Sears Home Services
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup
telephone logo213-596-2538
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop PartsResource Center
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop PartsResource Center
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup

Table of Contents

Dirty Dishes

Streaks or Spots

Rack Doesn’t Roll

Dishwasher Won’t Drain

Dishes Not Drying

Dishwasher Won’t Fill

Dishwasher has No Power

When to Upgrade Your Dishwasher Instead of Repairing It

Schedule your dishwasher repair now!

Call (213) 596-2538
  1. Resource Center
  2. Repair

Troubleshooting Common Dishwasher Problems

6 min readUpdated Mar. 08, 2024Lyle WeischwillDishwasher
Common dishwasher issues

In the realm of household appliances, few things are as indispensable as the dishwasher. But when common issues like dirty dishes or a malfunctioning rack arise, the frustration can be palpable. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into these problems and more, offering practical solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve issues efficiently, whether through DIY methods, professional repair, or timely upgrades, ensuring your dishwashing duties are always handled with ease.


  • Dishwasher issues range from clogged sprayer arm nozzles and mineral deposits to malfunctioning racks, with solutions often found in DIY cleaning or parts replacement.
  • Component failures like a broken heating element or a high-limit thermostat malfunction can prevent dishes from drying, necessitating a more in-depth troubleshooting process.
  • If a dishwasher is over seven years old and requires costly repairs, or over ten years with worn-out parts, it is recommended to consider a timely upgrade over repair.

From residue buildup to dryers that don’t work, we identify some common dishwasher issues, and how to solve them.

Most people dread all the scrubbing, sudsing and drying that goes into doing dishes by hand. Which is exactly why the dishwasher has become something many of us don’t want to live without. So when something does go wrong with your dishwasher, you’ll want to diagnose the problem ASAP. Our guide helps you figure out exactly what ails your dishwasher and what you should do about it — so you can avoid doling out dishwashing duties.

Here are common dishwasher problems, and whether the solution is a DIY project, a job for a repairman, or time for an upgrade.

Dirty Dishes

If a sprayer arm nozzle is clogged with detergent or mineral buildup, it doesn’t clean dishes as effectively. To fix, use a dishwasher cleaner and repeat twice a year for optimal results.

Find additional DIY tips for fixing your dishwasher when it doesn’t clean dishes well in this YouTube video:

Streaks or Spots

Mineral deposits from hard water can leave white streaks or spots on your dishware. Add a water softener, and use your dishwasher’s rinse aid feature – making sure it’s adjusted to your water’s mineral levels. Using hard water cleaner every two months can also help eliminate residue buildup.

Rack Doesn’t Roll

Remove the rack from its track and check the see if the rollers or wheels are cracked or damaged. If so, reorder the same type of rollers as a replacement.

Follow the steps in the DIY YouTube video below that corresponds to your part to replace the dishrack roller in your dishwasher.

If the rack was only unaligned from its track, simply realign it.

Dishwasher Won’t Drain

When your dishwasher won’t drain, the problem may be as simple as a clogged sink drain, but there are other places that can get clogged, too. This Sears DIY repair video shows you how to find and clear a clog to get your dishwasher draining again.

If you’re unable to find the cause of the drain problem and fix the dishwasher yourself, it’s time to call in a repair professional.

Dishes Not Drying

There are a few things that could be causing the problem. Certain dishes like plastic items don’t dry as well as others. Other issues like water temperature and incorrect loading could also affect drying performance.

We’ll show you how to check for these simple issues before talking about some component failures. A broken heating element or a malfunctioning high-limit thermostat could also keep your dishes from drying. We’ll walk you through the whole troubleshooting process and help you get your dishwasher back in good working order.

Follow the DIY troubleshooting steps in this YouTube video to fix the problem.

Dishwasher Won’t Fill

The problem could be as simple as something stuck in the overfill float or a problem with the water supply line. Or one of several parts might have failed. Watch this DIY YouTube video to learn how to test the door switch, overfill float switch and water inlet valve to see which part to replace to get your dishwasher working again.

Dishwasher has No Power

When your dishwasher won’t power up, the problem could be as simple as checking the power source or making sure the on/off switch is on. If the quick fixes don’t solve the problem, this Sears DIY video also walks you through how to access and check the wire connections in the junction box and the user interface control so you can get your dishwasher working again.

When to Upgrade Your Dishwasher Instead of Repairing It

When your dishwasher is older than seven years, we recommend that you replace it if repairs would cost at least half of its original price.

You’ll also need to consider replacing your dishwasher when it’s over 10 years old and parts begin wearing out.

Upgrade You Appliances Image

When the time comes to replace your dishwasher, or all of your kitchen appliances, visit our Upgrade page to easily select the products you need and get help with financing.

We’ve consolidated all help, financing offers and savings into one location on our Upgrade page to make it easy for you to replace your appliances now. No hassles and no waiting. Get your new kitchen appliances today.

Efficient and durable appliances help make a house a home. Whether you just need a new dishwasher or you’re buying a whole set of new appliances, Sears carries a wide selection of home appliances from top brands like Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE, Samsung and LG.

No matter what you need, we have all the products and resources to help you manage your home and make your life easier.

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.

Was this information helpful?

Repair Dishwasher Resources

Image of homeowners fixing a noisy dishwasher

Find simple solutions for a noisy dishwasher at Sears Home Services.

6 min readMay. 21Dishwasher
Discovering the Top 6 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher is Not Working

Discover the top 6 reasons your dishwasher is not working with Sears Home Services.

5 min readMay. 21Dishwasher
Deciphering Dishwasher Error Codes: What Your Appliance is Trying to Tell You image

Discover the meaning behind your dishwasher's error codes with Sears Home Services.

5 min readMay. 03Dishwasher
dishwasher soap

Get professional advice on troubleshooting and resolving your dishwasher soap dispenser not opening problem for sparkling clean dishes.

4 min readApr. 11Dishwasher