5 Dishwasher Repair Tips That Will Save You Time, Money and Frustration

Nasty smells, a sink full of gross water and a dishwasher that doesn’t work all add up to a pretty frustrating experience. To make matters worse, you probably aren’t getting the help you need. It’s hard to know where to turn for trusted repair help when you don’t know how to fix your dishwasher yourself. But don’t despair! We have the answers for you.

1. Diagnose the problem before you repair a dishwasher

The first thing you need to do is figure out what’s wrong with the dishwasher. If you don’t know, then you won’t know what parts you need to replace or repair. You also need to determine if the problem is the result of a faulty component or if something more serious is going on. Ask to see the inside of the dishwasher to determine if it’s actually malfunctioning.

Next, you need to determine if your dishwasher is safe to put in the trash. Many of us have liquid damage to the bottom of our dishwashers when they leak liquid, leading to water damage and overflowing into the interior parts of the dishwashers. If the problem is that dishwashers might leak liquid, it might be more convenient to send the one you have to the landfill than to learn how to fix it yourself. But if the problem is actually something more serious—such as the dishwasher flooding—it might be best to give it to a trusted professional to fix.

If you’ve been sifting through the junk in your kitchen for hours trying to figure out exactly what you need to replace or repair, you now know better than to start with a dishwasher. You can check for necessary repairs by connecting your dishwasher to an Electrolux or Leviton dishwasher triplex sensor. Look for the indicator light in the middle of the triplex sensor, which should flash once every two minutes. If any of these lights are flashing or abnormal, the appliance needs immediate attention or you may have to call a professional. If the appliance doesn’t have any abnormal flashing lights and doesn’t need immediate attention, then call a professional if one of your kitchen appliances is leaking.

If your dishwasher has a garbage indicator light, then the time has come to dispose of the old, clogged garbage disposal. Disconnection of the garbage disposal can get very difficult if the appliances are up in the air.

2. Fixing a dishwasher that won’t drain


Step 1: Remove the dishwasher from under the counter.

Some dishwashers are designed to be installed under the counter, and they can be easily removed from this location to access the underside of the unit. If your dishwasher is not installed beneath the counter, you might need to remove the cabinet or wall panel that is covering the dishwasher.

Heating vents are often located behind or next to the electricity outlet to help with heat retention. Regardless of where they are located, they are easy to access and remove. If you can’t reach into the bottom of the unit to perform these steps, reach under the cabinets or countertop and find the vent on the back without stripping off the insulation.

Step 2: Remove the electronics.

This will give you a better look at the inner workings of the appliance. The main components of a dishwasher can be found in both the upper and lower cabinets. You must first remove the upper cabinet. Follow the instructions and tools for removing the upper cabinet door, including removing Phillips head screws. After you remove the upper cabinet, you can check for the exact wiring diagram. If there is a schematic, this automatically means there are wires that need to be disconnected. If none of the appliances are connected, don’t feel caught off-guard — most of your wiring is located in the lower cabinet.

Step 3: Loosen the latch pin that locks back the upper cabinet door.

Doing so allows you to open the upper cabinet to access the underlying wiring. Connect the appropriate terminals on the upper cabinet door to the terminals you see on the dishwasher wiring diagram, and then tighten the latch pin.

Step 4: Test the operation of the dishwasher.

This part is simple, and if it’s going to run problems, you’re most likely not ready for it. Empty the dishwasher into a sink or waste container. If the water comes out of the bottom or front of the dishwasher, it’s probably all good. Return the upper cabinet door to its normal position.

3. Troubleshooting problems with the heating element

Finding a problem with your heating element can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to figure out what the problem is with your dishwasher.


Many of the most common appliances have operating procedures. If your appliance has these instructions, the chances are good that you can find a procedure to fix the issue quickly. If the problem seems so big that you can’t find anyone to help you, it’s time to call a plumber. Ask the professional about services that are available to fix appliances .

4. Repairing issues with the drain pump and water valve


I had a few issues with my washer/dryer combo. Specifically, the main issue was with the drain pump and the water valve. The drain pump was not pumping enough water out of the washer, so it was filling up with water. The water valve was not opening because it was not sensing that the water was hot enough.

5. Getting rid of smells in a dishwasher


If you’re having trouble getting your dishwasher to stop smelling like mildew, try this trick. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray the mixture onto the interior of the dishwasher, then run a cycle. The smell should magically dissipate.


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