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How to Maintain Your Dishwasher

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey breaks down all the connections on a dishwasher, how they work, and how to troubleshoot them when they aren’t draining or drying correctly.

Your dishwasher is likely a heavily used appliance in your home—especially during the holidays or times of gathering. Are you doing everything you can to make sure it keeps running efficiently?

How to Prevent Damage to Your Dishwasher

If you use your dishwasher regularly, consider checking and replacing the following parts.

Dishwasher hose

This piece operates similar to a washing machine hose, and it poses the same dangers of bursting and flooding the house if it isn’t inspected regularly. To check it, get low to the floor, remove the grill cover, and look underneath. If the hose looks worn, then it’s time to replace it.

Water hammer arrestor

Not all dishwashers have these, but you should consider installing one. Appliances with a quick-closing valve, like a toilet or washing machine, can cause the water pressure to increase momentarily, which shakes the pipe and causes an alarming sound.

A water hammer arrestor acts like a shock absorber so that the pressure can be relieved once the valve closes. They are typically installed right at the hot water shutoff where the dishwasher hose is connected.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Believe it or not, you need to clean your dishwasher. There are two recommended ways to clean it.

Cleaning the filter

You should also scrape food from the plates and rinse them before placing them in the dishwasher. If food is left on plates, then it will need somewhere to go when it’s in the dishwasher, and that somewhere is in the filter.

Every so often, you should check the filter and wipe it clean of any food residue and scraps to allow the dishwasher to drain properly.

Cleaning the tub

Every once in a while, it’s good practice to clean the dishwasher tub. Once the food has been cleared from the filter and out of any crevices in the dishwasher, try spreading baking soda throughout the dishwasher. Please a measuring cup filled with vinegar on the top rack and run the dishwasher.


All of the components of the dishwasher Richard called out, including the filters, the water supply, and the drain line, are all standard parts that can be found at any home center or appliance repair shop.