dirty dishes that need washing

Common dishwasher problems and how to fix them

  • 5 min read

Written by Domestic & General

Although your dishwasher can take all the strain away from washing up, and helps hygienically clean your dishes, it still needs some assistance from time to time in order to effectively be able to perform. There are number of issues that might occur with your dishwasher; we have picked out the top 5 common faults and how to fix it.


Please make sure you follow these instructions fully. If you have any problems with carrying out this maintenance, please contact us and as always check the user manual for details on your specific appliance, but this guide will give you some general advice.

My cycle wont start

If your dishwasher will not start, the steps below may help you find and pin point where the problem is coming from, before deciding that there is a problem with your appliance itself

  1. Check that you have power switched on to the machine from the mains.
  2. Check the plug and power cable for damage.
  3. Try another electrical appliance in the socket. This will help you check that the socket is not faulty.
  4. Check that the dishwasher door is fully closed properly.
  5. Check that the mains water is connected and the tap is properly turned on (the ‘on’ position is normally when the tap handle is pointing at or in-line with the water supply hose).
  6. Check that the filters are not blocked.
  7. Some dishwashers have a ‘Pause’ function, so check that this is not activated.
  8. Some dishwashers also have a ‘reset’ function. Typically this is done by switching off the dishwasher and then switching on again after one minute and resetting the required program, but check the user manual for precise details on your appliance.

Checking for blockages

If your dishwasher seems to be blocked and not draining, look through the steps below for some guidance.

  1. Pull out the lower tray to check the dishwasher filters.
  2. Remove any hard pieces of food debris around the bottom of the machine, as they can block the filters and sometimes cause damage to the pump or scratch dishes.
  3. Remove the filter and wash out any debris (pay close attention to the filter sensor if your dishwasher has one).
  4. Check for blockages in the drain hose that may prevent waste water draining effectively. Also check that the drain hose is not trapped under or behind the dishwasher.

My dishwasher isn’t cleaning properly

  1. Make sure that the baskets are not overloaded and that all items are evenly arranged within both baskets. Check that no larger items are obstructing the spray arms and preventing them from turning.
  2. The wash cycle may be too gentle. Make sure that you choose the correct type of wash cycle for the amount you have loaded to the dishwasher and how dirty items are and that the correct amount and type of detergent has been used.
  3. Make sure that the lid on the rinse aid compartment is properly closed.
  4. Ensure that the filters are not blocked-up.
  5. Make sure that the holes in the spray arms are not blocked.
  6. The refined salt (dishwasher salt) level may be too low. Check the user manual for salt-filling recommendations.
  7. Make sure that the top basket is properly adjusted for the size of items in the bottom rack.

My dishwasher makes a buzzing noise

Make sure that all the ‘installation’ steps have been properly carried out, including the water supply and particularly drain hose connections.

  1. If you have the dishwasher drainage hose over the side of your your kitchen sink (using the support crook), make sure that the hose is well secured and that the open end of the hose cannot become submerged under water.
  2. Check the drainage hose for blockages.
  3. Check that the hoses are not trapped or crushed behind or under the dishwasher.
  4. Check that the filters are properly in place and not blocked or obstructed.

My dishwasher wont empty

  1. If you have the dishwasher drainage hose over the side of your your kitchen sink (using the support crook), make sure that the hose is well secured and that the open end of the hose cannot become submerged under water.
  2. Check the drainage hose for blockages.
  3. Check that the hoses are not trapped or crushed behind or under the dishwasher.
  4. Check that the filters are properly in place and not blocked or obstructed.

If the above actions haven’t rectified your issue or you don’t feel confident to undertake them please visit My Account to book a repair, or give us a call on 0333 000 4966. 

If you liked this blog, check out our one on how to keep your washing machine in tip top condition.