Most busy families rely on their dishwasher to help them keep their kitchen clean. Unfortunately, many people don’t give much thought to their dishwasher until something goes wrong. Read on for a look at common dishwasher problems and maintenance tips to keep it running smoothly.
The Dishwasher Leaks
After running your dishwasher, you may see a small amount of water on the floor. Or, you could see a substantial amount of water. Either way, your dishwasher is leaking. The usual cause is the seal on the dishwasher door. Around the interior perimeter of the dishwasher door is a rubber gasket. This creates a watertight seal when you close the door.
The dishwasher itself will also often have a magnetic gasket that will join its magnetic counterparts on the door frame. If the rubber becomes degraded or the magnets get coated in grime, the seal won’t be tight and you’ll end up with a leak. Solve the problem with a new rubber gasket and magnets.
Other causes of leaks include:
- Using detergent not meant for dishwashers
- A dishwasher that is not level
- Damaged or loose hoses
The Dishwasher Is Clogged
A clogged dishwasher is probably the most common issue homeowners have with their appliance. The dishwasher completes its cycle, you open the door, and you find water sitting on the bottom. For the most part, this is an easy problem to avoid if you use your dishwasher properly.
Scrape Your Plates
In the past, manufacturers advised dishwasher users to scrape and rinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher. However, technology has advanced, and dishwashers are far more sophisticated today than their predecessors. Pre-rinsing is no longer necessary or recommended. According to Consumer Reports, households that pre-rinse dishes waste 6,000 gallons of water a year.
However, make sure everyone in the family knows they still need to scrape their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher if they didn’t finish all their food. Sure, the dishwasher may be powerful enough to spray food particles off the dishes, but it’s not made for big chunks of food.
Use a Water Filtration and Softening System
Homes with hard water wreak havoc on their appliances and plumbing alike. Minerals, like calcium and magnesium, build up inside the pipes. This reduces pipe diameter, which makes clogs more likely, especially in the elbows. The same build-up occurs in parts of the dishwasher, which will eventually lead to improper drainage.
Clean the Filter Regularly
Small bits of food get trapped in your dishwasher’s filter. This is a good thing as that is the filter’s job. But if too much food gets trapped, you’ll end up with a clog. Some dishwashers don’t have a removable filter as the dishwasher grinds up the food particles the filter traps. As this is noisy, however, most dishwashers have a removable filter that homeowners need to periodically clean.
Check your manual – some manufacturers recommended cleaning the filter every few months while others recommend every couple of weeks. How often you clean your dishwasher filter will also depend on how often you use it.
If you forget to periodically clean the filter, you’ll start seeing water sitting on the dishwasher floor and notice the dishes aren’t rinsing clean. You may also smell a funky odor from rotting food.
The Dishwasher Makes Strange Noises
The dishwasher’s drain line is normally clamped but if it comes undone, it will vibrate and make a loud noise. A water pump that is going bad can also make a squealing noise. If you hear a strange noise coming from your dishwasher, stop the cycle immediately and call for service.
If your dishwasher is problematic and you have cleaned the filter, or you are having issues with any other appliance, contact us today and one of our skilled technicians will come and assess the problem.