Home tips

By Home master

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Regular dishwasher maintenance is essential to keep your dishes clean and free from detergent residue. A little effort once a month can help avoid buildup, keeping your machine running optimally.

If you notice rust or mold inside your dishwasher, there’s an issue and it’s time for service. A basic home warranty plan from First American will cover the cost of repair or replacement for any appliance that breaks down within its coverage period.

Check the Drain

When your dishwasher doesn’t drain correctly, it can leave standing water at the bottom of the machine. This issue is common, and there are a few steps you can try before calling a plumber for assistance.

The initial step in fixing a garbage disposal problem is to inspect its drain hose that connects it to the appliance’s pump. Any kink or obstruction in this hose could prevent water from draining properly and also restrict flow in the pipe, leading to sewer gas entering your kitchen and leaving an unpleasant odor behind.

De-clogging devices can help resolve this problem by clearing away any obstructions in the drain hose. However, if a kink in the hose is difficult to straighten out, you may need to replace it altogether.

Another common solution for a clogged dishwasher drain is to flush it out with water and some dish soap. This will eliminate any food particles or waste material that have become stuck in the drain hose.

Unclog a dishwasher drain hose with baking soda and vinegar, an inexpensive DIY fix you can use every month to keep the hose free of food waste buildup. This simple yet effective DIY method takes only minutes and doesn’t cost anything extra.

If you want to prevent future drain clogs, pre-rinse your dishes before running them through the dishwasher. This will eliminate large pieces of food which may clog the basket.

A dishwasher’s built-in filter prevents food and other waste from going down the drain, so it’s essential to clean it regularly.

In some instances, the drain valve can become clogged and prevent water from draining out of a dishwasher. This may occur if its mechanism is defective or it becomes overly full of food particles and other debris.

If your dishwasher drain is acting up, contact an appliance repair technician for assistance. They can identify the source of the issue and offer a free repair estimate.

Clean the Door

The door of a dishwasher is an integral component, and if not cleaned regularly, can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew. Additionally, it collects dirt, grime and food debris which causes unpleasant odours in the kitchen and makes it harder to get dishes clean.

Maintain the cleanliness and fragrance of your dishwasher by giving it a thorough wipedown once each month. This maintenance step prevents mineral buildup, soap scum and other hard water residue from clogging the spray arm jets and filters in your dishwasher; additionally, ensure the door gasket is sealed securely so your dishwasher doesn’t leak.

Related Article:  Benefits of a kitchen remodel

Use a rag or sponge to wipe down the edges and door panel of your dishwasher. You may also clean inside walls that are susceptible to soap scum and buildup grease due to regular usage.

If your dishwasher has a steam vent on the interior, be sure to remove and rinse it thoroughly. This vent allows humid air to escape from the appliance and release pressure, but can quickly become clogged with debris if left unattended.

Once you’re finished cleaning, shut the door and let it air dry. You can also let your dishwasher run its sanitize cycle to make sure everything is completely sterile.

While you’re at it, take the time to wipe down the controls as well. Dirty buttons and knobs can adversely affect how smoothly your dishwasher functions.

Another essential part of your dishwasher’s exterior is the drain. This area at the bottom can become clogged with food bits, deposits and small pieces of garbage that may accidentally end up inside. Clogging up these bottom racks also prevents them from moving around freely and stops you from loading dishes.

Thankfully, it’s simple to clear out these obstructions in your dishwasher drain and make it work optimally again. Just be sure not to load dirty dishes into an already overloaded machine!

Before you begin cleaning, be sure to empty your dishwasher’s water and detergent dispensers. Doing this makes it easier to access these areas when working. You may also replace racks and run a sanitize cycle to make your dishwashing machine cleaner.

Check the Spray Arms

The spray arms of your dishwasher are essential to the way dishes come out clean. They direct water and detergent into the machine, so if they’re malfunctioning it could be indicative of an underlying issue with its functioning.

To verify if your spray arms are working properly, remove the lower rack and examine if the arms move freely when turned by hand. If not, you may need to unscrew and remove any hardware holding them in place.

Second, inspect each spray arm’s holes to make sure there aren’t any obstructions blocking their flow of water into the dishwasher. If they’re clogged, you’ll need to replace them with new ones.

Third, inspect the water delivery tube (also known as a wash arm manifold) to make sure it’s providing water to your spray arms. This plastic tube, sometimes with a filter attached, carries water from the pump directly to your spray arms and then distributes it evenly over all dishes.

Related Article:  5 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Home Improvements

Finally, inspect the flappers on the back of your dishwasher to make sure they are functioning correctly and don’t lose pressure when the middle spray arm supply tube isn’t inserted into it. If these flappers appear damaged, water may not be getting delivered to each spray arm effectively.

It’s wise to inspect the upper and middle spray arms in your dishwasher for damage or cracks. These spray arms can be made of metal or plastic and typically mount onto either the top rack or adjustable upper rack in your dishwasher.

Replacing spray arms is a relatively straightforward DIY task for most homeowners; just be sure to read your owner’s manual carefully for the correct procedure. Alternatively, you could hire an expert to do the work for you.

Check the Motor

If you find water pooling at the bottom of your dishwasher after a cycle, this could be indicative of an issue with its drain pump motor. If it doesn’t drain water properly, it may be time for replacement.

Most dishwashers use a belt-driven water pump to force out the water during the cleaning cycle. Check the motor for signs of wear or damage by taking apart the lower panel on your dishwasher and inspecting beneath it.

A motor that won’t start normally (buzzing or clicking) could be jammed with food, glass or other debris. It may also have a burned-in starting winding, which is common with direct-reversible machines.

To test the motor, set your multimeter to RX1 (resistance times 1) and connect a probe to each wire terminal on the motor. If there is little resistance, it likely means your starter has burned out.

Check for electrical continuity by placing one probe on the bare metal housing of the motor and another on each terminal in turn. You should observe a reading when the motor is on and another when it’s off.

If you’re uncertain about checking for continuity, contact a professional service person to do it for you. They can use an exclusive tool called a meter to perform this test.

This tool may not be cheap, but it is essential for making sure all circuits are energized and functioning correctly. Additionally, it helps diagnose potential issues.

The meter also allows you to check for ground connections, which may be difficult to see when the machine is running. With a wire clip, temporarily attach a probe to each washer motor’s grounding wire and dishwasher’s grounding wire.

Once the meter indicates all circuits have been activated, reconnect the wires and replace the washer motor. Be sure to secure it securely to the dishwasher base by realigning mounting brackets or retainers and rethreading screws as necessary. Finally, reconnect both power and grounding wires as applicable.