How To Extend The Life Of Your Dishwasher

dishwasherIs a dishwasher backing up a sign that the end is near? The average service life of dishwashers is about 9 years. Severe backups can leak water out the dishwasher front door seal and cause kitchen water damage. Usually, however, they are a symptom of some repairable issue versus a sign that your dishwasher is on the verge of total failure. In fact, the problem may actually originate outside the dishwasher itself, in the the sink or garbage disposal. Before you assume that a dishwasher backing up needs to be replaced with a new unit, try these tips to troubleshoot the issue:

  • Remove the bottom rack from the unit. Locate the drain openings in the back of the dishwasher pan and feel for scraps of food or other debris that may be impeding proper drainage. Clear any blockage, replace the rack and test the dishwasher.
  • If backup recurs, look under the kitchen sink for the dishwasher drain hose connected to the garbage disposal. Straighten the hose if it if it appears to have become kinked or twisted, blocking free flow of drain water from the dishwasher.
  • If the hose appears functional, fill the sink with hot water, then remove the stopper and turn on the disposal. Allow hot water to flush the disposal for several minutes. If drainage through the disposal appears very slow or totally obstructed, you now know that the backup problem is a clogged disposal, not a dishwasher issue.
  • Locate the air gap, a cylindrical metal unit typically on top of the sink beside the faucet. It’s actually a backflow prevention device in the dishwasher drain path to keep dirty sink or disposal water from flowing back into the dishwasher. If the air gap becomes clogged with debris, however, it will also inhibit proper dishwasher drainage flow into the disposal and backup will occur. Most air gaps have a top cover that can be unscrewed to check for clogging debris and clean out the unit.

Ask the Rytech professionals for more solutions to potential water damage issues like a dishwasher backing up.


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