How to Diagnose Dishwasher Problems
1.Dishwasher does not Work at All
Check fuses and circuit breakers to make sure one has not blown or tripped. You should also make sure the dishwasher is firmly plugged into the outlet.
Inspect the wiring of the plug for breaks or other damage. The electrical cord should be replaced if you find any damage.
If you tried the steps above and the dishwasher still does not work, it is likely one of the mechanical components is broken. In this case, inspect the door latch to ensure it is working properly.
Test the door and selector switches with a continuity or multimeter tester. You should also test the timer, motor and motor relay inside your dishwasher.
2.Motor Whines but Dishwasher does not Start
Look at the motor and pump for any debris or blockage. Clear the jams as necessary. You should also check the drive belt for damage or wear.
If there are no jams or damage, test the dishwasher motor and start relay for continuity.
3.Dishwasher does not Fill or Drains During Filling
Confirm that your water supply to the appliance is turned on and there are no leaks between the supply and the dishwasher.
Ensure there are no kinks in the fill lines that are preventing the dishwasher from filling properly. Check the door latch, float assembly, inlet and drain valves. Check the screens of valves for blockages.
Test the door and float switches for continuity. You should do the same for the inlet valve if visual inspection does not show anything.
Verify that the drain valve arm is working correctly. There are two parts to the drain valve, the gate arm and the solenoid.
Grasp the valve arm and try to move it up and down. The arm should move smoothly. If it is difficult to move, ensure the springs of the arm are not damaged or missing.
If the arm is undamaged but doesn't move properly, you will need to replace the solenoid. Remove the connecting wires with needle-nosed pliers and label them. Use a screwdriver to take out the screws and change the bad solenoid.
4.Water does not Drain
Check for kinked drain hoses. Other damage should also be visible. You should also check the motor and pump for any obstructions.
Inspect the drive belt and hoses for damage or tears. Test the resistance of the drain valve and the continuity of the timer motor.
5. Water or Soap is Leaking Out
Check the soap you are using. The detergent must be rated for dishwashers. Ensure the washer is not overfilling with water.
Inspect the door latch, hinges and gaskets. You should also check the seals around the tub, float, heater and diffuser.
Check the water drain hoses, inlet valve, pump and spray pumps for damage.
Examine the spray arms, inlet filter screens and the drain for damage and blockages. The inlet valve may need to be tested as well.
Inspect the dishwasher motor and mounts. You should also check the fan motor and blades for damage.
7.Wash Cycle does not Complete or Takes Too Long
Test the timer motor, thermostat and heating element for continuity.
8.Dishes are not Clean
Check for proper water level, pressure and temperature. Clean the fine particle filter and water inlet filters.
Ensure the detergent dispenser, spray arms and different valves are working correctly. Make sure none of the valves or hoses have blockages.
Verify that the inlet and drain valves have the proper continuity and resistance.
You should also inspect the selector switch, timer motor and heating element for the correct continuity. Test the bimetal terminal assembly last.
Check the spray arm outlet holes to see if they are full of debris (e.g. plastic container labels etc). You may need to remove these and use a garden hose and/or a high pressure washer to force the debris out of them. Also check that your debris filters at the bottom of the unit are seated properly. Some may warp due to a heating coil close by. You may need to replace any that have warped.