Dishwashers - Troubleshooting/FAQ

My dishwasher will not start

Is the door open or unlatched?

  • Make sure the door is completely closed and latched. Check for obstructions (spoons, etc), interfering with the door operation. A lower dish rack that is installed backward will also cause incomplete door closure.


Is there power to the dishwasher? 

  • Check your household electrical box to see if a fuse has blown or if the circuit breaker has tripped. If the unit has a plug-in power cord, make sure it is plugged in.


Does your dishwasher have a rotary timer knob? (Some models) 

  • The cycle selection must match the position of the timer knob. Turn the timer knob to the beginning of the preferred cycle. The timer knob should click when you reach the start of the cycle.


Is the control lock option activated? 

  • Press and hold the Heated Dry option (button with lock icon) for five seconds and the light should turn off. Instructions are also placed on the label on top of the inner door to unlock the controls.


Is the delay start option activated? 

  • To cancel the delay and cycle, press Cancel/Drain.


Has the motor stopped for less than 10 minutes? 

  • The motor may have stopped due to an overload. If this is the case, the motor will automatically reset itself within 5-10 minutes.


Is the water shutoff valve (if installed) turned on? 

  • Make sure that the water shutoff valve is turned on.

 

Why isn't my dishwasher draining?

 

Is the door open or unlatched?

  • Make sure the door is completely closed and latched.


Is the selected cycle incomplete? 

  • Press Cancel/Drain to try and drain the standing water.


Is the water level just covering the pump module? 

  • This is normal. A small amount of water will be seen in the bottom of the sump area at the base of the pump. This is to ensure that the pump seal does not dry out.


Is there a new garbage disposal? 

  • Make sure the knockout plug is removed in the new disposal. For many dishwashers, the drain hose is connected to the disposal. The knockout plug must be removed from inside the food waste disposer inlet.


Is the drain system blocked? 

  • Run the disposer to clear the drain system.


Do you have an air gap at your sink? 

  • Check to see if the air gap is blocked by foreign material. To clean the drain air gap, follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. With most types, you lift off the chrome cover, unscrew the plastic cap, and then check for any soil buildup. Clean if necessary.


Is there a loop in the drain hose less than 20" above the floor? 

  • Make sure the drain hose is looped up so that it touches the underside of the counter before connecting to the sink drain or disposer.


Is there a kink in the drain hose? 

  • Replace a kinked drain hose.


Did you reuse an existing drain hose? 

  • Make sure to use the new drain hose that came with the dishwasher.


Is the sink drain clogged? 

  • If the sink is not draining well, a plumber may need to be contacted. Most dishwashers connect to the sink drain. If the sink drain is clogged, the dishwasher can't pump out water.

 

My dishwasher does not fill

 

Is the door open or unlatched?

  • Make sure the door is completely closed and latched.


Is the water supply valve turned off? 

  • The water supply valve must be turned on for the dishwasher to fill.


Is the overfill protection float restricted? 

  • Remove obstructions from the float area. Move the float up and down to see if it moves freely. The overfill protection float (in the front right corner of the dishwasher tub) keeps the dishwasher from overfilling. It must be in place for the dishwasher to operate.


Does your dishwasher have a rotary timer knob? 

  • The cycle selection must match the position of the timer knob. Turn the timer knob to the beginning of the preferred cycle. The timer knob should click into place.


Is the dishwasher immediately draining as it is trying to fill? 

  • Your dishwasher could be siphoning. Create a loop in the drain hose at least 20" (50.8 cm) above the floor.

  • Make sure the drain hose is looped so that it touches the underside of the counter before connecting to the sink drain or disposer.

  • Use or install an air gap if the drain hose is connected to house plumbing lower than 20" (50.8 cm) above the subfloor or floor.

 

Why is my dishwasher leaking?

Is the water temperature above 160° F?

  • If the water temperature is higher than 160° F, lower the water heater thermostat setting to 120° F. If extremely high-temperature water is used, water tends to leak at the very beginning of the cycle in a cold dishwasher.


Is the dishwasher level? 

  • Make sure the dishwasher is level. The dishwasher must be supported by the leveling legs and rear wheels and must be flat on the floor. 


NOTE: Some models will have four leveling legs. The dishwasher must also be square in the cabinet. If the tub opening is not square, the door will not seal properly. This is the responsibility of the customer or installer. 

Is water pooling at the base of the unit?

  • Check that the water supply line is properly connected.


Is water dripping from the front of the unit? 

  • Check for oversudsing which may appear as a leak from the corners.


Was the lower rack empty? 

  • If no dishes were in the lower rack, the dishwasher may leak because of the spray directly hitting the door.


Was something in the rack (such as a pan) facing the door seal? 

  • Water could have deflected off the pan and through the seal.

 

My dishwasher does not wash or rinse well

Check the water pressure.

  • The water pressure to the dishwasher should be 20 - 120 PSI (3/8" O.D. copper water line or 1/2" O.D. plastic water line).


Check the wash cycle selection. 

  • Select the appropriate cycle for the dish load. Selecting a short or light wash cycle may save water and energy, but may not provide proper wash action for a heavily soiled load. If food soils remain on the dishware after the cycle, a longer cycle may be required. Please consult the Owner's Manual.


Check the water temperature. 

