Has your dishwasher broken down: SHOULD YOU REPAIR OR REPLACE?
If you’re reading this article, there is a good chance you are deciding to buy a new dishwasher or repair the Original. Ultimately the best decision anyone can make for their purse strings, and the planet to keep every dishwasher as long as possible. There will never be enough raw materials to keep replacing dishwashers every few years. How long you keep a dishwasher is dependent on many factors. The quality of the machine at the time of purchase, the country of origin, the frequency of use, and how well it has been looked after. The economics of repairing vs Replacing. To help decide I have outlined some of the pros and Cons of either decision.
You first need to ask, how old is the dishwasher?
Now just because a machine is more than 10 years or older, doesn’t mean it’s not worth repairing. Many of the older machines were made from good quality stainless steel. Often, they have a lot less reliance on micro Electronics. If you live in an area excessive limescale, then by the time the machine gets to about 15 years old it is often filled up with sediment. Overtime might cause the machine to block up to a point where it’s no longer economical to repair.
If you have a machine that’s more than 15 years old and it started to fail, it’s often worth talking to a qualified engineer to assess the economics of repairing a machine of this age. Spares parts are more likely to become more expensive and discontinued. The advantage of keeping hold of an old dishwasher is that they are more likely to survive the occasional broken glass, or too much food being left on the plates.
If your dishwasher is less than 10 years old
The above problems are less of an issue. You are more likely to notice an increase frequency of repairs needed. It becomes more important just take greater care looking after a more modern dishwasher. You will notice more repairs if you do not scrape the plates clear of food before loading the dishwasher. If you noticed a plate has chipped or glass is broken inside of a dishwasher you should stop using it immediately. Remove the filters, empty the sump of water, and remove any broken chips of plate or broken glass from the bottom of the dishwasher. Failure to do this can result in the need to replace either your heat pump or drain pump.
Another problem can be infrequent use
It’s very important that your dishwasher does not sit idle. Even if you don’t need it to wash every day, it’s a good idea to run a wash at least once a week to keep everything moving. Running a good quality descaler through your machine every 4 months (If you live in a hard water area) is a great way of keeping everything moving, while preventing the excessive build-up of debris and limescale.
If your dishwasher is less than 5 years old
At this age or less your machine has not had time to accumulate the type of problems you see on older machines. it’s still just as important to keep food and debris out of your dishwasher, to make sure there is no broken glass old dishes left in the machine. and you have maintained it by descaling regularly if you live in an area of hard water. One common problem on newer dishwashers can be streaks on the glasses or cutlery. this is often due to food coming up into the spray arms unblocking the small holes along the top of the spray arms. a visual check to inspect these holes for debris. if they are blocked, they can be removed and then they can be flushed under the tap. It’s important not to unblock persistent debris from the holes using anything metal. This can risk changing the shape of the holes. It’s better to use a small cocktail stick to unblock them. If you get a serious fault on a newer dishwasher tend to have either an Error code or a series of flashing lights in indicate a fault. It worth recording these errors. It will give a more accurate diagnosis. Please note that error codes and rarely 100% accurate. They can give a good guide or history of problems to be able to decide where the repair or replace your machine.
If your dishwasher is less than 2 years old
If you notice a fault or an error code at this point, your machine may still be under the manufacturer’s warranty or maybe you have purchased an extended warranty. Assuming you have been looking after your machine you should call either the manufacturer or the insurance company who provided the warranty. We can undertake repairs for you, but are unable to do these repairs under these types of warranty.
If you notice a fault, could you fix it yourself?
Being able to fix your own machine could make a major difference whether you replace or repair. In the past, it wasn’t unusual to try a D.I Y repair. These days this has been made more difficult. With some of the new tools available this might not be that bad. If you have a reasonable level of competence with basic tools. And have good safe working practices then doing your own repairs might be a great option for you. If you are not confident, it’s always better to call in a trained professional. Dishwashers have the problem of mixing electricity and water. This combination can make for a dangerous working environment.
Whether you do your own repairs, or just want to know how to maintain your own dishwasher, maybe you just want to know the size of your current dishwasher so you know what to buy next. This is the most important piece of information to know about your machine.
Location of the full model number.
Most manufacturers will place the model number of your dishwasher in a convenient location. German brands tend to use an engraving, Top middle on the stainless-steel inner door. This can be hard to see because the engraving can be hidden by water splash marks on the steel. When this happens it’s best to check for a printed sticker on the left- or right-hand side inner door. (Most other brands tend to use this method). If the sticker is not there then you can be certain of the engraving. Most model numbers are a series of letters and numbers.
Your model number is the key
If you have your model number then finding solutions to potential faults becomes a lot easier. Type the model number into Google to look up common faults. Maybe you have an error code? Type that in as well. This will give you a more focused solution. Use the same method in YouTube. Someone (like myself) may have made a video on how to fix you specific fault. Perhaps you need an accessory or a spare part. Most manufacturers have a website that makes it easy to have spares sent straight to your door.