Los Angeles Appliance Repair

dishwasher repair american appliance specialists

The premier Los Angeles & Orange County refrigerator repair company

Dishwasher Repair & Maintenance
Dishwashers are the ultimate "lazy man's" appliance. Dishwasher repair can bring chaos and turmoil to any home. It means that someone has to wash dishes by hand. Remember the old days when your brother or sister and yourself would take turns at doing the evening dishes. It was one of your daily chores! So call American Appliance Specialists for all your Los Angeles dishwasher repair needs today!
Now-a-days, everyone just throws the dishes into the dishwasher and off they go. But, when the dishwasher breaks down, the whole kitchen comes to a stand still and nobody knows what to do. That is why we call it the ultimate "lazy man's" kitchen appliance. No one wants to wash dishes anymore.
The first dishwashers were loud and could even use cold or hot water to wash dishes. The only sensors they had was an overflow float and possibly a cut-off thermostat for the heater circuit. They used lots of water and the average wash cycle took about 45-90 minutes to wash, depending on the dry cycle.
Today's dishwashers are quite different. They are quieter, more efficient, and usually have longer cycles.
Quick Facts of Today's Dishwashers

  • Use about 1/3-1/2 the water they used to. Depending on the cycle and type, use anywhere from about 5-15 gallons of water total.
  • Average normal cycle with heat dry lasts 90-120 minutes, some even longer.
  • Must use dishwasher detergent(low suds) and not dishwashing detergent(high suds).
  • Comes in 2 styles now, drawer dishwashers and conventional door dishwashers.
  • The use of electronic controls, new technologies, and the lower water consumption, dishwashers have become very efficient.
  • Most now use an electronic control with digital displays. Because of this control/computer, it can give you error codes to aid in dishwasher repair.

Drawer Dishwashers Vs One Door Dishwashers
Drawer dishwashers have been in use for awhile now. Commercially, they have been used for a long, long time. Across the seas, drawer dishwashers have been used also for quite awhile. Some homes across the seas will actually have 2 dishwashers and they will just use the dishes out of one and fill the other with dirty dishes. The drawer dishwasher really hasn't caught on yet here in the states, but more and more are showing up.
The major brands you will see for sale are LG, Maytag, and Fisher&Paykel. We have not seen a lot of dishwasher repair on these machines, but based on our experience, we would keep our regular dishwasher. They do not seem to fit as much into each drawer as you could in a full size dishwasher, big platters or even some smaller pots and pans can not fit into these drawers. For apartment size or single living, they do seem to be just the right ticket. The cycles are quite a bit quicker, and they use very little water.
Our dishwasher repair experience on these drawers have all been water leakage problems. One thing about these drawers, they hide there water leaks very well from your sight, sometimes even from a technician's sight. One good thing, is that most of these units do have a sensor on the bottom panel to detect water leaks. This sensor will stop/shut the machine down, hopefully stopping the water leak from spreading more. The drain and fill hoses are another issue with these machines and can become a mini nightmare fixing them. These hoses are always moving with the drawer and sometimes can just get pinched for no reason.
Common Dishwasher Repair Problems

