are prone to breaking down and even conking out if not
maintained correctly. Here are four ways appliance
technicians say you can prevent premature dishwasher
you ever end up with too many dishes in the sink?
Instead of stuffing them all in at the same time, break
the dishes up into two loads instead of one. Overloading
prevents dishes from getting fully cleaned and may cause
you to rinse the same dishes twice, causing additional
wear on the unit, says Dave Cardozo, owner of Dave’s
Appliance Repair in Dumont, N.J.
it can make the dishwasher leak," Cardozo says.
"It diverts water to the tank bottom, which can
splash out under the door."
Power Surge Protection
power surges are strong enough to severely damage or
kill your dishwasher, as well as other electrical items
and appliances. A power surge is caused during a spike
in your home’s electrical current.
says buying a surge protector can go a long way to
saving your dishwasher. Another option is to invest in
whole-house surge protection, which typically costs less
money well spent," Cardozo says.
Scrape Food Off Dishes
technicians say you should at least scrape the food off
plates and dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.
worst thing you can do to a dishwasher is not scraping
off your plate," Cardozo says. "Food gets into
washer arms and pump screens."
far you need to clean after that, though, is debatable.
Although most dishwasher manufacturers say a complete
rinse is not required, some appliance technicians say
the more food and particles you get off the plate, the
less likely the machine will break down.
Alan Johnson, owner of E & J Appliance Service in
Tempe, Ariz., says there is a fine line between rinsing
too little or too much.
you wash your dishes off completely before putting them
in the dishwasher, the detergent has nothing to attach
itself to, so it ends up on the walls, racks and spray
arms," Johnson says. "This can cause cloudy
glasses and film left on plates."
too much food can damage the pump/motor assembly or
drain pump, he says.
recommend you rinse your dishes, but not wash them
completely," Johnson says.
Use Appropriate Amount of Dishwasher Soap
says many people put in far too much dishwasher soap.
will cause buildup in the machine and affect the
performance of washing dishes and put a strain on things
like the pump/motor assembly and spray arm," he
common problem to avoid is placing liquid dish soap in
the dishwasher when you run out of dishwasher detergent.
basically suds up the entire inside of the dishwasher
and causes the unit to leak suds out the door,"
could potentially lead to soap buildup inside the
dishwasher and damage certain components.
says placing a full cap of vegetable oil into the
dishwasher and running it usually clears up the soap.