Kit Guide: Repair or replace - how long should a dishwasher last?

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If you're having problems with your dishwasher, it can be tricky to know whether it's worth fixing, or if you need to buy a replacement. A good quality machine can last up to 15 years, and can often be fixed with a spare part, but if it's a few years old and it keeps going wrong, it could be a warning of more problems to come.

Things like water hardness and how often it's used will also make a difference to how long a dishwasher should last. We've written this guide to help you figure out the best option for you.

If there's rust on the shelves

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This is usually caused by mineral deposits in hard water.

  • Short-term fix: Dishwasher shelves can be repaired with a home repair kit, or replaced with parts from Partmaster. Left untreated, cutlery can get stained or the filter could be blocked causing more problems.
  • Long-term view: Rusty shelves are one of the first signs that your machine is showing its age, and if it isn't fixed can spread to other parts of the dishwasher.

If the lining's starting to rust

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Like with the shelves above, the minerals in hard water is often the cause of rust.

  • Short-term fix: Use household rust-removal as part of your regular cleaning cycle to keep the deposits at bay.
  • Long-term view: If the deposits aren't cleaned, or reappear quickly then the lining will start to leak. Rust can also damage the heating element, and it's often cheaper to replace it.

If the inner lining has cracks

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These are usually a sign of old age in a dishwasher, and are caused by exposure to hot water, vibrations, detergents and even the force of the cleaning cycle's sprays.

  • Short-term fix: Engineers can seal the cracks, but the sealant will need to be replaced regularly to keep being effective.
  • Long-term view: Cracks lead to leaks, and often mean that replacement is cheaper than repair - especially if you need repeated repairs.

If the outer shell is damaged

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This can happen as a machine ages, with vibrations and temperature cycles high on the list of causes.

  • Short-term fix: The outer casing can be replaced by an engineer, but this can be expensive.
  • Long-term view: A new machine is usually cheaper than having an engineer fix the problem.

If the door won't close

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Hot water and detergents can cause the rubber seal to perish over time, and the door catch can wear.

  • Short-term fix: The rubber seal can be replaced to stop water leakage, and a worn door lock can usually be fixed, but both of these are signs that the dishwasher is starting to show its age.
  • Long-term view: On a newer machine, replacing the complete door can be worth doing, but if the machine is more than a few years old it might be time to look at getting a replacement.

Hopefully you've got enough information to make the right choice, but if you need any extra help, you can get in touch with our Team Knowhow experts here.

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