If a dishwasher isn't working properly, the first thing to do is to check if someone put a pan or lid over the spray arm in the center of the dishwasher. Find out how paper can get trapped in the small holes on a dishwasher's spray arm with help from a remodeling specialist in this free video on dishwasher problems.
I'm William Perkinson, and I'm here to tell you how to troubleshoot a dishwasher. This is a pretty standard model, not high end, not particularly low end. We'll take the basket out so we can get to the mechanism and the sprayer arms below. Now usually the first sign that you're having trouble with your dishwasher, is when the dishes don't actually come clean, when they still have residue left on them. And the first thing you want to check and ask whoever loaded it, did they put a pan or lid or something in the center, which will block the spray arm from coming out of the center of the arm. The next thing you want to look at, is examine the arm. It's got spray holes where water sprays in all different directions. And sometimes if you put a mayonnaise jar, a peanut butter jar that has a label on it, something of that sort, the heat, the steam, the soap wash the label off, but all that paper and gum goes somewhere, and it usually gets trapped in these small holes. Now there's several different ways to get it out, but you want to have a small piece of metal with a hook on it. And I just happen to have a Christmas tree hook left over from the season. And we'll take the small end of it that already got the crook on it, an we'll stick it in these holes and move it around. And if there's any lint, mud, any crud of sorts in there, will have hooked it and pulled it out, so that's one way to make sure it's clean. Now if there's an upper arm you'll repeat the same process on the upper arm. Now every dishwasher has an intake on the bottom, just like this. It's a little tougher to see in this one. Some of them it's a circular round lid with vents all around the bottom, where the water goes back in and recirculates through the motor. It'll have one to two screws, this one has two screws. And I've taken this one out, and it has a reservoir in there. And bits of bone or peeling or other things can get through and clog up there, and that will impede the pressure of the water that comes through the spray arm. If you take that out, clean it out, put it back, it should do really well. And the last thing for really simple troubleshooting, many manufacturers dish washing detergent and dish washing liquids these days have a super concentrate that you put in the basket that holds your silverware, and run the dishwasher empty on high heat, on a pot scrubber setting, and it'll clean all the internal mechanisms, it'll work good on any food buildup, any gum buildup, that type of thing, and your dishwasher should be working a lot better after that cycle is finished. I'm William Perkinson, and that's how to troubleshoot a dishwasher.
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