Your dishwasher is acting up. It’s not filling up, it’s filling up too much, it’s not washing the dishes. What is causing these problems? Is it a minor problem or is it a major problem. Can you fix it yourself or do you need to call a repair person.
This article will list different problems a dish washer may have and what is causing them. I will then tell you if it is an easy fix or maybe something you should call a trained repair person for. This is not a how to article. It is an article to tell you what is causing the problems and a little bit of information on what is required to fix it to help you decide weather or not you think or want to tackle the job yourself or call for help. Also knowing what the problem is can save you from paying un-necessary repair costs. I will also provide some details on quick fixes for very minor problems.
Your Dishwasher is Filling too slowly – When you dishwasher is filling up too slowly it is likely because it has a clogged inlet screen. This is not major problem. All that needs to be done is for the screen to be cleaned off. The problem is you will need to remove the dishwasher hoses to do this. Which might be a little more work than the average person is bargaining for. You will also have to pull out some wires. However, if money is tight and you can’t afford a repair person you may want to explore doing this yourself. It is not really all that difficult, but you will need to be careful that you have turned all the water off and that you attach the wires back correctly. Go to the library or look this up on line how to do this step by step. It is not really that difficult and it could save you a lot of money. However, if you don’t feel confident doing this your self. you will at least know why it is happening and you won’t end up getting charged an arm and a leg for a simple screen cleaning.
Your Dishwasher is Hardly Filling or Not Filling At All or It Makes Funny Noises When Filling – If your dishwasher is hardly filling or has stopped filling all together or is making odd noises then you likely will need to replace your inlet valve. You can replace this yourself. Basically you will need to do all the same things you would do when cleaning the inlet screen with the addition of the removal of the inlet valve, taking it to the store and buying a replacement. If you have already checked and cleaned the screen and there is still a problem this is what you will need to do, but at least you will already know how to unscrew the hoses and detach the wires and screw the hoses back in and re-attach the wires.
Your Dishwasher Won’t Fill or Won’t Stop Filling – If you dishwasher is not filling it could also be your float switch. Also if your dishwasher won’t stop filling it could be your float switch. The float switch is located at the bottom of the dishwasher compartment, it is what tells your washer when the compartment is full or when it is empty. If the float switch is not working properly then your dishwasher has no way of knowing if it is full or empty, and may fill an already filled compartment or refuse to fill a compartment because it thinks it is already full.
Cleaning Your Float and Float Stem
Curing this problem could be as easy as cleaning the stem of the float. First of all remove the bottom dish rack. The float is located at the front of the dishwasher if you are facing the dishwasher it should be directly in front of your right hand. It is a plastic piece that kind of looks like a mushroom. Lift up the little mushroom thing and if it does not go up and down freely without sticking pull it out. Get and old toothbrush and clean all of the debris around the stem, and inside the mushroom looking piece. If the washer still does not fill up or fills up too much or is still making funny noises you will need to replace the float switch.
This job requires some testing of the float, and removal and replacing of wires, it will also likely require a helper. If you are not comfortable messing with wiring you may want to call a repair person. If you want to tackle this yourself get yourself a partner, and a do it your self book with step by step directions. The testing the float and the removing and replacing of the wires, and unscrewing the old switch, replacing it and screwing in the new one. Don’t forget to shut off the electrical power. Make sure to follow the instructions on your How To Book or web site instructions very carefully.
Your Dishwasher Just Is Not Getting My Dishes Cleaned – This could be a very simple problem of the dish drain being clogged up. This is a very simple fix that anyone can do. First of all clean the float as I instructed above (two paragraphs up). Your bottom dish rack should already be removed at this point. Go to where the blades that rotate around your dishwasher are. There should be a screw in the center of them. It is a not a screw that you need a screwdriver for. While you are holding the blades still unscrew the screw and pull off the blades. Likely you will find a lot of gunk and debris in there. You will need to clean that up. The safest way to do it is by using a plastic knife to scrape off any debris that is sticking, and simply pulling out any loose debris. Once this is looking fairly clean then place the blades back on and screw the screw to tighten them back up again. This should do the trick.
After you do this you should place a dishwasher safe cup on the top rack of your dishwasher. The cup should be right side up of course. There should be no other dishes in the dish washer. Run your dishwasher for one cycle at the hottest temperature possible. This will get your dishwasher good and clean, and should help to kill bacteria inside the dishwasher and loosen up anything you may have missed that is causing debris to stick to it. Doing this last step every couple of weeks or at least once a month is a good idea anyways to help keep debris from gunking up.
There are of course other issues that could occur with your dishwasher and for those things you will likely need to call a repair person as those are more serious problems. The problems above however, are the easiest to determine, and jobs most people can do themselves with a little help from a self help book or a web site and maybe a partner. Always remember to shut off water valves and shut off electricity when ever fixing household appliances yourself.
Source: Personal experience