Broken Dishwasher: Is It Worth Fixing?

Broken Dishwasher: Is It Worth Fixing?

Is your dishwasher broken? Not sure whether to repair or replace it? Let’s dive in and compare the key factors.

Here’s everything you need to know. You wake up on Saturday morning. The breakfast dishes are piled up, and your family is getting ready to head to the park with the dog for a picnic.

You plan to throw the dishes into the dishwasher to clean them—only to realize that you have a problem! Maybe your dishwasher starts to make a weird noise. Maybe it fails to turn on.
Maybe it’s leaking—and you’re (understandably) afraid to leave it alone because you don’t want your kitchen floor flooded with water.
  • Is this a repairable problem that you could possibly fix yourself?
  • Will you need to call someone to fix it for you?
  • Or is it something that’s going to require a full dishwasher replacement?
These are all valid questions. So in this post, you’re about to learn exactly how to determine whether your dishwasher needs to be replaced, or if the malfunction is repairable.
You’re also going to learn which types of breakdowns may be easy enough to fix on your own, and which ones should definitely prompt a call for service.

Let’s dive into it.

Diagnosing the Problem - Should You Replace Your Dishwasher, or Is It Repairable?

The first clue that’ll tell you whether or not this is a repair or replacement issue with your dishwasher is the problem itself. As a general rule, conventional wisdom dictates that if a repair would cost you 50% or more of the cost of buying a new dishwasher, then you should replace it. But sometimes, it’s difficult to know exactly what some repairs will cost. So in this guide, we’ll break down all of the common dishwasher issues, give you the most likely reason for the problem, and tell you what it’ll take to get you up and running again—or if buying a new dishwasher is going to be the best choice for you.

Looking for Professional Repair?

0 +
years of experience
0 +
days warranty for labor
0 %
customer satisfaction

Problem: It Doesn’t Start

If your dishwasher won’t start at all, then these are the issues you should check for first.

Door Latch
Fast answer: Repair.
The door latch is a safety feature that keeps the dishwasher from operating when the door isn’t closed. Thus, a failed door latch can definitely keep your appliance from starting. This is a relatively simple project, so if you tend to be DIY minded, you may be able to purchase the part and perform the repair yourself. But if you find the idea of such a task a bit overwhelming, it’s probably best to contact us here at Denver Appliance Repair so that we can get it fixed up for you.
Cost of parts: $40-$150

User Interface Pad (TouchPad)
Fast answer: Usually repair.
On most dishwashers and in most cases, this is going to be a repair that you’ll want to hire a professional for. Earlier, we mentioned the 50% rule. Indeed, this rule does help consumers to make financially sound decisions about the purchase of new dishwashers. However, the 50% rule should also take into account not only the cost of the repair together with labor, but also the age of the dishwasher as well. If the appliance is only about 3-5 years old (half of its lifespan) then even if the repair seems a little pricey, it’s probably worth it, because the appliance itself will still have a lot of life left in it. Therefore, generally speaking, this is usually a cost-effective repair to make—but you’ll still want to follow that 50% rule. If the cost of the parts and labor together adds up to more than 50% of the cost of buying a new dishwasher, then it’ll be better to just replace it.
Cost of parts: $170-$450

Control Board
Fast answer: It depends on the age, make, and model of your dishwasher.
The control board is a critical dishwasher component. Without it, your appliance will fail to function. To fix a bad control board, you’ll almost always want to contact a qualified service professional. After factoring in the estimated cost of labor, and after taking into account the age, make, and model of your current dishwasher, conduct a cost-benefit analysis to see if the repairs are going to cost more than 50% of what it would cost to buy a new unit. If so, then replacing the dishwasher will generally end up being more affordable in the long run.
Cost of parts: $200-$600

Problem: Doesn’t Start (While Also Making Humming Sounds)


If your dishwasher doesn’t start (or suddenly stops working), and just makes a ‘humming’ sound when you try to turn it on, it could be due to the dishwasher detecting leakage, and then trying to drain the water. Note that not all dishwashers have a function like this. Some specific brands, like Bosch and Asko, are specifically designed with this feature. To learn more about this problem, see the ‘leakage’ section further along in this guide.

