Troubleshooting Dishwasher Problems in Memphis

Woman crouched next to open dishwasher, holding on to the top rack, with hand against her forehead making an exasperated face.

Why the Dishwasher Isn’t Working & What to Do

We’re coming up to warmer days in Memphis, and a holiday, which for many, means hosting friends and family. And that means more food with the accompanying dishes. So, here’s how you can prepare yourself to troubleshoot a dishwasher problem before it turns into a total appliance breakdown.

What Is Troubleshooting?

All this means is finding the source of what’s wrong. Once you troubleshoot the issue, you can move on to the proper repair.

Is It Worth Fixing a Dishwasher?

It might not be crystal clear with each issue whether a repair will pay off. But there are indicators that will help you make the best decision, such as:

The Age of the Dishwasher Impacts Repair Decisions

If a dishwasher is malfunctioning within its first five years of use, you can reasonably expect that it should last another five years. The best thing to do is routine maintenance so that if something happens unexpectedly, a repair should get things back to normal quickly.

Consider the Cost of a New Dishwasher vs. Repairing

Depending on the brand and features you’re looking for; you could be spending anywhere from several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars on a new dishwasher. And don’t forget to factor installation cost into your investment. But the better-quality appliance you purchase, the more you can rely on it to last.

Some circumstances are a basic part replacement, especially if you’re vigilant about staying on top of warning signs. If an issue pops up that you can’t turn into a DIY project, appliance repair professionals can provide a transparent estimate of repair costs to help you make the best decision.

Warning Signs of a Dishwasher on the Fritz

The Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning Dishes

Whether the machine isn’t cleaning the dishes fully, or it’s doing seemingly nothing, you’ve got a situation on your hands. After all, it has one job.

The first thing you should do is rule out the option that your dishwashing detergent is too weak to handle the level of cleaning necessary. Did you recently try a new detergent?

Next, check to see if your dishwasher is overdue for a good scrubbing. Inspect the appliance thoroughly for grime buildup.

If you have hard water, there may be an excess of mineral sediment hindering spraying pressure, which you can try workarounds such as hard water-specific detergent or installing a water softener. Try running the dishwasher without dishes in it after cleaning to see if that helps the next time you go to use it.

You can also manually move the spray arm to see if it’s moving fluidly. If not, it may need replacement, which is an easy fix.

The Dishwasher Is Leaking

You might notice water pooling at the base of the dishwasher, which indicates that there’s a blockage preventing the spray arms from working correctly.

There are small rings called gaskets that connect hoses within the dishwasher, and these gaskets can wear down with time, causing the hose to leak water. Inspect these gaskets for brittleness, swelling, or cracks and replace any faulty ones.

Another leak you can find is water spilling from the dishwasher to the floor, which means the door seal is faulty.

The Dishwasher Is Not Draining

On the opposite spectrum, your dishwasher might be full of water, which will quickly flood the kitchen. A few solutions include:
  • Inspect the check valve inside the pump to replace it if it doesn’t easily move
  • Change the motor or drain pump
  • Ensure there are no blockages for the drain flapper

The Dishwasher Is Noisy

Nearly all dishwashers make noise as they run, but if yours is not sounding normal, it may be a defective pump that needs replacement. If it’s not the pump, it may be the bearing ring, wash arm seal, or spray arms (any of these will also require new parts).

The Dishwasher Door Won’t Latch

This is a common issue since the dishwasher door is used so frequently. While it may be an electronic control element that’s malfunctioning, the problem is often the latch breaking. This is a quick replacement!

The Dishwasher Won’t Start

The first thing to check is that the door is fully closed. If you can rule out a faulty latch, it may be a tripped circuit. While this situation can become more complicated, the professionals at Mr. Appliance of Memphis are always here to help diagnose and provide effective dishwasher repair services that get things back on track. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your dishwasher problems.