Signs that Your Dishwasher Needs Replacing

man and woman loading a dishwasher

One approach to replacing your dishwasher is to wait until it breaks down and your repairman advises you that fixing it is going to be so expensive that it’s not cost effective. The trouble with this method is that it’s pretty much certain that the appliance will fail just when you need it most. Worse yet, you’ll end up making your new purchase in a rush. All of this much adds up to the worst possible way of deciding when to get a new dishwasher.

Other signs that your dishwasher needs replacing are age-related. If your appliance is older than 10 years this may be a good time to upgrade. You’ll probably be finding that your older model isn’t energy-efficient and is costing you a great deal in both water and electricity. Assessing these costs against buying a new dishwasher with energy-saving features is probably a wise choice.

A Better Way to Schedule Appliance Renewal

A much better option is to be aware of the signs a dishwasher needs replacing or repairing. This way you can plan your budget in advance, do your research ahead of time and choose a new unit that’s ideally suited to your needs.

Signs That Your Dishwasher Needs Attention

Any of the following signs indicate that you need to fix or replace your dishwasher. As to which, sometime the fault itself is a fair indication, other times you’ll need a technician to advise you.

You see rust

Rust on the inside of the unit could just be because a metal cooking dish was touching the inside of the appliance during a wash cycle. In this case, an empty cycle, run with the addition of citric acid will generally fix the problem. If the plastic coating on the racks has come away and the rack is corroding, it will need replacing if a spare is obtainable.
Flakes of rust or corrosion around the door is a bigger problem. This, or rusty water underneath the machine is generally a sign that the unit is coming to the end of it’s useful lifespan.

The water isn’t getting hot enough

It shouldn’t matter whether you use the drying option or the quick wash cycle your dishes should be hot to touch immediately following the completion of the cycle.

Hot enough for a dishwasher means at least 77 degrees Celsius. At lower temperature, your dishes might look clean but there’s no certainty that they’re sterilised. You’ll notice the problem when you empty the unit promptly at the end of the cycle and the dishes aren’t hot. If the heating coil is broken and the machine is past its guarantee period, replacement is likely to be more expensive than it’s worth.

Water not draining

Before assuming that the unit needs replacing you should check filters to make sure they’re not blocked with food debris. If there’s no sign of blockage, it’s time to call a technician to assess the appliance.

Any unusual noises

One of the most obvious signs that your dishwasher is failing is when it starts to make noises that are different from everyday use. It’s often advantageous to check to see if an item is stuck in the mechanism before deciding if replacing your appliance is necessary.


Cloudy or dirty dishes

Spotty or dirty dishes aren’t necessarily a sign that your dishwasher needs replacing as common issues include using the wrong detergent, caked-on food residues, dishes that were poorly loaded, or even a hard water problem. You can solve or prevent these from happening by pre-soaking dishes, following the manufacturer’s instructions as regards recommended detergents, adding a rinse aid, and installing a water softener.

Cracks appearing

Cracks or major scratches in the interior tub of your dishwasher are a pretty good sign that you should replace your dishwasher. They can be caused by everyday wear and tear but are more likely to come from damage caused by an item put through the wash cycle. Leaks from these cracks can cause water damage to your flooring, and you should stop using your appliance and get expert advice.

A once-only rattle most likely means you didn’t load as carefully as you usually do, and one of your dishes was moving around. Persistent strange noises could indicate that either the pump or the motor are nearing the end of their lifespan. Both of these parts tend to be expensive to replace.

Water leaking onto the floor

If you start to notice water around your dishwasher it needs urgent attention to prevent the problem from escalating. You should turn off the water before seeking professional help.

Standing water inside your dishwasher is a sign that the drain of your appliance is blocked, or the drain pump is faulty.

If the problem is just a worn or cracked gasket your dishwasher repairs north London technician will most likely be able to replace the part relatively inexpensively

The dishwasher is more than eight years old

Strictly speaking dishwasher life expectancy is more accurately measured by the number of cycles it’s been used for, rather than its calendar age. However, energy efficiency has improved over recent years and if an older machine needs even relatively inexpensive repairs, by the time you factor in this cost and the lower running costs of a new machine the sums may come out in favour of replacement.

The door doesn’t latch

With a relatively new dishwasher, a broken latch may be covered by the warranty.

Sometimes this just means the latch needs replacement, but it could also signal that chronic leakage has caused the machine to warp. This is definitely not fixable so it’s time to buy a new dishwasher.

Get answers to frequently asked questions here:

How long do dishwashers last?

The average life of a dishwasher is nine to 13 years, but as with any appliance, the lifespan of your dishwasher will depend on how often you use it and how well it’s been maintained. A high-quality model could still be operating after 13 years.

How long do dishwashers usually last?

According to recent surveys, a dishwasher will typically last around 10 years. This doesn’t mean however that these 10 years will be trouble-free!

How often should you replace your dishwasher?

How often to replace the dishwasher often depends on the number of times it needs to be repaired. 30% of new dishwashers actually require some type of repair within the first five years and if your appliance is experiencing functioning issues this may be the time to upgrade.

When to replace your dishwasher is a personal choice but if your appliance is over 10 years old this may be when to buy a new dishwasher. When repairs cost more than half of the cost of a new appliance, you should consider replacing it.

Is it worth fixing a broken dishwasher?

Absolutely if your dishwasher is fairly new and repairs are inexpensive. You can hire an appliance repair technician with years of industry experience who has the knowledge and the equipment to fix your dishwasher. You’ll get a quick diagnosis and a swift resolution to many of the issues listed above. And you’ll be able to get a quick quote upfront knowing that your repair will come with six-month parts and labour guarantee.

Signs that Your Dishwasher Needs Replacing was last modified: January 12th, 2024 by Mix Repairs