is any buildup of hard water or debris. So, make sure you clear up all of it.
Solution? You can use any pointed object like a pin oratooth pick to get into the spray holes. The white vinegar wash will work here as well.

Problem No 6: The wash cycle gets stopped midway

This is a rare problem with the dishwasher. If your dishwasher stops functioning midway and does not complete the cycle then there’s some malfunctioning for sure. Some dishwashers are equipped with an ‘aqua stop feature’. This is designed only to prevent leakage issues. If this mode gets activated, then your wash cycle will stop midway. Another reason could be ‘float switch’ mode activation, which is ideal to prevent overflow.
Solution? Monitor the Aquastop and the Float switch. If you feel it is beyond your understanding, call the expert.

Problem No 7: Dishwasher does not dry the dishes

Is your dishwasher not drying up the dishes it could be because of the placement of the dishes not being right. There may be less space between the dishes for the airflow to pass. Another reason could be a fault in the vent, which releases hot air. Lastly, it could be because of an issue in the heating element. This element is solely responsible for warming up the interiors. If it gets damaged, the dishes won’t dry up.

Solution? Problem no 1: Rearrange your dishes. Problem no 2: Get the vents replaced. Problem no 3: Get the heating element replaced or repaired immediately.

Problem No 8: Dishwasher keeps getting clogged

There are various reasons for your dishwasher to get clogged. It can happen due to a clogged drain hose, clogged filter basket, broken sewer line or loading up dishes with excessive food remains. How can you figure this? You may hear an unusual gurgling sound, your dishes won’t get clean, you see water back up after the cycle is completed or you see a slow draining in the appliance.
Solution? Clean up the drain hose and filter basket. Get the sewer line fixed up. Do not load dishes with uncurbed food residues. Rinse them with water before you put them in.

Problem No 9: Dishwasher overheats

You may not be aware of this, but a dishwasher has two thermostats. The one with the higher limit prevents the dishwasher from getting overheated. In case this malfunctions, then there are high chances of the dishwasher heating up a lot. I also mentioned a heating element in the dishwasher. If any small item drops on it then the appliance will overheat. How do you figure this out? You may sense a burning smell.
Solution? You cannot fix this on your own. Once you have this issue, call the dishwasher expert immediately. Do not waste time.

Problem No 10: Detergent residue on the dishes

Most of us must have faced this dishwasher problem at some point. Once you put in the detergent, you expect it to get dissolved properly and your dishes to come out clean and fresh as ever. Am I right? Ever faced the issue of your dishes coming out with detergent residues on it? This can be really annoying. Why does this happen? If the water does not get heated up enough then it can leave some undissolved residue on the dishes.
Solution? Ensure your water gets heated up as much as it should. This can happen only if the heater functions properly.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Common Dishwasher Problems & Solutions

The first step to diagnosing any major problem is to check the wiring, motor, float switch, drainage pipe and the circuit breaker.

Yes, dishwashers do have a reset button.

A dishwasher can easily last you for about 10-15 years.

If you find your dishwasher blinking, then there is a fault in the heating element.  Get that checked.

You can certainly run your dishwasher every day.


Time to say Goodbye

It’s time for us to say goodbye to each other. Before you leave us, I want to know if you are now well aware about all the common dishwasher problems. Is there anything more I can help you with?


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