Signs It's Time to Replace Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers usually show signs before completely breaking down. Here is what to look for and how to tell what you can fix and when you need to buy a new one.

Frustrated homeowner with broken dishwasher

You don’t have to wait until your dishwasher completely conks out to replace it.  In many cases, a dishwasher will give you plenty of warning signs that its lifespan may be coming to an end. Heeding the signs will help you plan ahead, giving you time to shop for the best model for your household without the inconvenience of doing without an operating dishwasher.  Here are a few dishwasher red flags that you may notice and what they may mean:

  • Dishes aren’t getting completely clean. If this starts happening, the answer could be an easy fix, such as the soap dispenser not opening properly or the spray arms failing.  However, a general decline in cleaning ability could also signal that your dishwasher is failing.
  • Unusual water spots on dishes and glassware. Your dishwasher’s spray arms may not be working properly.  While it is possible to repair or replace just the spray arms in the appliance, you’ll want to consider the age of the dishwasher and whether it makes sense to replace the entire unit. 
  • There’s no water in the dishwasher or the water doesn’t get hot enough. These problems could mean that it’s time for a new unit.
  • Strange noises coming from the dishwasher while it’s operating. The sounds could mean that the pump or motor needs replacing. 
  • Water remains in the bottom of the appliance after a cleaning cycle.  A dishwasher that’s not draining properly could be at the end of its lifespan.
  • The door latch doesn’t work.  The latch it might just need replacing or it could be that your entire dishwasher has warped, which is a more serious problem.
  • Water leaking onto the floor.  While this could just be a worn or cracked door gasket, it could also signal bigger problems.
  • You notice rust or cracks in the dishwasher.  Rust usually indicates a water problem, and cracks on the interior or exterior of the appliance could lead to water leaking out and floor damage.
  • Your dishwasher is over eight years old.  There may be better, more energy efficient models that are less expensive to operate.  Replacing your older dishwasher with a new model can possibly save you money on your utility bill that can help offset the purchase cost. 

Obviously, if your dishwasher doesn't turn on at all, there could be a major problem.  Before you panic, make sure the appliance is plugged in and the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the plug is operating properly. 

When it’s time to purchase a new dishwasher, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label. An ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher saves an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifespan. In addition to helping you save money on your utility bills, conserving water also helps protect U.S. water supplies. In addition to reducing water and energy consumption, ENERGY STAR dishwashers also have attractive new features that improve performance.

Could definitely tie this back to investing in a home warranty to help save costs on dishwasher replacement.


Ultimate list to dish washer maintenance and troubleshooting:

Do you need help with your Dishwasher? AHS ProConnect offers Dishwasher repair near you.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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New Jersey Residents: The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer.