Common Dishwasher Issues: Should You Repair or Replace?


We’ve all heard it said, or even said it ourselves: they just don’t make things like they used to. You’re reminded that your parents had the same dishwasher for decades before it gave out… usually around the same time your dishwasher has filled with water and won’t drain. For the third time. This week. But if you’re having dishwasher issues, should you be calling Ace Plumbing for repairs, or to replace your dishwasher? Let’s take a closer look.

Common Dishwasher Problems

As Consumer Reports notes, your dishwasher can develop a number of issues over its service life. Some can be fixed yourself quickly and easily. If you notice that your dishes aren’t as clean as they were at first, it could be your detergent; some dishwashers don’t work well with the pods that are becoming more popular. If your glasses are cloudy, adding Jet Dry or using a detergent that’s formulated for hard water is a big help. It’s also worth remembering that grease and food can build up in fixtures, so if your dishwasher has a self-cleaning option, use it often to keep it running well.

When to Repair Your Dishwasher

Other issues are a matter of calling for repairs. As a rule of thumb, if your dishwasher is still under warranty, get it fixed and get your money’s worth. Maybe you’re noticing leaks, a lack of proper drainage, odd noises, dishes that won’t dry, or a latch that doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.


These are often simple fixes, but they shouldn’t be DIY jobs. You’re not saving money with improper repairs, and some parts — like heating elements and other components — require a professional touch. Another consideration: you don’t want to void your warranty!

When to Replace Your Dishwasher

When is it time to replace instead of repairing? Age is the prime culprit. If your dishwasher is out of warranty, get estimates on any repairs. If the repair cost is edging up to a significant fraction of the cost to buy new, don’t keep throwing good money after bad.


There’s one other time to consider replacement. Sometimes even good brands have imperfect quality control, and the occasional lemon slips through the cracks. A machine that breaks often under warranty isn’t going to do any better once the warranty is up; cut your losses and buy a new machine.


Nothing lasts forever, and nothing reminds us this is true like our home appliances. They’re a lot like us when you stop to think about it: they work hard, but as they get older, parts wear out. If you’re not sure whether your dishwasher needs repairs, or if it’s got one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel, call your Sacramento plumbers at Ace Plumbing. We’re available for emergencies 24/7 at (916) 455-4548.