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All newer dishwashers also have a “tech sheet” someplace on or in the appliance. These tech sheets will have specs, wiring diagrams, timer diagrams, error codes, diagnostic tests & modes, and sometimes maintenance tips & dishwasher repair help. These tech sheets are essential for all of todays appliances and are indespensible when performing dishwasher repair.
Before you start with any diagnosis or dishwasher repair, we must give you an URGENT WARNING. Your dishwasher is hooked up to a 120 volt electric power source. This can easily Shock or KILL you! Use extreme caution and make sure to unplug the appliance or remove the electrical power to the washer before most tests!
Dishwasher Maintenance & User Tips
Some dishwashers sold today earn the “Energy Star” seal, which means that these units comply with Federal Regulations for energy conservation. Because of these new guidelines, these machines are water misers and for them to run properly the user has to make sure certain inputs are followed. Below is a short list that all dishwasher owners should follow to get the best out of your machine.
Read your Owner’s Manual We know they are boring, but they just might save you some money down the road in dishwasher repair bills. We find from our experience, the first people to have problems with any appliance, are the ones who do not even know where their owner’s manuals are.
Follow Installation Directions Proper water, drain, & wiring is essential. Also make sure your unit is level and properly mounted.
Make Sure Your Hot Water is Hot Water These new machines will not run on cold water or even luke warm water, it has to be hot water. Most will even specify 120F or hotter water temp as incoming water. These new units only use 1.5-3 gallons of water for each fill, so the temp has to be there. Many brands recommend that you run your kitchen sink water until it gets hot, then start filling your dishwasher, we also recommend that.
Some dishwashers will stop if it senses too cold of water coming in, others will try to warm the water and if it can’t in so much time, the unit will stop and give an error code. Hot water also helps dissolve and mix the soap detergent better, giving you better washing results. Just make sure the water is hot going into your dishwasher, no getting around it.
Dishwasher Detergent So Important, especially with today’s units. We highly recommend a good fresh liquid or fresh powder detergent only for all dishwashers. Why do we say fresh? Liquids over time start to separate and powders start to clump. All detergents are dated, but most have a secret date code, so you, the buyer, can’t figure the code out. We can’t either. As far as those packets and tablets?
We do not recommend them. The packets do not always dissolve, sometimes we even find remnants of the packet in the drain pump. The tablets also do not always dissolve, especially if they are old. And both also have to have nice hot water to dissolve fully. Older dishwashers that do not have the heat sensors should not use these packets or tablets.
One other note, never use regular dishwashing detergent in a dishwasher. You will fill that machine with suds like you see on TV. It does happen. Dishwasher detergent is a low sudsing concentrated soap designed for the amount of water a dishwasher uses. Regular dishwashing detergent is high sudsing and will overflow your machine and you will have suds coming out from around and under the door.
Jet Dry or Rinse Agent Always make sure your dispenser is filled with Jet-Dry or some other Rinse Agent. This is very important in the last rinse and drying stage. The rinse agent puts a finish or “wax” on your dishes on the final rinse. This finish enables the water to roll off your dishes easier so less is their to dry. Also takes away unsightly spots and residue. Keep your dispenser filled, and you will see a difference.
Also you people with stainless steel dishwashers, a rinse agent will eventually coat the inside stainless steel and keep it from having water spots. This process of curing can take anywhere from 15-25 washes using a rinse agent.
But I use a tablet with Jet Dry in it, why do I need to fill my dispenser? Just think about it. Those tablets if fresh and your water as hot as possible, dissolve in the 1st wash cycle and then is drained away. Depending on the cycle you have it programmed or your unit. You could have from 1-3 more fills and drains before the actual rinse cycle.
None of that rinse aid is going to be left in your dishwasher for your rinse cycle. Just fill the dispenser when it’s empty. A full dispenser will usually last you anywhere from 3-6 months depending on how much you use your dishwasher.
Rinse or Wipe Plates off Before Putting Them in Dishwasher We know you have seen the TV commercial for Kenmore(We thinK), where they put a whole cake in the unit and it comes out clean, or the salesman telling you that it has a mini garbage disposer in it, so it will chop up anything you put into it. Well do not believe either one.
These new models could probably do the cake, but it would automatically do extra cycles to get it all gone, but as far as a garbage disposer, it does not have. Most units do have some sort of chopper in it, but it is small(about 1″), and lightweight(a little heavier then a big paper clip). They will eventually chop up a pea, bean, or piece of meat. It will not chop up a bone, unpopped popcorn, metal screw, wood, rubber feet from cutting boards, or some of the other things we have found.
Paper and plastic also will not get chopped up and will usually just wrap around the shaft or get into the drain hole or pump. Just use common sense, get excess scraps off your dishes before loading into your dishwasher. It will make your machine more worry-free and dishwasher repair free for longer.
Appliances Repair in VA
Do Not Try Washing Strays or The Like We should not have to say it, but we still find items like straws and other little light plastic items stuck in choppers, drain pumps, sump screens, and heat elements. Just don’t even try it. They will get out and stuck somewhere, and you will be paying for a dishwasher repair.
Appliances Repair in VA
Plastics Should Be On Top Level If small enough, dishwasher safe plastic plates, bowls, cups, and containers should only be put on the top rack. Plates that are bigger, are usually OK on the bottom. Also, plastics do not dry well in dishwashers, even with heated dry and rinse agent. 9 out of 10 times, these plastics will still have water on them and possibly spots. No way around it!
Appliances Repair in VA
Clean your Dishwasher From time to time, you might start smelling odor from your dishwasher. You need to wash your dishwasher on a regular basis, depending on the use it gets. You might need to do it once a month or once every 6 months. Your dishwasher always has some water in the drain sump and depending on how you use or abuse your machine, that drain sump can be filled with mold, mildew, food scraps, leftover soap, etc.
That will start smelling and smell bad. You need to use “Dishwasher Magic” or some other dishwasher cleaner. You use these cleaners with no dishes in the machine and run it through a cycle. Make sure you have nice hot water before you start. This stuff will help clean and disinfect your dishwasher. If you have never done this before, and your unit really stinks, you might have to do this 2-3 times before using your machine again for dishes. If you know how to access your drain sump, this can be a big help in cleaning out your dishwasher.