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Common Dishwasher Problems and Solutions

Learn more about how to work with your washing machine, cooker, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and other home and office appliances

If your dishwasher isn’t working properly, you’ll soon start to realise how much you rely on it in your day-to-day life.

A dishwasher takes away the need to spend hours washing pots and acts as a small luxury for your home. But what happens if it suddenly breaks down and you’re in urgent need of a fully-functioning one?

Although it may cause concern, many dishwasher faults have easy solutions that don’t warrant an engineer visit to complete the repair.

Whether you’ve got a Siemens dishwasher, Neff dishwasher, or any other brand, the most frequently reported problems are the same. We’re here to share some of the most common dishwasher problems and how to resolve them quickly.

Please remember that dishwashers should always be turned off at the mains before attempting to carry out a repair!

Why won’t my dishwasher drain?

If your dishwasher won’t drain, you may be left with a small pool of water in the bottom of the machine after a completed cycle. This can happen for a few reasons, but there are two main causes.

The first is that the filters in the machine could be clogged. These are usually found in the base of the machine and can be kept in good condition by regularly clearing any dirt or grime away from the area and keeping it free of debris.

If the filters are clear, the fault may lie with the drain hose being blocked. To check that this is clean, try disconnecting the drain hose and blowing through it to clear out any old food.

Why is my dishwasher not drying dishes properly?

If the dishes in your dishwasher are stacked on top of each other, they won’t get clean. Ensure that the your dishwasher has been loaded correctly to make sure that water and steam can move freely around the machine and properly clean and dry your dishes.

If you’re sure that you’re loading your dishwasher properly but the dishes still aren’t drying, the amount of rinse aid you are adding may be the reason.

Rinse aid is specifically designed to ensure that your dishes dry properly once the dishwasher has completed its cleaning cycle. It works by breaking the tension of water on the surface of your dishes, which then makes the evaporation process more effective and helps dishes to dry properly.

Why is my dishwasher not heating effectively?

The heating element of your dishwasher may be the reason why it is not heating properly, and therefore not properly cleaning your dishes.

This element is visible in the tub and controls the temperature of water being injected into the machine. If your dishwasher is not heating effectively, then the heating element may be broken or suffering from an electrical fault.

If this is the case, the machine will require attention from a qualified engineer and a repair must be completed by an electrician.

Why is my dishwasher not filling with water?

If the anti-flood protection has been activated on your machine it may not fill with water, however this can usually be fairly easily repaired at home.

To reset your anti-flood switch, first remove the kickback (the narrow piece of wood that separates your cupboards from the floor) from beneath the dishwasher door. You’ll then need to remove the screws from the base cover of your dishwasher to gain access to the reservoir, which will be filled with dirty water.

From there, drain the water using an absorbant cloth or sponge and pull the switch that was floating on the water back down into contact with the base. Once you re-seal your dishwasher and turn the power back on, it should work.

If this isn’t the case, there may be a blockage between the water pump and dishwasher tub. This can be fixed by removing the spray arms and running the dishwasher for a short amount of time to clear blockages.

Why is the cleaning quality of my dishwasher poor?

Your dishwasher may not be cleaning dishes properly due to incorrect loading.

If you are sure that you’re loading dishes correctly but it’s still not getting them properly clean, try washing the dishes on a longer cycle or at a higher temperature with a stronger washing detergent.

If you have done this, and are still experiencing the problem, then the symptom is harder to diagnose without an engineer stripping down the appliance. If this is the case, contact us for help.

Why does my dishwasher make my glasses cloudy?

In areas with hard water, limescale build-up can be a cause of cloudy glassware. It is recommended that you experiment with the dosage of rinse aid your appliance dispenses until you find a setting which suits your requirements and produces better results.

Bear in mind that glasses can take on a cloudy appearance over time regardless of water hardness, thanks to etching or corrosion. To minimise the effects of this, make sure that your glasses are dishwasher safe before loading them.

Why does my dishwasher make my cutlery rusty?

This issue is usually caused when the cutlery has been in contact with acid or salt for a long period of time, for example tomato ketchup or lemon juice can produce this issue. Rinsing any cutlery that has been in contact with acidic or salty food before you load it in the dishwasher will help to stop this issue from occuring.

Why is my dishwasher making noise?

A noisy dishwasher can usually be put down to a faulty or blocked drain pump. Disconnecting the pipe and blowing through it could clear this out and solve the problem. However, the type of noise your dishwasher is making is also important to note.

If it’s a grinding noise, there might be something stuck in the blade area of the dishwasher, if it’s a sqeak, the bearing in the wash pump motor might be rusting. Your integrated dishwasher will also make unusual noises if it’s not securely fastened to the cabinet.

Why is my dishwasher tripping electrics?

If your dishwasher is causing your electrics to trip, this can indicate that the heater in the machine is broken. This would require the attention of a professional engineer.

Why is my dishwasher leaving white film on my glasses?

If your dishwasher is leaving white film on your glasses, then it usually means that the salt dispenser in the machine is broken and will need replacing.

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