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Dishwasher Repair Cost

The average cost of repairing a dishwasher is around $300.

In this guide

Cost factors
Common problems
Repair vs. replace a dishwasher
Labor
Maintenance
Additional considerations and costs

How much does it cost to repair a dishwasher?

A dishwasher does more than clean your dishes. It saves you time, money, and energy. According to Energy Star, the average user can free 230 hours, which corresponds to 10 full days, from their schedules each year just by letting a dishwasher handle this daily chore. Of course, a dishwasher that isn’t working well is not going to be able to handle the job, so it is vital to fix small problems early to ensure you reap the biggest benefits from the appliance.

Dishwasher repair costs can run anywhere from just a few dollars to several hundred. A lot depends on the brand you have and the extent of the problem. Nationwide, though, homeowners should plan on paying about $300 for the average repair.

Cost factors

Fixing a broken dishwasher can range in price from $10 to change out a rubber gasket 1 on your own, to $500 to have a repairman put in a new control panel. With price ranges this dramatic, you may be wondering what factors influence the final cost. Here are just a few:

  • Location. If the repairman must travel more than a few miles to reach your home, expect to pay a premium for his time. Some may even tack on a travel fee to the overall cost of the repair visit.
  • Contractors’ experience. Today’s repairmen must undergo regular training offered by specific manufacturers, which can be a costly expense. The more experience and training the repairman has, the higher fee he is likely to charge.
  • Brand. Every brand features different manufacturer costs for replacement parts, and this can dramatically impact your repair bill. For instance, Samsung tends to have the highest replacement costs, and while Whirlpool may charge less for their parts, dishwashers made by this manufacturer tend to throw more faulty codes, making their repairs a bit more expensive. Bosch dishwashers tend to feature more drainage issues than other brands, but since these are relatively easy to fix, they tend to carry smaller repair costs.
  • Type of repair. The final cost of any dishwasher repair depends a great deal on what is wrong. With standard repairs ranging from anything from a worn gasket costing around $10, to faulty motors and pumps 2 costing $400-$600, your final bill can vary depending on what new parts your dishwasher needs.
  • Age of appliance. The age of the appliance can have a big impact on your final repair costs. Finding parts for appliances older than 10 years can be difficult, which could require a premium to retrofit newer parts. This, of course, also takes more time and knowledge, and thus commands a higher fee.
  • Availability of parts. With so many different dishwashers being sold today, it is virtually impossible for any repairman to carry all of the specific parts he may need to make a repair. Finding the right parts can be time consuming and the cost of shipping will also be added to your bill.

Common problems

A lot of things can go wrong with a dishwasher, leaving it unable to work properly. Here are a few common problems to look out for:

Common problemsSolutionPrice
Foul odorClean or replace filter$50-$100
Dishes not hot after a wash cycleReplace rinse aid dispenser and/or cap$50-$100
White residue on dishesReplace trap screen$50-$100
Leaks from under the doorReplace door or pump seals$60-$100
Appliance too noisyRealign sprayer arm$75-$100
Dishwasher will not fill

Replace water inlet valve

Clean or replace filter screen

$80-$125

$200-$350

Dishes come out dirty

Unclog Sprayer Arm

Replace sprayer arm

$100-$125

$150-$225

Appliance won’t startReplace door latch assembly$150-$250
Wet dishesReplace heating element$150-$250
Failure to drainReplace electrical panel$150-$600
Defective doorReplace drain hose$160-$190
Electronic panel is blackReplace door$175-$300


Repair vs. replace a dishwasher

Deciding whether to repair or replace a broken dishwasher isn’t always easy; especially if your appliance is relatively new. When trying to make this big decision, there are several important factors to consider.

First, check to see if the appliance is still under warranty. If so, then it is probably best to have it fixed. Yes, you will have to call in a manufacturer’s warranty repair specialist, but most (or even all) of the bill will be covered, leaving you less out of pocket expense.

The age of the appliance also matters. While some high-end models can last 15-20 years if properly maintained, most dishwashers these days are only built to last 8-10 years. So, if your appliance begins experiencing problems around that timeframe, you may want to consider buying a new one since the odds are good it is at the end of its lifespan and fixing it will be cost prohibitive.

Next, consider the cost of repair. Most experts agree that any repair that costs more than half the price of a new model probably is not worth it. The type of repair really does impact the final cost. Things like a door that won’t latch, a failure to drain, not heating, or weird noises are usually easy (and inexpensive) fixes. But, a dead control panel, major leaks, and intermittent outages all signal very expensive problems, which generally require a whole new unit.

