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How to Replace a Dishwasher's Most Commonly Failed Parts

How to Replace a Dishwasher's Most Commonly Failed Parts

It takes a lot of different parts and systems to create the most efficient and user-friendly dishwashers. At some point, one or more of those components will either get too dirty, develop a physical fault, or simply come to the end of its lifespan. Frustratingly, many parts that commonly fail aren't covered by manuals and guides.

Identifying Commonly Failed Dishwasher Parts And Their Roles.

The more familiar you are with your dishwasher, the easier it is to locate potential issues. Your appliance is complex, and there are some small but crucial elements overlooked in maintenance guides.

This is a lot to consider. Below, we will look at each flaw and potential fix in more detail. First, let's talk about preparation.

Preparation for Replacements and Repair.

You can't just dive into this complicated machine unprepared to see what you find. For a start, you need to make sure that you, your family, and your property are safe at all times. This is an electrical appliance with delicate wiring and running water. Make sure it is disconnected to avoid the risk of electrocution and flooding. It also helps to have some towels and buckets to deal with any water in the machine or accidents.

You also need the right tools on hand to get into the machine and remove the right parts. Typically, you won't need more than your screwdrivers and pliers because parts are behind plates and latches and are relatively easy to take out. Some guides will also talk about the need for a multimeter to diagnose issues with motors and other parts. If that's too advanced, don't worry. You can always call in a professional for tasks you aren't comfortable with.

Finally, make sure you have the right parts for the job. For example, if your detergent dispenser is faulty, you need a replacement that fits your model. Look out for new parts via your appliance's manufacturer or reliable suppliers that deal with the bigger names.

Replacing the Circulation Pump

Your circulation pump should help control the cycle and movement of the water. However, it is uncommon to hear the motor running with nothing happening. This suggests a fault in the system that may mean you need a full replacement. The best-case scenario is you have a blocked hose or filter. Clean those out and see if it fixes the problem.

If the pump still fails, check if it is rotating or if there is a power supply issue. This fix deals with electronics, so if you aren't confident doing so, call an expert. Otherwise, you can get at the pump by removing the arms, bottom panel, and the drain pump. You must be careful supporting the machine when working on your own. Also, make sure you line the components up right when putting everything back together.

Dealing with the Dishwasher's Microfilter

Your dishwasher's microfilter helps keep everything clean and fresh by filtering out food waste and dirt. If you notice a bad smell or drainage issues, you might have a clog or damage to the mesh. Inspect the filter and either clean it or replace it.

Replacing the Water Inlet Valve

The water valve is essential for regulating the water in the machine. A slow flow, or no flow at all, indicates that the valve needs cleaning or replacing. Cleaning is simple if there is debris restricting the flow. If the part is broken, find a suitable replacement, remove the panel, and ease out the valve. You should be able to lever it out with a flathead screwdriver. Put the new one in its place, seal up the plate, and test it out.

Fixing the Heating Element

Heating elements break down over time after constant use. This means no hot water or drying cycles, so you have no choice but to replace it. Check the element for signs of corrosion, cracking, or blistering. This shows it has burnt out. If it's in good condition, the operational fault lies elsewhere. This one takes some effort to replace. You need to take out the baseplate, remove the sensor, pump, and heater, and then put in the new element. You can call in professional help to avoid faults and reassembly issues. Depending on the warranty and overall condition of the machine, it might be time to replace the whole thing.

Fixing the Door Latch and Seal: A Dual Approach

Door issues can bring your dishwasher to a complete halt. The trick here is to look at this problem in two steps. First, check the latch. You might find the spring tension is off, or there is damage to the part. If so, you can replace it with something more secure. It could just be a misalignment issue with the strike plate. Tighten everything up and see if that works.

From there, you can check the condition of the seal. Gaps or damage here could be the root of any door leaks. Remove the seal, clean out the attachment point to deal with any debris pushing it out of line, and either refit it or replace it with a new seal. Remember to take your time to avoid gaps and to put the flat edge on the outside.

Upgrading the Detergent Dispenser.

There are some potentially easy fixes when a dispenser fails, like an obstruction blocking the soap. Clean it out and test it on a new cycle. If that doesn't work, check for damage to the door spring or any cracks in the casing. It might be time to upgrade to a modern unit. Find a more efficient model that dispenses the right amount for the cycle and is compatible with your appliance. Replacement is easy if you can disconnect the wires, get the old one out in one piece, and secure the new model.

Addressing Less Common Failures

Spray arms and sensors are less likely to fail than the components above. Yet, it still helps to know how to handle them. If your spray arms stop spinning, check for damage or dirt. They might just need a clean. If not, you can replace them. Remove the basket, detach the arms, and replace it with a compatible model. Sensors are more difficult. You might get an error code for the temperature or water sensor on your display. The sensors are replaceable, but not easy due to the location beneath the pump and hose and the wiring involved. This may be best left to a professional.

Final Checks and Calibration.

Whatever the problem, you need to make sure the problem is fixed before running another cycle. Double-check that everything is secure and level once more. You can then run your dishwasher's calibration mode and check all the settings are correct. This is important when dealing with the sensors and anything that could jeopardize the efficiency of the washing cycle. Consult your appliance's manual for the right methods and settings for the cycles, temperature, and timer. Consider running the self-cleaning program as a test as well.

Maintaining Your Dishwasher Post-Repair

There are ways to fix and replace these common dishwasher failures by hand. However, you should consider professional help for any complex jobs or anything electrical where you lack the tools and confidence. It is better to hire an expert than put your safety and property at risk.

Once the problem is fixed, you can focus on maintaining your machine to prevent future problems. Treat the machine kindly to avoid further problems with alignments, latches, and other physical damage. Make sure to keep it clean with a regular regime, and reduce the risk of clogs, build-ups, or mildew problems.

These small efforts, and these tips on dishwasher repair, should help you extend the life of your appliance and handle anything it throws your way.