Dishwashers are great appliances to have, as all you have to do is fill them up with your dirty dishes, and an hour or so later, they will be completely clean and dry.
But sometimes they can become faulty, and your dishes won’t come out clean.
One of the main reasons why this happens is the dishwasher pods do not dissolve, and thus your dishes will not clean.
Before we explain the causes of this problem, let’s start by explaining how your dishwasher works.
- After you have filled your dishwasher up with dishes and turned it on, the dishwasher will then fill with water and heat it up to a high temperature.
- The dispenser door will then open, and the pod (or powder) will drop out and dissolve in the water.
- The soapy water is then pumped up into the spray arms and distributed around the dishwasher.
- Once the wash cycle ends, the rinse cycle begins. This involves spraying your dishes with hot water to clean off the soapy water.
- Once the rinse cycle has finished, the dishwasher cycle ends – and you should have clean and dry dishes.
If the dishwasher pod or powder doesn’t get dissolved during the cycle, then the dishes won’t clean properly. Here are the five main reasons why this can happen.
1. Faulty Inlet Valve
The first possible cause of your dishwasher pods not dissolving is a faulty inlet valve.
The water inlet valve opens up and lets water into the dishwasher during a cycle. When the inlet valve fails, your dishwasher won’t get enough water, and your pods won’t be able to dissolve.
To see if the inlet valve is faulty, all you need to do is turn your dishwasher on to a cycle, and then after a couple of minutes, press the start/pause button, open the door, and see if there is any water in the bottom of your dishwasher. If there isn’t any water, this is a good sign that either the inlet valve is blocked up or is defective and needs to be replaced.
Replacing the water inlet valve is very easy to do yourself, but if you’re not sure, you need to contact a qualified repair technician.
2. Low Water Temperature
The second possible cause of your pods not dissolving is if the water is not hot enough. The water in your dishwasher needs to be between 120 and 160ºF for the pods to dissolve. If the water doesn’t get to this temperature range, then the pods will not dissolve, and your dishwasher will not be able to operate correctly.
To check if the water temperature is the cause of the problem, you need to either check the internal thermostats in your dishwasher when it is filled with water or use an external thermostat to manually check the water temperature.
If you find the water temperature is too low, this is a good sign the heating element is faulty and will need to be replaced. This is a very difficult repair to make, so it should only be carried out by a qualified technician.
3. The Dispenser Door is Blocked
Another cause of why your dishwasher pods are not dissolving is when the dispenser door is blocked and doesn’t open during a wash cycle. When the dispenser door doesn’t open up, your pod won’t drop into the water, and thus your dishes won’t clean properly, and the pod will stay intact.
A blocked dispenser door can happen for a couple of reasons. First, sometimes people overstack their dishwasher, and a dish or a part of a dish can block the dispenser door from opening; if this is the cause, you simply need to re-stack your dishwasher. Second, the door can get stuck because it becomes faulty; when this is the cause, you will have to get it repaired.
4. Faulty Circulation Pump
The next possible cause is a faulty circulation pump. This component helps to distribute water around your dishwasher during a cycle. When it becomes faulty, your dishwasher won’t be able to work properly.
The easiest way to check if the circulation pump is faulty is to check to see if when the dishwasher is turned on that water is pumped into the dishwasher. If water is being pumped in, then check if the water is spraying out of the spray arms and that after the dispenser door opens that water is pumped into it. If this doesn’t happen, then this is a good sign that the circulation pump is faulty and will need to be replaced.
Replacing the circulation pump is a difficult repair to make and should only be carried out by a qualified technician.
5. Faulty Spray Arm(s)
The next possible cause of your dishwasher pods not dissolving is when the spray arms are not working properly. The spray arms are the components that spin around and distribute water around the dishwasher during a cycle. It’s not uncommon for loose food debris to get stuck in the small holes in the spray arms, which then causes them to not work properly. The spray arms can also get cracks in them, which stops them from working.
The easiest way to check the spray arms is to take each one out and inspect them for any signs of damage; you can then give them a good clean by running water through them. If you see any loose debris blocking up any of the holes in the spray arms, you can use a piece of wire to remove it.
If you find that any of the spray arms are damaged, they will need to be replaced. If they are not damaged, then once you have given the spray arms a good clean, you can put them back in the dishwasher and put your dishwasher on a cycle to see if the problem has been solved.