Poor maintenance and age play roles in the breakdown of appliances like a Kenmore dishwasher. However, do not rush out to purchase a new unit or call a repairman. Save money by learning to troubleshoot your Kenmore dishwasher.
Dishwasher Does Not Run
Check the circuit breaker to make sure that the dishwasher is getting power. Make sure it has not tripped, and if it has, reset the circuit.
Check the door and make sure it is closed and locked. If door is not locked, the dishwasher will not operate. Listen for the door switch to "click" when the door is closed. If it doesn't, you may need to replace it.
Dishwasher Does Not Fill
Check the float inside the dishwasher to make sure it moves up and down freely. The float is located towards the front right corner. If it does not move freely, lift it out and clean around the float tube. After it is clean, reinstall the float and listen for a distinct clicking sound when it is pressed down. If there is no click, the float switch may be faulty and need to be replaced.
Dishwasher Does Not Drain Fully
The most common reasons that a dishwasher will not drain is a kinked hose or a faulty air gap. Usually, this occurs where the dishwasher drains into the garbage disposal. To check the line, remove it where it connects at the garbage disposal. Clean the line and connecting port, if necessary.
Dishwasher Does Not Drain At All
If the dishwasher is not draining at all, the problem is most likely the water pump. The pump may be reached from inside the dishwasher. Remove the lower rack, spray arm and spray-arm support. Look for a round piece of plastic that resembles a fan blade that spins. This is the impeller that pushes water to the spray arm. Beneath that piece is a drain impeller. The drain impeller forces water through the drain. Make sure that both of these spin freely; if they do not, replace them.
Dishwasher Does Not Completely Clean Dishes
Make sure that the correct amount and type of detergent is used. Check to make sure the dishwasher was not overloaded.
Make sure that there are no stickers or debris blocking the water flow of the spray arm.
The water may not be hot enough to clean the dishes. Try running the hot water in the sink for a couple of minutes before starting the dishwasher.