Tag - dishwasher making buzzing sound

Dishwasher Troubleshooting

Due the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the
accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

Dishwashers are one of the hardest working appliances in the kitchen. When they break down, it’s beyond annoying — who wants to wash dishes by hand?

One of the most common problems with dishwashers is emitting strange loud buzzing noises. This is a clear sign something is wrong and needs to be fixed. It’s very unlikely the problem will just miraculously go away on its own.

There are a few possible causes of buzzing noises, including dishes not stacked properly, machine not sitting level on the ground, pump intake is defective or pump seals are dry. Sometimes, it’s simply a case of general wear and tear, especially if the unit is old. Here are some things to try to stop the sounds:

Ensure Dishes Stacked Properly

The most common cause of a dishwasher buzzing noise is just that dishes aren’t stacked properly. When this happens – especially with plastic cups and containers – they can rub up against another dish and cause a noise. Properly load the unit to see if the noise stops.

Check If Dishwasher Level

It’s possible that the unit is not sitting level on the floor or it’s rubbing against its cabinet or the kitchen bench. Here’s how to check that the dishwasher is level:

  1. Use a bubble level to check balance.
  2. If it’s not properly leveled, adjust the dishwasher legs until it is level.
  3. If it’s level, ensure dishwasher isn’t moving against the bench at the top or sides. If it is, lower the level so there’s a clear gap between the top of the dishwasher and the bench.
  4. If the level is changed, turn on dishwasher ensure the problem has been solved.

Check Pump Intake

The next component to check is the dishwasher’s pump intake, which catches large food particles and other pieces of debris to prevent the unit from getting clogged. Sometimes a small piece of glass or plastic can get stuck in the pump intake, which causes a buzzing noise. When this happens, remove the debris and the noise should stop.

Here’s how to check the pump intake:

  1. Locate the pump intake and open.
  2. Clean it out thoroughly.
  3. Plug back in dishwasher, turn on to a cycle, and see if the noise has stopped.

Dry Pump Seals

If the dishwasher is new or hasn’t been used for awhile, the pump seals can sometimes become dry, causing strange noises when it’s running through a cycle. This is because water usually lubricates the seals, which won’t happen when it’s not in frequent use.

To fix this problem, you need to:

  1. Locate pump seals.
  2. Pour about 1 quart of water into the bottom of the dishwasher.
  3. Turn dishwasher on to a cycle, and check if the problem has been solved.

Dishwasher Still Making Buzzing Noise?

If none of these actions solves the issue, it may just be normal wear and tear that won’t be able to be fixed easily. It may be time to replace the unit if the buzzing sound is unbearable.

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip.