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Aging Dishwasher: Should You Repair or Replace a Leaky Dishwasher?

Is your dishwasher nearing retirement age? A leaky dishwasher can often be fixed by a number of simple remedies, including cleaning the door seal, tightening a loose door if necessary, and cleaning your filter if it is a manual clean dishwasher. But you might have tried all this and still have a dishwasher with a small but annoying leak. When do you decide the time has come to get a new one?

Age matters

Most dishwashers should last more than five years but probably won’t exceed ten. If you’re past the eight or nine year mark and that dishwasher won’t stop leaking, it’s probably time to get a new one.

If you are going to invest in a new dishwasher, Bosch would be our pick for the highest quality and longest lasting brand of dishwashers currently on the market. In addition to consistently matching that aforementioned 10 year service ceiling, Bosch machinery is easy to find replacement parts at reasonable prices so that you can be sure your new dishwasher will last.

Run plenty of good troubleshooting before replacing your dishwasher

Before giving up on your old kitchen friend, check your dishwasher’s filter and see if it needs cleaning. For some dishwashers featuring automatic cleaning, this might not be necessary. Remove any debris and residue blocking the filter.

Most leaks are related to the dishwasher door. Check to see if it’s loose by pushing gently on the door while the machine is running to see if it gives way at all. In most dishwashers, a base plate on the top or bottom of the door frame can be tightened with a screwdriver. Don’t overdo and risk jamming the door, but gently tighten the base plate. This may prove to be the simple fix you need to keep that dishwasher around for a few more years.

Consider the cost of repair

While most dishwasher parts are replaceable at a far lower cost than buying a new dishwasher, the motor and circulation pump are such big and expensive parts of the dishwasher that it might not be worth repairing. Consider both the cost of replacement part and cost of a new dishwasher, while also factoring into your decision the relative lifespan of your post-repair older dishwasher.

Check your warranty

Warranties that cover dishwasher repair will likely only be available through certain listed repair services, but if your dishwasher is still covered by a warranty then getting it repaired through the factory service provider is the best (and usually free) option to take before buying a whole new dishwasher. Warranties usually run between one and five years for a dishwasher, so even if you have an older model it may still be covered.

Even if the dishwasher is beyond warranty, a cheap fix can be a good fix. According to Consumer Reports, most people who took larger scale appliances to independent repair service areas rather than factory repair shops reported higher customer satisfaction. The bottom line here is don’t give up a repair even if your dishwasher is past warranty.

Cracks in the machine

If you see a growing crack in your dishwasher door or the walls and bottom of the interior, its time for a replacement dishwasher. Expanding cracks can lead to serious leaks that can damage your kitchen and create an enormous and expensive hassle. Heavy leaks on a wooden floor or on wooden cabinets is going to cause mildew, mold, and damage the wood by expanding it to a breaking point. Thus, if you do see a big crack in the machine, replace it sooner rather than later to save yourself the trouble down the line.

Rust is bust

A final but critical sign that your dishwasher has seen its last days is when you notice any considerable amount of rust. Rust represents the death of metal’s effectiveness, and can be dangerous to people as well as the machine itself. So, whether it is on the door, amongst the hinges, or in the interior of the machine, rust is an indication that your dishwasher has reached the end of its effective lifespan.

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