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Dishwasher Not Cleaning

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Dishwasher not cleaning are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Dishwasher not cleaning

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Water Pump Belt

The water pump belt might be worn or broken. However, few dishwashers have a water pump belt, you should search for your model number to determine if it has a water pump belt. To access the water pump belt, remove the lower panel. The water pump belt is located on the bottom of the motor. If the water pump belt is broken or worn, replace it.

Parts
Cause 2Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve opens to allow water to enter the dishwasher. If the valve is clogged or defective, the dishwasher won’t get enough water to clean dishes properly. If the water inlet valve is clogged, replace it. Do not attempt to clean the water inlet valve—cleaning the valve could make it more likely to fail.

Parts
Cause 3Center Wash Arm Assembly

The center wash arm circulates water to the dishes in the upper rack. If water can’t flow properly through the center wash arm, the dishes in the upper rack won’t be cleaned properly. Over time, food particles can get trapped in the tiny holes in the wash arm. If your dishes are coming out dirty, the wash arm might be clogged. To unclog the center wash arm, remove the wash arm and dislodge any debris from the holes. If the wash arm is extremely clogged, replace it. In addition, make sure that the center wash arm assembly is mating properly with the water supply nozzle.

Parts
Cause 4Lower Wash Arm Assembly

The lower wash arm circulates water to the dishes in the lower rack. If water can’t flow properly through the lower wash arm, the dishes in the lower rack won’t be cleaned properly. Over time, food particles can get trapped in the tiny holes in the wash arm. If your dishes are coming out dirty, the wash arm might be clogged. To unclog the lower wash arm, remove the wash arm and dislodge any debris from the holes. If the wash arm is extremely clogged, replace it.

Parts
Cause 5Upper Wash Arm Assembly

The upper wash arm circulates water to the dishes in the upper rack. If water can’t flow properly through the upper wash arm, the dishes in the upper rack won’t be cleaned properly. Over time, food particles get trapped in the tiny holes in the wash arm. If your dishes are coming out dirty, the wash arm might be clogged. To unclog the upper wash arm, remove the wash arm and dislodge any debris from the holes. If the wash arm is extremely clogged, replace it.

Parts
Cause 6Circulation Pump

The circulation pump uses a motor and impeller to force water up through the wash arms. If the circulation pump is defective, the dishes won’t be cleaned properly. If the motor isn’t making any noise or is just making a humming sound after the dishwasher has filled, the motor may be burned out. First, ensure that power is getting to the motor. Second, to ensure that the impeller can turn, check the pump housing for debris. If power is getting to the motor and the pump is clear of debris, the motor might need to be replaced. Be aware that the circulation pump may be challenging to replace, although many do-it-yourselfers have been successful with the replacement.

Parts
Cause 7Pump and Motor Assembly

The motor drives an impeller to force water up through the wash arms. If the motor is defective, the pump impeller is broken, or some part of the pump is clogged, dishes won’t be cleaned properly. Make sure that power is getting to the circulation pump and motor. If power is getting to the pump and motor assembly but it still won’t run, replace the pump and motor assembly.

Parts
Cause 8Wash Impeller

The wash impeller is a small plastic blade that forces water up through the wash arms. If the impeller is broken or is missing some of its fins, it might not generate enough pressure to force the water up through the wash arms. On most models, you can replace the wash impeller independently of the pump and motor assembly. Search for your model number to determine if your impeller is replaceable. If the impeller cannot be replaced separately, you will have to replace the entire pump and motor assembly.

Parts
Cause 9Circulation and Drain Pump Motor

The circulation pump uses a motor and impeller to force water up through the wash arms. If the circulation pump is defective, the dishes won’t be cleaned properly. If the motor isn’t making any noise or is just making a humming sound after the dishwasher has filled, the motor may be burned out. First, ensure that power is getting to the motor. Second, to ensure that the impeller can turn, check the pump housing for debris. If power is getting to the motor and the pump is clear of debris, the motor might need to be replaced. Be aware that the circulation pump may be challenging to replace, although many do-it-yourselfers have been successful with the replacement.

Parts
Cause 10Upper Wash Arm Spinner

The upper wash arm circulates water to the dishes in the upper rack. If water can’t flow properly through the upper wash arm, the dishes in the upper rack won’t be cleaned properly. Over time, food particles get trapped in the tiny holes in the wash arm. If your dishes are coming out dirty, the wash arm might be clogged. To unclog the upper wash arm, remove the wash arm and dislodge any debris from the holes. If the wash arm is extremely clogged, replace it.

Parts