Is your dishwasher worn out? 10 signs it’s time to replace or repair it

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read
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When to Replace a Dishwasher

When is a dishwasher worn out? It can be a stressful and expensive process, so it’s important to understand when it’s the right time to replace it. Typically, dishwashers have a lifespan of 9–10 years, so if yours is nearing 10 years old, it’s probably time for a new one. Below are 9 signs to consider that could indicate it’s time for a dishwasher replacement.

Cracks in the tub of the dishwasher are often a result of extreme wear and tear or items in the dishwasher during a wash cycle. The most common cause is from items being placed in the dishwasher and knocking against the walls, which can damage the appliance over time, resulting in the dishwasher becoming worn out. If you notice cracks in the tub of your dishwasher, it may be a sign that it needs to be replaced.

Rust inside the dishwasher indicates that it is breaking down. It can also be accompanied by strange noises, which can indicate motor failure. If this is the case, it may be best to replace a worn out dishwasher rather than trying to repair it.

A faulty door lock can make the door difficult to open or close, which can be dangerous and shows that the dishwasher is worn out and needs replacing. Without a fully functional door lock, the dishes will not be properly sanitized, and the detergent will not dissolve.

If the dishwasher does not heat up during washes, it is not able to adequately clean and sanitize the dishes. This problem may require the help of a professional to assess and fix the issue, however if the appliance is older than 10 years it might be best to consider a replacement.

Leaks in the dishwasher could be caused by a worn out door gasket or a clogged spray arm. In some cases, the tub may start to fill with water during a cycle and overflow onto the floor. If this is happening, check to see if any of the hoses are loose or damaged. If they are in good condition, it might be time to replace the worn out machine.

If the dishwasher is unable to drain properly, there is likely an issue with the motor, control board, or drain pump. Replacing the dishwasher is often the most cost-effective solution in this case.

Even after running a cycle, if the dishes still come out dirty, it could be due to incorrect use of the dishwasher or hard water. If this is the case, the dishwasher is worn out and should be replaced with one that is designed for hard water.

Dishwashers that are not Energy Star certified can use up to 20% more energy than those that meet the certification standards. If your dishwasher is older than 10 years and not Energy Star certified, you should consider replacing it with one that meets the certification standards.

What are the signs of needing to replace a dishwasher?
The signs of needing to replace a worn out dishwasher include cracks in the tub, rust, strange noises, faulty door locks, not heating, leaking, not draining, dishes not being cleaned, and not being Energy Star certified.

How long does a dishwasher typically last?
A dishwasher typically lasts for 9–10 years. After this time, it may be time to consider that it’s worn out and in need of replacement.

What causes cracks in a dishwasher tub?
Cracks in a dishwasher tub are usually caused by wear and tear or items in the dishwasher during a wash cycle.

How do you identify rust inside a dishwasher?
Rust inside the dishwasher may appear as brown or orange spots or streaks. It can also be accompanied by strange noises, which indicate motor failure.

How can I tell if my dishwasher door lock is faulty?
If the dishwasher door lock is faulty, it can make it difficult to open or close. This indicates that the door lock is also worn out and needs to be replaced.

Why is my dishwasher not heating during washes?
A dishwasher not heating during washes means that it cannot adequately clean and sanitize the dishes. If it is older than 10 years it may be time to consider it worn out and in need of replacement.

What causes leaks in a dishwasher?
Leaks in the dishwasher can be caused by a worn out door gasket or a clogged spray arm.

How do I know when my dishwasher motor, control board or drain pump are worn out?
If the dishwasher is unable to drain properly, there is likely a problem with the motor, control board, or drain pump. Replacing the dishwasher is often the most cost-effective solution in this case.

How can I determine if my dishwasher needs replacing due to hard water?
If dishes are coming out dirty after a cycle, the cause may be due to incorrect use of the dishwasher or hard water. If this is the case, the dishwasher should be replaced with one that is designed for hard water.

How do I know if my dishwasher is Energy Star certified?
To check if your dishwasher is Energy Star certified, look for the blue Energy Star label on the outside of the machine. If your dishwasher does not have this label, it is not Energy Star certified and should be considered for replacement.

Expert tip

When buying a new dishwasher, it’s important to keep in mind the type of water you have in your area. If you live in an area with hard water, look for a dishwasher specifically designed for hard water use. This will ensure that your dishes come out clean every time and increase the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Unusual odors

If you notice a strange smell coming from your dishwasher, it could mean that there is bacteria and mold growing inside. This happens when the dishwasher is not dried properly after each use or washed at a high temperature. If the odor does not go away after cleaning the machine, then it may be time for a replacement.

Clogged hoses

If the dishwasher hoses become clogged with food particles, it can lead to water not draining properly and possibly cause leaks. If your dishwasher hoses are clogged, they should be removed and cleared of all build up. If they cannot be cleaned, they may need to be replaced.

Cycle issues

Cycle issues with a dishwasher are often caused by an old or faulty control board or timer. This can cause water not heating up or the cycle not completing properly. In these cases, replacing the dishwasher is usually the most cost-effective solution.

Unclean dishes

If you notice that dishes in the dishwasher are coming out less clean than usual, this could be due to an issue with the wash motor. You might also see that detergent residue has been left on the dishes during a wash. Replacing the dishwasher is the best way to fix this issue.

Insufficient water pressure

If the water pressure in the dishwasher is too low, it will be unable to effectively clean your dishes. Low water pressure could be caused by a worn out pump or motor that needs to be replaced. If the dishwasher is old, it may be time to consider replacing it with a new model.

Dishwasher not cleaning properly

If you find that your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes as well as it used to, this could be due to worn out spray arms or filters. These should be checked and cleaned regularly, however if they cannot be repaired, it might be time to get a new dishwasher.

Turbidity sensor failure

The turbidity sensor, or water-level detector, is responsible for assessing the level of water in the dishwasher. If this fails, the dishwasher will not be able to fill with the correct amount of water and will not be able to adequately clean the dishes. Replacing the dishwasher is the best course of action in this situation.

High water usage

Older dishwashers typically use more water than newer models. If you have an older model, it may be time to replace it with one that uses less water. This will help save money on your monthly water bills.

Excessive detergent use

If you find that you are using excessive amounts of detergent for each wash cycle, it could be due to an issue with the dispenser. This problem can be fixed with a new part or a replacement dishwasher.

If your dishwasher is having issues such as cracks in the tub, rust, faulty door locks, not heating, leaking, not draining, dishes not being cleaned properly, not being Energy Star certified, strange odors, clogged hoses, cycle issues, noisy dishes, insufficient water pressure, high water usage, or excessive detergent use, it may be time to replace it. Dishwashers usually have a lifespan of 9-10 years, so if yours is nearing 10 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement.

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