Dishwasher maintenance – five steps for longer service
It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of kitchen appliances. Your dishwasher “gets no respect” with multiple washes a day, overloading, and food left all over its inhabitants, it is easily your hardest working kitchen helper. If yours is like mine, with each passing year of use, you begin to say a little prayer each time you close that door, hoping it won’t fail you.
The sad news is that most people do nothing to prolong the life of their dishwasher. They use and abuse it and when it quits, they have a bad day and go to the big box store to get sticker shock. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple maintenance steps, done every 6-12 months, you will extend the life and productivity of your dishwasher. Plus you’ll be thinking green, instead of spending it.
Here are a few easy things to check:
• Make sure that your unit is level – An easy way to know that it’s not, is if your machine growls at you making noises or loud vibrations during operation. The long-term result of this is potential water leaks and early unit failure. You can quiet your dishwasher by unscrewing the base plate along the bottom-front. Remove it and you’ll probably see a time capsule of family life over the years. Take a picture of it for the family album, then move on to balancing the washer by using a wrench to raise and lower one or both front feet. Turn the unit on but leave the door slightly open. With each adjustment close the door to see if it is becoming less noisy. Also check the unit’s mounting screws by opening the door and looking around the opening for them. They are usually along the top. Tighten or replace as needed.
• Check the rubber or plastic gasket – It lines the inside of the door for a tight seal. Locate the end of it an carefully pry it out of the groove that it sits in. Clean it throughly and make sure that the groove is free of debris. Dry the gasket and carefully put it back in place. This item is easily replaceable with brand and model number.
• Clean the filter screen – This is located in the bottom-interior of your dishwasher. It’s designed to catch large food particles or other debris. This needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent blockage. As the filter ages, it may begin to get small holes and should be replaced to prevent harm to other parts of the dishwasher. This item is easily replaceable with brand and model number.
• Clean the sprayer arm(s) – The small holes in this part can get clogged with minerals from the water or from food particles. Remove the arm(s) and clean the holes from time to time to ensure they stay in proper working order. You can clean them by removing the arm and soaking in vinegar or clean with a pipe cleaner or tiny brush.
• Dishwasher odors – If you begin detecting an odor from your dishwasher, it’s the first sign of a clog somewhere in your kitchen drain. If you’ve cleaned the filter and the smell persists, it’s time to move on to your plumbing. Check your backflow. This is located under the sink, where the dishwasher and garbage disposal drain. Usually there is a small band clamp holding the hose in place. Put a bucket under the hose and loosen the clamp. Remove the hose and clean out any clogged matter. Do this every 6-12 months.
If all else fails call Allied – We’ll do our best to make your dishwasher the lean, mean cleaning machine that is once was. Come to think of it, we can assist with plumbing issues on any appliance that you have. Call anytime for an immediate phone quote and fast, knowledgable service.
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