Dishwashers are convenient and time-saving household appliances that make washing dishes a breeze. Frigidaire dishwashers are popular for being robust and long-lasting appliances.
However, even the best appliances can malfunction at times, and when your Frigidaire dishwasher fails to clean your dishes properly, it can be frustrating and time-consuming.
You might be left with food articles and marks on your dishes after running a wash cycle, needing to wash your dishes by hand. Luckily, you shouldn’t deal with this issue for long since there is almost always a quick-fix solution!
In this article, we’ll explore several potential reasons your Frigidaire dishwasher isn’t washing and provide you with some ways to fix the problem.
Why is Your Frigidaire Dishwasher Not Washing?
Before you can fix your dishwasher, you need to better understand what might be causing the problem. There are a few common issues that might be occurring in your appliance – here’s what to look out for.
1. Clogged Spray Arm
The spray arm in your dishwasher is needed to distribute water throughout the appliance to clean and rinse your dishes. Over time, food particles, grease, and other debris can accumulate inside the spray arm and cause it to clog.
When this happens, water won’t be able to properly flow through, and your dishes might not get clean. If you suspect the spray arm is clogged, you’ll need to clean it out before getting a clean load of dishes.
2. Blocked Dishwasher Detergent Dispenser
The detergent dispenser releases the detergent into the dishwasher during the wash cycle. This gets your dishes thoroughly soaped up and disinfected while the detergent eats away at grease.
If the dispenser is blocked, the detergent won’t be released, and the dishwasher cannot clean your dishes properly. In this case, your wash cycle will be more of a rinse function.
Be sure to check the dispenser for any blockages or detergent buildup that could prevent it from working correctly.
3. Faulty Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve in your Frigidaire dishwasher controls the flow of water in the appliance. If the valve malfunctions, it may not allow enough water into the dishwasher, leading to poor cleaning performance.
You’ll need to check if the water inlet valve is functioning properly, but first, turn off the water supply to the dishwasher and disconnect the water inlet hose from the valve.
4. Dirty or Clogged Filters
Your dishwasher has filters intended to stop food particles and other grime and dirt from clogging the spray arm and other components. If these filters become dirty or clogged, water may not be able to flow through them properly, interfering with the water flow and resulting in shoddy cleaning performance.
Locate the dishwasher filters and check whether they’re clogged or dirty – if they are, this is probably why your dishwasher isn’t washing properly.
5. Broken Wash Impeller
The wash impeller in your dishwasher is a component that’s responsible for circulating water throughout the dishwasher to get the dishes clean and rinsed. If the impeller is broken, the water won’t be appropriately distributed, and your dishes might stay dirty.
You’ll need to inspect the impeller for damage, as well as the impeller blades – they might be cracked or broken.
6. Improper Loading of Dishes
Sometimes, the problem is not with the dishwasher but with how the dishes have been loaded. Improper loading can prevent the dishwasher from properly cleaning the dishes.
You’ll typically be able to identify this as the issue if some of your dishes are clean, but others aren’t. This is because your placement of the dishes will allow for some to be cleaned while others might be blocked – the water and detergent won’t be able to reach them.
Be strategic when loading your dishwasher, ensuring you don’t place items on top of or inside one another.
7. Hard Water
If the water where you live is particularly hard, excess mineral deposits can build up in your dishwasher and affect its performance. Hard water deposits can clog the spray arm, filters, and other components, preventing water from flowing through and leaving a grimy buildup in your appliance and your dishes.
Inspect the spray arm, filters, and other components for this buildup to determine if hard water affects your dishwasher’s performance. After running a cycle, you might also notice a white film or spots on your dishes.
How to Fix a Frigidaire Dishwasher That Isn’t Washing?
Now that we’ve explored the possible reasons why your Frigidaire dishwasher is not washing properly let’s now look at how to fix it.
1. Run a Hot Water Cycle
Before trying any other fixes, you should first run a hot water cycle to help clear out any debris or buildup inside the dishwasher.
You can do this by filling a cup with white vinegar and placing it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then run a hot water cycle with no dishes inside; this will help to clean and sanitize your appliance.
2. Clean the Spray Arm
If you notice that the spray arm is clogged, remove it from the dishwasher and clean it with warm soapy water. Make sure to remove any debris that may be causing the clog.
You can also use a toothpick to clear out any stubborn grime. Once the spray arm has been thoroughly cleaned, reattach it and start a new cycle to see if the cleaning performance has improved.
3. Check the Detergent Dispenser
Make sure the detergent dispenser is not blocked or clogged with detergent buildup. If it is, remove any buildup of detergent or debris with a soft cloth or sponge.
Avoid using harsh cleaning agents and materials that could damage the dispenser. You might also try running a hot water cycle with the dispenser left open – this can help dislodge any dried detergent from the compartment.
If you notice that the dispenser is damaged in any way, it might need to be replaced.
4. Check the Water Inlet Valve
If the inlet valve malfunctions or clogs, the dishwasher may not receive enough water to clean dishes effectively. To check the water inlet valve, you’ll need to locate it (usually found behind the lower access panel on the dishwasher), turn off the water supply, and disconnect the valve.
Once disconnected, check the valve for any visible signs of damage or debris buildup. If you notice any issues, you may need to replace the valve or clean it more thoroughly before reconnecting it and testing the dishwasher again.
5. Clean or Replace the Filters
To clean out dirty filters, you’ll have to take them out and rinse them thoroughly under warm running water to remove any buildup. First, turn off the appliance and unplug it from the power supply.
If the filters are damaged or very heavily clogged, it may be necessary to replace them entirely. Once you’ve cleaned or replaced the filters, reassemble the dishwasher and run it again to see if the issue has been resolved.
6. Replace the Wash Impeller
If you notice any cracks or damage to the wash impeller or fan blade, you will need to replace the part.
To replace the wash impeller, you must access the dishwasher’s wash pump assembly, typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher. After disconnecting the power and water supply, remove the wash pump assembly and detach the old impeller.
Install the new impeller according to the manufacturer’s instructions, reassemble the dishwasher, and test it to see if the cleaning performance has improved. If you don’t feel confident in your abilities to complete a repair like this, get in touch with a professional technician.
7. Properly Load the Dishes
The proper loading of your dirty dishes is essential for effective cleaning and preventing damage to the dishwasher.
Ensure that dishes are placed in the racks with enough space between them for water to circulate and reach all surfaces. Avoid stacking dishes too tightly or placing large items in front of the detergent dispenser or spray arms.
Additionally, avoid overloading the dishwasher, as this can prevent proper water flow and result in poor cleaning performance. Be sure to scrape and rinse excess food off dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, as large food particles can clog the dishwasher’s filters and spray arms.
8. Install a Water Softener
Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can build up on dishes and in the dishwasher, reducing cleaning performance and damaging the appliance over time. A water softener can remove these minerals from the water supply, making it easier for the dishwasher to clean dishes effectively.
To install a water softener, you must first determine the appropriate size and type for your home’s water supply and plumbing. You’ll then need to install and connect the softener to the water supply line.
It’s essential to follow the instructions in your user manual carefully and consult a professional plumber if you’re unsure about the installation process. Once installed, the water softener should improve your dishwasher’s cleaning performance and extend the appliance’s life.