Something is Wrong with My Dishwasher: All of your Common Problems Answered
Updated: Oct 17
There are so many ways your dishwasher can malfunction. One day the dishes don’t get clean, the next day the water won’t drain. Surprisingly, dishwasher maintenance done by you or a professional plumber can generally fix all of the issues that you encounter. We’ve created a guide based on all of the frequently asked questions about dishwashers, so that you can prevent larger plumbing problems that may arise in the future.
My Dishwasher is Making Noises
Whether it’s ticking, thumping, or rattling, noise coming from the dishwasher is usually not a problem. For instance, you might hear a hissing sound when the washer is filling with water, or a humming vibration when the washer drains. If you hear a loud thump or a snap, this generally indicates that the dishwasher’s arm is knocking into a dish that has been lowered too far past the rack, or it could even just be the detergent lid being released. These are all common noises and nothing to be concerned with. However, if you hear a violent sound like dishes breaking or a loud creak or screech, then it is time to be concerned. Stop the dishwasher and call a plumber if something broke or your washer is breaking your dishes.
My Dishwasher isn’t Draining
If the water won’t drain after running your dishwasher, this could be a sign of a major problem. To start, inspect the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher and see if it is clogged or not. Be sure to clean it as well as you can, and try running the dishwasher again. If it still won’t drain, give your local plumber a call.
My Dishwasher won’t Fill
If your dishwasher is not filling up with water, leaving your dishes dirty and not cycling properly, then there are a few things that you can do. First, ensure that the door is completely latching and sealing when you close it; check all edges to make sure nothing is blocking the suction of the door to the washer. Next, check the dial pad to see if it is on the correct cycle. You can also check the breaker box/electrical panel in your home to make sure a breaker hasn’t been flipped. Finally, check the inlet hose to see if anything is kinked or is being blocked by residue or sediment.
The Water in the Bottom of my Dishwasher won’t Drain
After running a cycle and discovering a puddle of water in the bottom of the tub in your washer, you can do a couple of things to troubleshoot this issue. The first step is to ensure that the cycle has fully been completed by checking the dial pad. If it is 100% finished, check your home’s breaker box/electrical panel to make sure fuses haven’t been blown or circuits have been disconnected. Then, move on to the drain hose to identify any kinks. Make sure that the drain hose is elevated so that the water can properly travel down. Finally, if your dishwasher is hooked up to the garbage disposal, check to make sure that the knockout is removed from the disposal inlet.
My Dishwasher is Leaking
If there is water leaking out of your washer, this is not a good sign. Make sure that your dishwasher is on a completely level surface. Ensure that there is no floor distortion or anything prying up your washer. Next, check for an abundance of soap suds in your washer. If you are using the wrong kind of detergent or are using too much, this could cause the water to overflow in your washer and out onto the floor. When the door is shut, check along the edge to make sure everything is sealed properly and there are no cracks. A minor leak
is not a problem, but if you get large leaks that creates pools of water, then it is time to call a plumber.
My Dishes Aren’t Getting Clean
If your dishes come out of the washer with the same residue that they had before the wash, check for the following things:
Is the water hot enough? The temperature should reach at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is there enough water being circulated? In order to properly wash a load of dishes, the water level inside your washer should reach the heating element for the pump to effectively work. Check this by turning on your washer, waiting for the unit to fill completely, and opening the door. If it does not reach the heating element, you either need to replace the water valve or call a plumber.
Is there anything blocking the arms?
Is the washer being overloaded with too many dishes?
My Dishes Are Still Wet After the Dry Cycle
If you have the option, make sure the heated dry setting is turned on instead of the air dry. Make sure that your water is at the proper temperature of 130 degrees as the dishwasher runs. If it is cold, then the water does not evaporate as quickly. Be sure to not overload your dishwasher either. If there are too many dishes, they will not dry as quickly.
The Detergent Cup in my Dishwasher is not Empty
Each time you fill your dishwasher, make sure that there is nothing blocking the dish detergent lid. Clean it out if it is filled with residue, and be sure to use fresh detergent that has been stored in a cool and dry location.
My Dishes and Dishwasher are Stained and Discolored
There are many things that contribute to a discolored dishwasher after a cycle has been run. If you have aluminum pans or utensils, these can leave marks if they are rubbing up against things. Make sure to leave ample amount of space between your aluminum things. Iron can also color your dishes/washer and leave yellow, brown or orange films. If this continues, install a rust filter in your dishwasher. Also, try using a dish detergent that contains citric acid to combat food residue and sauce stains. Finally, if there are any scratches or exposed metal, patch it with plastic coating or water-proof sealant. You can also use a rust remover to get rid of any rust build-up in your washer.
My Dishwasher is Filled with Suds
If your washer becomes overflown with soap suds, follow these tips:
Limit your use of detergent or switch brands
Sprinkle table salt across the suds and let sit before wiping out
During your next cycle, add a few ice cubes in the dishwasher to lower the water temperature. Extremely hot water will increase the number of suds
Finally, if none of these things work, try adding some liquid fabric softener after you have emptied your dishes. Start another cycle, then drain.
If none of these dishwasher solutions work, be sure to call an experienced residential plumbing company to come help. Contact Jolly Plumbing in Colorado Springs for any other questions that you have.