Dishwasher owners are aware of the fact that the drain pump is an integral part of the dishwasher, if not the most important. So knowing its average lifespan and tips to extend it is a wise thing to do.
We will be delving into the average lifespan of a dishwasher drain pump, causes of malfunction, ways to handle a malfunction, and maintenance procedures.
How Long Do Dishwasher Drain Pumps Last?
Usually, dishwashers and their parts, including the drain pump, last for an average of 10-12 years. Any faults in the drain pump will usually come to your notice in the first 5 years. However, some dishwashers may last for up to 20 years.
However, you can extend the life span by having a regular cleaning and maintenance routine which involves unclogging whenever the need arises.
What Can Lead To A Defective Dishwasher Drain Pump?
With the drain pump playing a significant part in keeping the dishwasher working, it can be ruined quite easily. Several things could cause a drain pump to get spoilt.
1- Presence of a Foreign Object
It could act defective when a foreign object gets stuck in the pump, making it clogged. Foreign objects like food particles, broken plates, etc., can clog the drain pump and reduce its efficiency or even stop it from working altogether.
2- A Damaged Part
It could also be that a part of the pump has gone bad. For example, if the impeller is broken, the pump would not work well.
3- Blocked Filter
A blocked filter can also have a bad effect on the efficiency of the dishwasher drain pump.
Signs Your Dishwasher Drain Pump is Bad
Usually, if your dishwasher drain pump has developed some fault, then an error code would be displayed on the dishwasher. However, since this error code might take a while before it shows up, here are some early signs you can notice when your dishwasher drain pump is faulty:
1- Not Draining Water at All
If after the dishes have been done, and during the drain cycle, water doesn’t leave the dishwasher, then it could be a sign that the drain pump is going bad or is already bad.
However, it could also mean something other than a bad drain pump. It could be that the drain has been clogged, and you need to clean it out.
2- Taking More Time to Drain than Before
Usually, for different dishwashers, the time it takes to drain out water differs. However, if you have used your dishwasher for a while, you will know how fast it drains water.
If you notice that it takes more time than usual to drain water, this could mean that the drain pump has an issue.
3- Leaving Leftover Water
When a good drain pump drains the water, it leaves nothing behind. If your drain pump is not working correctly, it could show you a sign by leaving a puddle of water behind after the draining cycle is complete.
4- Water Leaking onto the Floor
Another sign could be the simple water site on your kitchen floor around the dishwasher.
If the dishwasher drain pump is unable to drain water through the hose and into the drainage system, the water would only pile up in the dishwasher, after which it would spill on the kitchen floor through the openings.
5- Strange Noise
The dishwasher’s drain pump can make different noises for different reasons.
Why Does My Dishwasher Drain Pump Make Strange Noises?
Here are several noises your dishwasher drain pump can make and the causes of those:
1- Grinding Noise
The chopper blade is what the pump uses to break debris and dirt into tiny pieces.
A grinding noise made anytime during the draining cycle could mean something is stuck in the pump’s chopper blade, and it needs to be cleared out.
To get rid of anything stuck in the chopper blade, you need to bring out the drain pump first.
2- Thumping or Thudding Noise
If you hear a repeated or continuous thumping sound from your dishwasher, you might want to check if anything is obstructing the movement of the spray arms.
Usually, the obstructions are the utensils and the dishes which haven’t been appropriately arranged in the dishwasher.
3- Humming or Buzzing Noise
The only reason to worry about this sound is when it comes out very loud; otherwise, it is normal. The loud sound coming from the dishwasher could mean something stuck in the drain pump impeller, making it clogged.
What you have to do is bring out the pump, follow the owner’s manual on how to take out the impeller, and clean it up.
4- High pitched or Squealing Noise
This is caused by a worn-out bearing on the pump circulation.
Dishwasher Drain Pump Maintenance (For Longer Life)
Cleaning a dishwasher drain pump is very important as it is the best way to maintain it and keep it working over a long period. Cleaning it regularly not only prevents it from being clogged but also keeps you aware in case anything appears different with the pump.
Cleaning Method 1: Vinegar & Baking Soda Mix
For a regular and straightforward clean-up of the drain pump:
Mix equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda and pour them into the dishwasher basket. Let it run for a few minutes, and then pour in hot water to rinse it.
Also, you can follow another method, using the same ingredients.
Put a bowl of vinegar into the dishwasher; after clearing the drain, take the bowl through a complete washing cycle with hot water.
After a while, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher and wash again. After which, you rinse it.
Cleaning Method 2: Taking Out The Drain Pump
You could also decide to go big by taking out your drain pump and cleaning it thoroughly. To do this:
STEP 1: Please turn off the dishwasher and also unplug it
STEP 2: Following the owner’s manual that came with the dishwasher, remove the filter and wash it for a few minutes with soap and water and a brush.
STEP 3: Remove the pump cover
STEP 4: Check and carefully remove the debris from the pump, and also any standing water should be disposed of. While removing the waste, you have to be careful to avoid getting hurt which is why it is safe to use a glove while trying to get out the debris.
Replacing or Repairing a Dishwasher Drain Pump
When your drain pump gets bad, you could either choose to repair or replace it. While fixing it might seem like a good and cheap idea, it is not as it tends to cost more.
Repairing a dishwasher drain pump ranges from $400 -$600 while getting a new pump is about $150 to $350 depending on its model and make.
How To Know If You Need A Replacement Pump
Figuring out if you need a replacement pump acknowledges that your drain pump might be bad and spoilt beyond repair. One way to find out if your drain pump needs to be changed is through a multimeter.
STEP 1: Get a multimeter from a trusted vendor if you don’t already have one. A multimeter is a tool used to measure electrical properties.
STEP 2: Disconnect the dishwasher from the power source for safety reasons.
STEP 3: Remove your drain pump from where it is located. It is usually located in the lower access panel.
STEP 4: Set your multimeter to Rx1 mode.
STEP 5: Touch the terminals of the removed pump with the probes of the multimeter. By doing this, you are simply testing for continuity, so you should get a score close to zero or even zero.
STEP 6: Leave one on the probes on the terminal, and with the other, touch the metal housing. This is a test for ground connection, and for this, you should get no reading.
STEP 7: If your reading scores are different from the above, you most likely need a replacement pump.
How To Replace A Dishwasher Drain Pump
If you eventually decide to replace your drain pump and you choose to do it yourself, you could follow these steps to do them safely and successfully.
STEP 1: First, you want to make sure that your dishwasher is turned off. This is to avoid any casualties during the replacement.
STEP 2: The next step is to position the dishwasher on its back. This is to access the pump in its position easily.
STEP 3: Unscrew the screws at the base of the dishwasher so you can remove the base plate and anti-flood sensor.
STEP 4: To remove the old drain pump, unscrew the screws holding the pump, and disconnect electrical connections from the terminals before moving the pump aside.
STEP 5: To put in the new drain pump, put it where the old one once was, screw it back in, and reconnect the electrical fittings.
STEP 6: After this, put back the anti-flood sensor and screw the base plates back in.
Note: When getting a new drain pump, you have to make sure that it is the same make and model as the old one, or at least it is fitting and can work with the dishwasher.
A dishwasher drain pump is a vital part of the dishwasher itself and it must stay in good shape so you have little to no issue during the period you make use of your dishwasher.
In this article, we have explored all you need to know about identify and repairing a faulty dishwasher, and discovering how long your dishwasher is expected to last.