From residue buildup to dryers that don’t work, we identify some common dishwasher issues, and how to solve them.
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Dishwasher: Repair or Replace?
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.
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. If the rack was only unaligned from its track, simply realign it.
Water Won’t Drain First make sure there aren’t any clogs in the filter area or the drain hose, which could be connected to a garbage disposal. Once you’ve determined that a clog isn’t the issue, it’s time to call in a repair professional.
Dishes Don’t Dry A dishwasher’s heating element, which dries dishware, can eventually open up and stop working. If this happens, call a technician to install a new one.
Runs Too Long If your dishwasher’s water temperature isn’t at least 120 degrees, the run cycle will take longer to complete because the water needs to heat up to this temperature to work at optimum efficiency. To test if your water’s hot enough, fill a cup with hot water from the faucet nearest your dishwasher. Place a thermometer in the cup – if the water isn’t at least 120 degrees, have a qualified professional raise your water heater’s thermostat setting.
Interior Crack If the inner body of your dishwasher is cracked, there’s a chance that water and soap could leak onto the mechanicals. If you see a crack, it’s probably time to start shopping.
Old Age If your dishwasher is older than seven years, experts advise to replace it if repairs would cost at least half of its original price.