Dishwasher Issues and Repair Solutions
Some dishwasher designs use a pump-motor assembly where the pump and motor are built (and replaced) together as a unit. In this design, the pump is external to the dishwasher tub. Other dishwashers designs have a separate motor (external) connected to an internal pump (located just below the spray arms inside the tub. Each design has advantages and disadvantages.
Pump-motor assembly units usually do not develop leaks from the tub gasket, but are prone to leakage from the pump itself. In this case, the entire pump-motor assembly must be replaced.
Units with a separate motor are prone to leakage from the main tub-to-motor gasket. If the leakage continues for long, the motor bearings will rust and the motor must be changed out. Older KitchenAid and lower end Whirlpool/Kenmore are subject to this failure.
- Using too much soap. Run dishwasher without soap and see if leak still occurs. If not, then reduce soap usage or change soaps altogether.
- Worn door gasket. Test by operating dishwasher and see if leak stops while pushing on the door.
- Worn tub-to-motor gasket. Remove motor and replace gasket.
- Leaking pump/motor assembly. Replace entire assembly.
- Debris caught in spray arm. Remove spray arm and clean out with water and compressed air.
- Worn or split spray arm hub assembly (especially on GE and Hotpoint).
- Split spray arm. Replace.
- Worn drain impeller on models without a drain solenoid. Most common to rebuild Kitchenaid and old DM pumps.
- Defective drain solenoid on units so equipped. Most common on GE/Hotpoint dishwashers.
- Clogged drain line, usually at the disposal inlet connection if dishwasher connects there.
No Water into Dishwasher
Defective water inlet solenoid. Run ohms check, should be 20 to 50 ohms. If electrically bad, it’ll read open. Valves can also fail due to sediment damage and freezing damage. Be sure to test valve both electrically and mechanically to determine its status. Valve may check good on an ohms test but may fail after repeated activations due to fatigue. Check using a test cord to repeatedly energize and d-energize the valve.
Defective overflow float switch. Test continuity.
Overflow float switch stuck or debris caught under float preventing it from closing the float switch and energizing the fill valve. Most common in KitchenAid.
Timer not energizing water fill circuit. Live test using volt meter and checking for presence of 120v at appropriate pin of the timer.
Runs Too Long
Defective thermostat. This problem will become apparent with the water heat option selected. Check by running the dishwasher with this option de-selected and see if it proceeds normally through the cycle.
Timer not advancing through cycle.
Hums Then Shuts Off
Motor is seized. Replace motor.
Doesn’t Clean Dishes Well
Worn pump-motor assembly (GE/Hotpoint) or worn wash impeller (depending on design). Test by placing a glass upright in upper rack with full charge of water in the basin. Run dishwasher for 30 seconds. Glass should fill up. If not, replace pump-motor assembly or wash impeller.
Debris caught in spray arm holes. Remove spray arm and clean out with water and compressed air.
Heating element burned out. Check water temp during wash–should read between 130 to 140 F.
Insufficient water fills in basin. In most models, proper fill level is just up to the heating element. Much less than this will result in poor cleaning.
Glassware is Cloudy
Etching due to rinsing dishes prior to loading. Load dishes with food soils still on.
Hardness deposits. Test by soaking cloudy glass item in vinegar for one minute. If cloudiness goes away, have water softener installed or serviced.