How to Troubleshoot a Dishwasher
Dishwasher Not Working at all
(no sounds, nothing)
The first thing you want to check when you have this problem isthe
power getting to the dishwasher from the house. Turn the
breaker off then back on and see if the power is restored to the
machine. If that does not work test the fuse in the box to
make sure it is not blown.
Inspect the wiring connected the dishwasher. It is possible to
have a loose connection or broken wire that will cause you to have
no power. Check the connection box where the house supply
connects to the dishwasher itself. This is the most common
area for a failure. You may have some loose wire nuts.
Door Latch -
If the door latch is not properly aligning with the catch, theswitches
inside my not be activated. This will cause you to not have
any power to the control. The dishwasher will not operate if
it thinks the door is open.
Other things that may cause this symptom - Your timer may be
defective and not sending out the correct power. Your wash
motor may have a reset button that has tripped and breaking the
circuit to the timer. You may have a defective selector switch
that is not allowing a certain cycle to start. Try selecting a
different cycle to see if the unit starts.
Dishwasher Not Working (motor
The Wash Motor may
have become jammed and therefore cannot start.
Remove the inside filter screen to gain access to the wash motor
propeller and make sure there is nothing stuck there causing the
The Drain Pump may
have become jammed and this could also be causing the machine to not
start a cycle. Some dishwashers use the same motor for
draining as they do washing. They do this by reversing the
direction of the motor. Again, you need to check the motor
whether it's a separate drain pump or combined with the main wash
motor. All it takes is a small piece of broken glass to stop
the drain pump or wash motor from spinning.
The Drive Belt may
be worn. Older style dishwashers use a belt like awashing
machine. These belts can stretch over time. If the belt
has become too stretch you will hear the motor run but nothing will
happen. Replace the belt to repair this problem. There
should not be much slack in the belt. If you can move the
center of the belt more than an inch, replace it.
Dishwasher Not Filling with Water
Water Valve -
The dishwasher uses a single solenoid water inlet valve toallow
water to enter into the tub when it calls for water. If the
valve has become clogged you will experience this symptom.
Check to make sure you have water getting to the valve and that the
supply from the house is not turned off. Check for any loose
or bad connections to the water valve. When you start a cycle
the valve should read 120 Volts AC. If it's getting the
voltage and not water is not getting in, replace the valve. If
its not getting voltage you may either have a bad timer or the float
The Float Switch -
This is a safety built in so that your dishwasher doesn't overflow.
As the water level inside the dishwasher rises, so doesthe
float. When it reaches a certain point, it breaks the power
getting to the water valve. It is possible to have excess soap
or dishes or whatever the case, cause the float to be stuck in the
up position. These are located in the front of the dishwasher
on either the right side or left side, usually covered with a cap.
The switch is directly underneath the float. You will have to
remove the kick panel to access the switch. The switch is an
open or closed switch. When the float is up, the switch is
open and you have not power to the valve. When the float is
down, the switch should be closed and power should be getting to the
Dishwasher will not Drain Water
Drain Hose -
The first thing you need to check is make sure there arenot
restrictions in the drain line going from the dishwasher to the sink
drain. Remove the hose from both ends and blow through it.
If you have just installed a disposal, make sure you popped out the
plug in the side of it for the drain hose. I can't count the
number of times that this has been the cause of the problem.
Drain Pump -
You may have something stuck in the drain pump preventing the
impeller from spinning. Clear the obstruction and make sure
the motor still turns the impeller. If there is voltage
getting to the pump and nothing is stuck inside and it won't spin,
replace the pump.
The motor maybe
be the problem if you dishwasher uses a motor for washing and
draining. Check the motor as the instructions higher up on the
page. It is possible that the timer has a bad set of contact
causing not voltage to get to the motor. Remove the internal
screens inside the dishwasher tub, take out the lower spray arm and
make sure nothing is clogged up inside that area. This is
another common area for clogs. Grease can sit in the sump and
harden causing the no drain problem. Again, check the drive
belt as stated earlier.