Have you ever loaded the dishwasher only to realize that it’s not working?
It happens. Like all kitchen appliances, it can break down. As for when, it depends on a number of factors such as frequency of use, basic maintenance, and model quality (more on this later).
What’s the average dishwasher lifespan? When should you get a new dishwasher? For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything below!
Factors that Determine the Lifespan of a Dishwasher
The average life of a dishwasher is around 10 years. However, this can vary depending on several factors.
Frequent use puts strain on the moving parts and that can reduce its lifespan from 10 to 6-8 years.
Leaving large food particles in the machine after each cycle can also affect its lifespan as it will strain its drainage system over time.
Proper Cleaning and Maintenance
A well-maintained appliance will last longer. Simple tasks such as using the appropriate dishwasher detergent, ensuring the hot water setting is correct, regular cleaning, and emptying out any trapped food scraps can extend your current dishwasher’s life significantly.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Dishwasher
Here are some indicators that it may be time to upgrade your dishwasher.
Dirty Dishes After Washing
If you’ve noticed dirty dishes after running cycles or if drying performance is subpar, then these may hint at potential replacement needs.
A properly working dishwasher should leave your plates spotless and dry.
Loud noises can also be concerning. While dishwashers aren’t whisper-quiet machines, strange sounds could indicate serious problems with moving parts inside the appliance.
A leaky dishwasher isn’t just messy—it’s a clear sign of trouble. Water pooling around the base of your machine suggests issues with door seals or other internal components.
Tips for Extending the Life of Your Dishwasher
Here are some practical tips on how to extend your dishwasher’s lifespan.
Importance of Regular Cleaning
Get into the habit of checking and clearing out large food particles after each cycle.
Also, every couple months give it a deep clean with a high-quality cleaner like ACTIVE Dishwasher Cleaner, to keep everything running smoothly.
Optimal Water Settings
The hot water setting on your dishwasher plays a crucial role too. The hotter the water, the better it will be able to dissolve detergent tablets and remove stubborn grime from dishes.
That doesn’t mean you need scalding temperatures though; a good rule thumb is 120°F (49°C). That will keep things sanitary without causing any damage to plastic items or delicate glassware inside.
Your owner’s manual will likely have further guidance about recommended settings based on your specific model – make sure not overlook this valuable resource.
Proper Usage and Maintenance Techniques
To ensure your dishwasher’s performance over the long term, use proper loading techniques and be sure to clean the food trap regularly.
Loading Your Dishwasher Correctly
When dishes are not properly arranged, they may block the spray arms and that can put unnecessary strain on the appliance.
Avoid nesting utensils or plates too closely together as that can prevent water from reaching all surfaces.
Large items should also go at the back so they don’t block smaller ones from getting clean.
Cleaning the Food Trap
Your dishwasher works hard but it will need some help in dealing with large food particles. That’s where regular cleaning of the food trap comes in.
The trap catches large chunks preventing them from clogging up pipes or damaging pumps and seals. Over time, these trapped particles can start to smell if not cleaned out regularly.
If left unchecked, it might even affect your dishwasher cycles by slowing down draining times, which can put undue stress on various moving parts.
Choosing the Right Dishwasher
Selecting a dishwasher that stands the test of time is more than just about the brand. For example, energy efficiency plays a big role.
How Energy Efficiency Affects a Dishwasher’s Lifespan
Modern dishwashers are designed not only to save power but also to reduce unnecessary strain on the moving parts, enhancing their lifespan.
Energy Star-rated models, for instance, regulate water usage based on load size or soil level – reducing wear while maintaining cleaning power over time.
Deciding Between Dishwasher Repair and Replacement
Persistent issues with your dishwasher can be frustrating. As for whether or not to get a replacement, it all boils down mostly to two things: the age of your dishwasher and cost-effectiveness.
The average lifespan of dishwashers typically falls around 10 years, but some might push beyond this if they’re well cared for. Consumer Reports suggests evaluating how close your current dishwasher is to its life expectancy before deciding on repairs or replacement.
If fixing one part leads to another breaking down after a couple of months, then investing in an entirely new appliance could be more beneficial in terms of time saved and long-term expenses avoided.
A good rule of thumb is to replace the dishwasher if repair costs exceed 50% of the price of a new one.
In general though, consider calling a professional repair technician if:
- You notice water leaks around the machine frequently
- Your dishes come out dirty even after running them through several cycles
- Loud noises have become routine every time you run the dishwasher
- The door latch refuses to lock correctly affecting cleaning power drastically due harsh heat loss during operation
The Life Expectancy of a Dishwasher – FAQs
How often should you replace your dishwasher?
A dishwasher’s life expectancy is about 10 years. If yours hits that mark, it might be time to start considering a replacement.
How do you know when your dishwasher needs to be replaced?
If dishes aren’t coming out clean, or the machine makes strange noises, leaks water, or has door latch issues – it’s likely time for a new one.
Is it cheaper to repair or replace a dishwasher?
That will depend on the extent and cost of repairs needed versus the price of a new unit. Generally speaking, if the fixing costs are half as much as buying a new one – go for replacement.