What’s Wrong With My Dishwasher?

What’s Wrong With My Dishwasher?

Having worked for an appliance repair company I’ve encountered many of the same problems over, and over again.

The most common issues that arise are due to incorrect installations. I can’t stress this enough. Either hire a professional to do the install for you or read the manufacturers installation manual thoroughly. When a dishwasher malfunctions from improper installation it could void the warranty. Plus, if you call thinking you need to have a service,you might even be charged for the it.

Q: Why do I have spots on my dishes? A: Dishwasher soap requires hot water in order to break it down. One way to help correct this simple issue is to run your kitchen faucet until you feel hot water come out. This will ensure that only hot water will be used to clean the dishes. This might seem like a trade secret but this information is clearly stated in your Use and Care manual. You know that little book that none of us read…ever. Don’t feel bad, I was am just as guilty as everyone else. Spots can also be a result of hard water. A topic discussed in my previous blog.

Now if you are finding that soap is not dissolving at all there may be other issues present. These can include a malfunctioning water inlet valve or a dispenser that doesn’t open properly.

Q: How come water hasn’t drained out after a wash cycle? A: There are a few reasons that this may occur. The easiest one to look for is a blockage in the drain hose connection under the sink. The drain hose should be properly connected according to the installation manual, generally at the sink drain. Small pieces of food can build up at this connection where the size of the piping is
slightly restricted. A spring clamp, or gear clamp, holds the drain hose in place. Remove the clamp and inspect the barbed fitting. I use a thin screwdriver to slide inside to clear any debris build up. Reattach the drain hose while paying close attention to make sure it is firmly secured. A gentle tug on the hose is recommended to confirm it is in place. You may want to consider calling a service company if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.

A common mistake by installers, even professional, is the cap on a dishwasher fitting. An ABS dishwasher fitting comes with a barbed wye connection. Some of these barbs have a cap that needs to be removed. Make sure to do this before connecting the drain hose. A blocked or broken drain pump can also cause water to pool in the tub. Newer model dishwashers have an RPM sensor on their drain pumps. Even a small piece of glass or debris will cause some resistance and the RPM sensor will shut the pump down.. This is a matter of self-preservation.

Q: There doesn’t seem to be any water in my appliance? A: First thing to check, is the water on? This may sound silly but I had clients call for service shortly after moving into their new house. The previous owners shut off the water on the dishwasher. Every other valve in the house was left open. Be mindful though, there may be a leaky valve and that’s why it’s off.

Dishwashers are equipped with a float switch which is a safety feature that will shut off water once the tub has filled. Sometimes food or fallen cutlery can lodge itself under the float and no water will enter the machine. Lastly, the water valve can stop working and again no water will enter the appliance.

Q: I hear water running a lot but why are my dishes still dirty? A: The drain hose may be incorrectly installed. The installation manual will show a few options to connect the drain hose. Either to the kitchen sink’s drain, directly to a garburator or some other means. More than once I’ve come across a drain hose that has been run down through the flood. This will cause a syphon and water will not stay in the dishwasher tub. The float switch senses that not enough water has entered and will continue to add water. The wash motor may still come on with a low water level and this can cause the motor to not wash the dishes properly or it may burn itself out. You may be one of the lucky ones where the water doesn’t syphon out, or it syphons slowly. Just be aware that over time things will change and issues can arise.

When contacting a company for service be sure to ask about all costs. Some companies will promise to waive the servie call fee if you proceed with the repair then hit you with a hefty labour charge. Hidden costs can add up. Make sure to read and understand any contract before signing.

Your Whitby Plumber
Thanks for reading.

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