How to Know When to Replace Your Dishwasher

The little door to our dishwasher's soap dispenser won't open inside during the wash cycle. It stinks, yeah. But it's hardly a reason to go upgrade our kitchen appliances. When your ear buds start to show a little wear, you might decide to buy some fresh ones right away. But when it comes to more expensive items, like dishwashers, we're willing to put up with a lot of small kinks to be able to put off replacing them. So how do you know for sure when it's time for a new one?

Excessive suds are not so much a sign that your dishwasher needs replacing,
but a sign that you may have grabbed the regular dish soap by accident.

If your dishwasher has any of these 5 symptoms, it's time to get a new one:

The door latch doesn't work.
If the latch doesn't secure properly, the dishwasher won't run. Sometimes, all your latch needs is a quick repair. But if it's still not working quite right, there's a good chance that the machine has warped or worn out for good.

The dishwasher doesn't drain.
Water left in the bottom of your dishwasher after it's cycle is a sign that its drain has cracked or crumbled. If you don't replace your dishwasher, you're risking damage to your floors.

The water won't get hot.
Your dishwasher has a heating coil (or an electric heater) that gets your tap water super-hot to sanitize dishes. When your dish loads start to come out feeling anything other than warm and steamy, you might need to look into replacing the heating mechanism—but it can sometimes be much cheaper just to get a new machine.

The bottom of the appliance is rusted.
Water that leaks from a worn-out dishwasher will make its way down to the bottom of the appliance. Rust on the bottom of the machine is a sure sign that it needs replacing. But instead of sliding it out and flipping it over, check for rust by sweeping way under the dishwasher for rust flakes.

The body shell is cracked.
A dishwasher is designed to keep water, soap and dishes safe inside. So when the inner body of your dishwasher is cracked, there's a good chance it's leaking water and soap into its mechanical bits—which means it's time for a replacement.

(Images: Flickr user Troy B Thompson under license from Creative Commons, Flickr user Graham Ballantyne under license from Creative Commons)