  • Proper water temperature is essential to achieve optimum results from your dishwasher and the detergent. Hot water is needed to dissolve and activate the detergent so that it can loosen and remove common food soils.


The hot water heater should be set to deliver at least 120 degree Fahrenheit water to the dishwasher. 

  • To check the water temperature, run the hot water at the kitchen sink and measure the temperature of the running water with a candy or meat thermometer. Adjust the temperature of the water heater accordingly.


Be sure that the dishwasher is filling with the hottest possible water. 

  • Run the hot water faucet at the kitchen sink prior to operating the dishwasher. Also, avoid running the dishwasher while hot water is being used for other activities.


Check the amount of detergent and the water hardness. 

  • The amount of detergent needed depends upon: water hardness, the amount of food soils left on the dish load, and the temperature of the water going into the dishwasher.


Use a rinse agent. 

  • Rinse agents promote wash and dry performance by causing the water to sheet off of the ware inside the dishwasher. This prevents water spots from forming on the glassware and dishware.


Check the dishwasher loading. 

  • Make sure dishes are loaded properly to insure that water can reach all of the soiled surfaces in both racks. Please consult the Owner's Manual for proper loading patterns for your specific dishwasher model.


Excessive amounts of food may clog the dishwasher filters and reduce wash performance. 

  • In models without extending wash towers, the spray arm may be removed to check the fine filter underneath. Gently lift up the spray arm while rotating it counter clockwise about 90 degrees. This will "unscrew" the arm and permit its removal. Inspect the fine filter. It should be clean.

  • If the fine filter is not clean, contact our service department. To prevent this from happening, scrape dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. It is not necessary to pre-wash your dishes, just scrape off the big chunks.

 

My dishes don't dry completely

Was the Heated Dry option selected?

  • Use the Heated Dry option for better drying results.


Was rinse aid used? 

  • Your dishwasher is designed to use rinse aid for good drying performance. Without rinse aid, your dishes and dishwasher interior will have excessive moisture.

  • The heat dry option will not perform as well without rinse aid. Rinse aid improves drying and reduces water spots and filming. Water "sheets" off dishes rather than forming water droplets that cling and leave spots.


Is the rinse aid dispenser empty? 

  • Make sure the rinse aid dispenser is full. Use a rinse agent to remove the mineral residue that creates water spots and film on dishes and begin enjoying spot-free table ready dishes after every wash.


Were items loaded incorrectly? 

  • Load items at an angle. This is very important, especially for plastic items. Also, some water may be left in the bottom of concave cups and mugs.


Is the water temperature too low? 

  • For best results, the water should be 120° F as it enters the dishwasher. Loads may not wash as well if the water temperature is too low.

  • Water that is too hot can make some soils harder to remove and cause certain detergent ingredients to not function.

  • If your water heater is located far from the dishwasher, it may be necessary to run the hot water at the faucet closest to the dishwasher to minimize the amount of cold water in the water line.

 

My dishwasher has an odor. What should I do?

 

Is there a new plastic smell?

  • This is a normal smell and should dissipate with time. Run a white vinegar rinse to reduce the odor.

  • Wash and rinse dishes. Do not use a heated dry option. Use an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Remove all silverware or metal items.

  • Put 2 cups (500 mL) of white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher-safe measuring cup on the bottom rack.

  • Run the dishwasher through a complete washing cycle using an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Do not use detergent. The vinegar will mix with the wash water.

  • Run the dishwasher through a normal cycle with detergent after cleaning the interior.


Are dishes washed only every two or three days? 

  • Run a rinse cycle once or twice a day until you have a full load.


Is there a petroleum smell? 

  • This is a normal smell. Some models have sound-deadening material that smells like petroleum.


Is there a varnish smell? 

  • This is a typical motor smell. Some motor windings are treated with a varnish. This smell will wear off in approximately one month.


Is there a burnt plastic smell? 

  • Possible cause: Plastic parts have fallen onto the heating element during a cycle.

  • Solution: Remove plastic parts from heater after it has cooled. After a few cycles, the excess plastic will burn off.

  • Possible cause: Plastics washed were not dishwasher safe.

  • Solution: Wash only dishwasher-safe plastics in the dishwasher.


Is there a musty, spoiled smell? 

  • Standing water in the dishwasher can cause this smell. See also "Why isn't my dishwasher draining.

 

How much detergent should I use in my dishwasher?

Use only powder, liquid or tablet detergent designed specifically for automatic dishwashers.

  • Any other types may cause a sudsing and as a result, poor wash performance and possibly suds and water on your kitchen floor.


Use the right amount of detergent for the job. 

  • Soft hot water requires less detergent - perhaps a quarter of a cup in the main cup.

  • Very hard water requires a full main cup and a full open cup to get good wash performance.

  • Conditions between these require judgment. Use enough to get the job done, but don't use more than you need.


Too much detergent in very soft water will cause etching of glassware. 

  • This is a permanent clouding of the glass. If you experience this condition, use less detergent.


Keep your detergent fresh and dry. 

  • Store the detergent in container away from moisture to prevent lumps.

  • Do not put detergent in the cup until you are ready to run a cycle.

  • If powder detergent gets old or lumpy, throw it out; it will not clean effectively. Liquid detergents do not age.

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