Common dishwasher problems and issues with advice on how to solve them yourself
Thankfully this is now much easier than it used to be. Most manufacturers have user manuals on their website available to download, in the main free of charge (apart from your connection charges). Check the web links section of this site to locate the manufacturer of your appliance, most of the well known and not so well known one's are there. If you have an older machine and the manual is not available to download, try leaving a message in the forum area, you never know someone might have one !
There are many clauses and sub clauses in either manufacturers guarantees and extended warranties. Things like blocked pumps and filters, incorrect installation, misuse, in fact virtually everything that falls outside of the appliance actually breaking down due to a part failing won't be covered. For more details see the Guarantee and Extended Warranty sections of the FAQ.
Two reasons normally:
You have put normal washing up liquid in the dishwasher, either accidentally or you have run out of your normal powder or tablets. This will cause a large amount of foam to build up during the cycle. Leave it off for 24 hours then run the rinse cycle several times this should clear it. See the articles section for more help.
You have spilt rinse aid into the dishwasher while filling the dispenser. Again this should clear after following the above. If not the dispenser may be leaking, in which case call an engineer to replace it for you.
The filter is there to protect the pumps and heater from being damaged or blocked by large particles of undissolved food. It also stops any undissolvable 'things' getting into the delicate working components. Like fruit pips, cocktail sticks and broken glass, or anything else anyone happens to toss in there while you're not looking.
Have you recently bought a dishwasher freshener and hung it on the top basket ? It may be when the door is closed it is pressing against the dispenser lid and stopping it from opening. Or is anything else restricting it ? If not, it is likely the dispenser will need replacing, call an engineer.
Grit, as it is often referred to as, is actually burnt on food residues. This will appear as little black or deep brown specks on dishes.
Rewashing the offending articles should get rid of the problem but you would be well advised to scrub off the residues by hand first.
To avoid this, watch the loading of your dishwasher as obstructing items such as cups is a favourite cause of this. Also check that the spray arms are clean as well as the filter.
For much more information see this article
Please see this article before going any further.
Many dishwashers these days give fault codes, many are next to meaningless without good old human diagnostics.