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A smooth running dishwasher helps make light work of kitchen cleanup. Of course, you might not realize how vital your dishwasher is to your household routine until an unexpected issue arises. When that happens, you want to get to the bottom of the issue quickly, so you can get back to your normal routine faster. Let’s troubleshoot some of the most common dishwasher issues and their solutions.



A smelly dishwasher is a common occurrence. A fishy or rotten-egg-like odor coming from your dishwasher often stems from food particles that have accumulated in the filter or crevices of your appliance over time. Fortunately, getting rid of the smell is often an easy fix. Follow our step-by-step guide to getting rid of dishwasher odors, and learn how to prevent them from coming back.


If your dishwasher isn’t draining properly, leaving standing water at the bottom of the tub after a cycle, you most likely have a clog. Let’s troubleshoot the most common culprits of a clog:

  • Check the drain filter: Leftover food particles can often clog your dishwasher’s drain filter, preventing it from draining properly. To clean the filter, remove it from the dishwasher and soak it in hot, soapy water. Clean off particles with a sponge or scrub brush. Before reinserting the filter, check that the dishwasher drain is free of particles and remove any debris.

  • Check the garbage disposal: Some dishwashers link up to the garbage disposal, so if that drain is blocked, your dishwasher might not be able to drain how it’s supposed to. Keeping all drains clean and free of food will help everything run smoothly.

  • Make sure the air gap is intact: The air gap is important because it helps the dishwasher drain properly without creating a vacuum and preventing water from flowing out. If it becomes blocked by food or other debris, it could lead to water overflowing where it shouldn’t. Use a plumber’s snake to regularly clean out pipes and hoses and make sure there’s no buildup.


Daily wear and tear can take its toll on your dishwasher over time, leading to loose or damaged parts that may leak water. Some of the most common causes of a leaky dishwasher include:

  • A defective pump: The function of the pump is to circulate and help drain water from the dishwasher. It sits at the bottom of the machine and consists of two compartments—one for the wash cycle and one for draining. Over time, age and detergents can dry out the rubber gasket that seals the pump to the bottom of the tub, causing a leak. Seals don't last forever, so replacing them is a good way to give your dishwasher new life.

  • Old door gasket seal: If water is leaking around the front of the dishwasher, there's most likely a problem with the soft vinyl or rubber seal that goes around the opening of the dishwasher to create a watertight seal. If the seal is old, it might have become brittle and unable to seal properly. The door latch could also be the issue if it's not secure.

  • Damaged water inlet valve: As the valve that feeds water from the home's main water line into the dishwasher, this is a common source of leaks. If the supply connection is not secure or the hose that connects to the dishwasher is cracked, that could be your problem.

  • Faulty float and float switch: Used as a safety device to prevent the dishwasher from overfilling with water, the float and float switch are activated when the right level of water is reached. If they aren't working properly, your dishwasher could overflow, causing excess water to leak out onto the floor.

  • Loose hose clamps and hoses: Hose clamps secure the drain hose and the circulating hose to the dishwasher pump. If they've come loose or the hoses have cracked, that could be the cause of the leak.


If your dishes aren't coming out as spotless as they used to, it could be due to particle or mineral buildup in your appliance. Follow these steps to help ensure your dishwasher is clean and functioning optimally:

  • Clean the drain filter: A clogged drain filter could mean that dirty water is recirculating when you run a cycle. Clean the filter every few months to remove particle buildup.

  • Clean the spray arms: Dirty or clogged spray arms could also be recirculating gunk and preventing the dishwasher from performing at its best. Check the holes of the spray arms for clogs and remove any particles using a cotton swab or toothpick.

  • Rinse the machine: Grease and grime can build up in your dishwasher over time, affecting the performance of your machine. To give your appliance a good rinse, pour two cups of vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher, select a deep cleaning cycle, and run the dishwasher at the hottest temperature available.


A little troubleshooting and dishwasher maintenance can go a long way in ensuring your appliance is performing at its best. However, some issues can be difficult to pinpoint—or too complex to resolve on your own. Rest assured, the expert technicians at GE Appliances Factory Services are here to help. Book an appointment with us online and we'll quickly get to the bottom of your dishwasher problem, so you can get back to enjoying sparkling dishes in no time.

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