Your dishwasher doesn’t operate as well as it used to, and you’re tempted to buy a new one. “According to Consumer Savvy Tips, it’s fun to buy a new kitchen appliance, but if you’re on a budget, coming up with the needed cash may be difficult.”
Don’t give up on your old dishwasher yet. You can repair a lot of common problems without spending a lot of money.
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With the guidance of your owner’s manual, and a few repair tips, your dishwasher can be operating efficiently again.
General Maintenance Tips
Your dishwasher should still be operating efficiently 11-13 years later, with built- in models usually lasting longer than portable models. Tips to follow include:
Not overloading your dishwasher, and placing more fragile items on the top rack
Waiting until you have a full load to run the dishwasher, and following the manufacturer’s recommendations on types and amounts of detergent to use
Checking hoses regularly for cracks or leaks
Using citric acid periodically to remove stains
Cleaning the outside of the dishwasher with a cleaning cloth and dish soap when necessary, avoiding the control panel.
Repairing on a Limited Budget
If you need a replacement part, you may not need to spend extra money for name brand parts. Visit the local junkyard, and take the parts you need from these discarded dishwashers. You may be charged a fee, so ask about prices before you start stripping parts.
Visit thrift stores and recycle centers. You may be able to remove the part you need if the machine is going out for scrap, or waiting to be recycled.
Common Repair Problems
Dishes still dirty – Check to see if you’ve selected the proper wash cycle. Shorter cycles may save water and energy, but if that cycle is inappropriate for the load, the dishes won’t get clean.
Is the water hot enough? Turn on your kitchen faucet, and see how quickly the water heats up. If the water temperature is hot, see if the control knob can be turned up to a higher temperature.
Excessive food scraps may be clogging internal filters, so remove the filter and clean if necessary. To prevent a clogged filter, scrape food off dishes before loading into the dishwasher.
Detergent cups are often caked with old detergent, preventing cups from opening and dispensing the detergent. Scrape off old detergent, and if it’s caked too badly, buy new detergent cups.
Water Leaking- The main tub seal may be leaking. Located under the drain impeller, the main tub seal prevents water from leaking into the motor shaft. Water levels in the dishwasher should barely cover the heating element, and if levels are above that, water can leak.
A bent or deformed door latch allows water to leak from the door, and may need to be replaced.
An aging gasket or seal on the door or tub may not be sealing properly, and replacements need to be installed.