Are your dishes not getting clean?
Is your dishwasher not getting dishes as clean as it used to?
Don't run off and buy a new one just yet. We have a simple repair that may just solve
RepairClinic.com's RepairGuru answers tons of email from customers with dishwasher cleaning
problems. Sometimes poor cleaning is due to a pump failure, a broken wash arm or objects
clogging the drain. Or you might not be using the right detergent. Detergents with enzymes
work best. But in most cases, poor cleaning occurs when the dishwasher isn't getting
enough water to properly wash and/or rinse its load.
To check your dishwasher,
start it up using the cycle you normally use, and wait a minute or two for the
machine to start filling with water. After it stops filling but before it starts
draining, open the door and check the water level. There should be enough water
inside to cover the bottom floor of the dishwasher. If there isn't enough water,
it's likely your dishes won't get as clean as they should. Replacing the water
inlet valve often corrects this problem, and it's a repair any do-it-yourselfer
can do with just a few basic tools.
Here's how to do it:
1. Get your dishwasher's model number and enter it into RepairClinic.com's
PartDetective to find and order the exact water inlet valve you need.
Water inlet valves have different flow rates so be sure to get the right one for your machine.
2. Be sure to read and understand any instructions that come with your new
3. Disconnect the dishwasher from its power source. Dishwashers are
usually wired directly to a home's electrical system. To disconnect the power, switch off
the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the electrical circuit to which the dishwasher
is attached. Caution: If you are unsure how to shut the power off properly, do not continue.
Call a qualified appliance repair technician to complete the repair.
4. Turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. The shut off is usually under
the kitchen sink or in the basement or crawlspace near the location of the dishwasher. If
there are no shut-off valves, shut the water off at the main water supply valve.
Remove the lower panel(s) of the dishwasher. Panels are usually secured with two to four
screws at the upper and lower corners of the panels.
5. Locate the water inlet valve, usually near the front of the dishwasher.
Attached to the valve you'll see two or four wires, a water supply line from the house, and
a water feed line to the dishwasher.
6. Remove the water supply line from the valve by removing the brass compression
nut holding it in place.
7. Remove the fitting from the valve to which the water supply line was attached.
This fitting may be very difficult to remove. It may help to put the valve in a vice to remove
the fitting. If you can't remove it, replace it. The fitting is not an appliance part but a plumbing part and is available at most hardware stores for a nominal cost.
8. Remove the screws holding the valve to the dishwasher frame.
9. Label the wires to the valve so you'll be sure to reattach them correctly.
10. Remove the wires from the valve.
11. Remove the water feed tube from the valve. There is usually a small clamp you'll need to remove with pliers.
12. Reinstall the old fitting, or a replacement fitting, onto the new valve the
water supply line was attached to using Teflon tape or pipe joint compound as a thread sealant.
13. Install the new valve in reverse order of removal instructions.
14. Be sure to tighten all fittings properly as the water supply line is under very
15. Turn on the water to the machine and check for and correct any leaks.
16. Reinstall all the access panels.
17. Restore power and test.
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-The average dishwasher uses between 9 and 12 gallons of water per load of dishes.
Washing dishes by hand uses approximately 20 gallons of water. Water used in dishwashers is also much hotter, which makes for more sanitary cleaning.
We've put together a maintenance calendar to help you
figure out what needs to be done and when. Add the page
to your favorites, or print it out and keep it for reference
throughout the year. You can find the appliance maintenance
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