Dishwasher problems are among the most common kitchen plumbing problems faced by homeowners. While these issues are rarely difficult to fix, they can be quite a nuisance. Let’s go over common dishwasher problems, potential causes and solutions.
Dishwasher draining issues
A dishwasher that is not draining is at the top of the list of common dishwasher plumbing problems. A potential cause for this is an air gap in the hose connected to your dishwasher. This air pocket could be preventing water from fully draining out. Another culprit could be a backed up garbage disposal. In either case, this can be easily fixed by simply running your disposal for approximately 30 seconds.
A clogged dishwasher filter or food particles from dirty dishes could be blocking the water flow. Check the inside of your dishwasher after emptying it out and clean your dishwasher filter on a regular basis to prevent this from happening. Ultimately, the dishwasher pump is the essential component that allows your dishwasher to drain. If the dishwasher pump is broken, you’ll instantly run into draining problems. If unpleasant odors are coming from your pump, this is likely a sign of draining problems. Call a professional to inspect the pump and establish if it can be fixed or if it may need to be replaced all together.
It’s also important to understand that while your dishwasher is a separate fixture, it drains out into the same drainline as your kitchen sink. This means that if you have a clog in your drain it will affect your dishwasher as well and cause draining issues and water overflowing. Drain clogs can be a little more difficult to resolve but they can quickly escalate into large scale plumbing problems and therefore should be addressed quickly and appropriately.
A leaky dishwasher is another common dishwasher problem that fortunately, is usually an easy fix. The first thing you should establish is if the dishwasher is leaking while the dishwasher is running or when you’re running the kitchen sink. If the problem seems to occur while the dishwasher is running, you should address the dishwasher and its component directly.
Dishwasher door. A good place to start is to check the door. A door that does not latch properly will enable water to leak out between the cracks. A few good turns with a screwdriver will tighten the latch and solve this issue. A door gasket is the rubber strip on the outer perimeter of your dishwasher that creates a seal when you close the dishwasher door. Check this seal for rips or signs of wear and tare, suggesting it needs to be replaced.
Float Switch. Another potential cause of a leaky dishwasher is a faulty float switch. A float switch is responsible for regulating the amount of water your dishwasher fills up with. If this device is not working properly, your dishwasher will fill up with too much water, creating leaks in the process. To check this, open your dishwasher and pull out the bottom rack. Locate the float switch on the floor of your dishwasher. It is usually in the front right corner. Gently lift the float switch up and down and listen for a clicking noise. The clicks indicate that the float switch is working properly. If it is not, it’s possible it is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Alternatively if your dishwasher is leaky while you are using the kitchen sink, then the dishwasher drainpipe is sitting too low. Position the drain pipe so that it sits higher than the sink drain to resolve this problem.
For more troubleshooting tips on your fixtures, drain problems or plumbing best practices, visit our resources library and remember that for plumbing emergencies, our trained and licensed professionals are ready to assist you 24/7.