Is My Dishwasher Broken? 3 Issues That Do Not Require Appliance Repairs

31 May 2016
 Categories: , Articles

If you have always hand washed and dried your dishes due to a lack of a dishwasher, moving into a home equipped with this appliance can cause worries to arise with every use. The dishwasher may frequently function in unexpected ways, causing you to believe that the appliance has gone on the fritz. Since that is more than likely not the case, resist the urge to allow the worries to turn into panic about inevitable appliance repairs. Instead, read on to learn about the three following commonly suspected dishwasher issues that are often just the way it is designed to operate.  

Standing Water In The Bottom Tub

After emptying your dishwasher, you may catch a glimpse of standing water in the bottom of the tub, causing worry about the drainage abilities of your appliance. Fortunately, most dishwashers are designed to retain about one cup of water in the tub beneath the bottom rack. The standing water helps keep the seals around the drainage piping moist and in good condition.

If the dishwasher drained all the way, the seals would end up drying out and cracking, which would likely cause water to leak beneath the appliance. Water retention above the one cup limit, however, could point to a potential clog in the drain lines or filter. The float at the bottom of the tub could also be stuck open with food debris, causing the remaining rinse water to remain at a higher level than normal.

Prolonged Hum Before Starting

Upon selecting the wash cycle and pressing the start button, you likely expect the dishwasher to immediately kick on and start spraying fresh water onto the dishes. Upon hearing a constant hum instead, you might start to worry the appliance has ceased working. Dishwashers typically begin by sucking out the rinse water left in the bottom of the tub before commencing the new wash cycle. The hum you hear is very likely the motor siphoning the excess water through the drain lines.

If the dishwasher has not been used in a day or so, the motor may also prime the fresh water lines before starting up. The hum should stop after a few moments, after which you will hear the dishwasher begin to send fresh water cascading over the dishes in the top and bottom racks. If the hum continues for more than a few minutes, your dishwasher may need the control panel repaired or replaced.

Dishes Not Completely Dry

If you open your dishwasher and see water spots over the dishes, you may suspect it is in need of repair or replacement. Thankfully, that is not likely the case. Your dishwasher's drying cycle is actually optimized for a particular number of dishes arranged in a specific order. The amount and spacing of the dishes you place in the racks can impact the performance of this important cycle.

You can look at the owner's manual to see how the dishwasher manufacturer suggests loading your dishes in the top and bottom racks. The manual may even suggest placing the silverware facing up or down, depending on the shape of the basket and position of the spray arms. Try arranging your dishes as directed to see if that rectifies the problem. If not, your dishwasher may need the heating element tested and replaced.

Scheduling Preventive Appliance Maintenance

To prevent feelings of panic from arising in response to suspected dishwasher problems, schedule regular maintenance calls with a repair technician from a company like Goldman  Appliances Inc. The maintenance visits should include a thorough inspection that helps identify worn or damaged parts before they cause a problem. The repair tech will clean the filter, flush the drain lines and check the function of the dishwasher to ensure it is in good working condition anytime you need to run a load of dishes. When a problem does arise, your tech will be well-versed with the condition of your dishwasher's internal components, which can help reduce your cost and time investment for the required repair tasks.