Home Off Beat How to repair a dishwasher

How to repair a dishwasher

A dishwasher rarely requires repair, if you maintain it properly. However, since any machine is unpredictable, dishwasher too is not an exception. It can still stop functioning, even if you are taking care of maintaining it properly. The good news is that you can repair it yourself without much hassle. In most of the cases, some troubleshooting helps.

Complexity Level: Moderate

Estimated Time: 1 – 2 hours

Resources Required:

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Different types of screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Detergent
  • Bucket
  • Knee Pads
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Sponges


1. If Dishwasher is not cleaning dishes properly

a) Check the instruction manual to see if you are loading it right.

b) Check the water temperature; it must be around 120 degrees, because cold water cannot clean the dishes. Run the hot water for 20-30 seconds in the sink before starting the dishwasher.

c) Add soaps to both the soap cups.

d) Clean your dishwasher with a dishwasher cleaner such as Washer Magic, Glisten etc.

e) Check if the water is draining out from the drain valve during the wash cycle. It happens when debris lodges in the valve. Try to hear the water flowing in the disposer while the machine is washing the dishes. If it happens then the drain valve is the main problem.

f) Check the water inlet valve; it is possible that the water supply is low and the machine is not getting enough water to clean the dishes. The valve connects with the main water line of the house. The inlet valve is present at the bottom left or right of the dishwasher. If the inlet valve is faulty then you need a professional help.

g) Check the spray arms for clogs and make sure it spins freely. To check the spray arms, first remove the wire basket by taking out the pins at the end of the sliding track. Twist the spray arm clockwise.

h) Clean the internal cleaners. These are the filters present at the bottom of the dishwasher to keep large food particles and foreign objects away from the pump assembly.

i) Check the float switch and clean it using a soft brush; it can stick in the raised position preventing the tub from filling. You can find the switch on the lower front of the tub.

2. If Dishwasher is leaking water

a) If the float switch is not functioning properly then it can make the machine overflow. Clean it properly.

b) Check the door gaskets if they are hardened and have lost their ability to seal. If it looks damaged, then replace it and if it is dirty, clean it with a soft brush and detergent.

c) Check for the leakage in water inlet valve and the rubber tube leading from the valve to the dishwasher.

d) There are several rubber hoses behind the lower access panel of the dishwasher. Check for the leakage at the connections and if you find any leakage, try a new clamp. Even after the replacement if the leakage still occurs, replace the hoses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fix a dishwasher that is not starting at all?

First, make sure that the dishwasher’s plug is in an operational power outlet. Then check the door switch of the dishwasher. If the door switch is working fine, then check the timer assembly. After the timer assembly, check the cycle selector switches which are used for washing, drying, and setting the temperature.

How to fix a dishwasher if there is no water entering it?

Check the water inlet valve, which lets water enter the machine. After this, check the float switch; if it is defective the water cannot enter the dishwasher.

Quick Tips

  • Always use a proper and good quality dishwasher detergent.
  • Whatever you take out from the dishwasher, wash it properly with hot water and a soft brush.
  • Load your dishes properly and make sure that you do not overload the machine.

Things to watch out for

  • Disconnect the appliance from the power source before you perform any troubleshooting step.
  • Even after diagnosing the dishwasher, if you cannot find any problem or are unable to fix it then, consult a professional or service provider.