Why your dishwasher stopped working: reasons, fixes & tips
Dishwashers, poor things, are one of the most used kitchen appliances. If they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained, you may find a broken or malfunctioning dishwasher in your hands and a resulting pile of dishes that reach the ceiling. There might be many reasons why your dishwasher stopped working, so we have compiled a list of the most common ones to troubleshoot and fix.
Dishwasher making noises
The Fix: Most dishwashers make noises; the usual buzzing sound when running is quite normal. However, if your dishwasher was relatively silent before and has turned into a ruckus, you may have a problem. It’s possible that its pump is broken or that the wash arm seal or bearing ring needs to be replaced.
Another problem could be that your spray arms aren’t spinning correctly and maybe hitting the racks or dishes indicating that they are due for replacement.
Dishes are spotty after wash
The Fix: If your dishes come out with streaks or spots after washing, it might be due to water sticking to them. Using a rinse aid might help stop water from staying on the dishes’ surfaces.
Why your dishwasher stopped working: It’s not draining
The Fix: Start by checking the condition of the valve assembly in the drain sump. Replace it if it’s not working correctly. The motor or drain pump may be up for replacement. Check for flapper and solenoid for clogs.
If you cannot figure out what’s happening, call the professionals for help.
Dishwasher is leaking
The Fix: You need to be a little careful with this problem. A probable reason for the leak can be a crack or damage to the drainage hose or the gasket in the heating element. It could also be due to a defective pump seal or pump. You can change the seal or replace it if necessary.
You can also use this opportunity to check the door gasket. If it looks brittle or doesn’t seal properly, replace it with a new one.
Dishwasher is not cleaning well
The Fix: To start with, try a higher-quality cleaning liquid for your dishes.
For this fix, check if your dishwasher is clean enough in the first place. Check the sprayer arms, door gasket, stain screen, and other areas for any dirt. Clean the entire appliance by running an empty cycle with a store-bought or DIY cleaner and see if it helps.
Another problem could be low pressure from spray arms. The low pressure could be due to a build-up in the arms due to hard water. Clean it thoroughly and check the pressure.
If your upper discharge housing gasket comes loose, you’d need to replace it for your dishwasher to work efficiently.
Dishwasher smells bad
The Fix: If you notice a terrible smell after your dishwasher has finished running, examine the appliance for trapped food and grease. The strainer screen and the jets in the sprayer arms, and the bottom edge of the door may all contain tiny bits of food or debris.
Remove them from these areas, then run a complete cycle with no dishes. Add a dishwasher cleaning or disinfectant to the mix.
Pro tip – Before starting your cycle in the future, rinse the dishes to remove any grease or large food particles.
The dishwasher won’t start
The Fix: The power source could be the issue if the dishwasher won’t perform. Check if the circuit breaker has tripped. If it has, turns off the switch and then turn it back on.
Also, check if the appliance is correctly hooked into its wall outlet. Doing so may necessitate removing the appliance from behind the counter. Remove the under-counter retainer clips that hold the device in place before attempting to move it.
Budget-friendly solutions when your dishwasher stopped working
The average lifespan of a dishwasher is ten years. As the appliance starts aging, the chances of it breaking down slowly increase.
As a precaution against unexpected breakdowns, you can save up and start a maintenance fund or invest in a home warranty. The latter covers repair and replacement costs of your home’s major appliances and systems.
Dishwasher maintenance checklist
The best way to preserve your dishwasher’s or any appliance’s lifespan is to partake in routine maintenance. Here is a checklist that you can follow –
- Keep checking and cleaning your dishwasher’s filter of any food waste or grime.
- Clean the door and its seals every four cycles with a damp cloth.
- Refer to your dishwasher’s manual and clean your spray arm. Check for any blockages and clean them every six months.
- Run an empty cycle each month to prevent a bacterial/germ build-up.
- Ensure to run small loads for maximum efficiency and life.
Final thoughts on why your dishwasher stopped working
While you may be able to troubleshoot and fix some issues with your dishwasher after reading this guide, we recommend that you enlist the help of a professional in case of leakage or electrical issues, as they can be hazardous.