had your dishwasher fail during a holiday season? It isnít fun. Trying to get
a service company during a holiday is almost impossible. If you do, the
price of the repair can exceed the cost of a new appliance. To avoid this
happening here are a few simple suggestions to keep your dishwasher
working at peak efficiency.
2... Spray arms
Any major debris
such as toothpicks, pieces of plastic, or straws should first be
removed by hand. Don't allow them to escape
- they could end up in the pump where further damage would
result. If filter is removable (check your manual) clean it in the
kitchen sink using a light detergent and a soft brush. Many are not
removable and will have to be cleaned while in the machine.
The spray arms are the propeller-like part below each
of the racks. Remove any debris from the holes in the spray arm.
Debris here can cause the arms to slow down and give a poor wash. If
arms appear cracked or worn replace them or call for service. Also spin the spray
arms by hand. They should not be noisy, vibrating, or wobble
3... Spray nozzle
The bottom spray arm may have a nozzle sticking out of
its centre that has holes at its tip. Treat the
same as the spray arms in step 2 and remove debris from the holes. If
nozzle parts appear cracked or worn call for service.
4... Heating element
Gently run your hand along the length of the element. If it feels gritty the element is probably covered with a
calcium buildup. Clean it using a light detergent and a clean damp
this carefully to avoid the element becoming bent or dislodged from
5... Detergent dispenser
Open the dispenser door and clean out using a clean damp cloth. Also remove any detergent buildup in or around the
6... Door gasket
Gently clean the gasket surface using a clean damp cloth. Gasket
should be soft and pliable. At same time
close dishwasher door a couple of times to ensure door latch is
closing smoothly. It should be snug yet easy to close. If door latch
is difficult to close the latch or gasket may need servicing.
7... Rack wheels
They should roll smoothly. If loose, wobbling, or
binding the wheels are probably coated with detergent or a mineral
buildup from the water.
Remove rack to kitchen sink and clean wheels and shafts using a soft brush. Gently move
wheels back and forth until they turn freely. Do not lubricate.
8... Water temperature
Many problems with dishwashers are due to low
water temperature. Allow the dishwasher to fill with water and begin
to wash. Open the door. The
water should produce a significant steaming effect. If not your water
temperature is probably too low. Most dishwashers require 125 to 140 Degrees
Fahrenheit to clean the dishes.
9... Your detergent
Many dishwasher problems are due to stale
detergent. Dishwasher detergent is one of the few detergents with a
shelf life. If the box appears swollen, hard, or the detergent is
clumping, replace with a fresh box. Stale detergent can lead to many
problems including poor washing, leaking, or flooding.
Conclude by doing a test
run with some dirty plates in the lower rack and a few glasses in the top rack. Operate the dishwasher through a full
cycle using the normal amount of detergent, the rinse additive container
filled, and the heat-dry setting
activated. If everything appears to be
functioning properly give yourself a pat on the back.
Lastly, these simple
steps should be done well before any holiday period. Allow at least a
couple of weeks prior to its need to test out these suggestions.
this way if you need help from a service company they will have enough
time to respond. But if you find yourself with a non-functioning dishwasher
the same day you have 20 guests arriving for dinner try the following -- Take a deep breath,
smile a lot, and keep repeating , 'At least
there will be lots of people
to help wash and dry the dishes'.
Copyright © 2005 Donald
Grummett. All rights reserved