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My Dishwasher Isn’t Working

Quick fixes that don’t require a plumber.

Unfortunately, broken or leaky dishwashers are a normal and frequent occurrence. However, you may be surprised to learn that they’re not all that mechanically complex—and you can usually see signs that the appliance is either not functioning properly or on the verge of a fritz.

Before reaching for your toolbelt, there are several common problems that may not require taking your dishwasher apart (save your DIY ambitions for another project).

The dishes just aren’t clean.

Having post-wash dirty dishes doesn’t necessarily mean the appliance is about to die, but it does mean that something, somewhere, isn’t right. Try testing these simple fixes:

  • Avoid overloading. Dishwasher overload and/or hard bits of food and solid items can clog, tear, and damage vital parts of the dishwasher. Try to only include dishes, cups, glasses, and utensils (that means no car parts, tools, toys, or ashtrays, etc.)
  • Remove caked-on food. Always take the extra time to do this before loading the dishwasher. A little rinse can go a long way.
  • Check the water temperature. Check that the dishwasher is producing water hot enough to clean and sanitize your dishes properly.

The glasses have spots.

This could actually be the result of non-appliance factors, such as:

  • Hard water. Maryland, and specifically Baltimore, has notoriously hard water. While hard water does not pose a threat to one’s health, it can shorten the life of appliances and pipes. A water-softening system can not only help keep your dishwasher running for as long as possible, but it can also help to get your dishes cleaner.
  • A dirty dishwasher. Another simple solution is to give the appliance a thorough cleaning. Make sure you clean your filter at least once a month and do a deep scrubbing of the entire appliance three or four times a year. You can easily purchase dishwasher cleaner at the grocery store.

Make sure you clean your filter at least once a month!

When to Call in the Experts

Try as you might, you very well could find yourself with a dishwasher in DIY disrepair. But how do you know when it’s time to call in a professional for help? It’s best to ring the pros if you find yourself in any of these scenarios:

  • The dishwasher won’t fill with water
  • The dishwasher has excessive water
  • The dishwasher isn’t producing hot water
  • The dishwasher doesn’t start (and you’ve ruled out obvious potential causes such as a tripped breaker)
  • You have water leaking on the floor
  • You see rust inside the appliance
  • You hear unusual noises or bonks
  • You notice broken parts such as a latch or lock

If you happen to experience one of these scenarios and you aren’t sure where to turn, don’t fret. The skilled team at Prime Plumbing is full of experts willing and able to help. When in doubt, Save Time, Call Prime.


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