Dishwasher Troubleshooting – Problems and Solutions

By Consumer Advise Team
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A dishwasher is ideal for washing the utensils and cookware required for daily use. This not only helps you save time but also reduces the effort to get the dishwashing job done.

While using a dishwasher, we may face several problems that can be solved from the instructions in the user manual. Some of these troubles cannot be solved ourselves, and you need expert support for the rest. Know the problems they can cause and the solutions to rectify them. 

Here are the 8 typical problems that most individuals face with their dishwashers. To help you out, we have also given practical solutions with troubleshooting guides to each of them.

dishwasher troubleshooting

Problem 1: Dishwasher is unable to clean the utensils properly

Cause and solution

There can be multiple reasons why a dishwasher cannot clean the utensils properly-

  • It might be caused by internal dirt present in the appliance.
  • Also, a blockage in the inlet may restrict water from getting into the dishwasher.
  • It may also depend on the dishwasher detergent being used.
  • Many times it is also caused by hard water.

To solve this problem, the first thing to do is clean the dishwasher’s internal components. Clean out any food debris that might exist in the filter as well as on the walls. Next, check for any blockages in the inlet pipe. Also, check if the sprayers can force out water consistently.

Another thing to check is the water pressure, as low pressure may result in inefficient cleaning. If you have been using a low-quality detergent, change it to the one specified by the brand. In case you think that hard water is causing the problem, install a water softener.

Problem 2: A noisy dishwasher

Cause and solution

Dishwashers can cause noise that can be heard as grinding or buzzing. You have nothing to worry about it as this is the sound of draining water. However, if the dishwasher is making a loud noise, it’s time to check the pump and filter. Check this video to learn how to unblock the dishwasher pump-

Most dishwashers make noise during operation, so make sure that it is an abnormal sound. If the noise persists, it is better to call a technician who can help replace the broken parts with original products and solve the problem.

Problem 3: The dishwasher smells bad

Cause and solution

The most common reason for a dishwasher being smelly is it is unclean. Sometimes, if the load is heavy, food debris or oil from the food remaining gets trapped inside. For this reason, you should run a normal hot cycle with white vinegar. Also, if your dishwasher has the option of the self-cleaning sanitizing cycle, you should run it every month.

Always clean out food debris from the plates and run a pre-rinse before a full cycle to avoid this problem. Cleaning the dishwasher properly will eliminate most of the issues arising time-to-time. It is the key to the prolonged life of your machine.

Problem 4: The dishwasher isn’t starting

Cause and solution

There might be several reasons why a dishwasher may fail to start. The most common problem is generally in the power source. But other problems include overloading and improper door closing.

The first thing that you try is to unplug and replug the dishwasher to see if it works. If not, then check if the power source is working or not. The next thing you can do is check if you have overloaded the racks. Dishwashers generally beep or give a sign when it has been overloaded.

Another thing to check is if the door is properly closed. Make sure that the latching has been done correctly. If there is too much wear and tear in the¬†gasket, the dishwasher may stop running. In that case, call the manufacturer’s service center.

dishwasher door

Problem 5: White spots on the utensils

Cause and solution

White spots on the pots and pans can be caused by improper use of detergent, the presence of hard water, or improper drying. You can try to run an extra drying cycle to see if it solves the problem.

According to the brand’s instructions, start using the detergent for the best results from wash cycles. Also, an extra rinse cycle may help get rid of the spots. If it is hard water, you need to install a water softener to the water supply.

Problem 6: A leaky dishwasher

Cause and solution

Leaking water from the dishwasher can happen if the gasket is unable to hold the water pressure. But, at times it can also cause problems due to the float switch’s improper position.

Therefore, check the door gasket thoroughly for any wear or tear. You might also want to clean the gasket to remove any debris or grease accumulation. Then, move on to check the float switch. The dishwasher may overflow or leak if the switch is in a downward position. Cleaning and repositioning it properly will often stop any further leakage.

Problem 7: The dishwasher isn’t properly dispensing the detergent

Cause and solution

It is usually caused when the water cannot reach the detergent compartment to dissolve the powder or liquid properly. To solve this problem, first, check the water supply to see if the pressure is sufficient. Sometimes, the intel filter gets blocked due to iron, so you have to clean the filter.

If the water pressure is okay, make sure that there isn’t a blockage in the dispensing compartment or if it’s broken. Put some water in the detergent block to see that it’s flowing correctly onto the racks. At times, the problem might be caused by a utensil blocking the opening, so stack them well before each cycle.

Always use a good quality dishwasher detergent to operate the machine uninterruptedly for the best result. It will also help you achieve a better quality of washing.

proper way of pouring detergent in dishwasher

Problem 8: Cleaning cycles are too long

Cause and solution

The old age of the dishwasher, a problem with the thermostat, or the selection of the wrong program can sometimes extend the wash cycles more than usual. So, learning how to troubleshoot the dishwasher, would be a great help for you.

A dishwasher may take a long to clean a batch if the right temperature cannot be attained. So, have a look at your dishwasher’s thermostat and heating element.

Brand-new dishwashers take a while to settle in and for the sensors to run correctly. But, the cycle may also get lengthy once a machine turns old. Make sure that you are selecting the right program.

In case of problems where repairing or replacement might be needed, it is best to call a professional to solve the problem.

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