Common Causes of Dishwasher Break Down

Dishwasher Break Down

Too many busy households, the dishwasher is an essential kitchen appliance. As long as it is working well, home life can be pretty fine.

However, when the dishwasher stops working, you can expect major changes in your daily routines and personal efficiency. Even a few days without a working dishwasher can give you major inconveniences and headaches.

Dishwashers are built to be a dependable workhorse. Over the years, technology has tremendously improved with its components made of more durable and hardwearing materials. According to the National Association of Home Builders, this home appliance has a life expectancy of nine years.

Although the latest dishwasher models are tougher, the lifespan of any appliance generally depends on how you use and take care of it. Understanding how to do it and avoiding the top causes of dishwasher breakdown can keep it in good running condition for a long time.

So, what are some things that could cause your dishwasher to prematurely break down? Let’s check out.


One of the topmost causes of premature dishwasher breakdowns, overloading is something that you should never do.

You can ‘full load’ the appliance, but don’t overload it. There’s a very fine line between these terms. Make sure to read the user manual that goes with your unit to know its limits.

If you think that you are saving resources and time if you load all dishes in one go, then you’re wrong. In fact, it’s the other way around. Overloading actually makes it more difficult for the washer to fully clean up the dishes. It works extra, causing faster wear for the unit’s components. This shortens the life of the unit, which means extra costs.

Overloading can also cause the unit to leak. Water from the tank bottom can splash out under the door causing the leakage.

Placing Non-Dishwasher Friendly Stuff

Always remember that there are some things that should never go in the dishwasher. Make sure to check the rack for any of these unwanted items before you start the wash cycle.

  • Wood-cutting board/utensils
  • Brass, bronze or pewter
  • Cast iron
  • Nonstick iron pans/pans
  • Travel mug
  • Takeout containers
  • Any item with paper labels
  • Knives
  • Hollow-handled knives
  • Gold or silver trim plates
  • Chinaware with metallic decoration
  • Hand-painted utensils
  • Milk glass
  • Crystal
  • Aluminum cookware
  • Plates that have been glued back

Often, these items get into the dishwasher unintentionally. Should these items become accidentally dislodged from the rack, they might cause some interior damage to your unit and give you a headache.

Loading Dirty Dishes and Plates

While you expect your dishwasher to wash the dishes and plates, placing dirty utensils can result in clogged spray arms, pump assembly, and drain lines. Build up of debris can cause mechanical troubles as well as bacterial buildup. It can also cause poor cleaning efficiency; hence, your dishes will come out not properly cleaning.

Jacksonville technicians recommend removing large food debris off dishes and plates before getting them inside the dishwasher. Dishwasher manufacturers have different recommendations as to how clean the dishes need to be. However, many technicians say that the more debris you remove, the longer the life expectancy of your dishwasher.

Use of incompatible dishwashing detergent

The detergent used can greatly affect the dishwasher’s performance. While this will not immediately cause a unit break down, continuous use of cheap and incompatible cleaning products can harm the dishwasher.

Dishwasher detergents are specifically formulated based on how the machine functions. Regular detergents and other soaps should never be used in the dishwasher. These formulations can produce large amounts of bubbles, suds, and foam that can leak out of the unit. Be sure to read the label and choose a detergent that is specific for dishwashing.

Compared to gels, powdered detergents are recommended because they don’t normally clog the machine. There are other reasons why you should opt for powders, such as, gels tend to contain corrosive solution that can dissolve gaskets and seals; gels are not compatible with hard water; gels tend to leave cloudiness, film, and spots on glassware.

You might be thinking about buying cheap cleansers. But the problem with these products is that you might be unsure about their content. Some inexpensive, inferior detergents might contain fillers such as lime and sand that can lead to sediment build-up after prolonged use.

Sudden Power Surge

Power surges (common during summer and spring) are caused by weather events, particularly thunder storms. These unavoidable phenomena can cause sudden electrical spikes that are strong enough to severely damage electrical appliances – including the dishwasher.

To save your dishwasher, you need to buy a reliable surge protector. Better yet, you can invest in whole-house surge protection.  This safeguards all appliances in your home from the fluctuating electrical currents.

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