There are very few things which are more irritating than your dishwasher not working right when you need it. It really takes a toll on your entire day especially if you don’t know the reason behind it.
Fixing a dishwasher can be expensive and time consuming but knowing what the problem might be can make this entire process a little easier.
One common issue is when the dishwasher fills and drains but fails to wash the load. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for this problem.
Some of the most common reasons behind this can be a problem with the wash motor, spray arms, impeller seal or a problem with the control board or the circuit board. You can diagnose some of these issues by yourselves but in certain cases you will have to call for some professional help.
Why Your Dishwasher Fills But Doesn’t Clean
Issues With The Wash Motor
Possible blockage: if your dishwasher is getting filled with water but the dishes are not washing then run an empty cycle in your appliance and listen to the sounds of the wash motor. If there is a slight humming sound, then there is a possibility of a blockage in the wash motor.
Most of the time, small pieces of glass ware get stuck in the motor. You can simply check for any blockage and remove the debris if there is any. I’ll address how to check for this later on in the article.
Faulty wash motor: If the motor makes clicking sounds, or if the motor does not start within a few minutes of starting the cycle then there is a good chance that the motor has gone bad. In this case you will simply have to replace the wash motor with a new one.
How To Get Access To The Wash Motor And Check If There Is Any Debris Stuck
Before you access or open any components of the appliance make sure that it is switched off and plugged out.
Handling electrical appliances can be dangerous and you should follow all the necessary precautions before you handle them. If you don’t have any experience with electronics, you should call for some professional help.
There should be an access panel, or a lower kick panel located in the back of the washer. This panel is usually attached by some screws so you will have to unscrew the panel. In some models you might have to open the door to unscrew it.
There should be two wires connected to the motor, you will have to detach them.
Now once this is done, you can either take out the motor, check for any blockage or replace it. But you can also check if the motor is bad or not using a multimeter. Just touch the probes to each of the wire terminals. Set the multimeter to R x 1.
The resistance reading should be around 0, the motor has very little resistance. If the reading is not this then your motor should be faulty.
Issues With The Spray Arms
Spray arms are responsible for cleaning the dishes by spraying or shooting water at the dishes from the bottom of the washer.
Over time, the holes of the sprayer can get clogged either by food or mineral deposits of hard water. This can either lower the intensity of the water being sprayed or completely stop it.
The easiest way to check and repair this issue is to detach the sprayer from the bottom of the washer and check if the holes have been blocked.
The easiest way to clear this congestion is to use a toothpick or a metal wire which is thin enough to penetrate the holes. This is likely going to be an issue if the wash motor was working properly.
If the amount of mineral deposit in the spray arm is too much, then soak it in warm water and add some vinegar to it. This helps dissolve some of the debris stuck in it.
Once you fit this component back into the dishwasher make sure that it spins freely before switching it on for a trial run.
The Control Board Being Faulty
The control board is where the chipset is located and can be considered as the brain of the appliance. It is responsible for signalling different components to perform their functions. If there is any issue with the control board then the appliance might be getting conflicting or confused signals while running a cycle.
The difficult thing here is to figure out if this is the exact issue. Even if you gain access to the control board and if you don’t have experience with electrical circuits then it can be really hard to tell if there is any issue. In this case you should call a professional. Most of the times if there is any issue with the control board then the component has to replaced.
Problem With The Main Pump Impeller Seal
The impeller seal is meant to last about 4 years of heavy use, usually they last a lot longer but if this seal gets damaged then water gets into the main pump motor bearing.
If this happens, the motor will fail, and the water will simply get filled and drain out. If you select a wash cycle and there is a whine like noise, then it might indicate a problem with the impeller seal.
Once you get access to the pump, rotate it to take it out of the appliance. The impellor usually gets screwed off the pump. To replace it, remember how the seal was attached in the first place. If too much water gets into the motor bearing than you will have to repair it as well.
Before attempting to fix and check any part of the appliance, make sure you are taking all the precautionary measures. If you don’t have experience with electrical equipment, you may want to call a professional.
Most of the issues I have discussed can be fixed by yourself or by a professional and it shouldn’t cost you a lot of money. In case you have to replace some parts, it still would be much cheaper compared to buying a new appliance.
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