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Your Guide to Solving Common Dishwasher Problems

You love how your kitchen looks, but sometimes maintaining it gives you a headache. You have to wipe the counters every time you use them. You have to reorganize your refrigerator. And if you're like most homeowners, your dishwasher probably gives you a headache every once in a while as well.

Dishwashers can have all kinds of problems. Some of those problems require professional help, while others simply require minor tweaks. Below, we've given you an overview of common dishwasher problems that you can handle yourself. Remember that you don't have to perform these repairs if you don't feel comfortable-an expert would gladly come to your rescue, no matter the problem.

1.Your dishes come out wet.

This issue could happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Large dishes block smaller dishes. Put large dishes around the outside of the rack, and don't put them over or under smaller dishes. Make sure each dish has its own space.
  • You use too much or too little detergent. The chemicals in detergent contribute to the drying process. Make sure you use the correct amount to help your dishes dry properly.
  • You need to fill the rinse aid dispenser. This goes in along with your detergent and helps the dishes dry.
  • The dishwasher has clogged filters. A clogged filter keeps water from draining. Simply clean or replace the filter to solve this problem.
  • Something blocks the drain valve. This also keeps water from draining. If you can see the clog, remove it. Otherwise, you may have to call a professional.

If your dishwasher has problems with its fans, heating elements, or thermostat, it may not dry your dishes either. However, you should call a professional for these repairs.

2.Your dishwasher doesn't fill with water.

This common problem could also have a few causes. Check the following before calling a repairperson:

  • The hot water supply has clogged. If you can access the supply, clean it out. You should also clean out the inlet valve.
  • The hot water stop valve has clogged. Again, if you can access this part, clear it out. Check your owner's manual to see where to find it.
  • The fill lines have kinks in them. You'll just have to pull out your dishwasher and remove any kinks.

If you can't find clogs or if the door or float switches have broken, you probably can't solve this problem on your own. Call your local repair company.

3.Water and soap leaks out.

Soap often leaks when you use too much detergent. Cut your detergent usage in half, and see if the problem continues. If it does, you may have a more serious problem. Your dishwasher may need a new seal or even a new door. It may have corroded on the bottom a s well, leading to significant leaks. You'll need replacement parts or a whole new dishwasher in that case.

4.Your dishes come out dirty.

This issue also has a variety of causes. Consider the following:

  • You buy low quality detergent. Buy a stronger one.
  • Large dishes block smaller dishes. Again, rearrange them so the large ones are on the outside. Don't overlap dishes.
  • Your dishwasher has dirty filters, jets, or crevices. Carefully examine your dishwasher for debris buildup. Once you clear these areas, water should move freely through the appliance, washing your dishes thoroughly.

Your dishwasher needs as much attention as your countertops. Clean it with a vinegar or baking soda rinse at least once a week.

5.Your dishwasher has a foul odour.

This usually means that you have food stuck in crevices around the machine, including filters, jets, wheel tracks, shelves, etc. Clean these areas, then rinse the entire appliance using two cups of vinegar and the strongest available cycle.

6.The detergent cup won't open.

In most cases, you can simply clean the cup to make it open again, Detergent and other substances cake there, which makes the door stick. However, if the area looks clean and still won't open during cleaning, you may have to replace it. The latches and switches warp over time because their parts expand with the heat. Have a professional replace it if you don't think you can handle this repair.

7.Your dishwasher makes strange noises.

Dishwashers make strange noises for a myriad of reasons. You can fix this problem yourself if you notice items caught around fans and jets. Inspect your dishwasher for any foreign objects and remove them.

However, if you don't find any debris or foreign objects, then you have a worn fan, motor, pump, or valve somewhere in your dishwasher. You'll have to replace these parts-and you should leave most of these repairs to the experts.

8. Your dishwasher won't work at all.

Before you call for help, check the power supply and your circuit breaker. Make sure the dishwasher actually has power so you don't have to pay for an unnecessary service call. If it does have power and still won't run, then you should make that call.

Everyone has problems with their dishwasher every once in a while. Use these tips to keep your dishwasher running like new for years to come.