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Dishwasher Problems: Plumbing and Your Dishwasher

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Dishwasher plumbing can be tricky – especially if you aren’t sure what’s causing the problem. Should you get a professional plumber, or try to deal with the problem yourself? Let’s take a look at several common dishwasher issues, and how you know when to make the call.

Problem #1: The dishwasher will not stop filling with water
One of the worst dishwasher problems occurs when it will not stop filling with water. Overflowing water can do serious damage to your floor and other nearby materials. Here the problem is often with the float switch, a plastic sphere or box near the base of the dishwasher that rises with the water level. Sometimes the float malfunctions – and needs to be replaced by a professional.

Problem #2: The dishwasher doesn’t fill with water
Here’s a quick tip – check a nearby sink to make sure that your hot water is working properly. Sometimes your hot water tank fails and the dishwasher cannot get any water at all. This problem may also be caused by problems with your float, or with valves that control the water flow in your system. You’ll need to have an experienced plumber take a look and see just where the problem is.

Problem #3: The dishwasher will not drain properly
There are two common causes for these types of dishwasher problems. The first is that there’s a clog in the strainer or air gap of your dishwasher. You should be able to tell this by the smell alone, but check your strainer or filter to make sure. Otherwise, the drain hose or drain valve may have malfunctioned – a more serious problem that will require a professional plumber.

Problem #4 The dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly
Rule out obvious causes here like poor dish placement, the wrong kind of soap, hard water, and other common culprits. If you’ve tried everything and your dishes just aren’t getting cleaned, then the problem may be with water levels or circulation. Your float, sprayer arms, or valves may have been damaged – in older dishwashers, the heating element may have also failed. These require complex repairs, so give your plumber a call.

Problem #5 The dishwasher is leaking onto the floor
After grabbing some towels, call up your plumber, because you want this problem to get solved ASAP! Your dishwasher may be overflowing or have a problem with its door seals, which will need to be fixed. A leak from underneath the dishwasher can be caused by leaking drain hoses, your pump, or your water inlet valve. With so many different potential causes, it’s important to narrow down the cause as quickly as you can – which is why a professional inspection can be so useful for this problem.

Remember, for more information and answers to your questions, head over to the Pink Plumber!

Photo Source: Flickr