Common Dishwasher Problems & Troubleshooting

Common Dishwasher Problems & Solutions

  1. Dishes dirty or spotted after washing
  2. Dishwasher doesn’t fill with water
  3. Dishwasher drains during fill
  4. Water doesn’t shut off
  5. Motor doesn’t run
  6. Motor hums but doesn’t run
  7. Poor water drainage
  8. Dishwasher leaks around door
  9. Dishwasher leak from bottom
  10. Dishwasher doesn’t turn off
  11. Dishwasher noisy
  12. Door drops hard when opened
  13. Door difficult to close

Dishes dirty or spotted after washing

Possible causeProcedure
Dishes loaded incorrectlyRearrange dishes following manufacturer’s instructions
Water not hot enoughTest water temperature. If lower than 140F, raise temperature at water heater
Water pressure too lowCheck water pressure. If low, try to minimize water usage while the dishwasher is running
Detergent ineffectiveMake sure detergent is made for dishwashers. Try different brands to find one effective for local water conditions
Detergent dispenser faultyCheck for binding or broken parts
Rinse agent dispenser emptyRefill dispenser
Spray arm stuck or cloggedLook for obstructions such as measuring spoons which fall under racks and block sprayer. Check and clean spray arm
Rinse agent leakingTighten loose fill cap, check rinse agent dispenser washers and gaskets, replace cracked dispenser
Rinse agent dispenser faultyTest bimetal terminals on rinse agent dispenser
Heating element faultyTest heating element
Selector switch or timer faultyTest selector switch
Pump clogged or impeller corroded, worn, or chippedCall for service
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Dishwasher doesn’t fill with water

Possible causeProcedure
Water supply line turned offOpen shutoff valve to dishwasher, faucet, and main water supply
Shutoff valve faultyReplace dishwasher shutoff valve
Water inlet valve faulty or vale screen cloggedTest water inlet valve solenoid and inspect filter screen
Float or float switch jammed or faultyInspect float and test float switch
Door switch faultyAdjust door catch and test door switch
With a low buzzing sound: Filter under spray arm cloggedRemove filter and clean it under running water
Faucet coupler cloggedClean or replace screen in coupler
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Dishwasher drains during fill

Possible causeProcedure
Drain valve stuck openInspect drain valve, test-drain dishwasher with valve solenoid open, and replace if necessary
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Water doesn’t shut off

Possible causeProcedure
Float or float switch jammed or faultyInspect float and test float switch
Water inlet valve solenoid faultyTest water inlet valve solenoid
Replace valve
Water inlet valve screen cloggedRemove water inlet valve, clean or replace screen
Timer faultyTest timer
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Motor doesn’t run

Possible causeProcedure
No power to dishwasherCheck for blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker
Door switch faultyAdjust door catch, test door switch
Timer faultyTest timer
Motor faultyCall for service
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Motor hums but doesn’t run

Possible causeProcedure
Door switch faultyAdjust door catch, test door switch
Timer faultyTest timer
Motor faultyCall for service
Impeller jammedCall for service
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Poor water drainage

Possible causeProcedure
Air gap cloggedClean air gap: remove cover, unscrew cap, and use tweezers to remove obstructions in tube
Spray arm or filter screen cloggedClean spray arm, inspect and clean filter screen
Drain hose blocked Inspect and clean drain hose
Drain valve solenoid faultyTest drain valve solenoid
Timer faultyTest timer
Pump impeller clogged or brokenCall for service
Reversing motor doesn’t reverseCheck motor for number of wires. Only motors with four wires are reversible. Call for service
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Dishwasher leaks around door

Possible causeProcedure
Use of wrong detergentUse detergent recommended for dishwashers
Do not prewash dishes with liquid detergent
Dishes reflecting water through door ventReposition dishes in racks
Door not closing tightly on gasketAdjust door catch
Door gasket hardened or damagedReplace door gasket
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Dishwasher leak from bottom

Possible causeProcedure
Tub crackedSeal crack with silicone rubber sealant or waterproof epoxy glue
Water inlet valve connection looseTighten inlet valve connection
Hose split; hose clamp looseInspect hoses; adjust or replace clamps
Spray arm brokenCheck spray arm
Pump seal faultyCall for service
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Dishwasher doesn’t turn off

Possible causeProcedure
Timer faultyTest timer
Cycle extender switch faultyTest cycle extender switch
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Dishwasher noisy

Possible causeProcedure
Dishes loaded improperlyReposition dishes according to manufacturer’s recommendations
Water pressure too lowCheck water pressure; if low, avoid using house water supply while dishwasher is running
Water inlet valve screen cloggedCheck water inlet valve screen
With a knocking sound during fill: Water inlet valve faultyTest water inlet valve solenoid
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Door drops hard when opened

Possible causeProcedure
Door springs worn or brokenReplace door springs
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Door difficult to close

Possible causeProcedure
Door catch not closing properlyAdjust door catch
Door catch bent or brokenReplace door catch
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