Troubleshoot the Dishwasher

Clean cutlery and plates

The dishwasher keeps you from having to hand-wash all those dishes that pile up throughout the day, which is a huge time saver. But what if your dishwasher is suddenly not working correctly? Before stressing out, try checking these common problems and see if you can make some small adjustments to fix it yourself!

There is water puddled on the floor:

It could be a broken door latch or gasket. Check both the latch and gasket for any visible cracks or damage, and clean both thoroughly. These parts can be replaced if there is damage.

The float switch could be stuck in the down position, which would mess up the water level of the dishwasher and cause it to overfill. Check its position and if it is stuck, clean it and remove any debris that could be getting in the way of it.

Make sure you are not using too much soap, as this can cause an overflow as well.

Dishes come out of the cycle still dirty:

First make sure that it is not a user error- the most common reason for this is overloading the dishwasher. Double check the recommended load size in the appliance’s manual. Also make sure that the dishes are being put in correctly, as things going in the wrong spots can interfere with the cleaning cycle. Scrape the food off your dishes before putting them in the machine!

After checking that it is not something you are doing, check to see if there are any obstructions. Thoroughly clean the float, the spray arms, and the racks themselves. If you find that a spray arm is broken or cracked while cleaning, replace it, as this could be the issue as well.

If the dishes have water spots when they come out, the water is likely staying on them too long in the cycle. A rinse aid can usually resolve this. Also, if they come out with a white residue, you may have hard water. A water softener (or a detergent that helps with this purpose) can easily fix this.

Machine is not starting:

Start by checking the power sources- make sure there is not a blown fuse and that the outlet in use is working properly. Unplug the dishwasher and plug it back in.

Look at the latch on the door. Check for damage and see if it is fully closing the door. The dishwasher will not be able to start unless the door is properly closed and latched.

If the dishwasher makes noise but is still not actually starting, it is probably the motor that is causing an issue. Try spinning the fan motor by hand and see if it is stuck.

Remember to read and understand the manual for your specific appliance, as this can give the most insight on problems and solutions. Hopefully these tips can help you get back to a properly working dishwasher and avoid washing those dishes by hand!

Check out our Appliance Repair section for information on what parts to check or replace for any dishwasher problem. We also have helpful dishwasher repair videos, as well as genuine OEM dishwasher replacement parts for your next appliance repair.

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