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Dishwasher Doesn't Clean

The 10 most common part(s) or condition(s) which contribute to the symptom Dishwasher doesn't clean are listed below. Check or test each item and watch any available videos. If you are still unable to solve the problem you may need to do additional research and troubleshooting. Remember, with our 365 Days. Period.® return policy you can return any part for any reason. So, go ahead and buy it to try it. No other parts retailer offers this unconditional return policy.


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For the symptom you selected, these are the most common parts or causes, ordered by the likelihood of fixing the symptom.

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Belt, Water Pump

Although few dishwashers have a water pump belt, if the dishwasher won't clean dishes there might be a worn or broken water pump belt. Remove the lower kick panel and the motor will be in the front, the water pump belt is on the bottom of the motor.

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Water Inlet Valve

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes, it might not be getting enough water. There is an electrical valve called a water inlet valve which opens to allow hot water into the dishwasher. If this valve has failed or is clogged the dishwasher won't clean the dishes properly. The valve cannot be cleaned or repaired and should be replaced.

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Center Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes, check the center wash arm assembly. If the center wash arm isn't getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the center wash arm assembly is mating properly with the water supply nozzle in the back of the dishwasher. Also check to be sure the little holes in the center wash arm aren't clogged or blocked.

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Lower Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes, check the lower wash arm assembly. If the lower wash arm isn't getting water, all of the dishes in the lower rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the lower wash arm assembly spins freely. Also check to be sure the little holes in the lower wash arm aren't clogged or blocked.

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Upper Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes, check the upper wash arm assembly. If the upper wash arm isn't getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the upper wash arm assembly is intact. Also check to be sure the little holes in the upper wash arm aren't clogged or blocked.

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Circulation Pump

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes the circulation pump might have failed. If there is no noise coming from the circulation pump after the dishwasher has filled, the pump itself might be burned out. Unfortunately, there isn't any easy way to test the circulation pump. If other components have been tested and they check out OK, the circulation pump might need to be replaced. This job is somewhat difficult but many DIY'ers are successful replacing the circulation pump.

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Pump and Motor Assembly

If the dishwasher won't clean the dishes the pump and motor assembly might be defective. Once the dishwasher fills with water, the pump forces the water through the wash arms in order to spray the dishes. If the motor is defective, the pump impeller is broken, or some part of the pump is clogged, the dishes won't be clean. If the pump and motor has power to it and will not run it will need to be replaced.

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Wash Impeller

On some models there is a small, replaceable impeller on the pump motor. As the motor spins, the impeller forces the water up through the wash arms. If the impeller is missing some of its fins or is broken it may not be able to produce the necessary pressure. The impeller can be replaced independently of the motor and pump assembly on most models.

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Circulation and Drain Pump Motor

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes the circulation and drain pump motor might have failed. If the motor isn't making any noise after the dishwasher has filled, the motor itself might be burned out. Unfortunately, there isn't any easy way to test the motor. If other components have been tested and they check out OK, the circulation and drain pump motor might need to be replaced. This job is somewhat difficult but many DIY'ers are successful replacing the motor.

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Upper Wash Arm Spinner

If the dishwasher won't clean dishes, check the upper wash arm spinner. If the upper spinner isn't getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the upper spinner is intact. Also check to be sure the little holes in the spinner aren't clogged or blocked.

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