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Tips To Avoid a Broken Dishwasher This Summer

3 Common Issues with Dishwashers

Worried about spending the whole cookout watching longingly from the kitchen window? If the dishwasher breaks down right before a party, the task of the day may be cleaning every dish in the house instead of showing off some sweet barbecuing skills. This article runs through some of the most common issues one can encounter with their dishwasher and when to call a professional for help.

The Dishes Are Still Dirty After a Full Cycle

Noticing that the dishes aren't entirely clean? Here are some tips:

  • Consider what a regular load looks like. Are the dishes rinsed before loading into the dishwasher? Do utensils often fall to the bottom, possibly preventing the spray arms from turning? 
  • Try running a full cycle without any dishes in it. After the cycle is complete and the unit cools, check for debris left in the gasket around the door or on the sprayer arms. Is there a removable filter on the unit? It may need to be cleaned.
  • Are the dishes coming out clean but still wet or with spots? A rinse aid may be the solution.


It's Starting To Leak

Found a puddle of water under the dishwasher during or after a cycle? Check the door and door gasket. There may be food stuck inside, preventing a good seal during the wash cycle. Also, check for cracks in the gasket - it may be a sign that it's time to replace it. 

Leaks can also be caused by dishwasher overfilling. One of the most common causes for this is the float switch malfunctioning, preventing it from "telling" the dishwasher when there's enough water in the unit. Grease and debris can cause the switch to become stuck; a quick cleaning may be the ticket to solving this issue.

Dishwasher Won't Start

Is the dishwasher refusing to start? Check the breaker panel to see if any breakers are flipped. If a homeowner recently installed the dishwasher, it may not have been plugged in or wired properly. 

Another possible issue could be the door latch. The door may not have been firmly closed, or the latch may be malfunctioning.

Consider Scheduling Routine Maintenanceplumber

Dishwashers have an expected lifespan of 10 years and sometimes even longer, and scheduling routine maintenance can extend the life of a dishwasher as well as prevent major issues, saving those hard-earned dollars for the next summer cookout!

Here are some other ways to ensure the unit is operating at peak performance. After emptying the dishwasher, occasionally take a peek inside to check for these issues:

  • The plastic coating on the rack tines has chipped off, or the tines are broken. The exposed metal will rust and pose a food safety hazard. One can remove rust with steel wool or another approved rust remover that is safe for dishwashers. Consult the owner's manual for more tips.
  • Lime has started to build up inside the dishwasher. Use a food acid, vinegar, or other approved lime remover to help resolve this issue.
  • Food debris has begun to build up on the spray arms or door gasket. Remove the racks and any other removable components, and clean the entire inside with soap and water.

About Magic Plumbing

Magic Plumbing has been providing kitchen plumbing solutions for over 30 years. Its team of highly qualified, caring, and dedicated individuals strives to find a solution quickly and effectively. Thanks to their 24/7 hotline, they are available to help at any time or day. Call today (or tonight) to schedule a kitchen plumbing inspection!