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Dishwasher Not Spraying Water: What To Do?

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A dishwasher helps you multitask and save energy, so it's a nuisance when the machine suddenly stops spraying water. We have researched this issue with professionals, and here is what we learned:

If your dishwasher stops spraying water, the first thing you should do is figure out the reason why it is not working. It may be due to overload, water line problems, or clogging. After you learn the source of the problem, you can address the issue with the proper solution. 

We have gathered all the information that you will need to do this, from what the probable causes are to how you can fix them. Aside from that, we are going to talk about other things related to dishwashers which may concern you at a different time. If you want to learn more, then keep on reading. 

Plumber repairing dishwasher machine, Dishwasher Not Spraying Water: What To Do?

 What To Do When The Dishwasher Is Not Spraying Water

Nope, you do not need to buy a new dishwasher and replace the old one right away when the machine stops spraying water. Doing so may cost you more money than you're ready to spend.

Open dishwasher with clean dishes at home kitchen

Purchasing a new model costs from $400 to $2,000, and fixing the probable reason why your dishwasher is not sprinkling water may only cost a few dollars. 

There are a few reasons why your dishwasher isn't spraying water, and we cover them below. 

  • Too much weight in the dishwasher
  • Machine is not getting any water
  • Blocked spray arm
  • Float switch issue
  • Broken water valve

We will discuss how you can solve these problems. You can do them by yourself, but if some procedures are not within the scope of your expertise, you can always ask a professional for help. That can save you time and effort, and you will rest assured that the job will be done in the best possible way and you will be able to use your dishwasher again. 

Too Much Weight

The simplest reason is that there might be too many dishes inside the dishwasher. While you should not use the dishwasher if there is too little to clean, you should not overload it. 

If the load inside is too heavy, it might stop the machine from working. In some instances, if the dishes, silverware, and other utensils are too packed together, it can block the water from coming out.

Mother and son loading dishwasher

Solution: Take some of the dishes out and set them aside in a safe spot or in your sink. Organize what's left inside the dishwasher and make sure there is space in the areas where the water sprays. Then try to start the machine again. 

There Is No Water

This might be the first thing you think of. There may be no sprinkling of water because there is no water to sprinkle in the first place. If there is no shortage or notice of temporary water disruption, then the water pressure might be too weak to fill up the tub.

Solution: Check the water line pipes and valves for any leaks. You can inspect them by doing the following steps:

 Step 1

Turn off all the appliances or devices that use water.

Step 2:

Go to the meter and look for the 'leak indicator' label on one of the round discs.

Step 3:

If the hand inside is spinning, then you do have a leak somewhere. You may find where it is if there is a  flood in the area. If the hand is not moving at all, wait a while to see if it will make a slow turn or movement. This means that there is a weak leakage.

These are usually harder to find, but you can do so by cleaning the pipes and water lines and waiting for moisture to form in one of its spots.

Blocked Spray Arm

Man repairing a dishwasher with tools

Over time, the frequent usage of the dishwasher can cause mineral buildup to form. This can clog the openings of the spray arms, which must be the reason why the dishwasher is not spraying water.

Aside from the mineral buildup, the soap used for cleaning and leftover food that was removed from the dishes are other contributors that can block the spray arm.

Solution: Clean the spray arm. Here is how you can properly wash it:

First, you must unplug the machine and remove the racks inside. Next, locate the spray arm and detach it by taking off the screw-on cap or bolts which hold the sprayers in place.

Once you've successfully taken it out, get a bucket of hot water. Pour in a cup of vinegar and soap. Mix the solution thoroughly before soaking the spray arm in it. 

Wait for a few minutes to soften the hardened debris that is present and then take the spray arm out again and brush the surface with a scrubber or a toothbrush. Use a cotton swab or a toothpick to clean the other narrow, deeper areas that can't be reached. Once you have completely removed the dirt, take the spray arms and put them under high-pressure water or in a regular faucet to rinse the soap.

Dry them with a clean cloth and reinstall them in the dishwasher. 

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Float Switch Issue

Dishwasher filter screen in bottom of dishwasher

Float switches are the water level guard located at the bottom of the tub of the dishwasher. Once they reach a certain point, they signal the machine to stop filling with water to prevent overflowing.

However, there are instances where they get stuck at that signal point. This means that the dishwasher thinks that there is enough water in the tub.

The float switch can wear out as time goes by. As a result, it will not perform its function well.

Solution: Replace it with a new float switch. You can contact a professional repairman to do the job since it requires dealing with wires.

Broken Water Valve

Water inlet valve

In addition to the leak problem that may be occurring, your water inlet valve might be worn out and broken. This part of your dishwasher bridges your machine to your home's main water supply.

If water valve isn't working correctly, that means it cannot run water into the machine, and no water will be sprayed onto the dishes. This is due to overusing or clogging with solid materials. 

Solution: Clean the water valve if the issue is a simple blockage. However, if it is broken, you need to replace it with a new valve.

Wondering how far your dishwasher should be from the cabinets? Read this: How Much Space Should Be Between Kitchen Cabinets For A Dishwasher?

Do You Need To Fix Or Replace The Dishwasher?

Open dishwasher with basket and clean tableware

While the reason why your dishwasher is not spraying water may be due to a simple clogging or overloading, this problem might be the early symptoms of your machine's end. Is it worth the repair or not? Let's figure this out by looking at the signs which can indicate that your dishwasher needs to be replaced.

Signs That You Need To Replace Your Dishwasher

You might already be experiencing some of these symptoms. If not, you should look out for these hints that your machine is telling you it's time for a replacement.

  • The machine is more than 10 years old
  • There is rust inside the dishwasher
  • There is water at the bottom after the washing cycle
  • You can't lock the door
  • The dishes are cold after the washing cycle
  • Cracks and scratches in any part of the dishwasher
  • Unusual noises are coming from the machine

Old discarted dishwasher and washing machine on a vehicle truck

Wondering if Costco installs a dishwasher? Learn the answer here: Does Costco Install Dishwashers And Other Appliances?

How To Maintain A Dishwasher

Woman cleaning dishwasher with rag and spray bottle in kitchen

If you are not going to replace your dishwasher, you should know how to properly maintain it. If you take good care of your device, you will benefit from it for a longer time. Here is how you can do that.

  • Clean the dishwasher once a month, regularly. 
  • Do not leave the dishes inside the washer after the washing cycle.
  • Keep the spinning or spray arms clean.
  • Include the outer parts or surface when removing the dirt.
  • Always collect the food debris that is present in the drain.
  • Combine vinegar, lemon, or cleaner with water as a solution for cleaning.

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Final Thoughts

If your dishwasher has stopped spraying water, you will need to figure out the reason behind the problem. It may be due to overload, water line problems, or clogging.

While you are at it, you can check if the dishwasher is showing other signs that mean it needs replacement. This can save you more money in the long run rather than paying $50 to $600 every time for repairs.