Dishwasher stopped working well

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ThankYouJack
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:19 am

I have a Bosch dishwasher that's about 5 years old. It used to do a great job getting gunk off dishes, but suddenly stopped working well where it leaves residue on dishes and doesn't clean well. I cleaned the filter and ran it through an empty cycle of vinegar and baking soda. Any other tips for troubleshooting?

mancich
Posts: 431
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:05 pm

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by mancich » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:24 am

Are there maybe holes in the spray arms that may have become clogged? Also, I assume no issues with your water (soft water works best in dishwashers and laundry). We have a Bosch that is also about 5 years old (Ascenta model, cost us like $600). Still cleans fine, but we do periodically just what you did (clean filter, vinegar). Maybe something on YouTube that addresses this?

maineminder
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:48 am

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by maineminder » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:25 am

I've had to take apart the spray arm and clean the gunk out when I had that problem with my Bosch. Blocks the water flow so it may not be spraying correctly.

themesrob
Posts: 187
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by themesrob » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:06 pm

if the filters and spray arms are clean, it may be an issue with your element and/or thermostat. try opening it early in the cycle after it's filled and seeing if the water is hot and the element is on.

dalbright
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:23 am

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by dalbright » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:18 pm

My wife purchased Lemi-shine packets for our front load washer and loves them. I was skeptical but it gets great reviews. She also purchased one for our dishwasher last trip to the store. For as cheap as they are I'd give it a shot. I'm very much a fix it myself type of person but dishwashers are a pain...

wilked
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by wilked » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:34 pm

1. Clean screen, pull all rotating arms off and clean them. Look for particualtes in the arms. Some screens have to be 'twist-fit' in. I found once mine was not twist fit in and particulates were getting past it.
2. When running, make sure the arms can spin freely before starting. Sometimes a piece of silverware or other thing can get in the way and you won't get good results.
3. Put bowls in top and bottom and run for a minute or so. Open up, are the bowls full of water? Use this to diagnose if the sprays are working. You can do similar things by coating bowls or others with flour and running for a minute. If you go after it systemically you will learn something

megabad
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by megabad » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:35 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:19 am
I have a Bosch dishwasher that's about 5 years old. It used to do a great job getting gunk off dishes, but suddenly stopped working well where it leaves residue on dishes and doesn't clean well. I cleaned the filter and ran it through an empty cycle of vinegar and baking soda. Any other tips for troubleshooting?
What kind of residue? Is it isolated to one shelf or location or on all dishes? I assume you don't just mean something a rinse agent could fix. If the spray arm is clogged/stuck, agree with the above posters. I had to take mine out and soak it for a day, than it went back to spraying just fine. Not sure if we dislodged something that made it rotate freely or if the nozzles just got opened up. We also had this symptom when our water pressure dropped a few years back (new neighborhood across the street), but the water company fixed it in a couple weeks.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by texasdiver » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:43 pm

YouTube is your go-to source for appliance repair and maintenance. There is an incredible wealth of information there. This was one of the first results when I googled "cleaning a Bosch dishwasher YouTube"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktx8Ey4Uflc

There are tons more dishwasher maintenance and repair videos on youtube, more than anyone can possibly watch.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:40 pm

Perfect, thanks all! I took off the arms and sure enough they were clogged. Mostly coffee grinds so I should probably start hand washing coffee filters.

I did my best to hand wash them (tough to get all the gunk out of the holes). Any recommendations for what to soak them in too? I suppose even if I had to buy new ones they're about $25 each so cheaper than a new dishwasher :wink:

I should have thought to check YouTube as I'm always searching there for questions (especially home related one) that I have.

quantAndHold
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:35 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:40 pm
Perfect, thanks all! I took off the arms and sure enough they were clogged. Mostly coffee grinds so I should probably start hand washing coffee filters.

