Valve, Dispenser, and Dish Rack Repairs

Checking on and routinely maintaining the various valves, detergent dispenser, and dish rack can keep the right amount of water and cleaner working effectively in your dishwasher.

Servicing the Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve controls the amount of water flowing into the dishwasher. It may be activated by the timer or by a solenoid. If the dishwasher doesn't fill with water:

Step 1: Make sure that the water supply to the unit is turned on and that there's no problem at the water heater. A shutdown of the water heater would cause a shutdown of the water to the dishwasher.

Step 2: Check the timer to make sure it's working through its programmed sequences. If both the water supply and the timer are in working order, the problem is probably in the inlet valve.

Step 3: Check the inlet valve located under the tub of the dishwasher. Malfunctions of the inlet valve may also occur when a screen inside the valve becomes clogged with mineral deposits. To solve this problem, pry out the screen with a screwdriver and flush it thoroughly with running water. Then replace the screens.

Step 4: If the valve is controlled by a solenoid, the solenoid is usually connected to the side of the dishwasher. Tap the solenoid and the valve lightly with the handle of a screwdriver to break it free of any obstruction. Then start the dishwasher again.

Step 5: If the dishwasher still doesn't fill, test the solenoid with a volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM) set to the RX1 scale. Disconnect one electrical lead to the solenoid and clip one probe of the VOM to each solenoid terminal. If the meter reads from about 100 ohms to 1,000 ohms, the solenoid is functioning. If the reading is higher than 1,000, the solenoid is faulty and should be replaced.

Step 6: If necessary, replace the solenoid with a new one of the same size and type. Connect the new solenoid the same way the old one was connected.

Badly worn or misshapen inlet valves cannot be repaired. If the valve is damaged, replace it with a new one made for the dishwasher. The valve is usually held to a mounting bracket with screws. Take apart the connection linking the valve to the water supply. Then take out screws and remove the valve. Install the new valve by making the connections in reverse order.