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Dishwasher problems can often be resolved by some simple cleaning and maintenance that most of us can undertake.
Most households in the UK today have a dishwasher, once a luxury they are now a necessity for the majority of us. They are great time savers and most
problems that arise with dishwashers can be easily resolved.
Dishwasher problems usually reveal themselves in one of four ways. Either the dishwasher will not start at all, the dishes are not clean at the end of the cycle,
the dishwasher is smelly and producing an unpleasant odour or there is water on your kitchen floor.
Often the first instinct is to call out a local appliance repair service but a few minutes spent diagnosing the problem can often mean that you can easily resolve
the issue yourself and save money and time.
Whatever your problem is your first step should be to get out the dishwasher manual and read the troubleshooting page. This especially applies to men. If you
can't find it you can probably download one from the manufacturers site.
Dishwasher problem number one. The dishes are still dirty or have a film on them and / or the dishwasher is smelly.
+ Make sure that cutlery is correctly positioned and not obstructing the rotating spray
+ Check the manual to make sure you are not overloading the machine and stacking the
dishes correctly in the racks and baskets.
+ Are you using the recommended salt and detergent?
+ Do you always scrape excess food off the plates before putting them in the
dishwasher? You should do and you do not need to rinse them, in fact it is better not to
+ If you are going to leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher for long periods run a rinse and
hold cycle when you first put them in.
If all of the above is OK then move on to these next steps.
+ Clean the dishwasher door seal with a damp cloth and use a brush to get into the
awkward to access flanges of the seal.
+ Lift out the bottom rack and remove and clean the drain filter. Whilst you have the filter
out clean inside the housing as well.
+ Take out the rotating spray arm, usually means undoing one nut by turning it in the
opposite direction that the arm turns. Clean the arm and spray holes with running water
and a toothbrush or bit of wire if needed to ensure they are not blocked with bits of
+ Run a normal cleaning cycle of your dishwasher, after the first intake of water has
drained put a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top rack and let the cycle complete.
+ If you have a waste disposal that you use a lot gunge could be clogging the corrugated
dishwasher drainage pipe. Check to see if this is the problem by disconnecting it and if
needed clean the pipe with some rag and a stiff piece of wire.At the same time put some
ice cubes in the waste disposal und run it until they are crushed, then turn the water on
and this should clear any build up of debris inside the disposal unit. After that run it
again and chuck some lemon peel in.
Dishwasher problem number two. There is water on the kitchen floor after using the appliance.
This is usually caused by one of three things, the dishwasher is not draining properly,
the door seal is cracked or worn of the door needs adjusting.
+ Open the machine and inspect the door seal. Are there any obvious signs of wear like
cracks or perishing? Is the seal coming away from the door? The most likely area this
will be happening is at the bottom of the door as this has the hardest workload. You can
buy and replace the seal yourself but be aware that this is not straightforward on some
models so you may want to get a service engineer to do this for you.
+ If the seal looks OK then it is possible that the dishwasher door is not closing
properly. Run the appliance and take a close look to see if water is leaking from the
bottom of the door. Whilst it is running lean on the door, if there is a noticeable noise
reduction then the door may not be properly closing and needs adjustment. Consult the
manual, this is normally a fairly easy task requiring no more than a screwdriver and
access to the adjustment plate on the door.. Adjust the door in increments, testing as
you go, because you don't want to overtighten it. Consult the manual for your specific
model door adjustment.
+ Check that the drainage pipe is not blocked with detritus of has a kink in it obstructing
the waste water flow.
Beyond these steps the resolution of the problem becomes more difficult and you will
probably want to call in some help.
Dishwasher problem number three. It won't start.
If the dishwasher will not start at all and none of the normal lights or electronic displays
come on then confirm that the power supply is OK.
+ Your appliance is Should be on a fused spur so find the plug and then replace the fuse
if it has blown. Check your consumer unit / fuse box and make sure and RCD switch has
not tripped. If this is a regular occurance then get an electrician to find the root cause of
+ If the appliance power supply is OK and there is a humming noise when you try and
run a cycle it could be that the motor is stuck. This is most likely to happen if you have
not used the dishwasher for a long period of time. You can remove the bottom plate and
wearing gloves try to hand turn the motor to free it. You must isolate the power supply to
the dishwasher before doing this.
If none of the above steps resolve your dishwasher problems then unless you are more
capable than the average householder then it is time to call the service engineer but
hopefully you will not be paying a hefty charge for someone to do what you may have
been able to do yourself in a matter of minutes.
Read the manual.
Clean the spray arm
Clean the drainage pipe
Check the seal
Adjust the door
Turn the motor.
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