How to Fix a Dishwasher
Fixing a dishwasher can be a little bit frustrating, but it is well worth the efforts. Repairmen are costly, and not always honest.
When my Dad’s dishwasher broke he had a repairman over to give him a quote. The repairman told my Dad that he needed a completely new motor, a new motor that would cost more than buying a brand new dishwasher.
My Dad paid the repairman the $60 fee for the estimate, and decided that the dishwasher was doomed. So my Dad decided to take a look at the dishwasher to see how it works for future benefit.
My dad tinkered in the dishwasher and saw a large amount of dust on some wires. He blew the dust off, and all of the sudden the dishwasher worked perfectly. The dishwasher worked perfectly for another 15 years.
This is a very common scenario, and happens all too often. It is a very good reason to learn how to perform basic home maintenance, and fixing dishwashers is something every homeowner should try.
Tips on Safety
The biggest danger with repairing a dishwashing is electricity. Most repairs homeowners can do themselves to a dishwasher, will not involve touching any wires. If you do touch wires, make sure the electricity is off in that section of your home. There are cheap tools that can test to make sure the electricity is off in that particular section.
Keep in mind, dishwashers get very hot, and they will burn you. Do not touch the inside of a dishwasher after it has been running for a long time. If you do this, you will burn yourself on the metal inside the dishwasher.
Run the Dishwasher with the Door Open
The first step to fixing a dishwasher is to understand why the dishwasher is not working. To get the dishwasher to run with the door open, you must find the trigger. The trigger is usually located in the top middle of the door. A flat head screwdriver will generally trigger the trigger, and get the dishwasher to run. Water will go everywhere and you may get a little wet.
Take Apart the Dishwasher
Many screws and dishwasher parts are designed for you to take them out. The parts that are meant to be taken out are fairly obvious. They are not hidden, and they are easy to get to.
Start with the parts in the bottom middle of the dishwasher. Most dishwashers break because they are clogged. Simply taking apart the dishwasher, and removing the clog, resolves most dishwasher issues. If there is a part that is broken, or a loose wire, this should become obvious to you as you take the dishwasher apart.
I personally would never bother replacing a motor or other expensive part on a dishwasher. If the problem with the dishwasher is more complex than a loose wire, or a clogged drain, I buy a new dishwasher. It all depends on how handy you are.
Learning to Fix Something Now, Helps Later
I have fixed many things, and spent more money fixing them then if I had hired a professional. Tools and parts get expensive fast. However, I am able to fix all things easier now, and have saved money in the end. The handiness skill builds on itself. Once you learn how to fix one thing, all other projects become much easier.