Problem: Doesn’t Drain

Control Board Fast answer: It depends on the age, make, and model of your dishwasher.
The control board is a vital part of your dishwasher. Without it, your appliance will not work at all. To fix a faulty control board, you will almost always need to hire a qualified service technician. When considering whether to repair or replace your dishwasher, it is important to factor in the cost of labor, the age of your dishwasher, and the make and model of your dishwasher. If the cost of repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new unit, it is generally more cost-effective to replace the dishwasher.
Cost of parts: $130-$600

Drain Pump
Fast answer: It depends on the age, make, and model of your dishwasher.
Fixing the drain pump is a somewhat complicated task that may require special tools and knowledge of dishwasher repair. Thus, it’s usually recommended that you hire a professional technician. After you get an estimate and factor in part and labor costs, you’ll want to do a cost-benefit analysis to see if it’s worth it to replace the unit, or if it would be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the entire unit with a new dishwasher.
Cost of parts: $50-$150

Clogged Filter
Fast answer: Repair.
This is a pretty easy fix, and it doesn’t even cost anything to implement. If your dishwasher isn’t draining, it could be due to a clogged filter. Cleaning the filter is a task that most people will feel comfortable doing on their own, and it doesn’t cost anything because there are no parts to replace.
Cost of parts: $0

Problem: Door Drops Too Hard

Faulty Door Springs
Fast answer: Repair.
If your door drops too hard due to faulty door springs, it’s almost always more cost-effective to just replace the springs than to buy a new dishwasher. The reason for this is because this is a relatively simple repair. Sometimes, people tend to lean on the front door while getting their dishes out, or they place something heavy on the door while it’s opened. This can bend the door hinges, causing you to have an issue where the door doesn’t close at all. And if it’s not closed, it won’t start. If your dishwasher door drops too hard, it could also lead to your dishwasher not starting—because the door hasn’t properly engaged with the door latch—thus, leaving your dishwasher thinking that the door is still open.
Cost of parts: $60-$140 per hinge, it varies on the model.

Problem: Leakage

Diagnosing A Leakage Problem Fast answer: Usually repair. It’s important to detect where the leakage is exactly coming from. You could be dealing with a damaged drain housing or a leaking sump dishwasher seal. There are a number of malfunctions that can lead to a dishwasher leaking. Some of these include:
  • Damaged door gasket (Cost of parts: $20-$100)
  • Loose or damaged water supply line (Cost of parts: $15-$50)
  • Faulty Water inlet valve (Cost of parts: $30-$130)
  • Damaged drain hose [as opposed to a clogged drain hose] (Cost of parts: $15-$45)
  • Faulty water inlet valve (Cost of parts: $20-$100)
  • Faulty drain pump (Cost of parts: $50-$150)
  • Faulty water circulation pump (Cost of parts: $150-$350)
  • Diverter motor [this won’t be a factor on all brands](Cost of parts: $70-$150)
  • Main sump seal assembly (Cost of parts: $200-$400)
The first step to determining whether or not you should repair or replace the dishwasher due to a leak is to determine the cause of the leak. Then, you’ll want to determine the cost of the parts and/or repair fees, and do a cost-benefit analysis to see if the repair makes economic sense. As stated earlier in the guide, if the parts and repair costs are going to equal 50% or more of what it would cost to purchase a new dryer, then you’re generally better off putting that money into a new unit instead of keeping up an older failing appliance. Keep in mind that if you need help figuring out what the repair would cost, you can always contact us here at Dever Appliance Repair. We’d love to help you sort out the issue, come up with an estimate, and work with you to get the issue fixed (and get you back to easy-street with those kitchen dishes).

The Pros And Cons Of Dishwasher Repair


  • Usually a lower cost
  • Fast—repairs can often be completed quickly
  • Less hassle. Repairing an older unit is a lot less of a hassle (generally speaking) because it won’t require buying a whole new unit, transporting it, and installing it


  • One repair may lead to more if your dishwasher is getting older
  • Older models are less energy efficient anyway—so even though you may save money on the repairs, you may end up spending more in the long term on energy costs
  • Fewer new features

The Pros And Cons Of Dishwasher Replacement


  • Newer technology and more modern features
  • New units have a longer lifespan
  • More energy efficiency
  • New dishwashers often come with a warranty to protect you from future breakdowns


  • Buying a new dishwasher costs more
  • It can take time to get the new unit transported and installed
  • Buying a whole new dishwasher and getting it installed can just be a bit of a hassle
  • Sometimes, the contractors don’t do a proper job remodeling the kitchen. Oftentimes, you’ll have to readjust the floor level (or even the cabinets) just to remove the old dishwasher and place a new one—and this might add to the cost of getting a new dishwasher.

Schedule an appointment today!

Determining whether to repair or replace an appliance can be difficult. In some cases, it may be best to call a service technician to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, we would be happy to help you with your appliance repair or replacement needs. We offer a variety of services, including diagnosis, repair, and installation.
Scroll to Top