There’s no better comfort than knowing that your home systems are in order and running in top shape, especially when it comes to your plumbing. Plumbing maintenance is more than just your routine pipe checks, though. It’s about preventive care and taking those extra measures to ensure that all connected systems are working in harmony to help prevent future leaks or decay. This includes any home appliances that are connected to water, like your dishwasher.
Dishwasher maintenance is something that you should consider important to your plumbing system’s upkeep. While you simply want to maintain them for their use and convenience, not to mention their ability to save on water use, time and energy, you should also consider that over time your machine will inevitably wear down. As this happens, your dishwasher’s ability to clean simply won’t deliver best results. You may even start to notice an odor coming from your appliance’s use, which is a sign of mold growing.
Fortunately, with a bit of regular maintenance and care, you can keep your dishwasher running in top shape, longer, saving you money and the hassle of developing plumbing issues in the future. Here are some tips on how to maintain your washer’s systems:
- Level your dishwasher – Proper maintenance begins at installation. Check to make sure that your washer is sitting flat on the floor. If it’s not level, then you could be looking at some drainage issues and an overall decline in performance.
- Check for proper drain line connection – Most houses are designed with drain traps. These are those U-shaped sections of pipe that connect close to the drain opening. These drain traps help contain odors. They create watertight seals between your sewer lines and appliances. You don’t want this connection to be loose, or worse, in the wrong place. It’s not uncommon for dishwasher drain lines to be installed on the wrong side of the trap. If this happens, fowl smells will be finding their way into your kitchen.
- Check the seals – A rubber gasket forms the watertight seal around your dishwasher’s door. Unfortunately, these crack and leak over time, leaving you with water-soaked floors and cabinets. Replacing these is simple enough, but you will have to make sure that you have the right replacement. Check with the appliance’s manufacturer or bring in a professional to ensure proper repair and installation.
- Clean the spray arms – Most dishwashers are designed with at least two removable, rotating spray nozzles, or arms. Get in the routine of taking these out, from time to time, for a good cleaning. You’ll want to soak them, then clean each individual nozzle with soap, water and a brush to remove any buildup. To remove the arms, simply consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean the screen – Regularly clean out the screen at the bottom of your dishwasher that catches large particles of food and other fallen material. If you don’t clean this out, water will back up and impair water flow in your system. The sitting water will also start to emit nasty odors and make way for mold or mildew growth.
- Watch out for mold and mildew – Dishwashers can often develop mold or mildew. It’s not pleasant, but it can be treated and combated with a simple household formula of two cups of vinegar (white or apple cider). Just pour it into your empty dishwasher, run it on high, and things should clear up. If this doesn’t work, and mold continues to develop, contact a professional to take a look for bigger plumbing issues.
All it takes is a few extra minutes here and there to ensure that your appliance and plumbing systems are working in top order. Not only will the practice of these tips extend the life of your dishwasher, they will keep your pipes happy and leak-free so that you can better enjoy your home.
Are you planning to install or replace your dishwasher? Perhaps your current dishwasher is giving you trouble. At Tritan Plumbing, we offer a complete range of plumbing services, including kitchen repair and maintenance. Contact us to discuss your dishwasher plans or problems, and we’ll be happy to suggest your best course of action.