Fixing a Dishwasher Spray Arm That Doesn’t Turn

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Part of a dishwasher’s ability to efficiently clean your dishes is the use of a spray arm that evenly distributes water across your dirty dishes during the wash cycle. However, there may come a time where this spray arm no longer works during the wash cycle. If that is the case, most likely you will notice that your dishes are coming out dirty. If the wash runs as normal, then your first suspicion should be turned towards the spray arm.


As a dishwasher cleans away dirty food particles from your dishes, the particles can pose a risk. In a perfect world, these food particles innocently drain away. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. These particles can attach to the spray arm and clog the dispensers. However, it is not just the arm itself that needs to be checked and cleaned, food can become lodged in the spray tower(if it has one) that prevents it from turning. These two parts should be inspected first as it is the easiest problem to remedy.

Dirty Pump

The spray arm is operated by a pump that allows water with enough pressure to turn the spray arm. If the pump is clogged and not getting enough water pressure, the spray arm will not work until this problem is solved. Usually, food debris is the cause of this as well. Your pump should be checked and cleaned several times per year to prevent this issue. Some have a filter that can be accessed by the home owner without using any tools.


Most dishwasher models have the water pump tubes connecting the spray arm hidden away. This is not always the case, however. If your dishwasher has visible water tubes, they need to be inspected. Sometimes the spray arm can hit these tubes during the wash process and cause damage. This will, in turn, lower the water pressure which can cause the spray arms to stop working. Luckily, replacing a damaged tube is a rather simple affair.

If you have any dishwasher related questions or need dishwasher repair service, give us a call today!


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