August 26, 2019

Easy DIY dishwasher repairs

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Easy DIY dishwasher repair.
Easy DIY dishwasher repair.

While some dishwasher repairs are best left to the pros, some are easy even for people with zero appliance repair experience. Here's list of some common dishwasher problems with easy DIY repairs that take less than 30 minutes to complete, with links to step-by-step instructions.

If your dishwasher is flashing an error code, you can find out what it means on our dishwasher error code page.

You can find links to all our dishwasher repair help on our DIY dishwasher repair page.

Water sprays wildly or not at all

The dishwasher lower spray arm directs water onto the dishes. The spray arm can crack along its seam, spraying water all over the tub and even through the door. Or sometimes gunk can clog the spray arm, keeping water from passing through.

Replace the spray arm with the directions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a dishwasher lower spray wash arm.

Water leaks through the door

The door seal, also called a gasket, forms a watertight barrier between the dishwasher tub and door. A worn, torn or cracked seal can let water leak through the door.

It's easy to replace the seal, and we have the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a dishwasher door seal.

The door won't lock

If the dishwasher won't start, the problem could be a failed component in the door latch assembly; the dishwasher runs only if a switch in the door latch assembly senses that the dishwasher door is latched.

See our DIY repair guide How to replace a door latch assembly if you need to replace the door latch.

Cycles don't progress

The timer moves the dishwasher through the wash, drain and dry cycles. If the timer stops working, the cycles won't progress like they should.

Replacing the timer is a simple repair with the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a dishwasher timer.

The door panel is dented

Dings and dents on the dishwasher's outer door panel won't affect how the dishwasher works, but they can be unsightly.

Replacing the outer door panel is an easy job. Find the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a dishwasher outer door panel.

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor failure, control system problem
Main causes: glass or popcorn kernel stuck in the chopper blade, drain line vibrating against the cabinet, debris in wash pump or drain pump
Main causes: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems

Repair guides common to all dishwashers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dishwasher.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher vent and fan assembly

If the control panel goes blank, the fan could be to blame. Replace the vent and fan assembly using these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump and motor assembly

When the spray arm won’t spray, you might need to replace the circulation pump and motor assembly. Here's how.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher water inlet valve

If your dishwasher fills constantly or won't fill at all, the water inlet valve has failed. You can replace it in about half an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dishwashers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dishwasher.

June 19, 2019

How to load a dishwasher video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out where dishes should go, as well as what never to put in a dishwasher.

September 29, 2016

Dishwasher detergent cup not opening video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Overloading the detergent dispenser, using clumpy soap and a broken actuator are reasons why the dispenser won't open.

January 16, 2015

How to fix rust spots on a dishwasher dishrack video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

It’s easy to get a newer looking dishrack!