How to Fix a Broken Dishwasher: A Guide for Homeowners

Picture this: you made the most incredible lasagna last night. It was so good, you decided to skip the dishes and go to bed, congratulating yourself on a job well done.

Today, you must face the mess left behind by last night’s meal. You decide to put all the dishes in the dishwasher rather than wash them by hand. You load the dishes, fill the soap dispenser, close the door, turn the dial to start the wash cycle, and… nothing happens.

If you’ve dealt with a broken dishwasher before, you know how unpleasant this situation can be. When your dishwasher is not working, your dishes pile up, you get frustrated, and it’s hard to know how to get the machine back up and running.

Thankfully, several common dishwasher problems have easy solutions. Keep reading for a few tips and tricks to try before calling your repair person to help with your dishwasher issues.


Clean Out the Moving Parts

Sometimes, your dishes go through a wash cycle but come out looking as dirty as when you first put them in. This issue requires you to clean out the spray arm.

After taking out the bottom rack of your dishwasher, see if any dishes are blocking the spray arm from spinning freely. If not, look for plastic, glass, and other debris in the holes of the spray arm.

Remove the cap of the spray arm and take the whole thing out of the dishwasher. Clean out any gunk you find, and soak the arm in water or a cleaning solution to remove any mineral buildup left by hard water. Put the arm back in your dishwasher, and you’re good to go!

Check the Seals

For a leaky dishwasher, the most important step is to figure out where the leak is coming from. See if you can tell where the water is coming from while the washer is running.

If it’s somewhere around the door, you’ll need to tighten the seal on the door. While the dishwasher is turned off, adjust the latch (usually found at the top and center of the dishwasher frame) so that the door closes more tightly. If that doesn’t stop the leaking, clean the seal all around the edge of the door.

If the leak is coming from below the dishwasher, take the bottom front panel off of the machine and look for a leaky hose or gasket. Sometimes, you can tighten the hose back up or clean the gasket, stopping the leak.

Call in the Experts

Some more advanced dishwasher repairs need you to unhook the dishwasher from its water supply, electricity line, or both to complete repairs. This is often the first step for repairs on dishwashers that won’t fill with water or won’t even turn on in the first place. If you’re new to fixing broken appliances on your own, this is the time to call a professional.

A repair service like The Appliance Doc can help you with all repairs that you can’t do on your own. They service all major brands and models and can help with any home appliance repair you need.

Say Goodbye to the Broken Dishwasher Blues

The next time you’re facing down a broken dishwasher, try one of these tips to fix the problem yourself. If the repair is beyond your skill level, call on the repair experts to help you out.

Searching for more tips on home cleaning, maintenance, and DIY? Take a look at the other articles in the Lifestyle section of our site!

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