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How to Troubleshoot & Repair Commercial Dishwasher – Best Tips on One Place

For the restaurant owners and their staff, a commercial dishwasher is a crucial thing for running food business prosperously. So, when an appliance stops functioning as it should, don’t panic. We are here to provide useful tips on how to troubleshoot commercial dishwasher and helpful info on how to repair dishwashing machine so that you don’t have to call service or professionals right away.

Dishwasher won’t Drain

To figure out why dishwasher is not draining, you’ll need to do some investigating. If the filter is clogged, just locate it and clear any debris around a filter. Often, the cage needs to be unscrewed before removing. Once removed, the filter can be cleaned of anything that clogging it.

When the sink is backing up, the drain is probably clogged. So, you’ll need to turn off the power by unplugging the appliance or turning off the breaker. Then, remove the panel by the floor to reveal the drain hose with ridges and disconnect it from the pump. Straighten the hose before clearing the inside of any debris. After that, you can replace it and turn the power to an unclogged drain line.

The drain valve is an essential part in preventing dishwater from draining back into the appliance. To control the drain valve, you need to push on the valve bracket to ensure it’s moving freely and isn’t stuck. If it’s frozen, you must replace it.

My Dishwasher Stinks

When the dishwasher smells like sewage, egg, or fish smell, it is most likely caused by food particles stuck in the appliance filter or the drain hose is bent and positioned wrong. See below the reasons that can cause these awful smells and odors.

  • Food has been dropped, or a small animal may have crawled under the appliance. You should remove the dishwasher from under the cabinet and double-check underneath the machine,
  • Mold can grow in the dishwasher if the machine isn’t run properly. Keeping the device door open slightly when not in use will allow all moisture to dry,
  • An air gap is clogged and prevents the wastewater to be pumped out of a machine. Check air gap to be sure no blockage impeding water from flowing through,
  • The drain hose is too low making the water to flow back into the bottom of the appliance. Lift and loop drain hose, so the water can’t flow back into the bottom of the machine,
  • The drain hose is bent causing wastewater to flow back into the device. Unbend the drain hose to prevent the backflow of sewage.
  • The machine filter has accumulated food particles that are causing the odor. Remove the filter and clean any leftover food particles.

Dishwasher doesn’t Clean Dishes

These are some typical reasons why dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly.

  • Inadequate detergent – If your restaurant is an area with hard water, you’ll need a proper detergent to adequately clean dishes. Read the manufacturing manual to determine which detergent to use,
  • Damaged inlet valve – Inlet valves that begin to fail will cause a hammering sound. Once, you hear this noise, replace the inlet valve right away,
  • Insufficient water in the appliance – To see if a machine is receiving enough water, run a wash cycle and open the door when you hear the dishwasher stop filling with water. The water should reach the heating coil. If it doesn’t, ensure the floating wave is operating freely, and the inlet valve isn’t blocked,
  • Water temp – Water that isn’t hot enough won’t properly clean dishes. To check water temp, run hot water in the sink before launching the appliance. Use a glass with the hot water and thermometer to control the water temp. Temp should be between 120°F and 150°F and if it isn’t, adjust the temp on a water heater,
  • Food debris – Don’t put dishes coated with food in a commercial dishwasher, be sure to rinse dishes first and remove all the food debris without a pre-wash first,
  • Blocked inlet screen – This screen could become clogged from food debris and other particles. If the inlet valve is blocked, replace it immediately.

Dishwasher and Dishes are Discolored and Stained

Aluminum silverware and pans can cause marks when they rub versus other items. Make a slight space between them. Also, iron in the water can produce a yellow, brown or orange layer. So, you may need to install a rust filter. Certain foods and sauces like tomato may stain dishwasher interior and dishes.

A dishwasher detergent that contains citric acid is an excellent solution for these problems. Also, check the dishwasher rack for scratches in the plastic finish. If you see any areas of dishwasher rack with exposed metal, repair them instantly with a plastic coating material or waterproof silicone. Apply a rust remover or fine steel wool to scrub rust and stains from dishwasher racks.

Common Dishwashing Problems

To determine a problem with a dishwasher, it’s good to list the causes and to check what is the best option to solve the issues with dishwasher functioning.

