5 troubleshooting tips: Why is my dishwasher stopping mid-cycle?

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read
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What causes a dishwasher to stop mid-cycle?

If your dishwasher suddenly stops mid-cycle, and you’re left wondering what’s wrong, then look no further. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of a dishwasher stopping mid-cycle and how to fix them.

One of the most common causes of stopping mid-cycle is a damaged door latch. A faulty latch fails to trigger the switch and consequently, it won’t run. To determine if a damaged latch is to blame, check for any visible damage on the latch and replace it if needed.

Another potential culprit for a dishwasher stopping mid-cycle is a clogged or dirty filter. A dirty filter can cause the dishwasher to overheat, which will trigger a safety feature that shuts off the machine to prevent further damage. To fix this, locate the filter and remove any debris or buildup. If it’s severely clogged, you may need to replace it.

Low water pressure or a faulty water inlet valve can also cause a dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. The water inlet valve is responsible for supplying water to the dishwasher, and if it’s not working correctly, the machine won’t fill up with water. To fix this, check the water supply valve to ensure it’s fully turned on and that the inlet valve is not clogged or damaged. If it is, you’ll need to replace it.

Another common cause of a dishwasher stopping mid-cycle is a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat is faulty, it may cause the dishwasher to overheat and shut off mid-cycle. To fix this, you’ll need to replace the thermostat.

minimal illustration of person looking into a dishwasher that's stopped

A tripped fuse prevents the dishwasher from receiving power, and can happen when using harsh detergents or cleaning agents. If a fuse is tripped, it needs to be reset.

A blown thermal fuse is another possible culprit of stopping mid-cycle. A faulty heating element or worn-out internal wiring can trip the thermal fuse. If a thermal fuse malfunctions, it needs to be replaced.

Lastly, a malfunctioning control panel or timer can also cause a dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace the control panel or timer to get the dishwasher back up and running.

In summary, a damaged door latch, clogged filter, low water pressure or faulty water inlet valve, malfunctioning thermostat, and a malfunctioning control panel or timer are all potential causes of a dishwasher stopping mid-cycle. By identifying the root cause of the issue, you can take the appropriate steps to fix it and get your dishwasher running smoothly again.

Other causes of dishwasher stopping mid-cycle

Other causes such as motor issues, problems with the control board, or vent and fan issues can also result in stopping mid-cycle. Visible differences in noise and water output are signs that there’s something wrong with these components. Replacement of certain parts may be necessary, such as replacing the door latch, the thermal fuse, or the control board, depending on the cause.

Use it regularly

If you’re one of those people who rarely use your dishwasher and only do so if it’s completely full (guilty…), then you might need to reconsider your approach.
It’s a much better practice to use it regularly, even if you don’t have a lot of dishes to wash. This helps keep the hinges and mechanism lubricated, preventing any malfunction related issues in the long run.

How to maintain your dishwasher

Dishwasher maintenance is also essential to prevent it from stopping mid-cycle. Here are some tips to keep it running smoothly:

The edges and door gasket on your dishwasher collect dirt, food bits, and other debris over time. This prevents the door from closing properly and results in water leakage. Clean the rubber gasket, with a damp cloth and some detergent, every few months to avoid any problems.

Spinning arms enable water circulation within the appliance. However, they get blocked by food particles over time. To prevent these issues, inspect your spinning arms for clogs every month or so and clean them out with a small brush.

Dirt, bits of food, and other debris often get stuck inside the filter. If left uncleaned, they cause deterioration and clogs in the dishwasher’s drain hose. Inspect your  filter every other month and remove any dirt, food pieces, and grease buildup.

Check it regularly

Regularly inspect and clean the spinning arms The spinning arms provide the core action during the cleaning process. However, if they get clogged, they can prevent your dishwasher from doing its job properly. Check your spinning arms regularly, and if you notice any gunk fouling them up, clean them up with an old toothbrush. Don’t forget to clean the filter cleaning the filter is one of the most overlooked, yet essential maintenance task.

A dirty filter can easily block the water intake pipe, causing it to malfunction. Luckily, cleaning it up is as simple as removing it, soaking it in soapy water, and cleaning out any food gunk that’s stuck in and around it. Some special constituents in certain types of detergents can damage your appliance over time. To prevent them from accumulating, try to use your machine at least once a week.

Call in a professional

Most repairs require experience, tools, and skill to fix correctly. As a result, consider hiring a professional to inspect, repair, and maintain it whenever necessary. It’s always better to call in a professional for any big fix. Besides being more time and cost-effective, a trained professional will ensure that all parts are installed correctly.

Expert tip

To preserve your dishwasher and avoid any unexpected stopping mid-cycle, ensure it is used with only detergents meant for these machines. Certain detergents not designed for them can contain high levels of salt and other minerals, which can cause damage over time.

Check the following points if you are doing DIY

1. Check the float switch

Though rare, a malfunctioning float switch can cause your it to stop mid-cycle. This switch keeps the water level in check and prevents overfilling. Inspect the float switch to make sure it’s not stuck or blocked by food particles or dirt. If it is, clean it out and try running it again.

2. Inspect the pump and drain hoses

A damaged pump or a clogged drain hose can also cause it to stop mid-cycle. Both of these components are essential for its functionality. Visually inspect the pump and the drain hose for any visible malfunctions or damage, and replace them if needed.

3. Replace debris filter

The debris filter catches dirt, food particles, and other debris that gets into the dishwasher. If this filter is worn out, your machine will be unable to drain correctly, causing it to stop mid-cycle. Try replacing the filter and see if this solves the problem.

4. Check the water inlet valve

Another common cause for a dishwasher to stop mid-cycle is a faulty water inlet valve. To determine if the valve is broken, examine it for any visible damages or blockages. If the valve is damaged, try replacing it with a new one.

5. Check for faulty wiring

Faulty wiring can also cause your appliance to stop mid-cycle. Make sure the wires are firmly connected and if not, carefully reconnect them. Try running the dishwasher after this to see if the issue has been resolved.

6. Replace detergent dispenser

The detergent dispenser is responsible for releasing detergent during its cycle. If it’s broken, then your dishwasher won’t complete its cycle and may stop mid-way through. Replace your detergent dispenser if necessary.

7. Check the water heater

The water heater plays an important role in a dishwasher’s cycle. If it’s not functioning properly, it can lead to water temperature issues and result in  stopping mid-cycle. Make sure your water heater is working correctly and run the dishwasher.

8. Test your water pressure

Another potential cause of a dishwasher stopping mid-cycle could be low water pressure. Test your water pressure to make sure it falls within the recommended range and ensure all hoses are connected correctly.

9. Check for obstructions

Small objects like spoons or forks can get stuck in the dishwasher and prevent it from working correctly. Check the inside of the dishwasher for any obstructions and remove them if needed.

10. Test your drainage system

A clogged drainage system can cause your dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. Inspect your drainage system and look for any clogs or blockages. If there are, use a drain snake to unclog them.

Appliances made simple. 

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