How to Tell if a Dishwasher is Going BadSo, you’ve just gone through a helpful rental home clean out quick reference guide or you’re perplexed as to whether you did or didn’t run the dishwasher. And, you’re contemplating if it needs to be replaced. But, you just don’t know what to look for specifically to tell you it’s going bad, needs a little repair or is beyond salvaging. That’s okay, most people don’t know the various parts and mechanisms of the common household dishwasher.
Simple maintenance will wipe out 90 percent of dishwasher problems. The three common problems are: the dishes don’t come out clean, the dishwasher leaks water, and the dishwasher won’t start. We’ll show you how to make the fixes yourself and save the money you would have paid a repairman. —Family HandymanBasically, dishwashers have several working parts. These include the intake valve, pump, heating elements (like a water heater), spray arms, drain line and more. When the appliance is turned on, its water supply comes from the intake valve, the pump forces water into the spray valves, which is used to clean the dishes. Of course, all of these components must work properly for the dishwasher to be functional. So, here’s how to tell if a dishwasher is going bad:
- The machine cycles but dishes aren’t clean. If you open a dishwasher after running it and the dishes aren’t clean, it could be a clog, bad spray arms or the dishes were loaded to close and/or too many dishes were put inside the appliance. Rerun the dishwasher with fewer dishes. If the dishes are clean, it’s okay but if the dishes are dirty, there’s a problem.
- Water pools around the bottom of the appliance. A big, unmistakable sign there’s something really wrong is water puddles around the bottom of the machine. This could be due to bad seals, leaking pipes or a combination of parts going bad.
- Underfilling or overfilling with water. When a dishwasher over-fills or doesn’t supply enough water, it could be due to the float switch, a clogged pipe, the water inlet valve or something else. If this does happen, it’s likely the machine needs to be replaced.
- Strange noises during operation. It’s common for sounds to come from a dishwasher during its operation. You’ll hear whirring and water spraying most often. But, if you hear weird noises, like a thumping sound or a humming sound, that’s cause for concern.
- The appliance doesn’t drain. If you notice excess water in the appliance after running it, then it could be due to a clogged drain line, clogged filters, clogged strainers or something else. Don’t continue to use it if this is the case.