A Dishwasher doesn’t Work

  • Common Dishwashing ProblemsControl if the appliance is plugged in correctly,
  • Inspect a tripped circuit breaker,
  • Control blown fuse,
  • Check the wiring connection to the machine for breaks or burns,
  • Inspect the door latch,
  • Control the door switch,
  • Inspect the timer motor,
  • Check the selector switch,
  • Control the motor start relay.

Noisy Dishwasher

  • Control the spray arm for obstructions and damage,
  • Inspect the inlet filter screens,
  • Check the water inlet valve,
  • Control the motor and mounts,
  • Inspect the blade and fan,
  • Control the drain for damages.

Cycles are too Long

  • Check the timer motor,
  • Inspect the heating element,
  • Control the thermostat.

Detergent Cup doesn’t Open

  • Control the detergent cup for damages,
  • Check the timer motor,
  • Inspect actuator arm,
  • Control the bimetal assembly.

Dishwasher Motor Hums but doesn’t Start

  • Unblock the motor,
  • Unblock the pump,
  • Double-check the motor,
  • Inspect the motor start relay,
  • Control the drive belt.

Dishwasher Door doesn’t Latch or Close Adequately

  • Control for damages,
  • Inspect the door latch,
  • Check the door hinges,
  • Test the door seal gasket.

Dishes don’t Dry Efficiently

  • Increase detergent concentration,
  • If detergent is too weak, use stronger one,
  • Drain soiled water and refill dishwasher,
  • Inspect pre-scrapping procedure.

How to Clean a Commercial Dishwasher

If your commercial dishwasher isn’t adequately cleaning dishes, a simple cleaning of the appliance can save the day. Follow these easy steps and repair dishwasher for just one hour.

Step #1 Remove and Clean the Spray Arm

How to Clean a Commercial DishwasherRemove the dishwasher arms and clean the holes from food debris or limescale, which is common in areas with hard water. It allows access to the appliance filter for cleaning.

Step #2 Submerge Spray Arms in White Vinegar

If you need to clean spray arms, even more, soak them in white vinegar to eliminate any remaining debris inside the holes.

Step #3 Inspect the Pump Impellers

There’re two pump impellers in a dishwasher: the wash impeller and the drain impeller. The wash impeller circulates the water and pressurizes the spray arms while the drain impeller drains the machine. Double-check them for damage and make sure they’re working adequately.

Step #4 Check the Food Grinder

The food grinder chops food particles remain on dishes, so they can easily pass through the drain part of the machine pump. If food debris isn’t finely chopped, the food particles could block dirty water from draining and more likely to be recirculated throughout the machine. Control the food grinder, and if it’s damaged, you must replace it as soon as possible.

Step #5 Remove Food Particles from Coarse Filter

This type of the filter is the mat at the bottom of the machine that collects debris that could block a dishwasher from draining. Use a Shop-Vac or similar products to eliminate existing food particles.

Step #6 Drain Reservoir Cleaning

Take off the cover of the drain reservoir and remove any food debris that has accumulated.

Step #7 Eliminate Residue

Mix baking soda and white vinegar to make a semi-thick paste. Spread this mix onto any residue with a brush and allow the paste to sit for 10 minutes. Then, use steel wool to scrape off the waste. Rerun this action until the bottom of the appliance becomes completely clean.

Step #8 Control the Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve is positioned at the front of the device and allows water to enter the appliance. Too much water will make water to flow out the machine while insufficient water produces poorly washed dishes. If the water inlet valve is blocked or damaged, it fails in providing adequate water levels in the appliance, and that’s why a machine isn’t cleaning well. If the inlet valve is blocked, replace it immediately.

If any of these tips and options don’t help, you must call authorized service or professional to pinpoint the “symptom” and to provide an adequate solution for your commercial dishwasher.

Chem Mark, Inc. – First Option for Dishwashing ProblemsChem Mark, Inc. – First Option for Dishwashing Problems

We are reliable commercial dishwashing professional in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County, and San Diego. If you lease or rent high-quality Energy Star CMA & ADS dish machines at Chem Mark, our team of engineers and technicians will provide proper commercial dishwasher maintenance. For more information about rental and sales please call (714)784-5522.