What Are the Most Common Dishwasher Problems?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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Some of the most common dishwasher problems are poorly cleaned dishes, inadequate drainage, and leaking. Not rinsing dishes before placing them into a dishwasher can lead to partially cleaned dishes, even if the machine is placed on the heavy cycle. Dishwashers that do not drain are also common and, occasionally, also the fault of dishes that were too dirty. In addition, many people find that their dishwasher has started to leak, and this can be due to using hand-washing soap or an ill-fitted door. Whatever the problem, there is usually a repair person that can help, but depending on the severity of the problem, the price of restoring the dishwasher to working order can sometimes be enough to purchase another one new.

One of the most common dishwasher problems is the machine not completely cleaning the dishes. This can be caused by several things: dishes that weren't rinsed enough, poor water pressure, or water that is not hot enough. Often, this common problem can be fixed by simply rinsing the dishes more thoroughly before placing them in the machine. While it is generally fine for the dishes to be visibly dirty, there should not be chunks of food. Occasionally, the user simply forgot to add the detergent or the door to the detergent failed to open during the wash.


Among the most common dishwasher problems is a dishwasher that does not drain. This problem is typically caused by a clogged drain pipe, normally due to food that was not rinsed off the dishes before running the machine. Removing the visible food may be enough to allow the dishwasher to drain. Sometimes, however, the problem is more complex and involves a kink in the drain hose or a failing pump drain. A flooded dishwasher is not always as it seems, however; the water could be fresh water that leaked in after the machine properly washed and drained.

Another common, but frequently inexpensive and easy to fix, problem is the leaky dishwasher. In this situation, the first thing to check is the door gasket, which may be too worn, broken, or dirty. If the gasket does not seem to be the problem, the next thing to check is how securely the dishwasher door fits onto the machine. A door that wiggles or can be pushed into a more secure position is most likely too loose and causing the dishwasher to leak. Occasionally, the solution is as simple as switching to an actual dishwasher detergent instead of using hand soap or a homemade mixture that foams too much.


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