All dishwashers have the same basic working principle. They have two sets of racks for holding the dishes and clean the load by spraying hot soapy water on their surface. However, the dishwasher’s internal design will differ based on the capacity of the appliance, the configuration of its sprayer, and, finally, its cleaning strength or power.
When a dishwasher works at its optimum efficiency, you should hear water spraying within the washer. However, when it breaks down, you will not be able to hear this sound, but only a hum. This could be caused by several reasons including a bad float switch, a broken door switch, a frozen or stuck water inlet valve, and a blocked inlet valve because of calcium deposits.
Water Inlet Valve
Your dishwasher’s water inlet valve fills your washer with the right quantity of hot water. An electronic control or a timer controls it. Ideally, this valve is situated behind the lower access panel and has two wires attached to it. In addition to this, it has a hot water inlet from your household supply and an outlet hose linked to the tub. Therefore, when your dishwasher fails to fill, you need to begin by inspecting its water inlet supply to ensure it has the required water pressure.
Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher Inlet Valve
- Remove your dishwasher’s plug from its wall socket and detach its water supply before you troubleshoot.
- Find your dishwasher’s water inlet valve. Ideally, this component of your dishwasher is located on your appliance’s lower left side. You may have to remove your washer’s lower access panel to find it.
- Visually examine the water inlet valve for signs of wear, tear, cracking, or damage.
- If your washer’s water inlet valve shows any of the signs mentioned above, you need to replace it with a new, properly functioning valve.
What Happens When Calcium Deposits clog your Water Inlet Valve?
Considering that you do not have superpowers to determine why your washer is not filling up with water, yet it is humming. In turn, this causes your washer not to function at its optimum efficiency because it will not have the required amount of water. When this happens, it is only logical to inspect the water inlet valve for possible faults such as clogs.
If your neighborhood is known to have hard water, the water inlet valve’s outlet or inlet may be clogged with calcium deposits. Given that the calcium deposit occurs over time, it is hard for you to tell that this problem is happening until it is too late. Fortunately, fixing this issue is not hard, as long as you are sure it is the main cause of your washer’s inefficiency. It is also inexpensive to repair.
To examine the water inlet valve, you need to follow these steps:
- Turn off your dishwasher by unplugging it from its power outlet or turn it off at the breaker panel.
- Open your washer’s front access panel beneath your dishwasher and find the water hoses. You should see the water inlet valve around this area.
- Turn off your water supply. This will ensure you work on your dishwasher without spilling water in your kitchen.
- From both your outlet and inlet sides of the valve, pull the hose clamps out for inspection.
- When you find one or both sides of the water inlet valve is clogged, you need to use special tools to remove the clog.
- If removing the calcium deposit is difficult, you need to replace your water inlet valve.
- Put everything back in its rightful place after completing the repairs. Plug your dishwasher back into its wall socket and turn on its water supply. Check the water path to ensure there are no leaks.
- Turn on the power supply to your washer and run it. Check if the water is flowing into the washer’s tub.
A fault float could be the reason why your dishwasher does not fill with water. A washer’s float serves as a safety feature that prevents water in your washer from overflowing. The float rises with an increase in water levels within the washer. When the right water level is reached, your dishwasher’s float will send a signal to your washer’s water inlet valve to turn off the water supply. When the float breaks down, your washer may not fill with water, thus stopping it from functioning at its optimum efficiency.
Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher’s Float Assembly
- Before you troubleshoot your washer’s float assembly, you need to unplug your machine from its power source.
- Open its door and remove the cover protecting its float assembly. Manually lift your float and release it several. It should fall freely. When this is not the case, remove your float and inspect its guide tube for foreign objects. Additionally, you should visually inspect your float for damage signs or wear.
- Remove your dishwasher’s lower access panel to check if the float is functioning optimally by mechanically engaging with its float switch.
- If these steps do not restore your washer to its normal state of function, you need to replace the float.
Faulty Float Switch
Power flowing to your washer’s water inlet valve is interrupted once your float triggers the float switch (view on Amazon).
Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher’s Float Switch Using a Multimeter
- Begin by disconnecting your dishwasher from its power source before you start this inspection process. This is an important precautionary measure because you will be dealing with electrical parts during your troubleshooting process.
- Find and remove your washer’s float switch. You will locate it behind your washer’s lower access panel, directly under the dishwasher’s float assembly. Be gentle as you disconnect all the wire on your switch by not pulling them directly.
- After removing the float switch, test it for continuity. Set your multimeter (view on Amazon) at Rx1 and touch its probes to the float switch terminals. Your multimeter should show a reading of infinity or zero. Maintain everything in its current position; press your washer’s switch button. The reading on your multimeter should change in the opposite extreme of your previous reading.
- You should replace your float switch if the multimeter shows different readings from what is recommended above.
Faulty Door Switch
Your dishwasher’s door switch (view on Amazon) is an easy to use on/off mechanism, which prevents your dishwasher from running with its doors wide open. If your washer’s door switches malfunction, the machine will produce a humming sound but not fill with water.
Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher’s Door Switch
- Unplug your appliance from its power source before you start the troubleshooting process because you will be dealing with electrical parts.
- Ideally, the door switch is situated at the back of your washer’s door panel on top of the washer’s door. You will have to separate your inner door from the outer to access your dishwasher’s door switch. Remove it for testing once you find it. Test it for continuity using a multimeter.
- Set your multimeter on Rx1 and touch the COM’s terminals using one of your multimeter’s probes while putting the other probe on the N.O terminal. If the actuator is not pushed in, the multimeter should read infinity. With the probes on the terminals, press in your washer’s actuator, until a click sound is produced. Your multimeter’s reading should change from infinity to zero.
- If your multimeter reading does not match the recommended reading, you should replace the door switch.
Your dishwasher may be humming but not filling because of any one of these reasons. Therefore, you need to troubleshoot the dishwasher to know the specific issue troubling your washer before using applying the recommendations provided in this article. Call an appliance repair specialist when you encounter an issue that is beyond your scope.
You Need to Know This About Your Dishwasher
If you’re always having problems with your dishwasher, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the dishwasher repaired or replaced. Having a working dishwasher is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.
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