Dishes Not Getting Clean? 7 Telltale Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Dishwasher

Dishes Not Getting Clean? 7 Telltale Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Dishwasher

Do you know how many dishwashers get shipped in the U.S. every year?

8 million units, that’s how many. In fact, this 2019, experts say the U.S. will ship a total of 8.69 million dishwashers!

This proves just how much we rely on these appliances to help keep our homes clean and tidy. And if you treat your dishwasher with the TLC it deserves, you can rely on it for the next seven to 12 years.

However, there will be times wherein you’ll need to repair or replace dishwasher parts. Not the entire unit itself — only components that have a shorter life span.

So, which parts are these and how can you tell that they warrant repairs or replacements?

That’s exactly what we’ll share with you in this post, so be sure to read it until the end!

1. Dishes Come Out Still Looking Used or Worse

Low water pressure can reduce a dishwasher’s scrubbing effectiveness. If this happens, it can’t scrub away food debris from your plates, bowls, pans, pots, and utensils. The result is food residue still being stuck to your dishes even after a complete wash cycle.

Another possible culprit is a loose or damaged dishwasher water supply line. If the connection isn’t secure, water can leak out and cause low pressure.

Clogged drain screens or drains can also be the reason for your washed, yet still dirty dishes. In this case, the blockage doesn’t let food debris to exit the appliance. Instead, the bits of leftover food settle on the bottom of the dishwasher.

These bits can then mix with the water the dishwasher will use for the next cycle. And since the debris still can’t get out due to the clogged screen or drain, they’ll end up sticking to your dishes.

If you notice any of these faulty dishwasher signs, it’s time to call the pros for help.

2. Dishes Feel Cold to the Touch (Right after a Cycle)

Most dishwashers have their own built-in heating element. This is the part that allows them to heat water for a cycle.

Some dishwashers need to have a hot water supply though. These are units that connect straight to a water line (usually the same line your kitchen taps connect to).

Either way, problems with the heating element or hot water line can cause your washer to run cold water. If it connects to a water line, that line could be the root cause.

If your dishwasher has its own heater, then a failed heating element could be the culprit. In this case, the dishwasher’s heating coil or thermostat likely needs replacement. Pick up the phone and call a licensed appliance repair technician ASAP.

By the way, failed heaters and thermostats can also occur on clothes dryers. If you’re having a similar heating issue with your clothes dryer, you can read more here to learn about their fixes.

3. Bubbling (or Glug, Glug, Glug) Sounds

You know the glug, glug, glug sounds you hear when pouring milk out of a box? If you hear similar noises whenever you run the dishwasher, it may signal a clogged drain hose. Luckily, unclogging a drain hose is an easy DIY job, so long as you have the right tools.

If you’re not comfortable detaching the hose from the drain trap, better call a technician. This way, you don’t have to worry about puncturing the hose and causing even more damage.

A louder-than-normal humming sound, on the other hand, can signal a faulty fan. If it’s a high-pitched hum, it can mean that the dishwasher’s motor is on its last legs. In both cases, you should contact a dishwasher technician to replace the faulty parts.

4. Foul Smells

If your nose curls whenever you open your dishwasher door, it may be a sign of a clogged filter or trap. These clogs, as you can imagine, are organic matter (AKA food debris). When they decay and break down in your dishwasher, they’ll produce musty, funky smells.

This is an easy fix, as you only need to take the filter out and give it a thorough washing. Make sure the cabin itself doesn’t have food debris in it.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, then the culprit can be a kinked or bent dishwasher drain hose. A curled or twisted hose can be causing wastewater to flow back into the appliance. If you can’t straighten out the hose, it’s time to get a technician to replace it.

5. Water Doesn’t Pump into or Out of the Washer

Your dishwasher has a sensor that triggers the water pump to either pump water in or out of the appliance. If this sensor breaks, your dishwasher pump won’t know if it’s time to let water in or drain it out. You need to have the broken sensor fixed or replaced.

If your sensor is working fine, the likely culprit is a failed or damaged pump. You need a dishwasher pump replacement ASAP, or it could keep pumping water into the unit. Water can quickly fill your entire washer and overflow out of it.

If this happens, you can end up with serious indoor flooding that can cause massive water damage. So you know, homeowners water damage claims now average more than $6,700. Now, compare that to the cost of a professional dishwasher repair, which is only $256 to $363 on average.

6. Your Dishes Come Out Wet

Have you noticed how your dishes come out dripping wet or at least moist after a cycle? If so, take that as another sign you need repairs for your dishwasher. This could indicate a broken fan or a burned-out fan motor.

7. Water Leaks from Under the Washer’s Door

If your dishwasher’s door seal has worn out, the door won’t close completely, and it will allow water to leak out. If the seal appears to be in good condition though, try wiping it down with a clean, damp rag. It’s possible that the seal is only filled with soap residue which is causing it to seal incorrectly.

Another culprit is a broken door latch that, like a poor seal, won’t let you fully close your dishwasher door. If the latch doesn’t catch or if the door doesn’t seal, avoid running the appliance. Call a repair technician as this problem can turn into indoor flooding.

Don’t Put off Hiring Pros to Repair or Replace Dishwasher

There you have it, all the signs you should be on the lookout for when it comes to your dishwasher. If you call the pros early, then they may only need to repair or replace dishwasher parts.

That’s why it’s best to contact appliance repair technicians ASAP. This way, you can prevent these issues from worsening and forcing you to buy a new appliance.

Ready for more tips that can help you prolong your home appliances’ life? Then be sure to check out the rest of the posts filed under the “For the Home” section! Better yet, save it in your bookmarks bar so you can always check back in for more useful guides.


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