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Home Repairs: Dishwasher Trouble Shooting

 couple posing on floor


If the dishes are not coming clean, there could be a clog somewhere, a broken spray arm, or a problem with water filling the dishwasher.   Or it may simply be packed a bit too full (That’s a quick and easy fix).   “Dishwasher ailment research” began in earnest when my dishwasher started having ” issues”:  The soap dispenser didn’t empty adequately and the plates weren’t coming clean… Read on for typical dishwasher ‘ailments’ and easy ‘solutions’:

The float that controls the water lever could be stuck.  Take a peak underneath the  little float mechanism at the bottom… on  the dishwasher floor, to see if a utensil might be lodged there.

The holes in the spray arms could be clogged with food.  Those holes are easy to clean, using  a pin or a toothpick.  (If the arm is cracked, order a new one, and  just attach it  using  the existing screws.  There should be no more than a couple of little screws, holding it in place.)

The water fill valve could be clogged (most often due to calcium or iron deposit accumulation). If that’s the case it’s not a self-fix, and you’ll need a repair person.


If the garbage disposal plug was not  removed before the disposal was hooked up to the drain hose (which actually is a rather common installation oversight)  the dishwasher won’t drain. Under the sink you’ll find a small hose that goes from the dishwasher to the disposal. Remove that hose.  Push the plug  out from the nosle using a screwdriver … and just replace the hose.

If  food  is stuck in the drain pump motor, you’ll need a service technician  to unclog it. 

If the repair cost is running more than what you feel  might be appropriate, due to the age of the appliance (or wear and tear),  a new dishwasher might be a better option.  The manufacturer or installer of the new appliance can often remove and dispose of the old appliance.  In the Miami area, many neighborhoods/communities allow for pick up of bulky waste, and will haul away items as long as the resident phones in or emails for a pick up.  For more information on bulky waste pick ups and haul-away’s in Miami Dade, click here.  And will remove appliances for a fee.

Considering buying or selling your house?  Please give me a call at 305 793-1365 or 305 632-0164 or send me a note.

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