How To Fix a Dishwasher

Do you love washing dishes? Do you have a dilemma with your precious machine? Are you looking for easy to follow steps on how to fix issues with your dishwasher?
To fix your dishwasher, you should first identify the issue. It may be leaking, having trouble with water filling, not drying, and more.
In this article, we’ll show you how to identify and solve the problem on your own, if possible.

Main Dishwasher Problems

Here are the main issues that most dishwashers run into:
  • The dishwasher is leaking
  • The machine is working, but the plates are not drying
  • The dishwasher doesn’t drain dirty water after a complete cycle
  • The machine isn’t cleaning the plates
  • The machine is not filling up water

Ways You Can Fix Some Issues with Dishwasher

Now that we know the issues, here’s how to solve them:

1. Dishwasher Is Leaking

If the dishwasher is leaking, follow these steps to diagnose and fix the problem:

Check if You Have Overloaded the Detergent

This may cause soap scum to build and foams up, which will eventually cause the leak and harm your dishwasher. Be sure to use the suitable detergent and add just the amount needed.

Check the Pipe Connection at the Back

The hoses of your dishwasher can loosen over time, so make sure that they’re tightly connected. Check the water inlet valve as well, since this can also cause flooding. If there are cracks in the hose, you may get a replacement from the hardware store.

Open the Door of the Dishwasher

See if there are cracks, missing pieces, or dried food inside. If you see any foreign debris, remove it with care.

Check for Holes in the Tub

Depending on the severity of the problem, some cracks can be fixed by filling silicone caulk into it. If there’s corrosion at the bottom, though, it might be time to get a new one.

2. Dishes Aren’t Drying Up

Certain factors cause the dishes not to dry up. Here are the simple solutions you can follow:

Stack Your Dishes Properly

Load the dishes properly on the rack, and do not overload them. Proper loading will help the airflow inside the dishwasher to circulate thoroughly, drying your dishes in the process.

Check the Rinse Aid Dispenser

The rinse aid is near the interior door, next to the detergent dispenser. If it isn’t full, remove the cap from the dispenser and pour the rinse aid until it’s filled.

Check for Any Mass of Sticky Substances

A mass of sticky or messy substance may prevent the rinse aid from dispensing into the machine. You may get rid of it by using a suction device.

3. Dishwasher Isn’t Filling

Damages and obstruction in the supply line may cause the dishwasher to not fill with water. Here are the things you can do to fix it:

Assess the Control Board for Failure

Make sure that power interruption isn’t the cause of the problem.
Check if the child lock is on. If it is, deactivate it by simultaneously pressing and holding the two buttons noted on the control panel for 3 seconds until the lock indicator is off.
See if the dishwasher control panel needs to be reset by simply unplugging the dishwasher. Wait for about a minute before plugging it back again. If the control panel still won’t run or if the lights keep on blinking, it may be time to replace the control board panel.

Check the Stop Valve

Look for the stop valve under the sink. If it is open, make sure to close it.

Look For Clogs in the Dishwasher Filter

Remove food particles or any foreign debris in the filter, for these can cause clogs.
Grease may also develop over time and can clog under the sink. Detach the hose using a screwdriver (place a bucket or basin under the sink before this process) and remove any grease or particles you see.

Inspect the Inlet Valve for Faults

The inlet valve is somewhere behind the lower access panel and has two wires attached to it. If it’s faulty, you may hire a professional appliance repair service, as this step requires working knowledge and skills.

4. Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

There are a couple of reasons why your dishwasher isn't draining; some of these can be solved easily. Before troubleshooting and for your safety, turn off the power to the machine and pull out the fuse. If you are ready, do these:

Assess the Drain Hose

If you see any kinks in the drain hose, gently straighten it out by blowing air through it. If the hose is in poor condition, replace it to improve its ability to pump water.

Check if the Drains Are Blocked

Look for the drain hose underneath the sink and check for blockages. If there are, carefully remove the hose from its position and start unclogging by blowing through one end of the hose.
If you spot standing water on the lower part of the tub, use a small container like a plastic cup to remove as much as possible.
Note that after a complete cycle, there can be a small amount of water under the tub, and that’s normal. You may check the manual to confirm this.

5. Dishwasher Isn’t Washing or Not Cleaning

It’s frustrating when your dishwasher isn’t doing its job, but cleaning it will most likely fix the issue. Here are the troubleshooting steps to get this problem solved:

Load Your Dishes Properly

Stack your dishes properly and make sure it’s not overcrowded. Improper loading limits the airflow from circulating inside the dishwasher and thus leaves your dishes with stains of leftover food.

Clean the Filter

Check your owner’s manual on the proper way of removing the filter from the machine; it may differ from model to model. Once the filter is removed, wash it thoroughly under hot water.
If there is stock-on gunk on the filter, immerse it in hot, soapy water. Wait for a couple of minutes, then gently clean it with a soft bristle brush before rinsing.
You may also pour 2-3 cups of vinegar and start a cycle. Vinegar can help improve the cleaning cycle since it can clean grease from walls and gunk or buildup in the spray arm.

Check for Low Water Pressure and Hard Water

Adjust the pressure switch to set the water pressure the right way. It can save you from the trouble of dishes not washing.


Since dishwashers play an important role in mitigating our daily workload, we should take good care of them. Just like how important it is to keep our bodies clean, it should also be with material things we own.
Knowing the easy to follow steps on how to fix issues with your dishwasher will spare you the trouble of spending too much on buying a new one. Sometimes, you just have to let your mind learn the trick and your hands do the magic.
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