Is your dishwasher running too long? One of the most common complaints we get about dishwashers is that the wash cycle seems to run too long or that it takes too long to clean the dishes.
It can be frustrating, especially when you are expecting guests at home and have a whole lot of dishes to clean.
Before we delve deep into all the reasons why your dishwasher may be running too long, you should know that most of the newer dishwasher models use far less water and electricity than the older versions. This means they have relatively longer cycle times compared with older models.
What is the Normal Run Time of Your Dishwasher?
Before jumping into the general dishwasher problems, you need to determine the length of a typical wash cycle for your dishwasher. This differs based on the specific model and the wash cycle you select.
Thanks to the new drying methods that consume less energy, a standard cycle for a newer dishwasher model could take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours.
Check your dishwasher manual to see the lists of available cycles and the corresponding expected times.
You should also consult the manual to learn more about the (rather confusing) names of cycles. Different brands use different names for various options like quick wash cycle, heavy-duty pots and pans cycle, and so forth. Remember this – the higher the heat setting, the longer the cycle times.
If you discover that your dishwasher is taking longer than it should be based on the standards for your model, keep reading for our expert tips to address this problem.
Possible Cause: Clogs in the Water System
If there is a clog in your dishwasher’s water system it will take longer for your dishwasher to fill and drain water, which drastically increases the time it takes to complete a wash cycle
To ensure that a clog is not the culprit
Check the Filters
Clogs can happen, even if your dishwasher has a self-cleaning filter. Inspect, and clean your dishwasher filters to ensure the water can pass through easily. If the filter is damaged it should be replaced. Since filters prevent food and other debris from entering the system, a damaged filter may mean there are more clogs further in the system. We recommend contacting a professional dishwasher repair service for assistance.
Check the Drain Hose
The drain hose should not have any kinks or bends. Disconnect the hose and inspect it for clogs. If the hose appears damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Check the Dishwasher Air Vent
Not all dishwasher models have an air vent, so you may need to refer to your owner’s manual to see if your dishwasher is equipped with one.
The air vent is usually located near the sink and faucet and prevents dirty water from flowing back into the dishwasher.
Possible Cause: Mineral Deposits
If you don’t notice an obvious clog or food buildup, you may have an issue with mineral deposits. They generally look like orange-brown or white splotches/streaks and can be found surrounding the filter and chopper area, spray arms, or even the heating element (if your dishwasher has one).
To get rid of deposits:
Thoroughly Clean the Disher
If the mineral deposits look fairly new and light, run the dishwasher with white vinegar placed in a bowl in the middle of the bottom-most shelf on a high-heat cycle. It will also take care of any foul smell you might have noticed in your dishwasher.
You can also try a dish dishwasher cleaner specifically formulated to remove hard water and mineral deposits.
Mineral deposits can be tough. A self-clean cycle may not take care of the problem. It may be necessary to scrub your dishwasher with soap and a damp sponge.
Possible Cause: Wash Sensor
There is one more reason why your dishwasher could be running too long – the sensor. If your dishwasher has a feature like automatic wash cycle or sensor wash, some dirt or mineral buildup on the sensor may cause the dishwasher to run longer than normal.
Run the dishwasher empty with a dishwasher cleaning agent inside to take care of this issue.
Possible Cause: Water Too Cold
Your dishwasher needs to use water that’s at least 120°F to run quickly and efficiently. Take the following steps to make sure your dishwasher is getting plenty of hot water:
Remember: Your dishwasher takes one minute to heat water about one degree. For instance, if the hot water temperature is 105°F, your dishwasher will take at least 15 minutes to heat the water up.
In case you are running the dishwasher at a high heat cycle, the required hot water temperature is at least 140°F. This means your dishwasher may spend a minimum of 40 minutes heating the water!
To get hot water to the dishwasher faster, run hot water in the kitchen sink first. This will purge the hot water from the pipes so the water entering the dishwasher is already hot.
Check your hot water heater to ensure it is set to the right temperature. It should be set to at least 120°F (49°C). If the hot water heater is on a timer, set it so hot water will be available when you decide to run the dishwasher.
Get in Touch with It is Fixed!
Sometimes it is best to have a knowledgeable professional troubleshoot your dishwasher problems. If you need additional help, call It Is Fixed Appliance Repair at (404) 407-0071 or contact us online. We offer same day service everywhere in the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area.