|Dishwasher Diagnostic & Repair Guide
|Leaks suds and/or water.
- You're using too much soap. Try running it without any soap and see if it still leaks. If not...well, you do the math, Sport.
- Read about more common dishwasher leaks.
- You used dishwashing liquid by mistake. Oh sure, you'd never do this. If I had a quarter for every service call I've been on with this very problem, I'd be sipping margaritas in Costa Rica right now instead of writing this fool repair guide.
- Your door gasket is split or worn out. Look at it, Hoss, and git you a new one.
- The tub-to-motor gasket is plum wore out. How can you tell? Well, you gotta get on your hands and knees with a flashlite and look at it.
- The pump/motor assembly is leaking (mainly GE/Hotpoint dishwashers). You can either replace the entire pump/motor assembly or just replace the seal kit.
- You got crud caught in them little holes in the spray arm. Look at it reeel close and clean it out. Hint: it's easier if you take the spray arm out and do it.
- The spray arm hub assembly (what the spray arm is mounted on) is split. Usually seen on GE, Hotpoint, and Magic Chef dishwashers.
- The spray arm is split.
|Won't pump out.
- The drain impeller is plum wore out. If it's Kitchenaid or an old DM dishwasher, you can rebuild the pump.
- The drain solenoid is burned out. You'll usually see this on the GE/Hotpoint and Magic Chef dishwashers.
- The drain line is clogged. This usually occurs at the point where the drain line connects to the disposal. Just take the hose off and clean it out.
- More help with drain problems in this repair revelation on Dishwasher Drainology.
|Water won't "pump" into the dishwasher.
- Newsflash: water isn't "pumped" into the dishwasher--it flows in under pressure just like the water from your kitchen sink.
- The water inlet solenoid is burned out. Use your ohm meter and check the solenoid coil. You should get between 20 to 50 ohms.
- The solenoid overheats after a few cycles and stops responding. You gotsta check the valve mechanically by repeatedly energizing and de-energizing it with a test cord. If you can't do this, call in a pro, Hoss.
- The overflow float switch is stuck open or burned out.
- Overflow float switch has crud or a spoon caught in it making it stay stuck open. I've seen this alot on Kitchenaids.
- The timer isn't putting out the 120v to the water valve. Ain't but one way to check it...that's right, gotta use your volt meter.
|Wretched thing ran all night and didn't shut off.
- Thermostat's fried. Try running the dishwasher with the water heat option de-selected. If it goes through the cycle ok, then you know you got a thermostat problem.
- Timer is fried. Well, if it ain't the thermostat then it can only be the timer. Am I right or am I right? Can I hear an Amen?
|Makes a hum noise then shuts off.
- Not GE/Hotpoint: Motor is fried. End of story.
- GE/Hotpoint: Stuck seal. Remove kick plate and, by hand, turn the fan on the pump motor.
|Doesn't clean the dishes worth a hoot.
- You're using cheap detergent. You need to be using good stuff like Shaklee's Basic D
- Pump-motor assembly is worn out (GE/Hotpoint) or the wash impeller is worn out (other brands). Do the 30 second test: place an empty glass upright in upper rack with the dishwasher already full of water. Run it for 30 seconds. The glass should fill up. If not, well, you know what to do.
- Crud stuck in the spray arm holes.
- The heating element's burned out or it's not getting voltage. Ohm that sucker out and measure the voltage at its terminals during the heat water portion of the cycle.
- The basin isn't getting enough water during the fill part of the cycle. Usually, the right water level is just up to the heating element. If you're not getting enough water, you probably got crud stuck in the inlet valve screen.
- You're loading your diswasher all wrong.
|All your pretty glassware is getting cloudy.
- It's getting etched because you're being anal about rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Heck, why even have a dishwasher if you're gonna do that? All you're doing, besides wasting water, is raising the alkalinity of the wash water and crapping up your glassware. Read about more dishwasher mythology here. But, hey, what do I know, I'm just an appliance tech, right?
- You've got hard water and it's leaving mineral deposits on the glass. How to tell etching from hardness? Soak a cloudy glass item in vinegar for one minute. If cloudiness goes away, it's hardness deposits. Get a water softener.