Common Dishwasher Complaints

Here are some quick troubleshooting techniques for some common dishwasher headaches:

  1. My Dishwasher Leaks.
    Check to make sure that the dishwasher is level. Too many suds can cause the dishwasher to overflow; make sure you are using the right kind of detergent and in the proper quantity. Use less detergent in soft water than in hard water. Check seals along dishwasher door for cracks and damage. If leakage continues and is more than just a few droplets, call a plumber or experienced dishwasher technician.

  2. My Dishes Don’t Get Clean.
    If your dishes don’t get squeaky clean on the first wash, there are quite a few things to consider: Is there enough water? Test this by starting a cycle and allowing the unit to fill. When it is washing, open the door and check the water level; it must reach the heating element for the pump to work well. If it doesn’t reach the heating element, you may need to replace the water valve. If the water does reach the heating element, you may have more serious problems; consult with a plumber or dishwasher technician. Is the water hot enough? The temperature of the water should be at least 130 degrees fahrenheit. Adjust your hot water heater accordingly. Do you have a blockage? Check both spray arms for food particles and debris. Are you overloading the dishwasher? Try less dishes or putting too many large items (such as pots and pans) on the bottom rack. You may be impeding water from reaching all of your items. Follow manufacturer’s instruction for loading dishes to allow for proper water circulation.

  3. My Dishes Remain Wet After I Use the Dry Cycle.
    Be sure the heated dry setting is selected. Use a rinse aid regularly to improve drying. (Many dishwasher models come equipped with an adjustable rinse aid cap; turn the cap towards the MORE setting.) Check water temperature; if water is too cold, it won’t evaporate. Make sure dishes are loaded properly to allow for proper evaporation and dripping/draining; place dishes so water won’t accumulate. Plastic and Teflon items have porous surfaces that retain water; towel drying may be necessary.