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Is Your Dishwasher Making Noise But Not Working? Here Is Why and What you Should Do

When you stack dirty dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on, a humming sound is quite normal and shows a properly functioning appliance.

When your appliance is faulty, you will hear the humming noise, but the appliance won’t clean the dishes, and you should be worried.

Are you in this predicament and wondering, why is my dishwasher making noise but not working? Here are some of the top reasons this will happen and what you should do about it:

dishwasher making noise but not working

You are loading the dishes improperly

Sometimes the problem is brought about by how you load the dishwasher.

If you aren’t keen on your loading, you might load the unit so that you block the funnel or the spray arms and prevent them from rotating properly. As you can guess, when they aren’t spinning correctly, your dishwasher won’t clean.

To fix this problem, you need to load your dishwasher correctly. Load the glasses and bowls into the top rack with the open ends of the items facing down.

If an item extends from the top rack to the middle of the dishwasher, it might be blocking the middle spray arm, so load it on the bottom rack instead.

When it comes to the dishes, place them in the bottom rack and face them down or direct them towards the center of the rack.

The motor is defective.

If your appliance is making a humming noise and yet it’s not filling with water, it might be because of a faulty pump motor.

To confirm this, unscrew and remove the bottom panel of the dishwasher so that you can access the motor. You should then reach inside and turn the motor blades.

If the blades are stiff and difficult to move, the noise might be because of a faulty motor.

Motor problems are sensitive, and you should have them checked and fixed by an experienced appliance service provider, so when you find the blades difficult to move, don’t try to fix it—get in touch with an experienced professional and have them inspect the unit.

If you move the blades and they move easily, the motor isn’t the problem—look for other issues.

You have a water supply problem.

Confirm that the dishwasher is getting enough water by checking whether the water supply valve is on.

You should then detach the hose attached to the supply valve and run water from the faucet through the hose to ensure that water can freely flow through.

If the water doesn’t freely flow, chances are the hose is cracked, kinked, or has a clog inside. To restore proper flow, replace the water supply hose with a new one.

Other solutions that might work

If you do all the above and still your dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes, there are several things you can do. Some of these things include:

  • Confirm that the dishwasher is receiving enough water pressure
  • Confirm you have set the water heater temperature at a minimum of 120 degrees F
  • Ensure that you are using the right detergent stated in the dishwasher manual
  • If you live in an area with hard water, use a water softener to soften the water
  • Call an electrician to check on the electrical connections, fuse, switch, and other areas and confirm they aren’t the source of the problem.
  • If your appliance is old, the best remedy is to fix it.


I hate noise with every single bone in my body and I'm here to share some of the tricks that have worked for me in my effort to keep off noises from noisy neighbors, noisy appliances, and so on. Buckle up for the ride.

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