I use my dishwasher almost everyday, and it gets a lot of use in my household. But, recently it stopped working. So, I went through the troubleshooting steps to fix it, as well as, did some research about how to fix it and thought I’d explain exactly how to get it working again in this article.
As a general rule, you should start by checking that it’s not in standby or sleep mode, the fuse to the dishwasher isn’t blown, and the delay start feature is not selected. After that, double check the door is closing all the way, reset the dishwasher, and verify it’s getting enough water.
Almost all of these are very easy steps that anyone can do except for checking the water supply. So, below I will explain how to perform each of these troubleshooting steps.
After that I’ll cover more specific issues such as when the spray arms aren’t spinning, the dry cycle isn’t drying the dishes, and when it doesn’t rinse the dishes.
Maytag Dishwasher Not Working
To get to the bottom of what is causing your Maytag dishwasher to not start, there’s no way to know ahead of time what’s causing the issue unless it’s a very specific issue. If your dishwasher won’t start at all you should check each of the following steps:
1. Standby or sleep mode is enabled – it won’t start until it’s cleared
A Maytag dishwasher will let you press the wash cycle you want to do but then won’t start if standby mode or sleep mode is enabled.
To disabled it, open and close the door, then press the wash cycle you want, and then press start. The other way is to press ‘Start/Stop’ first or ‘Cancel’ then press the wash cycle you want it to do, then press Start.
If that was what was not causing your dishwasher to start then move on to the next step.
2. The fuse has been switched off due to an electricity issue
Each appliance draws a certain amount of power. And sometimes if you plug in two things into a one power outlet it can cause the fuse to switch into the off position. For example, you might plug a vacuum into a multiport plug that your home theater system is plugged into.
Then all of sudden you hear a click, and the power to the port can go off. This can also occur with the fuse that goes to your dishwasher and you need to switch it back on.
Inspect your fuse box to see if any of the circuit breakers are in the off or neutral position. The way you can tell is they will all be facing one way. But, one or a few will be in the middle or in the off position.
3. Delayed wash is turned on and it won’t start until it’s cancelled
The delayed wash function is helpful for starting the dishwasher at a time in the future. For example, if you have special rates for off peak power. Or, the noise will be disturbing for an important call but you don’t want to remember to turn it on again once you’re done.
It’s also possible it has been turned on by mistake. To disable delayed start press the ‘Cancel/Drain’ button. Then you can start your dishwasher as normal by selecting the cycle and pressing the ‘Start/Resume’ button.
4. Door isn’t completely closed and needs to be closed to start
The door of your Maytag dishwasher needs to be completely closed before it will start. Generally, it will give a reassuring click one you close it all the way and the latch clicks into place and registers with the onboard computer that the door is closed.
Oftentimes, a utensil can be sticking out, and needs to be moved. Or a piece of crockery is sticking out a bit and the rack isn’t all the way in. This can leave the door a bit ajar and won’t let it close all the way.
If the door isn’t closing all the way and doesn’t click closed, inspect the way the dishwasher has been stacked to clear anything that can be blocking the door from closing. It’s also possible the door latch can be broken.
If that’s the case refer to the troubleshooting guide on the official Maytag website that explains what to do if the door isn’t closing and explains how to fix a broken door latch. They provide different instructions based on whether your Maytag dishwasher was made before 2019, and after 2019.
But, I’ve looked through both and the instructions are the same regardless of when the Maytag dishwasher was purchased. Go to this page and then select ‘ Before 2019’ or ‘After 2019’, either will provide the same instructions. Then select ‘Door Concerns’. And then ‘Door Will Not Close’.
5. Reset the dishwasher to reset the internal computer
Much like other electrical devices, the internal computer can freeze and be causing your Maytag dishwasher not to start. To reset it you need to disconnect it from the power for 1 minute and then turn it back on again.
This is best done by turning it off at the fuse box. But, in some cases you may have access to the outlet that the dishwasher is plugged into. Generally, though, it is behind the dishwasher and you need to pull the entire dishwasher out to access it which is a bit of a task.
To turn it off at the fuse box follow the instructions above in step ‘2. The fuse has been switched off due to an electricity issue.’ Ensure you keep it turned off for 1 minute before turning it back to reset the computer. Then see if you can start your dishwasher.
That covers all the very simple steps to get your Maytag dishwasher to work when it isn’t working. There are some additional steps that involve using tools to access various parts of the dishwasher.
If you’re not comfortable doing that or don’t have time, then the best thing to do is have a repair technician out to fix it for you. If you’re reasonably good at using tools like screwdrivers, and have a voltmeter. Then continue on to the steps below.
6. Ensure the water supply to the dishwasher is on
The water supply is connected below or at the rear of your dishwasher. The water supply lines can be split or damaged which won’t allow it to turn on. To inspect them, you need to pull the entire dishwasher out from where it is.
And then inspect them to see if they’re broken or split. The water supply lines are connected to a water supply valve, these won’t have moved. But for a new install they may have not been opened all the way.
While you’ve got access to it, ensure it’s in the fully open position. Generally it will be labelled with open and close. Other times if it is positioned parallel to the water supply lines it is in the ‘on’ position, and if it’s perpendicular to the water supply lines it’s in the ‘off’ position.
