When a dishwasher starts clinking and clattering during a wash cycle, the noise you hear doesn’t always mean that the motor or the pump is on the fritz. Sometimes these noises are caused by an obstruction, a dropped spoon, or food particles that bang around during the wash or rinse cycles.
Trouble shooting a dishwasher noise is often easier than you might think. Before calling a dishwasher repairman, it’s worth trying one of these 4 easy fixes first.
Unblock the spray arms. Spray arms are the paddles located inside the main body of the dishwasher. All dishwashers have at least a bottom paddle, some dishwashers have a second paddle which is suspended above the top dish rack. To check for an obstruction, turn the paddles with your hands to see if something is preventing it from spinning freely. In my dishwasher, the obstruction is usually caused by either an oversized plate or a utensil that has partially dropped out of the silverware basket.
Tighten loose racks and rails. The racks and rails of a dishwasher will loosen up over time which may cause them to bang against the walls during use. Double check the racks to makes sure that the wheels are still attached and that they roll in and out of the racks firmly. If the action is sloppy, tightening any loose screws will usually fix the problem.
Move dishes or glassware apart. If the noise you hear sounds metallic or tinkly, its very possible that some of your dishes or pans are knocking against each other during the wash cycle. To prevent your dishes from hitting each other (and possibly breaking) during the washing process, repack the plates and separate the glassware.
Remove all debris. Dishwashers are not designed to handle nut shells, bones, or other large particles which will roll noisily around the machine instead of disappearing down the drain. To remove any debris, remove the bottom rack from the machine and then use your hands to pick up loose particles resting on the bottom. Be sure to check behind the mesh basket as well; this is where most of those loose particles tend to collect.
These four easy fixes will tackle the more common noises a dishwasher will make. If the noise continues after making these minor adjustments, then the problem is more serious than a loose part or obstruction and may require a service call.
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