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Top 7 Reasons Your Dishwasher Could Be Making That Noise!

by Ann Ferguson

Are strange noises from your dishwasher disrupting the tranquility in your home? Sure, dishwashers make some noise like a low hum in the background (or maybe none at all!), but when you hear strange loud noises, don't wait to check them out!

Most likely, the noise is caused by something simple, like something blocking the spray arm. But there are other reasons your dishwasher could be making that noise — and these are a few of what they could be!

1. Dishes Stacked Incorrectly

Woman restacking the dishes in the dishwasher

You might not think it, but a load of improperly stacked dishes could be the culprit of a noisy dishwasher! If your dishes are packed too close together, the power of the spray will cause them to bang against each other and cause a loud rattling or knocking noise. Or sometimes it's the spray arm knocking into it.

So, rearrange the dishes so they're spaced out and facing downwards so the spray hitting them won't make a louder noise!

2. Bad Water Inlet Valve

Another reason your dishwasher could make that noise is a bad water inlet valve. This valve opens and closes during various stages of the cycle to let water into the dishwasher. But over time, the diaphragm deteriorates and can cause a high-pitched buzzing or squealing sound (sometimes, it's a knocking sound!).

If you start a cycle and notice a loud buzzing or screeching sound around the two-minute mark, the water inlet valve is definitely the culprit and must be replaced!

Pro Tip: You might be tempted to replace the parts yourself, but you could damage it more — leave it to the pros (aka us!).

3. Blocked Spray Arm

Closeup of the dishwasher spray arm

Most dishwashers have at least one spray arm to push the water around the machine. But when something blocks the spray arm from circulating freely, it could create a loud noise. So, double-check that no large pans or utensils are blocking the spray arm. Once the blockage is removed, it should be working fine!

Pro Tip: Another indication that something is blocking the spray arm is if your dishes come out dirty, so double-check it if that happens!

4. Loose Drain Hose

The drain hose is critical for your dishwasher to run correctly — it gets all the dirty water out of the machine! But if the hose isn't secured correctly, it can move around during the draining process and cause a loud thumping noise. If that happens, use cable ties to tie down the hose, and the noise should stop!

5. Circulation Pump

Service repair person taking out the dishwasher

Is your dishwasher making a high-pitched noise or a buzzing sound? It's most likely the circulation pump — specifically the bearings. These bearings can wear out over time and cause your dishes to come out dirty. So, if the circulation pump is the culprit, it needs to be replaced!

6. Impeller

Pump impellers push water through the dishwasher spray arms and drain the dishwasher. But these fins on the impellers can break over lots of use and cause noise. Or loose food and other garbage will get trapped in the impeller, causing the sound.

If the impeller is the issue, let the professionals handle it — we know what to do!

7. Drain Pump

Do you hear a loud grinding sound? There may be something wrong with the drain pump, which helps pump water out of the appliance and into the draining system. If the grinding persists and the sound gets worse, it needs to be repaired.

Noise, Noise, Noise!

Woman frustrated over dishwasher noises

Now that you know more about why your dishwasher makes noise, it's time to get everything sorted! While some noises have an easy fix, others might take more expertise — and that's where our service team at Culligan of Le Mars comes in! We'll get your appliances back in working order so that you can enjoy your day!

And if you have any questions, give us a call or stop by!