Replacing or Repairing Dishwashers – 7 Signs Your Dishwasher Might Need Fixing

an oak kitchen cabinet with large fridge freezer and dishwasher

In the hustle and bustle of contemporary life, the kitchen stands as a central hub for many households. It’s not just a place to prepare meals, but also a space for bonding, sharing, and making memories.

Within this busy environment, the dishwasher has emerged as a cornerstone appliance, bridging the gap between convenience and efficiency. This article delves into seven common problems that often lead to repairing dishwashers or replacement.

From leaks and loud noises to drainage issues and persistent odors, you’ll get a comprehensive look at what could be going wrong with your appliance.

You’ll also find rough cost estimates for fixing each issue. These estimates aim to give you a general idea of what you might expect to pay for repairs. It’s important to note that these are ballpark figures. Actual costs can vary based on your location and the specific make and model of your dishwasher.

Replacing or Repairing Dishwashers

With that in mind, let’s review the seven most common dishwasher issues to look out for.

1. Dishwasher Not Turning On

If your dishwasher in your kitchen won’t power up, it’s not necessarily broken beyond repair. A blown fuse or tripped breaker could be disrupting its power supply, so make sure it’s properly connected.

Another frequent culprit is a malfunctioning door latch. If the door doesn’t close as it should, or if the dishwasher’s control system believes it’s not closed, the machine won’t start.

The cost to fix a dishwasher varies depending on your problem. A simple blown fuse or tripped breaker is the cheapest to fix, a new fuse generally costs just a few dollars. For a faulty door latch, the replacement part typically ranges from $20 to $50, plus labor. At least this is our experience from offering dishwasher repairs in Melbourne.

If the problem is more complex and involves the electronic control system, you could be looking at a repair cost ranging from $100 to $300, depending on the specific issue and parts needed.

2. Dishes are Dirty After a Washing Cycle

If your dishes aren’t coming out clean, you might be overloading the dishwasher or using the wrong type of detergent. There are various detergent options like powders, gels, and tablets, so check your dishwasher’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to find the best fit for your appliance.

However, if the issue persists, it could be due to more serious problems like damaged circuitry or electronic components. Power surges can mess up your dishwasher’s electronics and disrupt cycles, sometimes even displaying error codes. For issues like this, you’ll likely need to consult a professional repair service.

Professional repair services for electronic issues can range from $100 to $300, depending on the complexity of the problem and the parts needed. Obviously, costs vary depending on the machine and the issue.

Dishwasher Rack

You may also start to notice that rust spots are developing on the rack, which is a sign that the protective coating has worn off and you may need to look at dishwasher rack repair. Over time, the tines (the vertical prongs used for holding dishes) can become brittle and break. Broken tines can make it difficult to securely place dishes and might also lead to damage or chipping of the dishes.

Also, mold or mildew can develop in the nooks and crannies of the rack, especially if there are areas that hold water. This not only poses a health risk but also indicates that the rack isn’t drying properly.

3. Your Dishwasher is Leaking

Noticed a puddle under your dishwasher lately? Just like the washing machine in your laundry room, a dishwasher can spring leaks for several reasons.

Here are some of the usual suspects that cause a leaking dishwasher:

  • Damaged Drainage Hose: A worn-out or damaged drainage hose can cause water to leak out. Check the hose for any signs of wear and tear. Fixing a damaged drainage hose can be relatively inexpensive, often around $20 to $50 for a new hose plus labor.
  • Faulty Pump or Pump Seal: If the pump or its seal is damaged, it may not be able to properly circulate water, leading to leaks. To check, remove the lower spray arm and filter to access the pump, and look for visible damage or wear on the pump and its seal. Repairing or replacing a faulty pump or pump seal can be more costly, ranging from $100 to $300 depending on the make and model of your dishwasher.
  • Worn-Out Door Seal: As dishwashers age, the door seals can become brittle and less effective at keeping water inside. If you notice water near the door, inspect the rubber seal for cracks or brittleness. A worn-out door seal is usually the cheapest to fix, with new seals typically costing between $10 and $40, plus labor if needed.