  • Not Filling With Water This problem can be caused by the overflow float not going down for some reason, something wedged under it. It can also be cause by clogged water inlet valve. Like a washing machine valve, this water inlet valve also has a small screen on it and can get clogged with sediment from your water supply. It is not very easy to clean these screens, so most of the time just change the valve. When you have the water hose disconnected from the valve, always turn on the water to flush the line just in case the clog is in your line. Don't forget to put something under the water line to catch the water. Try Orange County dishwasher repair; also check for voltage at the fill valve. If you are not getting voltage to the fill valve, trace back to control board and see where the voltage starts. Most dishwashers run electricity from the control to the float then to the fill valve.
  • Slow or Low Water Level Most of the time, this problem points directly to the fill valve. Slow fill, like above, can be caused by blockage in the valve or the water line itself. Make sure you have good water pressure or you will need Glendale dishwasher repair and the proper size pipe going to the fill valve. Most new machines are now time filled and not volume filled. For example, some Whirlpool dishwashers fill for 90 seconds and then the water is shut off. The control is hoping that your water pressure is at least the minimum required to fill the machine to it's minimum water level. If you have high water pressure, it is very possible your water level will be at the maximum allowed in the machine, and the water valve might even be turned off by the float/overfill switch.
  • Water Left in Bottom After Cycle Ends Drainage problem of some sort is usually the cause. Could be blockage before your drain pump, in your drain pump, or in your drain hose. One possibility is that you just installed a garbage disposal and forgot to remove the "knock-out" plug for the dishwasher drain line. Another cause can be that you have not looped your dishwasher drainline under your sink and water from your sink is flowing back into you dishwasher. You must attach your dishwasher drain line under your sink so it is higher then your sink drain lines, creating a trap for your dishwasher. Your drain sump could be plugged, not letting the water get to your drain pump easily. This is caused by not getting loose or hard debris off your dishes before putting them in the unit. Also make sure your drain pump is getting the right voltage when it is supposed to or you will have to contact Pasadena dishwasher repair.
  • Water Going in But hear No Circulation This is usually caused by a syphon effect or your drain line improperly installed. You can not attach your drain line from the dishwasher without having a loop in it. If you go directly under the floor with your drain hose, all water will drain out upon fill. Safest and recommended installation of drain hose is to your kitchen sink and attach the hose somewhere so it is higher then the bottom of your sinks.
  • Lights Come on, but Nothing Happens When You Hit The Start Button Sounds like a door switch problem here. Make sure you door closes and latches properly. If it does, you must gain access to your door switches and check for proper continuity and OPS of switches. Can also be a keypad or control issue, but make sure your switches are good first.
  • Unit is Dead, No Lights, No OPS Some units will have thermal fuse of some sort in the wiring before the control. If this fuse is open, no power will get to the control or display. Before checking this fuse, make sure the correct voltage is present at the junction box for the dishwasher. If all is OK, you have a control or keypad issue.
  • Dirty Dishes after Cycle Completes Can be caused by low water level, poor soap, no jet dry, detergent dispenser not opening, poor water circulation due to broken or clogged chopper screen, dirty dishwasher, & defective circulation motor. Some of these problems are actual component problems, and other problems are user problems. These user problems will be discussed in more detail later under Maintenance & Tips.
  • No Heating or Drying Check the heat circuit of your dishwasher. This will include your control, heat element, thermostat/thermal fuse, & sometimes your door switch. Check your thermostat/thermal fuse and heat element for continuity first. If all test good, go to your control and possibly your door switch. Check for voltage from your control and continuity of your door switch.

These are just some common issues with dishwasher repair in general. Each brand has slight differences, but all have the same principals behind them. The newer dishwashers with electronic controls and digital displays, will also show an error code when something is wrong. Sometimes making dishwasher repair easier. To find out about what an error code means, click on the following link for a partial list.
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. Remember, we do dishwasher repair in Santa Clarita, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, and all of Los Angeles.
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 extremecaution 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 and you will need to call for dishwasher repair in Los Angeles. 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 dispite your need for dishwasher repair in Orange County. 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 or you will find yourself calling for Woodland Hills dishwasher repair! 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. You can purchase these from American Appliance Specialists doing dishwasher repair in Long Beach. 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. If you find it ism call us for dishwasher repair in Long Beach and Orange County. 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. If you don’t have common sense, call us anyways for Los Angeles dishwasher repair. It will make your machine more worry-free and dishwasher repair free for longer.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

Dishwasher repair can be headed off if you follow this above list of maintenance and user tips. The more you follow them, we will bet that you will see less repair bills.
The following links are if you need to look at the dishwasher repair error codes, or have a technical question about dishwasher repair for us, or if you would like to schedule/request dishwasher repair service for your appliance. Call American Appliance Specialists at (866) 445-7897 today!