Not every problem with your dishwasher is a sign that it needs replacing - quite often, your appliance can be fixed with a spare part or a simple cleaning cycle. On the other hand, if you've had your dishwasher for a number of years now and it keeps going wrong, this could be a warning sign of more problems to come. This article looks at the telltale signs that you need a new dishwasher.

The Knowhow

  • A good dishwasher should last up to 15 years, but this varies between appliances.
  • Factors such as water hardness and frequency of use will affect how long a device lasts.
  • If your dishwasher cycle runs several times daily or if you live in a hard water area, the dishwasher will develop wears and tears more quickly.
  • All broken parts can be replaced as a short-term solution, but if dishwasher parts have begun to deteriorate then the risk is that more problems will soon follow.
  • Sometimes, it may actually be less expensive to upgrade to a brand-new machine rather buy new parts

Repair v. replacement: dishwasher problems

PROBLEM CAUSE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION: REPAIR LONG-TERM SOLUTION: REPLACE
Rust: dishwasher shelves Mineral deposits in hard water Rusted shelves can be easily repaired at low-cost with a home repair kit, or you can buy new shelves from Partmaster. NB: Rusted shelving should be replaced swiftly so that rust does not stain cutlery or crockery. Rust can also clog up the dishwasher filter, leading to more problems. Rusted shelves are the first warning sign that your dishwasher needs replacing. If left unattended, the rust will eventually spread to other areas of the dishwasher. There are rust-removal products available if your dishwasher is a fairly new appliance, but if the rust has been left for a long time, it may be too late for repairs.
Rust: dishwasher lining Mineral deposits in hard water Rust-removal cleaning products can be purchased from your local supermarket. These will keep the rust deposits at bay, and should become a part of your regular dishwasher maintenance routine. Repair should be carried out ASAP - if rusting is dealt with quickly, it can be easily managed. If the deposits have been left for too long, the dishwasher may begin to crack and leak, in which case it is due to be replaced. If left to deteriorate, rust will cause permanent damage to both your dishwasher and cutlery (the heating element can be damaged, and the dishwasher begins to look worn out). If rust has degraded the interior, the dishwasher may need replacing.
Cracks running through inner compartment Years of exposure to hot water, vibrations, corrosive detergents, and the force of the washing cycle. Cracks are a sign that the dishwasher materials are being worn down by the cleaning cycle, and if one part has worn down, others may soon follow. An engineer can use a sealant as a short-term solution to repair the crack, but this will need to be regularly re-sealed. If left, water and soap suds can seep through the cracks, damaging the mechanical parts of your appliance. A crack is a serious problem and the dishwasher should not be used, even if it is only a very small, hairline crack. Replacing the inner compartment is expensive, and a dishwasher upgrade is a more sensible option for older machines.
Cracks running through outer shell: e.g. door or walls " " As with all broken parts, walls/casing can be replaced, but the cost is significant. It may actually be cheaper to upgrade to a new machine, than to buy new casing from the manufacturer and have it fitted by a technician. Leaking water can run through to the walls and floor surrounding your dishwasher, and cause damage to your kitchen. A dishwasher with cracks is likely to keep leaking, so to avoid this it may be time for a new appliance.
Door won't close: rubber seal perimeter or door lock damaged Hot water has weakened rubber/the lock has worn away after years of use The dishwasher door has a rubber seal around it which stops water seepage (this is easily replaced at low cost), but occasionally the door itself - rather than the seal - will malfunction. Both the rubber seal and the lock on the dishwasher's door can be replaced with new parts, but the door giving way is a strong sign that your dishwasher parts are wearing down. A brand-new appliance may cost more in the short-term, but it will save you endless repairs and part replacements in the future. The dishwasher door is designed to seal off the hot water, cleaning salts and food specks from leakages, so a break here can also lead to floor spillages. The best long-term solution is a replacement appliance, but a replacement door may last you for several years on a young machine.

NB: In all cases, consult a professional before discarding your appliance.

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Updated On:

Jul 24, 2012

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