3 Simple DIY Dishwasher Repairs

Dishwashers are one of the most convenient appliances in the home. Because of this, you are likely to start missing your dishwasher quickly if it stops working. While many homeowners leave dishwasher repairs to a professional, there are several simple fixes that anyone can do. Here are three common problems that you may encounter with your dishwasher, and what you can do to fix them.

Dishwasher is Leaking

Dishwasher leaks can get out of hand quickly and cause water damage to the floor around your dishwasher. The leak in your dishwasher can have a few different sources. If you notice that the water is pooling in front of the dishwasher, the gasket around the door of the dishwasher is probably worn. The gasket can simply be replaced to fix this type of leak.

More serious dishwasher leaks usually occur around the pump gasket. A defective pump gasket will cause a leak behind the access panel at the bottom of the front of the dishwasher. To replace the pump gasket, first remove the racks from the inside of the dishwasher, and then pull up the wash arm assembly.

You will then use a screwdriver to remove the clip holding the water guide in place. Pull the water guide out of the upper and rear brackets holding it in place, and twist the water guide to remove it from the bottom of the dishwasher.

Finally, you will unscrew the filter assembly from the bottom of the dishwasher and pull it up to access the gasket. Remove the gasket from the pump housing, and install the new one in the same position. Finally, reassemble all removed components and the leak will be repaired.

Dishes Aren't Getting Clean

If your dishwasher isn't cleaning dishes properly, you can often fix the problem by cleaning the dishwasher itself. Start by removing the racks from the dishwasher and pulling up the wash arms. Soak the wash arms in white vinegar and then wipe them down with a rag to dislodge soap scum and grime that is clogging them up.

After cleaning the spray arms, you should check if the filter is clogged with leftover pieces of food and debris. If the filter has a removable screen, lift the screen up and dump the debris in the trash. If the screen is not removable, you can suck the debris out of the filter with a wet/dry vac to unclog it.

Your dishwasher can also fail to clean your dishes if the water drain reservoir is clogged. Remove the cover to the reservoir and use gloves to feel around for grime that is clogging it. If the grime is fairly solid, you can simply dig it out by hand, but it may work better if you use a pipe cleaner to unclog it.

Dishwasher Isn't Draining

While a small amount of clean water in the tub of the dishwasher is normal, it should never be so full that it spills out when you open the door. Dishwashers that won't drain are usually suffering from a blocked drain hose. The drain hose usually becomes blocked by a kink in the hose that obstructs water flow.

To check for a kink in the hose, simply pull the dishwasher out from the wall and adjust it until you can push the dishwasher back in without causing strain on the hose. When you do this, you may  notice that the hose has a small knick or that there is a strong odor coming from the hose. In this case, you will often need to replace the drain hose to get your dishwasher running properly again.

Almost everyone will encounter at least one of these problems with their dishwasher at some point. Before calling a professional, use these guidelines to see if you can locate the cause of the problem and repair it on your own. If these methods don't work, it's time to call a local appliance service company. 


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