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Table of Contents

1. Dishwasher Not Turning On

2. Dishwasher Not Filling with Water

3. Dishwasher Not Draining

4. Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

5. Dishwasher Leaking

6. Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

Schedule your dishwasher repair now!

Call (213) 596-2538
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Discovering the Top 6 Reasons Your Dishwasher Is Not Working in 2024

5 min readUpdated May. 21, 2024Lyle WeischwillDishwasher
Discovering the Top 6 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher is Not Working

Has your dishwasher stopped working? We're here to help! This article will help you understand the top 6 reasons your dishwasher is not working as it should. We'll delve into every top failure, from common breakdowns, cleaning issues, leakage and drain problems, to drying issues. Armed with this knowledge, you could potentially troubleshoot and even rectify the problem yourself. If not, you can trust our dedicated appliance repair team at Sears Home Services to fix the problem for you. Let's dive in and uncover the probable reasons behind your dishwasher woes!


  • When your dishwasher won’t even power up, the solution could be as simple as flipping the light switch beside the sink that controls power to the dishwasher.
  • Troubleshooting dishwasher problems using our expert tips and videos can help you fix some issues on your own.
  • When you’re unable to find and fix a dishwasher problem yourself, schedule service and have one of our Sears Home Services technicians fix your dishwasher.

Is your dishwasher not working? We've outlined some common issues and their possible solutions.

1. Dishwasher Not Turning On

When your dishwasher isn't turning on, check the light switch next to the sink (beside the garbage disposal light switch). When that light switch is off, the dishwasher won’t get power. This is the #1 dishwasher fix that often gets overlooked.

If that’s not the problem, double-check the power cord's connection to the electrical outlet and check for a tripped circuit breaker. If the dishwasher is not turning on despite a proper connection, it might be a problem with the control panel or the door latch. In such cases, it's best to seek professional assistance.

If you’re an experienced DIY’er and want to fix the problem yourself, follow the expert tips in this video:

2. Dishwasher Not Filling with Water

When your dishwasher isn't filling with water, the first step is to inspect the overfill float switch inside the dishwasher tub. An item can sometime get trapped under the float and prevent the dishwasher from filling because the float is stuck in the up position.

If that isn’t the problem, check the water supply. Make sure the water cut-off valve is open and the supply hose isn't kinked. For advanced DIY troubleshooting, follow the expert tips in this video: Dishwasher not filling video.

If you're unable to resolve the filling problem yourself, get a Sears Home Services technician to fix the dishwasher.

3. Dishwasher Not Draining

When your dishwasher isn't draining correctly, the culprit might be a clogged drain hose or a faulty drain pump. Check the drain hose for blockages and ensure it's securely connected. If the problem persists, it would be wise to consult a professional technician.

If you’re intent on fixing the problem yourself, you can follow the DIY troubleshooting tips in this video: Dishwasher not draining video.

4. Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

Issues like dishes not coming out clean, residue or film on dishes, or the dishwasher not dispensing soap can be frustrating. By understanding these problems, you might be able to resolve them without needing professional aid.

  • Unclean dishes: A common reason for dishes remaining unclean could be a clogged or malfunctioning spray arm. Check the spray arm for blockages like food particles and clean if necessary. Also, ensure that the dishwasher is loaded correctly to allow water to reach all surfaces.
  • Residue or film on dishes: If there's a residue or film left on your dishes after a wash, the issue could be hard water or a malfunctioning detergent dispenser. Consider using a dishwasher cleaner or vinegar rinse to remove these deposits. If the problem persists, check the detergent dispenser for proper functioning.
  • Dishwasher not dispensing soap: If your dishwasher isn't dispensing soap, it could be due to a blocked soap dispenser or a faulty dispenser mechanism. Check the soap dispenser for blockages and clean thoroughly. If the issue continues, the dispenser might need replacement.

For additional help with dishwasher cleaning issues, follow the troubleshooting tips in this video: Dishwasher not cleaning dishes video.

By tackling these common dishwasher cleaning issues, you can improve your dishwasher's performance and ensure spotless dishes every time.

5. Dishwasher Leaking

When your dishwasher isn’t working and you detect leaks, the problem may be with a damaged door seal, a cracked or clogged spray arm or components under the dishwasher.

Follow the troubleshooting tips in this video to find the cause of the problem and fix your dishwasher:

If the leakage persists despite following the troubleshooting steps in this video, it's time to schedule dishwasher repair service. Their expertise can help diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring leak-free dishwasher operation.

6. Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

When your dishwasher isn't drying your dishes properly, it could be due to a malfunctioning heating element, the type of dishwasher detergent you're using, or the dishwasher cycle selected. Other potential causes include a clogged dishwasher drain, improper loading of dishes, or a malfunctioning dishwasher sensor.

This video from Sears PartsDirect shows you what to do if your dishwasher isn’t drying your dishes: Dishwasher not drying dishes video.

If you've tried troubleshooting these issues and your dishwasher still isn't drying your dishes, schedule dishwasher repair service and we’ll send a Sears Home Services technician to your home to fix the problem.

Schedule your dishwasher repair now!

With extensive experience, our technicians are skilled in repairing dishwashers of all makes and models, ensuring sparkling clean dishes with every cycle.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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