Finally, consider the repair history of the model. If your dishwasher has needed repairs more than once or twice in the last year, it may be time to consider a new one. Replacing an aging dishwasher can often be the least expensive option, especially if you will be buying a budget or mid-range model. With the average price of a new dishwasher ranging from $400-$700 and installation costs around $325-$350, it can make a lot more financial sense to replace the appliance when high repair costs are expected.

Labor

When your dishwasher breaks, you may be tempted to try to fix it yourself. While going the DIY route may seem like a cost saver, when it comes to today’s high-tech dishwasher models, the best and least expensive option will likely be calling in a professional who is trained to handle whatever problems arise.

Modern appliances need a qualified repair person to ensure that the job is done right. Today’s professionals are often trained by the manufacturers of the appliances to handle problem specific to their brands. Without this firsthand knowledge of the intricacies of different makes and models it will be more difficult to diagnosis and fix the problem. But, when the repair expert is well-trained, fixing a broken appliance can take mere minutes. The average dishwasher repair is completed in under one hour, although there may be a delay if parts need to be ordered from the manufacturer.

Keep in mind that if the problem is with the water or drainage system, rather than the appliance itself, a plumber may also need to be called. Since most repair specialists charge a $50-$75 diagnostic fee, be prepared to pay the dishwasher repairman his service call fee whether you fix the appliance or not. Most, however, will deduct this fee form the overall bill if they move forward with a repair.

When it comes to repair costs, most dishwasher repairmen charge $50-$200 per hour for labor, plus the cost of materials. It is not unusual for a service repairman to charge an additional 20% over the wholesale cost for parts and materials.

Maintenance

It has been estimated that a well-maintained dishwasher can last 15-20 years. This may leave you wondering why so many models only work well for half that amount of time. Most experts agree that it is a lack of regular maintenance that has shortened the lifespan of these appliances so dramatically.

If you want to keep your dishwasher in tip-top running order for years to come, it is vital that you set a up maintenance routine. This includes a combination of regular cleaning, filter replacements, and checking for problems.

When it comes to basic cleaning, there are several things to take care of to keep your dishwasher working well. First, be sure to clear the filter of any debris on a daily basis. Food particles, grease, and grime can all clog the filters, which can stress the appliance. The spray arm, too, can become clogged and should be wiped down daily. Remove the arm every six months and clean thoroughly using a toothpick to get built-up grime out of the small sprayer holes. Lastly, be sure to keep the inside of the door and seals wiped regularly. Built up dirt can wear away at these seals, causing leaks.

Of course, you will want to check all of the seals and smaller parts of your dishwasher every few months for wear and tear. Seals break down; filters clog; and small parts break. If you notice your appliance running louder, cooler, or less efficiently, check for problems right away. Fixing something small now can save you huge repair bills down the line.

Avoiding appliance breakdowns isn’t difficult. Be sure to read your owner’s manual carefully so that you know how to properly use your dishwasher and what special cleaning considerations to take. To help avoid future breakdowns always be sure to:

  • Follow the manufacturers cleaning and usage instructions
  • Avoid washing hand-painted pottery or china in your dishwasher – clean these by hand
  • Don’t overload the appliance
  • Avoid stacking metal or ultra-heavy pots and pans on your racks
  • Pre-soak ultra-soiled dishes and pans
  • Avoid using any items (like aluminum) that could damage the inside of the dishwasher
  • Scrape plates before loading
  • Run your dishwasher empty once a month with a cupful of white vinegar and on the hottest temperature possible to avoid clogs

Finally, be sure that you are using the right kind of detergent in your machine and the proper amounts. Using the wrong kind of detergent can shorten your dishwasher’s lifespan by making it work harder than it should. And, if you use too much detergent, you could be causing more harm than you know. One way to check for this problem is to run your appliance empty and with no detergent. About midway through the cycle, stop the appliance and open the door. If you notice suds, then you are using too much detergent, which could be clogging the entire system. To clear out the excess, run the dishwasher empty for another 1 or 2 cycles. Then cut back on your detergent usage.

