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10 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Dishwasher

When it's better to save the repair bill & buy new

Old dishwasher being loaded with white plates

For most of us, the trusty dishwasher is a must-have kitchen companion. However, like all appliances, dishwashers have a limited lifespan. And while a new dishwasher can never be described as cheap, it may be better value to buy new rather than spend big on repairs.

In this comprehensive guide, we highlight ten signs that give reason to save on the repair bill & bid farewell to your old dishwasher.

When to Upgrade Your Old Dishwasher

1. Age of the Dishwasher

The age of your dishwasher is a crucial factor in determining whether it’s time for a replacement. On average, dishwashers have a lifespan of around 7-12 years, depending on the brand and usage. If your dishwasher is approaching or has surpassed this age range, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a new, energy-efficient model rather than spending on frequent repairs. 

Over the last decade, dishwasher design has moved on. Yes, the latest models clean & dry dishes better than ever before, but the real standout change is efficiency. Choose the right model and you’ll use significantly less water & electricity. Over the years, saving a small fortune. 

2. Frequent and Costly Repairs

If your dishwasher breaks down frequently and requires costly repairs, it’s a clear sign that it’s reaching the end of its life. Continuously investing in repairs can quickly add up, making a replacement a more sensible choice in the long run. 

There are numerous things you can do to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape, but if a repair requires an engineer callout – it’s always expensive. And all too often, the engineer will simply tell you it’s time to buy a new dishwasher (while charging for his or her time). 

3. Declining Cleaning Performance

Dishwashers are meant to clean your dishes effectively, but if you notice a decline in cleaning performance despite proper maintenance, it could indicate that the dishwasher’s components, such as the spray arms or water pump, are wearing out. 

A new dishwasher will offer better cleaning performance and energy efficiency.

4. Excessive Noise and Vibrations

While dishwashers are not completely silent, excessive noise and vibrations during operation can be an indicator of underlying issues. It could be due to a worn-out motor, loose components, or a deteriorating insulation system. 

A new dishwasher will operate more quietly and efficiently.

5. Leaks and Water Damage

Water leaks are a significant concern, as they can lead to costly water damage to your kitchen flooring and cabinets. If your dishwasher is leaking, it may be due to a damaged door gasket, worn-out hoses, or a faulty pump.

For small leaks, it’s always worth checking door seals and visible pipe connections. A quick clean can often remedy minor issues. 

Also worth noting is that most decent new models today have a leak detection system which cuts the water supply if a leak is detected. This clever technology can prevent a flood – saving your floor & kitchen.

6. Rust or Corrosion

Rust or corrosion on the interior or exterior of the dishwasher is not only unsightly but can also lead to structural issues and compromise hygiene. If you notice signs of rust or corrosion, it’s a clear indication that the dishwasher’s lifespan has come to an end.

7. Inefficiency and High Energy Bills

Older dishwashers are generally less energy-efficient than newer models, leading to higher energy bills. Energy & water are ever more expensive and a new energy-efficient dishwasher will cut your energy costs & save you money.

8. Error Messages

Depending on how old your dishwasher is, you may see error messages identifying problems. The manual will list the code & problem, but this is usually followed by the suggestion to call an engineer. 

It’s a much better idea to Google the problem (with make, model & error code). There’s plenty of information out there on the specific problem and of greater value, how to fix it.

9. Foul Odours

Persistent foul odours, even after a thorough clean, could indicate mould or mildew growth inside the dishwasher. While cleaning may temporarily address the issue, it’s often a sign of underlying problems that might be better resolved with a new dishwasher.

10. Changes in Household Size or Needs

As your household size changes, so do your dishwasher requirements. If you’ve recently moved into a larger home, have a growing family, or frequently entertain guests, a dishwasher with a larger capacity and versatile features can significantly improve your daily chores. 

If you’re downsizing a slimline dishwasher will take less space & cost less to run

The Verdict

A dishwasher is an essential appliance that simplifies your kitchen routine, but it won’t last forever. Recognising the signs that indicate it’s time to replace your dishwasher can save you from the inconvenience of sudden breakdowns, costly repairs, and high energy bills. If your dishwasher is ageing, frequently malfunctioning, or no longer meeting your household’s needs, investing in a new, energy-efficient model will not only improve your kitchen’s functionality but also save you money and offer peace of mind for years to come. 

Before making a purchase, consider the size, features, and energy efficiency of the new dishwasher to ensure it complements your lifestyle and enhances your overall kitchen experience.


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