Dishwasher Troubleshooting

Although dishwashers have seen advances in their design and operation, the basic workings of a dishwasher remain simple and straightforward. In comparison to other household appliances, dishwashers are robust, reliable and easy to repair and troubleshoot. Despite this, dishwashers do sometimes go wrong. Faults can be caused by many things ranging from a lack of maintenance through to faulty components.

Of course sometimes it is best to call in a qualified engineer to carry out repair work, but a lot of the time troubleshooting a dishwasher can quickly find the cause of the problem and often the fault is something which can be remedied quickly and easily without any need for costly new parts or repairs

So before calling out for a service engineer it is worth spending a few moments troubleshooting your dishwasher and diagnosing the problem. Below are a few of the most common problem which you might experience with your dishwasher and some troubleshooting tips which can see your dishwasher back up and running quickly and for free.

  • Dishwasher won’t Fill – There are a number of reasons why a dishwasher might not be filling. To start with ensure that there are no problems with the water supply to the dishwasher. Make sure that the supply is turned on, that the water valve to the dishwasher is open (you’ll usually find this under the kitchen sink) and that there are no kinks or blockages obstructing the water inlet pipe. Dishwashers will not run if they detect that the door is not closed or properly sealed. Check to make sure that the latch on the door is catching properly with no obstructions and also check the seals around the door to make sure they are in place and not damaged. If all this seems to be OK then check the inlet valve on the dishwasher itself. This can be found behind the panel located below the door of the dishwasher. Ensure that everything is sealed tightly and that there are no leaks.
  • Dishwasher won’t Heat Up – The majority of dishwashers are not connected to hot water from the mains but heat up the water internally using the heating element, located in the tub of the dishwasher, controlled by a thermostat. When the dishwasher has a fault with heating, the program will run but not complete and will show an error code on the display panel. Dishes won’t be cleaned properly and the detergent won’t dissolve. If your dishwasher does bring in hot water externally from the mains to check the water is warm and there are no problems with the inlet. If the dishwasher heats internally then it is most likely a faulty heating element or thermostat. A fault like this will usually require a replacement part and a repair, but you can check the heating element with a voltmeter to ensure that it is the cause of the problem before calling out for a service engineer.
  • Dishwasher won’t Drain – Dishwashers commonly have issues draining water and often this is a result of a blockage caused by lack of maintenance rather than a faulty component. It is not uncommon for a little to sit in the basin of the dishwasher for a while after a cycle completes, but if there appears to be more than usual then there may be a blocked drain, filter or outlet. the first thing to do is remove all the filters from the drain in the basin. They are quite often covered in gunk which hampers drainage so give them a clean in hot water. Whilst the filters are out, make sure the drain is unobstructed. If the filters and drain are clean and clear but your dishwasher is still not draining properly then have a look at drain hose and outlet valve and make sure that they properly connected, sealed and free from any blockages and kinks.

For further assistance please have a look at our page about common dishwasher problems.