DIY Dishwasher Repair Tips

There are plenty of ways your dishwasher can cause headaches for you, no matter how old it is or how much you paid for it. While it’s true that for most of the time it’s in your home, your dishwasher works just fine, but there are many things that come into play – everyday things – that can shorten the life of your appliance and cause you some grief.

When you do notice that your dishwasher isn’t performing as it should, you can check a few things yourself before calling for appliance repair in San Francisco. Doing so could save you some time and money, so it would be worth the effort to at least rule out any possible DIY dishwasher repairs before giving us a call!

Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

One of the most common calls we get from folks looking for dishwasher repair has to do with clogged drains. This is often the case when the dishwasher either won’t drain or it overfills – or both! Even though the drainage system in this type of appliance is intentionally complex to prevent this issue, sometimes a piece of food or another object can get stuck in the drain hose after getting through the filter. Fortunately, this can be an easy DIY dishwasher repair. Your hose could also just be kinked; if it’s hooked up to a garage disposal, check to ensure that the knockout has been removed from the disposal inlet.

Take off the lower panel that is between the door and your kitchen floor, and you’ll find the drain hose near the pump, just below the lower spray arm. There is a clamp holding the hose in place; disconnect the hose by removing that clamp and remove any obstructions you see in the hose. You might find that pouring some water through the hose can help clear debris. Reconnect the hose with the clamp and replace that bottom panel.

If your hose isn’t clogged, check the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher to see if debris is blocking water’s ability to flow through there.

Dishwasher is Leaking

This issue has a few different causes, but it would still be beneficial for DIY people to try to diagnose and fix the issue if they want to save time and money. Sometimes that same drain hose that can get clogged also cracks, splits, or becomes faulty after extended use. You can find the specific type of hose for your model online, or contact our Bay Area dishwasher repair experts for help. Once you have your new hose, disconnect the old one from the pump and switch it out with the new one, securing it with the clamps.

Always make sure you use the right type of detergent for your dishwasher and if you have hard water, you’ll want to use more detergent than you would with soft water. Check the seal around the door and make sure there are no tears or cracks. If there are, you can replace the seal with a new one or contact us to help out.

The Dishwasher Won’t Fill

If you notice that your dishes are coming out looking exactly like they did when they went in, chances are pretty good that water isn’t reaching your appliance. Be sure that the door is able to properly latch; if it isn’t, dishwashers are designed not to run for safety reasons. Make sure no one shut the water supply to it off, and check the circuit breaker or fuse box. Make sure the inlet hose is free of sediment, residue, and kinks, especially if you have water that is hard or has an excess of iron or calcium.

Detergent Lid Doesn’t Open

Have you ever gone to your appliance and noticed that the detergent cup never opened during the cycle? This is often caused by build-up of soap in the cup, and the repeated soapy residue getting wet during a cycle, then drying, then more residue layers on and dries, over and over. This issue also usually results in your detergent cup not emptying during cycles, leaving a mess in there and dishes that aren’t clean. Every so often, wipe out the detergent cup completely, making sure to remove any dried residue along its edges. We also recommend using liquid detergent – not powder. Liquid rinses better and has less build-up, which also means your dishes will look cleaner.

The Dishwasher is Suddenly Noisy

Some sounds are normal, some are due to trivial things, and others can signal a problem that an appliance repair expert in Marin County should fix. Water valves hiss during filling, they gurgle and hum while they drain, some timers make an audible clicking noise, and an arm may occasionally cause a rhythmic bumping noise if tall dishes are in its way as it rotates. You really need only be concerned if what you hear is a noise that you haven’t heard before that cannot be attributed to any of the aforementioned causes. In addition, if what you hear sounds forceful, something sounds “stuck” and you don’t hear water, or you just aren’t sure where it’s coming from, be sure to contact us for help.


Appliance repair can be tricky for anyone, so if you don’t feel comfortable trying to do it yourself, or if you’ve attempted DIY dishwasher repair but cannot fix the problem, don’t hesitate to contact us. Call us to schedule a time for us to come out and make sure your repairs are done safely and properly.