7. Blown thermal fuse, which interrupts the power flow
Certain Maytag dishwashers have a thermal fuse that is located behind the main control board. It can be faulty and overheat, which will cut off the power supply to the rest of the dishwasher.
Exactly where it is located differs by model and it’s not generally shown in the owner’s manual. If you have some experience with dishwashers you may know what it looks like. Otherwise at the end of these steps is a video that shows what it looks like. So you can test it for continuity with a voltmeter and then replace it if it’s faulty.
8. Only some of the touchpad button work – can clean or replace it
Some buttons on the control panel on the front of your dishwasher can not work, or only work if you press them a certain way. This indicates that the control panel may be faulty and can stop your dishwasher from working.
The control panel can be removed, and the connector can be cleaned. Refer to the video after the next step that shows how to clean it. If you clean the connector and you suspect that the touchpad is the issue you can replace the whole control panel.
There aren’t any steps available from Maytag for how to replace it so it’s best to get a repair technician to replace it for you.
9. Main control board can have shorted and you should inspect it
The main control board routes power to the rest of the components. It can have short circuited and as a result your dishwasher won’t start. It can be disconnected and inspected. If it’s shorted it will generally have a black residue around a part of it that is blown.
For each of the steps above that are for people that are comfortable with working with tools, and using a voltmeter, the video below shows what the components look like and shows how to inspect them:
Next, I’ll cover some solutions to issues that are more specific:
Maytag Dishwasher Top Arm Not Spinning
The top arm is responsible for spraying the dishes to clean them. When it’s stuck or you notice the tops of your dishes, and the dishes in the top rack aren’t as clean as the rest of the dishes. To get it working again here’s what you should do.
A Maytag dishwasher needs to be cleaned using affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner once a month. This can remove residue that is jamming the spray arm. Additionally you should stack the dishes in a way that they don’t obstruct the spray arm.
If you’ve tried these steps, and the top spray arm still isn’t spinning, the spray arm can be removed and inspected to see if it’s damaged. It’s fairly easy to remove the top spray arm, and the only tool you need is a Phillips head screwdriver.
But, it can be a good idea to get a repair technician to do it if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. A great video that shows exactly how to remove the top spray arm and replace it with a new one can be found here.
Maytag Dishwasher Not Releasing Soap
I’ve had it happen a few times, where I did a wash cycle with my dishwasher and the soap in the soap dispenser is still in the soap dispenser. It still cleans the dishes OK but does need to be fixed. Here’s what to do if your Maytag dishwasher isn’t releasing soap.
Old powdered dishwasher detergent can be clumpy and will remain in the dispenser and not dissolve. Use powdered dishwashing detergent that flows freely and isn’t clumpy at all. The water temperature can also not be hot enough, and you need to check that. Below, I’ll explain how to do that.
To check the water temperature run the tap in your kitchen that is closest to the dishwasher and see that it has hot water. If it does have hot water, then you should ensure that nothing is blocking the detergent flap from opening.
It’s common that a chopping board or large piece of crockery can be placed in a way that the door will click open, but won’t open because it bumps up against something in the dishwasher.
The upper rack can also have an adjustable height. On the lowest height it can block the detergent flap from opening. You test to see if this is the issue by closing the dishwasher door part way and looking to see if the detergent dispenser is blocked by the top rack. If that does happen, move it to the highest position.
Maytag Dishwasher Will Not Spray Water
You can get to the end of the wash cycle and open the dishwasher and it will be completely dry and none of the dishes are clean. Also as it’s operating you can hear that no water is being sprayed inside the dishwasher. To solves this issue here’s what you want to do:
Generally, you should inspect the opening in the spray arms for blockages and clear them. Cleaning the dishwasher using affresh® tablets will also thoroughly clean your dishwasher and clear any blockages in the openings where water is sprayed out from the spray arms.
But, if no water is spraying from either arm it won’t work at all. It’s also recommended by Maytag to clean your dishwasher using affresh® tablets once a month.
Affresh® dishwasher cleaner tablets also remove odours from your dishwasher. And they’re very simple to use. You simply place one tablet in the detergent dispenser and run your dishwasher on the most heavy duty cycle.
The spray arms can also be obstructed by dishes, and you should check that no utensils or crockery are blocking the spray arm from spinning. When they don’t spin, the computer can disable them from spraying.
Maytag Dishwasher Not Dissolving Soap
Once you open the dishwasher at the end of a wash cycle, the soap can still be present in the open dispenser. This is often caused for one of the following reasons.
The water temperature can not be hot enough, or the soap can be clumpy before use. If the hot water is all used up, for example if a lot of hot water has been used recently and none is available for the dishwasher the soap can not dissolve. Old powdered soap can be clumpy and won’t dissolve.
You can check to see if you have enough hot water prior to running your dishwasher by running the nearest tap to your dishwasher on hot. That will also show you if there’s an issue with the hot water supply.
Powdered soap that is old, or has become wet and then dried in the container can be clumpy. It can occur in very humid environments/seasons. Or, if you’ve alternated between different detergents and the powder has been sitting around in your cabinets for a long time.
Try a liquid detergent or fresh powdered detergent that flows freely and isn’t clumped at all.