How Long Should a Dishwasher Last? What to Expect

The average lifespan of a dishwasher is about 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. However, this number can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, model, usage, maintenance, and water quality. In this article, we will explore how to extend the life of your dishwasher, how to spot the signs of a failing dishwasher, and when to replace it with a new one.

How to Extend the Life of Your Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a major appliance that can save you time, energy, and water. But like any other appliance, it needs proper care and maintenance to function well and last longer. Here are some tips to keep your dishwasher in good shape:

  • Clean the filter regularly. The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher and prevents food particles from clogging the drain. You should clean the filter at least once a month by removing it and rinsing it under running water. If the filter is damaged or worn out, you should replace it with a new one.
  • Run the dishwasher with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can help remove grease, soap scum, and hard water deposits from the dishwasher. You can run the dishwasher with vinegar once every few months by filling a cup with white vinegar and placing it on the top rack. Then, run the dishwasher on a normal cycle without any dishes or detergent.
  • Check the spray arms and jets. The spray arms and jets are responsible for spraying water and detergent onto the dishes. They can get clogged with food debris, mineral buildup, or rust over time. You should check the spray arms and jets regularly and clean them with a toothpick, a pipe cleaner, or a soft brush. If they are cracked or broken, you should replace them with new ones.
  • Use the right detergent and rinse aid. The detergent and rinse aid you use can affect the performance and longevity of your dishwasher. You should use the detergent and rinse aid that are recommended by the manufacturer of your dishwasher. You should also follow the instructions on how much to use and how to fill the dispenser. Too much or too little detergent or rinse aid can cause problems such as residue, streaks, or spots on the dishes.
  • Load the dishwasher properly. How you load the dishwasher can also make a difference in how well it cleans and how long it lasts. You should follow the guidelines in the user manual on how to load the dishwasher for optimal results. You should also avoid overloading or underloading the dishwasher, as this can affect the water circulation and the cleaning efficiency.
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How to Spot the Signs of a Failing Dishwasher

Even with regular maintenance, your dishwasher may eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. Some of the common signs of a failing dishwasher are:

  • The dishes are not clean. If your dishes are still dirty or have food residue after a wash cycle, it could mean that your dishwasher is not cleaning properly. This could be due to a clogged filter, spray arm, or jet, a faulty heating element, a malfunctioning pump, or a low water pressure. You should try to troubleshoot the problem by cleaning the filter, spray arm, or jet, checking the water temperature and pressure, and running the dishwasher with vinegar. If the problem persists, you may need to call a professional to repair or replace the dishwasher.
  • The dishwasher is leaking. If you notice water dripping or pooling under or around the dishwasher, it could mean that your dishwasher is leaking. This could be due to a loose or damaged hose, a cracked or warped door seal, a faulty water inlet valve, or a worn out pump seal. You should try to locate the source of the leak and tighten or replace the hose, door seal, valve, or pump seal. If the leak is severe or you cannot find the source, you should turn off the water supply and power to the dishwasher and call a professional to fix it.
  • The dishwasher is making strange noises. If your dishwasher is making loud, unusual, or grinding noises, it could mean that your dishwasher is having trouble operating. This could be due to a worn out motor, a broken impeller, a loose or bent fan blade, or a foreign object stuck in the drain. You should try to identify the cause of the noise and remove any obstructions or debris from the drain. If the noise continues or worsens, you should turn off the power to the dishwasher and call a professional to inspect it.
  • The dishwasher is not draining. If your dishwasher is not draining or has standing water at the bottom, it could mean that your dishwasher is not draining properly. This could be due to a clogged or kinked drain hose, a blocked air gap, a faulty drain pump, or a jammed garbage disposal. You should try to clear the drain hose, air gap, pump, or disposal of any blockages or obstructions. If the water still does not drain, you should turn off the power to the dishwasher and call a professional to repair or replace it.
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When to Replace Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is showing any of the signs of a failing dishwasher, you may be wondering whether to repair or replace it. The answer depends on several factors, such as the age, condition, and cost of the dishwasher. As a general rule, you should consider replacing your dishwasher if:

  • It is more than 10 years old. The average lifespan of a dishwasher is about 10 years, but some models may last longer or shorter depending on the quality and usage. If your dishwasher is more than 10 years old, it may be nearing the end of its life and may not be worth repairing. You may also benefit from replacing your old dishwasher with a new one that is more energy-efficient, water-efficient, and feature-rich.
  • It is beyond repair. If your dishwasher is broken beyond repair or the cost of repair is more than half the cost of a new one, it may be time to replace it. You should get a quote from a reputable appliance repair service and compare it with the price of a new dishwasher. You should also factor in the warranty, installation, and disposal fees when making your decision.
  • It is not meeting your needs. If your dishwasher is not meeting your needs or expectations, you may want to replace it with a new one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. For example, if you have a large family or entertain frequently, you may want a dishwasher that has a larger capacity, more cycles, and more options. Or, if you are concerned about the environment, you may want a dishwasher that has a lower energy and water consumption, a soil sensor, and a delay start feature.
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Conclusion

A dishwasher is a valuable appliance that can make your life easier and save you resources. However, like any other appliance, it needs proper care and maintenance to last longer and perform better. By following the tips in this article, you can extend the life of your dishwasher, spot the signs of a failing dishwasher, and decide when to replace it with a new one. We hope this article has helped you answer the question of how long should a dishwasher last and how to make the most of it.