How to Troubleshoot & Repair a Dishwasher

Over the past decade, dishwashers became an absolute necessity in modern household kitchens, relieving the owner from the task of manually washing dishes, which can be very time consuming, and overall – a hassle.

Dishwashers operate on a basic principle of washing a load of dishes that has been placed in specified racks inside the dishwasher with multiple jets of water. With the complexity of functions and features increasing, there is a correlating inflation of faults and breakdowns within the appliance as well.

Power and water supply issues, dish cleanliness quality, and drain function problems are all relative and common faults that could occur with any dishwasher of any make and design. Several simple tips and tricks exist for consumers to be able to troubleshoot their unit independently, without paying for a service visit from a qualified technician.

Power supply problems

One of the broadest issues that can occur within a dishwasher, with external and internal factors that can attribute to the usability of the appliance. With electronic parts consuming up to %85 of any dishwasher build, it is very probable for an issue to occur due to an electrical surge or miscommunication between parts.

If your unit is not powering at all, the first recommended action is to make sure that power is being supplied to the unit, which will have to be verified by a certified technician or electrician.

Next step is to perform a hard reset of the unit by turning off the power. In most cases, dishwashers are hard-wired directly into household electricals and will be needed to be shut off directly from the fuse box. A hard reset should be performed for a minimum of 15 minutes before restoring power.

Once power is restored, check for the functionality of the dishwasher and if you are still encountering issues, it is indicating that a fault exists within the unit, with one on more parts possibly damaged and attributing to the fault at hand.

Common parts that can be related to a power issue include main control board, door switch, power cut-off fuses, user display/control boards, or the main wiring harness that connects to all the aforementioned parts. In order to provide a further diagnosis, a certified technician will be required to disassemble the unit, and test every component separately.

Water supply issues

Simple to diagnose, and can be attributed only to two main valves that operate in conjunction to properly supply water to the unit. Before diagnosing, ensure the main household water valve is on and working correctly.

The first valve that should be tested is normally located under the kitchen sink and is the hot water supply valve with a water line (either copper or braided steel) connected directly from it to the dishwasher.

In order to check that the valve is open and providing water, it is possible to disconnect the water line from the valve (make sure the valve is turned off at this point to avoid leaking or flooding while the line is disconnected) and see that water pressure exists by placing a bucket and turning the water valve on. If there is no water pressure, a plumber will be required to come in and test the valve and associated plumbing within the household.
The second valve is located within the dishwasher itself and is located in the bottom left corner of the unit, behind the kickplate.

This valve can be tested by powering the dishwasher on, and listening to any indication of the flow of water, and checking the inner tub of the dishwasher within five minutes of starting the cycle for any signs of water inside the dishwasher compartment.

If the dishwasher valve is deemed inoperable, it will require further testing to ensure that it is receiving power correctly, and will require a qualified technician to be called in for service.

No drain fault

In order the diagnose a dishwasher that does not drain, or only partially drains, there are only a few simple minimal things that can be checked without the requirement of a technician.

Ensure that the drain hose is not kinked or blocked by debris, anywhere along the line; it is also possible to disconnect the drain hose from underneath the sink and let the dishwasher drain into a bucket to ensure a full flow.

When entering a drain cycle, if any apparent cracking or humming noises are apparent, the drain pump can be either blocked with debris, or the impeller is damaged and is no longer creating enough turbulence and pressure to push water out, which will require the drain pump to be serviced or replaced.

In some cases, there is a filter assembly inside the dishwasher, located on the floor that can be disassembled and checked for any debris that could be possibly clogging water exits, or the pump itself – please refer to the manufacturer brochure for proper instructions on how to clean the filter.

Other possible parts that can cause a dishwasher to not drain properly include: main control board, door switch, diverter valve, and cut off fuses; but all are required to be tested by a technician as well.

Not cleaning dishes properly

A dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly negates the main demand from a dishwasher and therefore deems it ineffective.

General misuse of dishwasher function is regarded as the biggest contributor to ineffective cleaning and poor performance. Dishes must always be rinsed and cleaned of any significant food debris, in order to prevent the debris clogging certain passageways within the unit.

Spray arms can be removed and assessed for any clogs in the jet holes, which could prevent water from effectively cleaning dishes, rinse with water and remove any possible obstructions in the washer arms.

Vinegar cycles are highly recommended to be performed once a month to maintain cleanliness in the tub; remove any accumulated debris in the circulation pump and associated water hoses; and potentially remove any calcium build up that would leave your dishes with a foggy, smoky film layer after wash.

Further potential parts that can be at fault include: circulation pump, diverter valve, water heater, and potential clogs in piping within the unit; all the aforementioned parts will require a certified technician in order to disassemble the dishwasher and test further.

For further questions and maintenance tips, please contact us via our free chat, located on our website at, for immediate support from one of our qualified technicians. We are available 24/7, and will always attempt to answer your questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.