If you have a dishwasher that is not getting your dishes clean, you may be putting off calling an appliance repair technician and just doing the dishes in the sink, yourself. A dishwasher is not a necessity, but a convenience. However, if you have one in your home, you might as well be able to use it, right? Here are a few simple repairs you can do yourself that might help your unit clean properly again.
The main spray arm rests in the bottom of the machine. As hot water rushes through, it spins, spraying water under the dishes. A secondary arm is attached to the bottom of the top rack, and a third sprayer is located in the top of the machine. Try spinning each one to make sure it is moving properly. If not, try to find what is causing it to stick. While looking over each one, check the water holes for trapped dirt or debris. Clean out anything that is stuck in them with a skewer or other pointed tool. The bottom spray arm can be removed for a complete cleaning. To get to the secondary one, remove the top basket and flip it upside down. The third sprayer can be difficult to reach, and you will need to lean far into the machine with both racks out to do so.
If the water does not reach the proper level, your dishes will not be cleansed. To check that it is high enough, turn the machine on and let it run until you hear the water shut off. Open the door and check to make sure that the water reaches to just below the float in the bottom. If it does not, shut the power off to the machine at the breaker so you can then reach in and clean around the float switch. Dirt and debris can force the float into an up position so that the water flow is shut off. After cleaning the area, flip the breaker back to on and allow the machine to run again. Halfway through the cycle, check the water level again; it should still be up to the float. If not, the problem lies somewhere else, and you will need to contact an appliance repair technician to find it.
If cleaning the spray arms and float switch does not result in cleaner dishes, it is probably time to contact a professional, such as D & T Appliance Service.