Figuring out which of these issues is causing your dishwasher to leak will help you fix the problem fast. This can save you both time and money on professional repairs.

4. You Have Water Fill Issues

a grey kitchen with modern appliances and open shelves

If your dishwasher isn’t filling with water as it should, or it won’t stop filling, the problem can be complex to diagnose. Issues with water fill could be linked to damaged circuitry, a malfunctioning float or float switch, or problems with the water inlet valve. It’s difficult to fix these issues independently.

A faulty float or float switch is the cheapest issue to fix. A replacement part typically costs between $10 and $40. The cost of replacing a water inlet valve is often between $50 to $100. Damaged circuitry is significantly more expensive.

5. Dishwasher Not Draining Properly

A common reason for a dishwasher not draining is a clogged drainage system, which can lead to messy leaks that might be a cause for a home renovation and bacterial growth. Many dishwashers have filters that you can clean yourself to prevent such clogs.

On the other hand, the issue could be more serious, like a faulty drain pump or damaged circuitry affecting the cycle. For these more complex problems, it’s advisable to consult a professional appliance repair service.

For issues like a faulty drain pump, the cost can range from $50 to $100 for the part, plus labor costs. Labor costs vary but often start at around $100.

If the issue is with the circuitry, you could be looking at costs ranging from $100 to $300. The cost will depend on the extent of the damage and the cost of replacement parts.

[mailerlite_form form_id=7]

6. Dishwasher Getting Noisier Than Usual

If your dishwasher has gone from being quiet to noticeably loud, there could be a few reasons behind it. Overloading can often be the culprit, as large dishes can obstruct the spray arms from rotating freely.

However, persistent noise could indicate more serious issues like a failing pump, worn-out bearing ring, or damaged spray arm seals. If you’ve tried troubleshooting and the noise persists, it’s best to consult a professional for repairs.

A new pump can range from $50 to $100 for the part, and labor costs can start at around $100. Bearing rings and spray arm seals are generally less expensive, with parts usually costing between $10 and $30, but labor costs can add up if the repair is complex. Overall, you could be looking at a repair bill ranging from $100 to $300 depending on the specific issue.

7. Dishwasher Smells Bad Even After Cleaning

If it has a lingering odor, it’s often due to food particles stuck in the strainer screen or filter. You can use a specialized dishwasher cleaning solution to run an empty cycle and clean the machine. Alternatively, white vinegar can be a budget-friendly cleaning option.

If the smell persists even after cleaning, check to make sure the dishwasher is draining properly. Drainage issues can contribute to bad odors.

Cost Comparison Between Fixing and Buying a New Dishwasher Unit

When your dishwasher starts showing signs of malfunction, one of the biggest dilemmas homeowners face is whether to repair the existing unit or invest in a brand-new one. Should you repair or is it worth repairing dishwasher? 

  1. Cost of Repairing a Dishwasher: You need to take into account service fees, parts, the labor required to fix it, and the frequency of repairs. 
  2. Cost of Replacing a Dishwasher: The initial investment could cost between $400 to $700, or even up to $2000 for a high-end model. You also need to consider the cost of installation, how energy efficient it is, and any warranty costs. 
  3. Key Considerations: Age of the dishwasher, cost threshold (if the repair costs more than the dishwasher is worth), technological advancements, and environmental impact. 

The decision between repairing and buying a new dishwasher isn’t solely a monetary one. It also depends on factors like the age of the unit, your future plans (e.g., are you moving soon?), and personal preferences.

However, by carefully comparing the costs associated with both options, homeowners can make an informed decision that aligns with their budget and needs.

About the author:

James Rob is a valued member of the content team at National Appliance Repairs. With a keen eye for detail, James ensures readers receive accurate and helpful information. When he’s not working, James enjoys exploring technology advancements and spending time with his family.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here.

[mailerlite_form form_id=7]

Replacing or Repairing Dishwashers - 7 Signs Your Dishwasher Might Need Fixing Pinterest pin

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *