What is the most common dishwasher fault? Explained

The most common dishwasher fault is a clogged or faulty drain pump. This can cause your dishwasher to not drain properly, leak water onto the floor, or make loud noises during the cycle. A clogged drain pump can be caused by food debris, grease, or foreign objects that get stuck in the pump or the drain hose. A faulty drain pump can be due to wear and tear, electrical issues, or damage from hard water.

In this article, we will explain how to identify, troubleshoot, and fix a clogged or faulty drain pump in your dishwasher. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent this problem from happening again. By following these steps, you can save time, money, and hassle, and enjoy a clean and efficient dishwasher.

How to identify a clogged or faulty drain pump

The first step to fixing a clogged or faulty drain pump is to identify the symptoms and the error codes that your dishwasher may display. Here are some of the most common signs that indicate a problem with the drain pump:

  • Your dishwasher does not drain completely or leaves water at the bottom of the tub after the cycle.
  • Your dishwasher leaks water onto the floor or under the sink.
  • Your dishwasher makes loud or unusual noises, such as humming, grinding, or buzzing, during the drain cycle.
  • Your dishwasher displays an error code related to the drain pump, such as C1, C2, C3, or C4 on GE dishwashers, or E24, E25, or E31 on Bosch dishwashers. You can refer to your dishwasher manual or online resources to find out what the error codes mean for your specific model.
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If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check the drain pump and the drain hose for any blockages or damage. You may need to remove the lower access panel, the filter, and the spray arms to access the drain pump. You should also unplug your dishwasher or turn off the circuit breaker before you start working on it.

How to troubleshoot and fix a clogged or faulty drain pump

Once you have identified the problem, you can try to fix it yourself or call a professional for help. Here are some of the steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix a clogged or faulty drain pump:

  • Clean the filter and the drain hose. The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher tub and can be removed by twisting it counterclockwise. The drain hose is attached to the drain pump and the sink drain or the garbage disposal. You can use a toothbrush, a pipe cleaner, or a wire hanger to remove any debris or grease from the filter and the hose. You can also run hot water through the hose to flush out any clogs.
  • Check the impeller and the blades. The impeller is a fan-like part that spins and pushes the water out of the dishwasher. The blades are attached to the impeller and help to chop up any food particles. You can use a flashlight to inspect the impeller and the blades for any cracks, wear, or damage. You can also try to spin the impeller by hand to see if it moves freely. If the impeller or the blades are broken or jammed, you will need to replace them.
  • Test the drain pump for continuity. Continuity is the ability of an electrical component to conduct current. You can use a multimeter, a device that measures voltage, resistance, and current, to test the drain pump for continuity. You will need to disconnect the wires from the drain pump and touch the probes of the multimeter to the terminals of the pump. If the multimeter shows a reading of zero or infinity, it means that the drain pump has no continuity and is defective. You will need to replace the drain pump.
  • Replace the drain pump. If the drain pump is clogged or faulty, you will need to buy a new one that matches your dishwasher model. You can find the part number on the drain pump itself or on your dishwasher manual. You can also order the part online or from a local appliance store. To replace the drain pump, you will need to disconnect the wires and the hose from the old pump and remove it from the dishwasher. Then, you will need to install the new pump and reconnect the wires and the hose. You can follow the instructions that come with the new pump or watch online videos for guidance.
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How to prevent a clogged or faulty drain pump

To prevent a clogged or faulty drain pump from happening again, you can follow some simple maintenance tips that will keep your dishwasher running smoothly. Here are some of the best practices that you can adopt:

  • Scrape off any large food particles from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. This will reduce the amount of debris that can get stuck in the drain pump or the hose.
  • Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. This will clear any food waste that may clog the sink drain or the hose.
  • Use the right amount and type of detergent for your dishwasher. Too much or too little detergent can cause residue or foam that can interfere with the drain pump. You should also use a detergent that is compatible with your water hardness level. Hard water can cause mineral deposits that can damage the drain pump.
  • Use a rinse aid or a water softener to improve the drying and cleaning performance of your dishwasher. A rinse aid can help to prevent water spots and streaks on your dishes. A water softener can help to prevent scale buildup and corrosion on your dishwasher components.
  • Clean the filter and the drain hose regularly. You should check and clean the filter and the hose at least once a month or more often if you use your dishwasher frequently. You can also run a cleaning cycle with vinegar or a dishwasher cleaner to remove any grease or odors from your dishwasher.

Conclusion

A clogged or faulty drain pump is the most common dishwasher fault that can cause various problems, such as poor drainage, water leaks, or loud noises. By following the steps above, you can identify, troubleshoot, and fix this issue yourself or with the help of a professional. You can also prevent this issue from recurring by following some simple maintenance tips that will keep your dishwasher in good shape. By doing so, you can enjoy a clean and efficient dishwasher that will serve you for years to come.