Possible Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Is Making a Weird Noise

Fred's Appliance
May 30, 2014


Does your dishwasher make a weird noise when it’s running? Granted, most units produce at least some noise when running, such as the sound of the motor turning and water spraying, there are certain underlying problems that may cause an “abnormal” noise. It’s important for owners to investigate such noises to determine the exact cause; otherwise, it could result in more serious damage being caused to the dishwasher.

Fallen Utensils

One of the most common causes of weird noises in dishwashers is fallen utensils. If a fork, spoon or knife is knocked out of the utensil basket, it may fall down to the bottom of the unit where the sprayer and pump is located. When the sprayer is turned on and begins to turn, it will hit the fallen utensil, creating a weird noise.

Open your dishwasher’s door and take a peak inside to see if there are any fallen utensils. Pull out any utensils, plates or debris you find out. If a utensil is stuck where you can’t reach it, you may need to remove the sprayer to access it. The next time you run your dishwasher, pay attention to see if the noise persists.

Hard Water Clogging The Sprayer

Hard water (the presence of heavy calcium and minerals inside the water) may also cause weird noises in dishwashers. Unless it’s filtered and/or distilled, practically all tap water sources contain minerals. When the mineral concentration is high, it may build up inside the dishwasher’s water lines, restricting the normal flow of water and causing a sputtering noise.

Using a rinse aid and cleaning your dishwasher with white vinegar will help reduce hard water buildups. For more tips on how to prevent hard water buildups in the dishwasher, check out our previous blog post here.

Dishwasher Isn’t Level

If the dishwasher isn’t placed on a flat, level surface, it may bounce around when cleaning dishes. This sound is easily diagnosed since you can visibly see the unit moving. To confirm the problem, place a box beam level on top of the dishwasher. If the leveling bubble falls to either the left or right of the designated center, your dishwasher is not level.

Check underneath your dishwasher to determine which type of legs it possesses. Most modern-day appliances are manufactured with twist-adjustable legs. Turning the legs will either raise or lower them depending on the direction. Leave the box beam level on top of the dishwasher and turn the legs until the unit is level.

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