Common Problems You Can Fix Yourself
Out of all the appliances dishwashers have probably the most suspected faults that a customer can check themselves.
Checking these simple problems can save you time but, more importantly, a needless service visit to repair a fault on your dishwasher that very probably is not a fault at all, it just needs some care and attention to keep your dishwasher in working order.
As service engineers we see these silly problems a lot and, it's jsut down to people not knowing (and often not reading the instruction manual) on how to look after their dishwasher. This can be a mistake that could cost you.
Dishwasher Rinse Aid
For example a common one is that a customer complains that dishes are "streaky" after the cycle is finished and the cure has something to do with either no rinse aid or the dosage not set high enough. First make sure you have rinse aid in the compartment, usually the small one next to the soap compartment, then set the dosage, usually a small lever with a scale from one to six. The lever determines how much rinse aid is dispensed and this will vary from region to region depending on how hard or soft the water is, as a general rule the harder the water the more rinse aid is needed.
The function of the rinse aid is to make water wetter. I know that sounds crazy but it is the easiest way to explain it's function, to be technical, it breaks down the surface tension in water and allows it to flow easier off of anything in the dishwasher.
You can also understand from this how important it is to the actual cleaning function! Because of this you may also understand the need for a good quality detergent and rinse aid as they are an essential component to clean dishes and some of the cheaper "“Own Brands" are not up to the task.
Dishes Have Dirt On Them!
This is very common and almost always comes down to one of the following few things. Although there are faults that can cause residues to be left they are very uncommon indeed and you should check the following first.
You have no rinse aid in the dishwasher. See Above
You're filters and spray arms need cleaned refer to your instruction book
Poor or improper loading of the dishwasher, is the spray reaching all the dishes and cutlery?
There is dirt in your water supply
If you clean out the appliance and still have a problem then try cleaning the dishwasher with a specialist product for the job. You can, at any good supermarket, buy a dishwasher cleaner made by Finish, which is good or the Affresh Dishwasher cleaner from the store that is superb and much better value we reckon and we would advise you use this at least once every few months to keep everything clear.
Food Deposits Left On Crockery
Rinse off surplus food or at least scrape away food scraps and deposit into a waste bin before loading. (Heavily encrusted or burnt on remains will need to be pre-soaked away first, prior to loading) Do not allow dirty crockery to stand for hours in the machine and to prevent food drying on, set the machine to do a 'Pre-soak' cycle.
Check all the spray arm holes to ensure each is clear, if not, remove and rinse under tap.
Glasses and cup on top basket appear to have gritty deposits left on them usually means the top spray arm is blocked or restricted by plates and knives stacked and jamming its rotation ability.
Badly arranged items will always lead to a poor wash results, avoid placing plastic items such as food storage boxes, infants drinking vessels, plastic lids and plates as they will fly around within and could cause damage also.
Blocked drain filters and sieves or badly located filters allowing food deposits to block the circulation and drain ports below. (check and clean regularly and ensure the bottom of the 'sump' is clear of debris before refitting.
Insufficient detergent, one dishwasher tablet is fine but loose powder or liquid detergent must be used according to the manufacturers instructions.
White Coating On Glasses & Dishwasher Lining
Detergent not only loosens the remains of food but together with calcium salts in the water, forms water-soluble compounds which prevents the appearance of white calcium coating and scale. Insufficient detergent may give rise to its inability in dealing with this problem.
Unsoftened water is the main cause of chalk like deposits and cloudy glasses. In hard water areas (check with your local Water Company for the Hardness Level in your area) salt has to be regularly placed in the salt container and the 'salt regulator' set as per the manufacturers instructions. "3 in 1" tablets that include salt in them are NOT sufficient in dealing with this problem, therefore always use salt as well. 3) White cloudy film that can be hand washed off indicates either the Rinse Aid setting is too high or the salt regeneration cycle has failed ( needs more salt or even resetting to a higher level.)
White cloudy film on glasses that cannot be washed off but can be scratched off, usually indicates a silica scum deposit has formed after many previous washes its dishwashing life has expired and time to replace the glass the only option.
Poor Drying From The Dishwasher
No rinse aid being dispensed or set incorrectly
Opening the door shortly after the cycle finishes, it's best to leave the door closed for at least 30 minutes or longer preferably to allow the full drying process to take effect!
Cutlery Tarnishing When Washed In Your Dishwasher
Silver (E.P.N.S) cutlery tarnishes the moment it is exposed to air and only hand cleaning with silver polish will clean correctly after it has been washed in the machine. Some manufacturers provide a 'Silverware Container' that can be inserted into the dishwasher prior to washing, which reduces the tarnishing effect dramatically through 'electrolytic' action (very clever!).
Pits or rust marks on stainless steel cutlery indicates a poor quality of stainless steel or the product incorrectly polished during manufacture. Sometimes however good quality stainless steel can be damaged in the same way but only after continued exposure to vinegar, fruit juices or table salt. Stainless steel also should not be left in a humid atmosphere for prolonged periods as it requires constant exposure to oxygen as vital in preserving its protective coating.
Bronze or bronze plated cutlery should not be placed in a dishwasher (hand wash only).
Rusting Inside The Dishwasher
Mild steel pots and pans and cooking utensils are the main protagonists here. Rusting nuts and bolts on pan handles and cheap oven ware are always to blame and should not be washed in the machine.
Salt crystals left to lie in the machine after filling the salt container can reach into those nooks and crannies of the machine and cause havoc. Always wipe away any spilled salt or rinse away with warm water and set the machine onto a pre-soak cycle to flush it away quickly.
Other Common Dishwasher Complaints
Other common faults include :
Dirty water in the bottom of the dishwasher Check your installation almost certainly this water is coming back into the appliance from your drainage system.
No Power Check the fuse if it's okay then call an engineer
Dishwasher will not fill make sure your water is switched on and if it is call an engineer
Dishwasher not cleaning check as above and if you still have a problem then place a call an engineer