11 percent: Not cleaning properly
9 percent: Not drying properly
7 percent: Not draining properly
7 percent: Control panel breaking or not working properly
6 percent: Water leaking
5 percent: Dish rack(s) breaking
Inlet valve: Controls the flow of water into the dishwasher.
Wash arm: Sends rippling streams of water into dish racks for washing and rinsing cycles.
Drain pump: Removes dirty wash and rinse water from the dishwasher, pumping it into the drain.
Circulation pump: Forces water out of spray arms and onto dirty dishes.
A Pro’s Perspective
You’re not going to notice most dishwasher problems right away, according to Chris Zeisler, technical service supervisor at RepairClinic.com, an online clearinghouse for appliance parts and do-it-yourself videos. “[Your dishwasher] will slowly not wash well until it gets to the point where you’re fed up and wondering what’s going on,” he says.
A Bad Break
The impeller is the part of the pump that generates the water pressure necessary to make the spray arms spin. It can get damaged if a seed, pit, or piece of glass gets into the pump. “You would want to address that as soon as possible,” says Zeisler. That’s because it can lead to water leaking into the motor and out onto your floor. How will you know your impeller is damaged? You’ll hear a loud growling.