Avoid Dishwasher Appliance Repair with a Little Coaching

Fred's Appliance
April 8, 2013

No doubt, if you watch any TV at all or hang around the Internet you’ve seen all the ads for the latest dishwashers by now. This one runs so quiet you can’t hear it even standing next to it with your ear pressed up against the door. A baby snoring is louder than that machine. The next one scrubs pots and pans better than Brillo and at half the cost. You can even throw a whole chocolate cake, frosting and all into this other one and it’ll gobble it up in no time flat and spit out the platter all squeeky clean.

Then there’s the energy efficient model that senses how dirty the water is and adjusts the wash time according. It does dishes with half the water with twice the shine. Some models even forego the expensive heat dry after the wash and flash dry your dishes with radiant heat. Dishwashers are a marvelous time saving invention that’ll keep your kids out of the kitchen and in front of the TV. Except for one thing. Something the manufacturers can’t seem to be able to build into their machines. Operator error.

Today’s Energy Star appliances are NOT your mother’s appliances. Gone are the big, clunky, loud, power-eating wash motors and pumps. No more watching the house water meter overheat everytime you wash dishes. So along with these modern technological marvels comes a small learning curve, that if missed by Mr. or Ms. Dishwasher Owner, can result in the thing running off the road.

For starters there’s no longer any need to load the machine’s detergent dispenser with gobs of dish soap. Today’s soaps are chemically engineered to require only a small amount to get the job done. Read the package label, but generally less is best. Why? you ask confused. Well basically the purpose of soap is to make the water wetter. It’s the water that does the cleaning. Too much soap can so saturate the water it never gets rinsed out during the wash cycle, ending up contaminating the rinse cycles and leaving film or spots on all your glasses and silverware.

Second, if you want your machine to last longer than your teenager’s next haircut, scrape the debris off the plates. Toothpicks, soup bones, Grandpa’s dentures: leave the gravy, because the soap needs some food protein to work better. But get rid of anything not softly palatable. Cardinal rule to remember…the dishwasher is NOT a garbage disposer. Some older models have a chopper system that grinds up food and swallows it down the drain. Most newer models have gotten away from that system in favor of a quieter machine that boasts a filter system. This is where YOU come in.

If your machine has a removeable filter, go ahead and bravely remove the filter. At least once a week, but more often would be good, too. Wash it out and remove anything stuck inside it. An old toothbrush is great for scouring the fine mesh inside and out before reinstalling it in your machine.

Many new machines need a rinse aid product to clean effectively. Sorry, the Feds are mandating appliance efficiency, so we’re trading lots of water and brutal heating cycles for simple drops of food-grade chemicals designed to soften your dish water. If you buy the soap tabs that come pre-installed with a little round ball of rinse aid, DO NOT under penalty of oversudsing also fill the machine’s rinse aid compartment with liquid rinse aid. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

Finally, a quick couple tips: Before starting the machine, run your hot water at the sink to purge the water line of cool water. Then start your machine. This will help shorten wash time since the machine doesn’t have to pause so often to heat water. And run a paper towel along the bottom edge of the tub when it’s dry once in awhile to remove any built-up gunk that may have accumulated and gotten trapped in that area.

Remember, like anything mechanical, dishwashers break down. You get hot, steaming water sloshing around a closed area, coupled with moving parts and a hundred volts of electricity things are bound to wear out once in awhile. Don’t take it personally. For awesome dishwasher appliance repair contact us and forget about worrying about anything.

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