I did my best to hand wash them (tough to get all the gunk out of the holes). Any recommendations for what to soak them in too? I suppose even if I had to buy new ones they're about $25 each so cheaper than a new dishwasher :wink:

I should have thought to check YouTube as I'm always searching there for questions (especially home related one) that I have.
The dishwasher repair guy we had out when we had the same problem told us to use one of those wooden bbq skewers to poke the junk out of the holes. I suppose a toothpick would work too. We ended up just keeping a skewer next to the dishwasher, and poking at it from time to time.

aristotelian
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by aristotelian » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:40 pm

We also have a Bosch with the exact same issues. I finally got it back to clean dishes by doing a thorough cleaning. Clean everything, top to bottom. Racks, nozzles, interior sides, drain, everything. Then run a cycle with some dishwasher cleaning tablets. We have had good luck with these. https://www.amazon.com/Finish-Wash-Dish ... er+tablets

mariezzz
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by mariezzz » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:11 pm

Sounds like you may have found the problem.
For others, there are more possible problems:
I had something similar happen but the water inlet valve had gone bad. Replacing it isn't too difficult. My dishwasher is 20 years old, but new appliances tend to fail so quick, I replaced the part. That was definitely less hassle than installing a new DW.
A 3rd possibility is the float switch isn't working correctly. This detects water level in the dishwasher & causes the DW to stop filling. This also is not all that difficult to replace yourself.
As someone mentioned, youtube has lots of videos.

Smoke
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:45 pm

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by Smoke » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:30 pm

I had the same issues with a GE brand I believe it was... since replaced it due to age.
Turned out there was a plastic/rubbery type tube pipe thingy, that was in line with the upper spray arm delivering water to those jets.
After taking the unit apart I found the rubber pipe was split on the top (where you could not see it) and almost no water was coming out of the spray arms. Got the part replaced it, problem solved.
I don't know if that is the issue or not but it was mine.

On another note... back in the last century... idk 80s-ish the Gov mandated that phosphates be removed from all detergent, washing machine/dishwasher etc etc. That's when all the "special" packets of stuff came out to be sold to fight hard water deposits, make clothes brighter etc etc.
Just a Pinch between two fingers of TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) found in the paint dept of Lowes or Home depot added to the wash or the dishwasher puts it back and works wonders. About $5 for a box that will last a decade.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/TSP-Deck-Cleaner/3014064

Kennedy
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by Kennedy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:43 pm

Run an empty cycle on the hottest water setting with a product called Dishwasher Magic. It really is magic.

wstrdg
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:43 am

Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by wstrdg » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:24 pm

If you use liquid dishwasher detergent, or those gel packs, switch to powder. The liquids tend to leave residue on your dishes. And powder is less expensive per use, too. Win-win :happy

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cockersx3
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by cockersx3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 pm

I had a similar problem once with a different brand of dishwasher. Turned out that one of the electrical connections to the heating element in the dishwasher basic had come off. This prevented the dishwasher from heating up the incoming water, which made it not clean very well.

I found it out by searching on-line for the service manual for my (somewhat old) dishwasher, and it included instructions for entering a test mode to cycle all of the different dishwasher functions individually. The heating element test failed, and when I pulled out the dishwasher to loop at it I saw the electrode had come off. Tightened up the clip on the electrode, stuck it back on, and it has worked fine ever since :D

If unblocking the holes doesn't work, would definitely recommend using Google to see if a service manual is available on-line for your unit. That service level menu for my unit was awesome to know about, really helped me solve my problem.

hale2
Posts: 180
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Re: Dishwasher stopped working well

Post by hale2 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:19 pm

cockersx3 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 pm
I had a similar problem once with a different brand of dishwasher. Turned out that one of the electrical connections to the heating element in the dishwasher basic had come off. This prevented the dishwasher from heating up the incoming water, which made it not clean very well.

I found it out by searching on-line for the service manual for my (somewhat old) dishwasher, and it included instructions for entering a test mode to cycle all of the different dishwasher functions individually. The heating element test failed, and when I pulled out the dishwasher to loop at it I saw the electrode had come off. Tightened up the clip on the electrode, stuck it back on, and it has worked fine ever since :D

If unblocking the holes doesn't work, would definitely recommend using Google to see if a service manual is available on-line for your unit. That service level menu for my unit was awesome to know about, really helped me solve my problem.
I've also looked up service manuals to try to troubleshoot before scheduling a service call. A few months ago my upright freezer wasn't cooling. After reading the owners manual it indicated that the fix was simple. It took me 5 minutes to install a $30 part.

This link should help find manuals for appliances from various manufacturers.

http://www.appliance411.com/service/ownersmanual.shtml

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