Additional considerations and costs

Before you pick up the phone and schedule a dishwasher repair, there are a few other things that you may want to consider:

  • Licenses. Depending on the area in which you live, contractors entering your home may be required to obtain a local license to do business within the municipality’s borders.
  • Warranty. If your appliance is still under its manufacturer’s warranty, the cost of all repairs may be covered. Be sure to read the warranty carefully, though, because it will likely require you to call their 1-800 number to schedule the repair. It may also be deemed void if the problem is due to a lack of regular maintenance.
  • Homeowner’s warranty. If you have a homeowner’s warranty on your home, be sure to check and see if dishwasher repair is included. Be prepared to pay the standard service call fee (usually $50-$100), but if the appliance is covered you won’t have to pay any other labor or materials costs to have your dishwasher fixed or replaced.
  • Describe the problem clearly. When calling for appliance repairs, be sure to have the manufacture and model number ready. Clearly describe the problem and be prepared to answer a few questions. This will help the repair specialist prepare for the visit to help make his final diagnosis easier.
  • DIY Considerations. It is always cheaper to fix a broken dishwasher yourself, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Unless you know for certain that the problem is a simple one to fix, it is always best to hire a professional.
  • Expected charges. Most repair specialists charge anywhere from $35-$100 to simply walk through your door. The good news is that many will credit your account the service call amount if you actually proceed with the repair. But, if you decide not to fix the dishwasher, you will be charged this service call fee.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to repair a dishwasher?

The cost of fixing a dishwasher can range between $150 and $500, with the average repair costing about $300.

  • Is it worth it to fix a dishwasher?

That depends on how old your dishwasher is and what is wrong with it. Most experts agree that replacement is better than repair for appliances older than 10 years and when the repair will cost more than half of the price of a new one.

  • What is the average life expectancy of a dishwasher?

The average mid-line dishwasher is expected to last 8-10 years. Higher-end models that are properly maintained can last as long as 15-20 years.

  • Can a plumber fix a dishwasher?

Plumbers are not trained to handle mechanical issues pertaining to dishwashers. However, if the problem is with the water and drainage system and not the actual appliance, then a plumber can handle the repair.

  • How long does a dishwasher last with hard water?

The calcium and magnesium found in hard water 3 can affect how well your dishwasher works – and how long it lasts. Most dishwashers last only seven years when hard water is used. Adding a water softener 4 to your water supply is one of the easiest ways to solve the problem and keep your dishwasher running well.

  • How much does it cost to fix a leaking dishwasher?

Depending on the cause of the leak, it may cost as little as $50 to replace a leaking seal or gasket – or it can cost several hundred dollars to replace a pump valve. Normally, though, a leaking dishwasher costs about $200 for labor and materials.

  • Can dishwashers be repaired?

In the vast majority of cases, a dishwasher that is less than 10 years old can be repaired.

  • How much does it cost to replace a dishwasher drain pump?

Depending on the model, it will cost between $150 and $300 to replace a broken dishwasher drain pump.

  • What is the best dishwasher?

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right dishwasher for your home. While one brand may be great at getting tough-to-clean pots and pans sparkling, another may feature a much quieter cleaning cycle. When it comes to finding the best dishwasher, you need to consider how it will be used, where it will be located, and your own personal preferences.

  • How do you fix a dishwasher that doesn’t clean?

When a dishwasher fails to get the dishes inside clean, it is always advisable to first check the sprayer arm for clogs.

  • How do I get rid of standing water in my dishwasher?

Sometimes a kink in the line is to blame for that standing water, and releasing the water is as simple as unkinking the line. This can be done by removing the kick plate 5 from the front of the dishwasher and checking for bends in the water line. Also, check the line running from your dishwasher to your sink (usually found in the cabinet under the sink) for clogs or kinks.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Gasket: A seal that fills the space between two or more surfaces that are joined together, allowing a tight seal even when the surfaces do not fit against each other perfectly
glossary term picture Pump 2 Pumps: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
3 Hard water: Water that is high in mineral content. It often leads to a buildup of scale
glossary term picture Water Softener 4 Water softener: A device that reduces the amount of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in water using ion exchange
glossary term picture Kick Plate 5 Kick plate: A section of metal added to the base of the door on the push side, that protects it against scuffing or damage, such as from being pushed open by a person's shoe

Cost to repair a dishwasher varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Binghamton, NY
-3%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boise, ID
-11%
Bothell, WA
-6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brookville, PA
-44%
Cambridge, MA
+40%
Canton, TX
-35%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Compton, CA
+9%
Dearborn, MI
+16%
Edison, NJ
+36%
Edmond, OK
-8%
Fairfield, CA
+5%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gardena, CA
+9%
Hamden, CT
+21%
Independence, MO
+8%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Macon, GA
+20%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Midland, TX
-15%
New York, NY
+77%
Northbrook, IL
+41%
Northridge, CA
+14%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Plano, TX
+24%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Portland, OR
+11%
Quincy, IL
-17%
Richmond, TX
+63%
Ridgefield, CT
+48%
Roanoke, VA
-18%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
Simi Valley, CA
+1%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources