Whether you’re a stretched-thin parent juggling multiple schedules or a busy workaholic with little time to spare, homeowners with hectic lives often rely heavily on a well-working dishwasher to streamline cleaning efforts. This staple appliance can save you annoyance and frustration as you struggle to scrape food by hand and scrub away residue before rushing out the door, allowing you to simply load and go. Plus, leaving a dishwasher to clean your dishes lets you save a significant amount of water, which adds up when washing by hand.
However, many people overlook signs of wear and tear during the chaos of their everyday lives, which can cause their dishwashers to perform poorly. If you’re concerned about the effectiveness of your dishwasher but aren’t sure whether to replace or simply repair it, read on for six signs you need an upgrade. That way, your dishes will come out sparkling and ready to use every time.
Your dishwasher is more than ten years old
If your dishwasher is inching into its teen years, it may be time to consider scouring the internet for a dishwasher sale and investing in a new and improved model. Regardless of whether you own a high-or-low-quality appliance, it will begin to show signs of decline after roughly ten years. Plus, older dishwasher models are typically less efficient, resulting in excessive water usage and sky-high electricity costs. Though your decade-old dishwasher might appear good-as-new on the outside, your dishes and monthly bills will thank you for the upgrade.
Broken latch or seal
A sure-fire sign you need to replace your dishwasher is if it has a broken top-latch or seal. Though this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many people continue using their appliances with defective parts, causing malfunction or sudsy messes. The top latch is the connecting component attached to the door to secure and indicate the appliance is ready to start. When broken, it’s likely your dishwasher won’t run, forcing you to either replace the latch or the entire unit.
On the other hand, your dishwasher can run with a broken seal, though the chances of extreme leakage are high. Make sure you check your appliance now and again and watch for pooling water underneath your dishwasher. That way, if you notice any irregularities, you can begin the search for a new, leak-free dishwasher.
Clean dishes are cold after a wash cycle
While a leak or broken component are obvious signs of appliance failure, other indicators are more difficult to detect. For example, if you run a cycle and your dishes come out cold instead of steaming hot, chances are your dishwasher is on the decline. Though this may not seem like a huge deal, especially if your dishware comes out spot-free, it’s likely not running through a proper sanitation cycle. The FDA requires a temperature range of 165-180 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure thoroughly disinfected dishes, so make sure to check your dishwasher for steam once it finishes a cycle.
Unfortunately, the heating element can be a pricy replacement, which is why most people with this issue end up replacing the unit in its entirety. In the end, it’s worth it to guarantee sanitized dishes with every load.
Continuously dirty or spotty dishes
If your dishes come out of a cycle with water spots or residual food, it may be time to consider purchasing a new appliance. Though there are troubleshooting measures you can take before buying a new dishwasher, like clearing the filter and refilling the rinse aid compartment, the left-over residue could indicate a more serious issue. If you’ve exhausted the possibilities, clearing out build-up and running a dish-free cycle, consider taking a trip to your local appliance shop and looking for a high-quality replacement.
Another sign that your dishwasher is close to kicking the bucket is noticeable rusting anywhere on your machine. Dishwashers are built to withstand water residue, so rust build-up usually indicates a leak in the unit. Though maintenance specialists can service leaks on occasion, often the problem runs deeper than a simple repair. For example, old, run-down dishwashers usually rust, so replacing the unit may be less expensive than a long list of repairs.
Pooling water in the bottom of your dishwasher
Though exterior leaking is an obvious sign of dishwasher distress, people often overlook leaking on the inside. Unfortunately, interior pooling can point to a slew of complications, many of which are expensive or unfixable. However, before jumping to conclusions and purchasing a new unit, try manually emptying the drain and clearing your sink disposal. If the pooling persists after troubleshooting, a new dishwasher is most likely your best option.
Coming to terms with the fact that you need a dishwasher upgrade can be difficult—especially if you’re tight on funds. However, chances are your worn-down dishwasher will have costly compilations that add up over time, resulting in unsanitary conditions and repair bills. Instead of squeezing every last cycle out of your old unit, consider purchasing a new dishwasher and watch as your dishes come out squeaky clean and sparkling.