Why Your Dishwasher Makes Strange Noises (How To Fix)

Have you ever attempted to operate your dishwasher during the night and discovered that the noise level is unbearable? Is it disrupting your sleep and causing you to feel like a zombie? Are there peculiar sounds emanating from the appliance that make you wonder if everything is functioning correctly?

It is advisable to have that inspected.

Dishwashers produce different sounds during their operation, which could be due to various reasons. Some of these reasons are harmless, like a dish interfering with the wash propeller, while others may include a blocked drain, a faulty soap dispenser, or an interrupted cycle. Although most causes are not serious, it is advisable to inspect the dishwasher before using it again.

To diagnose the issue with your dishwasher, it is essential to comprehend the origin of the peculiar sounds you hear since each sound signifies a distinct problem, and if left unattended, it may exacerbate over time.

Reasons Why a Dishwasher Makes Noise

1. Regular Operation 

One of the primary reasons for your dishwasher making strange noises is due to its normal operation. As the machine runs, a propeller located in the center and on top of the dishwasher spins.

When the propellers of your dishwasher spin, they can generate a swishing sound while circulating water, which is a typical noise and does not require any concern.

Nevertheless, in case you perceive a clunking or banging sound, it is advisable to verify that the dishes are not colliding with the propellers. Attempt to relocate any thin utensils such as spoons, knives, or others that may be dangling and hitting the propellers.

2. Water Hammer Issues

While dishes interfering with the spray arms are the primary reason for banging noises in dishwashers, there are other possible causes. If you have reorganized your dishware and are confident that nothing is obstructing the dishwasher’s movements, it may be due to water hammer.

Water hammer, also called hydraulic shock, is caused by the pressure of water flowing through pipes. When your dishwasher is running, the water is pushed down the drain, but if it encounters an obstruction in the pipes, you may hear a loud banging or thudding noise.

Although it may be tempting to overlook, the accumulation of water in your dishwasher and blockage in your pipes should not be ignored as they can cause damage to your appliance and are often indicative of an underlying problem that requires prompt attention.

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3. Clogged Drain

If there is a blockage in the drain, it is probable that the dishwasher will produce a noise similar to sucking or loud slurping. The intensity of this noise tends to increase as the blockage worsens and may eventually lead to flooding.

If you want to address the problem of strange noises coming from your dishwasher, it is recommended that you take out the drain cover and give it a thorough cleaning. In case the noises persist, it could indicate a blockage further down the drain.

If you are experiencing strange noises from your dishwasher, consulting the operator manual for your model may provide a solution. However, if this does not work, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a professional to clean the drain.

To avoid strange noises from your dishwasher, it is important to ensure that you remove all food scraps and rinse your dishes before loading them into the machine. Although it may seem counterintuitive, dishwashers are designed to clean dishes and not act as a garbage disposal.

4. Broken Door Fan

While it may vary depending on the model, typically LG and Sears dishwashers will have a fan located inside the machine door, which should not be confused with the propellers used to mix water and soap.

Usually, the fan located on the door is utilized for drying the dishes following a wash cycle. If the fan becomes stuck or damaged internally, it will be necessary to purchase a new component.

5. Broken Water Pump

If you hear high-pitched sounds or whines coming from your dishwasher, it may be a warning sign that the water pump is malfunctioning or has already failed, and this could also suggest that there is an obstruction in the pump, depending on the make and model.

Usually, the strange noise in your dishwasher is caused by a faulty or damaged bearing on the water pump, which requires replacing the entire pump to resolve the problem.

How to Stop a Dishwasher From Making Noises

If you want to put an end to the strange noises produced by your dishwasher, the initial step is to eliminate any obstructive items. In case there are no visible objects hindering the operation of your dishwasher, it might be due to blocked drains or a soap dispenser that is not functioning properly.

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To avoid this sound, the most effective solution is to fix the drains, substitute the pump, or mend the soap dispenser.

Just to emphasize, the typical reasons for strange sounds are:

  • Damaged drain hose
  • There may be food particles or debris accumulated at the bottom of your dishwasher
  • Clogged drains
  • Issues with the on/off switch
  • Improper cycle initiation or termination
  • The anti-flood mechanism is working excessively

Fixing the noise in your dishwasher depends on the cause, which may vary. Seeking professional help is recommended for problems such as damaged or clogged drains, or malfunctioning equipment that require special tools to repair and are related to the machine’s programming.

Hot water, plungers, and vinegar can be used to resolve certain clogs or debris problems, but it is necessary to identify the malfunctioning drain first and then attempt to remove the obstruction with a plunger.

If you are experiencing strange noises from your dishwasher’s soap dispensers, a possible solution could be to switch to a liquid detergent. It is possible that the soap door has become worn out or that the soap cube is too big for the cubby. You have the option of changing detergents or tolerating the clunking sound produced by the spinning soap during the cycle.

While it is not harmful to the dishwasher or dishes, following this method may result in disturbing noises, especially if you are sensitive to banging sounds.

My Dishwasher Makes Noise When Turned Off, Why?

If your dishwasher is making noise even when it’s turned off, it could be a result of technical issues, a damaged on/off switch, or malfunctioning sensors. Consequently, there might be an accumulation of water that activates the anti-flood mechanism of the appliance.

Alternatively, defective valves may result in water leakage. Failure to address these underlying issues could eventually lead to the malfunction of your appliance.

If strange noises are heard from the dishwasher even when it is turned off, it is probable that a faulty drain is responsible for triggering the anti-flood device, resulting in noise production.

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It is desirable for the anti-flood device to activate when your dishwasher is filling with water unexpectedly, indicating that it is functioning correctly. Nevertheless, this could indicate a problem with your drains, broken water plugs, or a malfunctioning anti-flood device.

If your dishwasher is making strange noises, you have the option to buy new parts or enlist the help of a professional mechanic. It’s advisable to seek assistance from an expert, particularly if you own a modern appliance with a complex anti-flood mechanism.

If the on/off switch is malfunctioning, it may be due to the accumulation of dirt or grime within the mechanism, leading to a stuck switch and disrupted cycles.

When your dishwasher starts making strange noises, it is best to opt for a comprehensive cleaning. However, if you suspect that the issue lies with the hardware of the machine, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional.

Can You Use a Dishwasher That Makes Strange Noises?

Assuming you have identified the source of the noise, it may be safe to operate the dishwasher, but this depends on the underlying cause. Running the dishwasher with blocked drains or when it fails to switch cycles can affect its cleaning performance.

Not addressing the strange noises coming from your dishwasher could result in harm to specific components or exacerbate existing clogs.

Assuming that the source of the noise is either rogue dishes or food stuck in the drain, it is acceptable to operate the dishwasher; nevertheless, this food debris may interfere with its efficiency and result in unclean and filthy dishes.

It is advisable to clean the drain and inspect for blockages before running the dishwasher cycle to avoid cleaning the dishes twice, which can save time.

Employing a dishwasher when there are significant blockages, damaged components, or a faulty sensor may have an adverse effect on your appliance since it depends on regular cycles to execute its functions accurately, and any disruption in these cycles could lead to the deterioration of the machine.

You can also check this video about “Why Your Dishwasher Makes Strange Noises (How To Fix)”

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