If your dishwasher has malfunctioned and is not spraying water, various factors can cause the problem. It features different moving parts that work together, and with continued use, can cause wear and tear.
If your dishwasher is not spraying water, the filter and pump could be clogged, the overfill float switch may have malfunctioned, or the spray arms are blocked. There may be water valve issues or inadequate pressure. You can check why it’s not spraying water from the water supply valve.
Before you call a technician or replace an entire unit, we will look at ways you can troubleshoot your dishwasher to improve its washing capabilities. Read on to know more details about this.
How Does a Dishwasher Work?
When a dishwasher is cleaning utensils, it’s filled with water that mixes with the detergent to form soapy water. The water is then sprayed forcefully out of the rotating spray arm nozzle to create reliable water coverage.
Conversely, if the dishwasher is turning out dirty utensils, and you can’t hear any water spraying, there is a problem!
Here are six malfunctions that your dishwasher could be having and how you can troubleshoot.
Dishwasher Has Water Supply and Pressure Issues
Your dishwasher might not spray water because there’s no water getting in the machine. After a few minutes, you should hear water flowing into the tub when you start your dishwasher.
If your model runs a little more quietly, you can open it and check for any water pumped in the bottom tub. If you notice no water in the tub, then the issue is not with the machine but a water supply issue.
Also, low water pressure is an issue to look at. Due to low pressure, the dishwasher may not be getting adequate water supply into the tub. You also need to confirm that nothing is leaking and if you find that there’s no problem, check the water valve, or if the overfill float switch is faulty.
If everything checks out, the overfill float switch will automatically sense and shut off when there’s not enough water pressure to fill the dishwasher tub. In the case of a malfunction, the float switch may need readjustment to solve the problem.
Overloading the Dishwasher
If your dishwasher is not running as it should and the water pressure is okay, ensure that you’ve loaded the dishes correctly. For instance, if a cup is too high in the machine, it can stop the spray nozzle from spinning comfortably.
Conversely, overloading and jamming the dishwasher with too many utensils can make it hard to clean. Reorganize or take out some dishes to troubleshoot the issue.
Dishwasher Has Blocked Spray Arm
If you have checked the water pressure and found the inside tub is filled with water, but the dishwasher continues to issue problems, it’s time to move to the next step.
You need to troubleshoot the spray arm and make sure they’re moving freely. Different models come with either one spray arm at the base while others feature one in the middle and top.
The spray arm sprays water and detergent over the dishes. Sometimes it may not rotate if there are too many dishes, which prevents the arm nozzle from spinning freely. Also, check if any obstructions cause the arm not to turn, although you’re most likely to hear.
Additionally, debris made of food particles, hard water deposits, and general buildup can cause clogging, especially if you haven’t cleaned them for a long time. Here are the steps to follow in cleaning and diagnosing the problem:
- Remove the lower tray off to access the spray arm.
- Depending on the model, rotate the arms in an anticlockwise direction and remove them.
- If it doesn’t move freely, unscrew any hardware mounting on the arm.
- Check if there’s any debris stuck around the mounting and clean it.
- Soak the spray arms in white vinegar to loosen the debris and hard water deposits
- Unclog the holes in the spray arms with a steel cable or hanging wire. You can also clean using a toothbrush or your fingers.
- Place it back when clean and test if it’s working correctly.
Cleaning the arms can be tedious. However, you need to ensure that the spray arms move freely on the mounting brackets and bearing rings. You also need to check with the filter system if there’s any debris coming into the arms.
Clogged or Broken Dishwasher Pump
If all is well with your spray arm nozzle and the water pressure is sufficient, and the dishwasher is still not spraying water, then you may need to check if the pump filter is not blocked. The pump is responsible for taking soapy water from the tub to the spray arm.
When food particles lodge in the filter and pump, it affects the spray arms, which may not work sufficiently to clean the utensils. Most filters are located at the dishwasher base, but this will vary from one brand to another.
If there’s any buildup on the filter and pump, remove and clean under warm water or use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the debris to allow proper pressure to reach the spray arms. To keep the dishwasher in top condition, clean these parts at least twice a year.
Broken Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve
Most times, if your dishwasher has malfunctioned, it could be a damaged water inlet valve, which is located on the face of the machine behind the base contact panel.
To ensure it’s working correctly, interrupt the dishwasher during the filling part of the cycle and check if the tub’s water level reaches the heater’s bottom. If not, here is what you should do:
- Remove the water inlet valve and clean the screen or replace the valve. A multi-meter will help you to check if the valve has electrical continuity to open.
- Disconnect the waterline.
- Unscrew the nuts that connect the valve bracket to the machine and lower the valve.
- Pinch the nose clamp to remove the rubber hose.
- Disconnect the wires.
If you replace the water valve, test it to check if the water comes through the new valve from the water main without any obstructions.
Dishwasher’s Water Delivery Tube is Clogged
Finally, suppose your dishwasher is not spraying water after making several diagnoses. In that case, you need to check the water delivery tube, which is located in the upper or middle spray arm of the machine.
If the plastic tube that brings water from the pump to the spray arm is clogged, the dishwasher will not work efficiently. Check for any buildup that might block the water.
Other Dishwasher Areas You Could Check and Address
A dishwasher has many parts that could malfunction and make it not spray water or clean your dishes efficiently. In addition to what we have discussed above, you also need to keep these parts clean:
- Detergent dispenser
- Wash spinner
- Heating element
- Pump impellers
When the dishwasher breaks down and isn’t spraying water as it should, dinner can be less daunting with the knowledge that you have to stand over the sink and scrub the dishes for an hour after you’re done eating.
However, before you call a repair technician or replace an entire unit, you can check if the water supply is sufficient or debris built up within the spray arm’s inner workings. If you’re still unsure which park is broken, don’t overload your dishwasher with too many dishes and always keep all the parts clean to ensure efficiency to serve you for a long time.