Checking a spray arm for blockage
|Disconnect the power source to your dishwasher before you conduct this or any other check. Either unplug the unit from the wall outlet, remove the appropriate fuse from the fuse box, or flick the appropriate breaker in the circuit breaker panel.|
Water is forced through the spray arms of a dishwasher by the unit's pump and motor assembly. The force of the water propels the spray arms, spraying water and detergent onto the dishes on the dishrack. Depending on your model, you may have only one spray arm located on the bottom of the dishwasher, or you may also have an upper spray arm located at the top of the unit above the upper dishrack. There may or may not also be a plastic tower extending from the center of the lower spray arm, whose purpose is to spray an additional blast of water at the dishes.
Remove the lower dishrack from the unit. Reach into your dishwasher and spin the lower spray arm. Take note of whether or not the arm moves freely or if its movement is restricted. It should not be restricted in its path of motion. Now gently pull up on an end of the spray arm. The spray arm should be free to wobble up and down. Next carefully examine the spray arm seams. If they have split or are damaged, the dishes may not receive the amount of water pressure required to fully clean the dishes. What's more, if water is in fact spraying out of the spray arm from its seams, it is possible that it can cause your dishwasher to leak.
If your dishwasher has a spray tower, pull up on it as far as it will go and then let it fall back down. Again, this movement should not be restricted. It should be a fluid and smooth motion. Also, unscrew the spray tower and examine it for any debris or foreign objects. Remove any that you find.
Gain access to the upper spray arm by removing the upper dishrack. Perform the same tests for the upper spray arm as you just did for the lower spray arm. Keep in mind that the upper spray arm may not wobble as much as the lower spray arm.
On a final note, some dishwasher models have a water tube that meets up with the upper spray arm once the upper dishrack is pushed back. It is a good idea to check to make sure this tube is aligning properly with the upper spray arm.
Dishwasher spray arms are removeable. You can take them out and clean them, or you can take them out to replace with new ones.