Dishwasher Problems: Our Guide to Fixing It

Len Burgess[1]

Len Burgess

Money Savings Advice Dishwasher problems: Our guide to fixing it

Busy homes depend on a reliable dishwasher. If yours has problems, you may be able to fix it on your own at low cost. Some problems require professional repairs and could be a bit more expensive.

A dishwasher might not be totally essential, but it’s annoying when yours shows signs of problems. Busy households, and busy lifestyles, make a dishwasher very important. It’s not easy to stay on top of all the dirty dishes.

If your dishwasher breaks or starts leaking, this can cause damage to your home as well as your family routine.

Keep reading to learn more about common dishwasher problems, and our guide to fixing some of the issues you might face.

Looking for other information on home white goods? This guide has info on 'Dishwasher problems / guide to fixing it' We have also writen extensively about:

We update all our guides regularly. If you are researching white goods insurance and products and we haven't got an exact guide that helps you, keep coming back as we update daily.

[ultimate-faqs include_category='white-goods-small']

Common Dishwasher Problems


If the water’s leaking out of your dishwasher, this is often a sign of a damaged seal or door gasket. This is the kind of thing that’s easy to replace on your own. Replacement door seals for dishwashers don’t cost a lot, so you can try an easy in-home fix.

Your dishwasher might leak if it’s been stacked badly, or if you’ve put too much inside it. Alternatively, if the leak isn’t coming from the door, check the condition of the pipes at the back and make sure that they’re fixed in properly. Most leaking dishwashers can be easily fixed without help.

Not Filling

Whilst leaking water is a problem, a lack of water could be even worse. If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to fill with water, this could be easy to repair. Check that the pipes are fixed in properly, and connected to your water supply. Water valves and pipes might become blocked, which is something you can deal with on your own.

If you can’t source the problem or repair it alone, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Detergent Problems

If your dishwasher isn’t taking the detergent, it could be that you’ve put too much in. Overfilling the detergent is also a cause of some problems with dishwashers leaking. If you’re having trouble measuring detergent, or you’re not sure if it’s being used properly, an easy thing to try is moving on to dishwasher tablets.

By using tablets, you’ll know you’re getting measurements right. You’ll also be able to easily see if your dishwasher’s taking what it needs.

If you’re using dishwasher tablets or detergent and can’t solve the problem alone, there may be something wrong with an internal tube or pump that’s hard to access. A professional appliance engineer can help you to find the best fix.


If your dishwasher’s louder than usual, this may be because you’ve stacked your plates and dishes differently. See if stacking a different way reduces the excess noise. If your family’s stacking skills aren’t the problem, there may be a bigger fix required. Common solutions include valve replacements that are best left to the professionals.

Before calling an engineer for help with dishwasher noise, look for any loose items in your dishwasher. Anything left on a plate, or in a bowl, might have fallen to the bottom of your dishwasher. Small loose items can be thrown around during the cleaning process.

They may be the source of any crashing or clanging once your dishwasher’s in operation.

Not Operating

If your dishwasher isn’t working at all, check that the door is closing properly. Small items can get stuck and cause big problems, or something may be wrong with the seal. For safety reasons, a dishwasher won’t work unless the door’s properly closed.

Your dishwasher might not operate at all if the water pipes are blocked. Check that there are no folds or kinks and that the pipes are properly fixed in, as well as making sure that all valves are open as they should be.

Not Cleaning Properly

If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly, and you’ve already ruled out problems with water and detergent, you’ll need to make sure that the filter is in good condition. Your dishwasher’s filter clears out all the muck and grime that’s too big for your dishwasher to handle, so this will need to be regularly cleaned and replaced if it’s in poor condition.

Use a dishwasher to clean your dishwasher filter, ideally at least every two months, and clean the filter frequently by hand by scrubbing it under running water.

Getting Professional Help With Repairs

Whilst most dishwasher problems can easily be fixed at home; there are some occasions when it’s best to call in the professionals. A trained engineer can help with bigger issues, as well as parts you can’t get to easily.

If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you risk making the problem more serious. Know when to accept defeat, so you don’t need to make your dishwasher problems even worse.

[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_1"]

Cost of Repairing Dishwasher Problems

If you need outside help, dishwasher repairs will suddenly become more expensive. You’ll be paying for labour, as well as replacement parts you need. It shouldn’t cost too much to get a dishwasher repair quote, so you can decide if you want to go ahead or would prefer just to buy a new dishwasher.

If you have a high-tech dishwasher, it may be more worthwhile to choose repairs over replacement. If you bought cheap and have had it for a while, your dishwasher might need to make way for a newer model.

You might have appliance insurance. If you’ve got this, you could call in the professionals for a free repair or replacement. Before doing this, check the excess in the small print and see if it’s actually worth it. The excess may be higher than an engineer’s standard callout charge.

Also, consider how quickly your insurer will send an engineer – since they already have your money, some aren’t in any rush to get an engineer to your door. Dishwashers are seen as low-priority appliances since you can just wash dishes by hand, which can mean that other appliance repairs will come first. Sometimes, even with insurance, it’s cheaper or easier to find an engineer on your own.

But, be aware, if you’re calling on your own, you’ll be liable for all repair costs.

If you don’t want household appliance insurance, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got money set aside for any white goods repairs. Putting the money that you’d use for insurance into savings can mean that it’s there when you need it.

