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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher

What to do when you open its door and you see water at the bottom:
It might have a clogged drain. Empty the dishwasher and look for the filter. This is usually a plastic mesh container below the spray arm (it differs depending on every washer). Empty that. Common causes are chicken bones, cellophane or broken glasses - which is invisible in water, so feel around carefully.

Why are the dishes still dirty after washing:
The water sprayer maybe clogged. Turn of the power and empty dishwasher, take out the racks and detach the spray arm (removable for cleaning, your manual should have the steps on it). Then check the little holes on the spray arm to check if they are clogged, and clean them with toothpick.
If it's not clogged, another culprit maybe that the water maynot be heating up enough to melt grease. Check your manual.

What to do with cloudy glasses:
Try soaking them with white vinegar for 5 minutes. If they clear up, it means you have hard water; use more detergent in your machine. If cloudiness still remains, it is likely etching, permanent microscopic cuts caused by using too much detergent or using too hot a cycle, Try less detergent next time and be sure not to use a "high temperature" or "heavy wash" cycle for glass.

Your dishwasher smells like it's on fire:
You likely have an older model that has a visible heating element along the bottom. A dish probably fell and is touching the element. Remove it.

What to do if with stubborn grease:
The water temperature inside your dishwasher maybe below the temperature necessary to melt greasee. Check your manual. If your dishwasher doesn't have its own heating element, increasing the setting on your home's hot water heater to 130-140F. Set it no higher than 120F if small childern are in the house.

How you can prevent streaky dishes:
You probably have hard water. Use a rinse aid.

How you can stop the door from leaking?
First check to be sure there's no utensil or other item wedged in the side, keeping the door from shutting properly. If not, someone may have tripped over the door when it was open and knocked it off kilter. If you see unevenness, tighten or loosen the hinge screws with a screwdriver.
Otherwise, the problem is the gasket-the rubbery stuff around the door that creates the seal. It's probably gaping and need to be replaced. You can do the repair yourself; just consult the manual.

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