What To Do When Your Dishwasher Stops Working

What To Do When Your Dishwasher Stops Working

A properly functioning dishwasher is a great timesaver when it comes to household chores. You can stack your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, turn the appliance on when you leave for work, and have clean dishes when you come back home. However, if your dishwasher is not working, that convenience immediately becomes a pain. Here are some things to do when your dishwasher stops working or its performance could be improved.

Clean The Interior

When your dishwasher is not running well, the first step to take is to clean the interior thoroughly. Mineral deposits, soap scum, food debris, and grease can accumulate inside your dishwasher and clog or generally gunk up it’s mechanisms. For minor buildup, you can use vinegar. Put three cups of white vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher and then run it through its cleaning cycle. You may have to do this several times depending on just how badly your dishwasher needed cleaning and how well the grime and calcium are stuck to the interior.

Clean The Filter

If you purchased your dishwasher before 2010, it probably has a self-cleaning filter that grinds down food particles, making them small enough to be simply washed away after getting sprayed off. However, newer models are built to run quieter by simply collecting food grime in a filter that must be removed and cleaned periodically to ensure it runs properly.

The filter is usually placed under the racks where the dishes go. You can follow the instructions in the user's manual to remove it. Wash it thoroughly using hot water and soap, though if this isn’t enough you may need to soak it in a water and soap solution for a few minutes to remove the tougher grime.

Repair Failing Inlet Valves

The inlet valve is what allows water to flow into your dishwasher from an inlet hose located under the sink. A faulty inlet valve will cause your dishwasher to make a hammering sound as it operates. Your user's manual should tell you the parts needed for a replacement, and you can either find those parts at a hardware store or order them online. However, replacing an inlet valve has the chance of being quite complicated and you could easily make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. It may be best for you to call an appliance repair professional and have them do the work for you to make sure it’s done right the first time. 

Connected to the inlet valve is the inlet hose which runs under the sink. Should the hose not be connected properly, or there are kinks in it, water may not be able to flow to the dishwasher. If you’re not sure how to repair this either, you should call a professional in to help.

Change Dishwashing Detergent

If you use a cheap, low-quality detergent, you will end up with spotty dishes with food crusted on them. Also, if you use too much detergent your machine may not be able to clean your dishes properly. It may be annoying to spend the extra bucks, but it’s better for both your dishes and your dishwasher to use a quality, suitable detergent for your unit and the right amount of it. If you have hard water, installing a water softener may also help your dishwasher work properly and avoid hard water spots on both your dishes and the unit itself.

Once you have a dishwasher installed and know-how quickly doing the dishes can be done with it, it can be challenging to go back to living and cleaning without one. When your dishwasher stops working, it can put a pretty annoying kink in your daily chores routine. The best thing to do is to start troubleshooting what the problem might be with the most straightforward solutions first, like just cleaning the unit and getting rid of any residual gunk in the unit and filters. If that doesn’t work you can try things like adjusting the water pressure and changing the amount and type of dishwashing detergent you use to see if that was the problem. If these simple fixes don’t work, the problem might be with the actual components of the dishwasher itself. It’s possible just taking a look at things like the inlet valve, inlet hose, or the dishwasher’s moving parts can tell you what the problem is, and possible you’d then be able to fix the problem yourself. However, it’s much more likely the problem is a bit more complicated than anyone but a professional is equipped to handle it so you should consider hiring someone who can identify and repair the issue efficiently and completely.

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