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Has Problems

If your dishwasher breaks, check our tips above to see if it’s easily fixed. A vast majority of dishwasher problems are easier to solve than you’d think. Most dishwasher parts are quite cheap to buy and relatively easy to replace, whilst some problem can be solved just by stacking dishes differently or using a different detergent.

Call an engineer if you need to. Attempting complex fixes can end up costing more and might damage your dishwasher further. If you have appliance insurance, this can help to make things more affordable.

Dishwasher and Appliance Warranties

Many home appliances and white goods come with a standard warranty. You might also have been offered an extended warranty when you first bought your product. A warranty covers repairs when it’s active, so you won’t need to pay for new parts. Usually, the warranty is offered on new products to ensure a minimum lifespan.

If your dishwasher breaks, look for your warranty details. Most standard warranties are valid for 12 months, though yours might be slightly different. If you’ve used your dishwasher as intended, it should last longer than a year.

Does My Home Insurance Cover Problems With My Dishwasher?

While you would need to look at the specifics of your home insurance policy, in general, it would not cover mechanical or electrical repairs specifically for your dishwasher. It may cover damage as a consequence of flooding, fire or theft but not specific work required on the machine.

What Does Dishwasher Insurance Cover?

Typical dishwasher insurance would cover both mechanical and electrical breakdowns. While mechanical cover is a given, it is worth remembering that the modern-day dishwasher can have many electronic settings. Dishwasher insurance without electrical cover might, in many cases be worthless.

How Quickly Can I Get My Dishwasher Repaired?

There is no set time limit when it comes to dishwasher repairs or any other white goods, but many insurance companies try to get an engineer with you within 24 hours. They often carry the more common replacement parts, but if it is a more complicated problem, they may need to order other parts and return at a later date.

What Happens if My Dishwasher Is Not Repairable?

You tend to find that modern-day dishwasher insurance policies will offer you a replacement machine if your machine is not worth repairing. These replacements tend to be of a similar cost and specifications. It is worth asking about a replacement machine when taking out your insurance policy, so you know exactly what level of cover you are buying.

Money Savings Advice Tip

Home appliances go wrong and fail all the time and most of the time can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. Our top tip is investigated home appliance and white goods insurance in more detail, get a whole of the market quote and get an insurance package that works for you, you will be surprised how cheap white goods insurance can be.

Would I Be Covered for Accidental Damage?

In the vast majority of cases, yes, you would be covered for accidental damage to the dishwasher. Even though the vast majority of callouts relate to mechanical and electronic issues, there are still a number of accidental damage callouts.

What Costs Would I Be Covered For With My Dishwasher Insurance?

As standard, you would be covered for repairs, parts and labour costs which can be significant if you had to source repairs yourself. Many engineers would charge a callout before they even began work on your machine - therefore the bill could be quite hefty.

Are There Restrictions on the Number of Claims I Can Make Each Year?

The vast majority of dishwasher insurance providers will have no restriction on the number of claims you can make each year. Very often, the engineer will give you advice about using your machine if you are experiencing regular issues. This may include something as simple as cleaning the machine to ensure that it is working at its optimum level.

Can I Personalise My Level of Cover?

Yes. Many insurance policies will have a limit per claim which could be anywhere from just a few hundred pounds up to thousands of pounds. Obviously, the higher the limit per claim, the higher your insurance premiums. So, you would need to work out the value of your machine compared to the potential cost of repairs.

Can I Bulk White Good Insurance Policies Together?

Yes. The vast majority of insurance companies in the UK will allow you to bulk together an array of white good insurance policies, covering anything from dishwashers to TVs, freezers to cookers and any other white goods. The more insurance policies you take out the great your leverage to negotiate a discount.

Quick White Goods Insurance FAQs

[ultimate-faqs include_category='white-goods-main']

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With a Home Appliance Insurance?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Home Appliance Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Home Appliance Insurance deals and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers who can provide you with a ‘whole market quote’ then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Len Burgess

Len Burgess

Len Burgess is a professional financial writer who over the last five years has written hundreds of articles for all financial sectors. Len founded Money Savings Advice with the aim of helping consumers navigate their way around the financial world by providing easy to understand financial information and matching consumers with the best financial advisor based on their personal information.

How does Money Savings Advice work

Money Savings Advice is an independent editorial company providing detailed information about numerous financial niches with the aim of helping consumers make informed financial decisions. We aim to provide hints, tips and techniques to help you make your money work for you. However, we are not perfect, and we accept no liability if anything we write about goes wrong.

  • The information detailed on Money Savings Advice does not constitute financial advice. It is always advised to do your own research to make sure the product/solution we write about fits your circumstances.
  • The aim of Money Savings Advice is to match you with a financial advisor, claims management company or another financial service company that can help you with your financial needs.
  • Money Savings Advice aim to provide the most up to date and accurate information about all financial subjects, and as such we sometimes link to other websites, but we (Money Savings Advice) can’t be responsible for their content.
  • Money Savings Advice is independent and not linked to any financial company.


Who are Money Savings Advice

Money Savings Advice is a trading name of RMM Digital Publishing Ltd. Registered trading address, First Floor, 85 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LT. Trading in England and Wales, company number 11550143 with data protection number ZA747669.

Back to top