Frigidaire dishwashers are designed to clean your kitchenware automatically. However, a tell-tale sign of a problem is when the appliance fails to clean items in the top or bottom rack or both racks simultaneously.
When your Frigidaire dishwasher fails to clean the items inside, you’ve likely selected the wrong cleaning cycle for your dishes’ soil level. Besides that, a faulty water inlet valve can also cause the same outcome. When only the items on the top or bottom rack aren’t cleaned, that means the nearest spray arm (top, center, or bottom) is clogged.
In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into the reasons why your Frigidaire dishwasher is not cleaning as it should.
General Reasons Your Frigidaire Dishwasher Isn’t Washing
Let’s begin by exploring the most likely reasons your Frigidaire dishwasher isn’t cleaning your kitchenware as it should, for both the top and bottom racks simultaneously.
Incorrect Cleaning Cycle
Frigidaire dishwashers come with several cleaning cycles for you to choose from. These cycles are tailored for different cleaning needs, particularly for dealing with different soil levels. For example, a quick cleaning cycle takes less time and is suited for lightly soiled dishes. However, a longer and more intensive cycle is needed for heavily solid items instead.
How it fails:
One reason why your dishes don’t come out perfectly clean after a wash cycle is that you’ve selected the incorrect cleaning cycle for your needs. For instance, this problem will happen if you have a dishwasher fully loaded with heavily soiled items, but select a quick wash cycle.
As a result, the cleaning process is not long or intensive enough to clean your dishes sufficiently.
How to fix:
Fixing this problem will require you to use the appropriate wash cycle based on your current need. One example is to use the heavy wash cycle when dishes are heavily soiled. Then, you can select a standard or energy saver cycle when you have fewer and only lightly-soiled items to wash.
Faulty Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve is a component inside your Frigidaire dishwasher that controls the supply of water into the appliance. The valve will open when you start a new wash cycle and close at the correct time to prevent overflowing.
How it fails:
A faulty water inlet valve will not let enough water enter the dishwasher. That will affect the outcome of the wash cycle, as there isn’t enough water to distribute to the top and bottom racks to clean all dishes thoroughly.
As a result, you’ll find that your dishes are still dirty at the end of the wash cycle you selected.
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How to fix:
A faulty water inlet valve must be replaced, as this part cannot be repaired or cleaned. You’ll find the valve located on the bottom of the dishwasher, so you’ll need to tip it on its back to access this component.
Once you’ve located and identified the water inlet valve, you can then unthread the screws that hold it in place and remove its water and electrical connections.
Then, put the new valve in and reconnect the water and electrical connections the same way as before.
Reasons The Top Rack Isn’t Washing
Suppose you find that only the top rack of the dishwasher fails to clean your kitchenware while the lower rack cleans correctly. In that case, the most likely reasons are a clogged center or upper spray arm or a dirty glass filter.
Clogged Center or Upper Spray Arm
Your Frigidaire dishwasher utilizes a center spray arm to clean items placed on the top rack. Some models also have an upper rack that sprays water from the top down for the same reason.
These spray arms have holes on them, through which water sprays out and cleans your kitchenware. As it does this, the arm as a whole will spin to ensure that water reaches every corner of each item you’ve loaded onto the top rack.
How it fails:
The center and upper spray arms are prone to clogs. Food bits, dirt, and other items can get lodged at the holes along the spray arm and prevent water from coming out. When that happens to the center or upper spray arms, that will prevent items on the top rack from getting washed correctly.
How to fix:
Fixing this will require you to remove the affected spray arm from inside the dishwasher. Then, use your kitchen tap to push water through the spray arm and identify which of its holes are clogged.
According to Frigidaire, a toothpick is enough as a tool to clear the clogged spray arm holes. When water can flow through all holes, you can then reinstall the spray arm.
Dirty Glass Filter
What it is: The glass filter is located inside the dishwasher right at the bottom. It’s designed to trap glass, food bits, and other foreign objects that shouldn’t be recirculated along with the water.
How it fails: Over time, the glass filter will become dirty and saturated with debris. As that debris builds up, the flow of water through the filter will become restricted. This condition will prevent water from recirculating the center and upper spray arms, preventing them from washing items on the top rack sufficiently.
How to fix: Fixing this is very straightforward, as you’ll only have to remove the filter and wash it clean in your kitchen sink. Be sure to remove any debris or food bits that you find and clean the filter thoroughly before reinstalling it in the dishwasher.
Reasons The Bottom Rack Isn’t Washing
When items on the bottom rack aren’t being washed correctly, the problem is likely with the lower spray arm or improper loading of the rack.
Clogged or Damaged Lower Spray Arm
What it is: As with the center and upper spray arms, the bottom arm also spins and sprays water to wash dishes. This arm, however, is designed to spray water from the bottom of the dishwasher upwards, thereby cleaning items on the lower rack in particular.
How it fails: The lower spray arm is also prone to damage and clogging. Besides food bits and debris getting stuck in the arm’s holes, the arm itself could be chipped or broken, causing the water not to wash the items as it should.
How to fix: The clogs on a lower spray arm can be cleared with a toothpick. However, a damaged arm must be replaced entirely. Doing so will require you to remove the bottom rack before taking out the affected spray arm. Then, you’ll just need to insert the replacement arm in the same place as before.
You will not require tools to replace the spray arm. Simply grab the spray arm firmly at the middle and pull or push as needed.
Improper Loading of Bottom Rack
What it is: The bottom rack of your dishwasher must be loaded correctly. With enough space between each item, the machine can then spray water and detergent everywhere it’s needed, leaving you with spotless dishes.
How it fails: When the bottom rack is overloaded or placed incorrectly, the dishes will not come out perfectly clean. That’s because water and detergent will be blocked from covering the entire surface of some items.
How to fix: Frigidaire recommends not stacking dirty dishes on top of each other and angling them so that the spray arms can hit all sides equally. Besides that, they also recommend referring to the user manual for your dishwasher, as it will have instructions on the correct way to load your model in particular.
How To Reset A Frigidaire Dishwasher?
To reset your Frigidaire dishwasher, you must disconnect the unit from its power source. That means you’ll need to remove the plug from the wall socket. However, a hardwired dishwasher must be switched off at its dedicated circuit breaker.
Next, leave the dishwasher alone for at least 5 minutes. Doing this will allow any retained electricity in the appliance to discharge naturally.
After that time, you can reconnect the power supply and continue using the dishwasher like usual.
How To Run Diagnostic Mode On A Frigidaire Dishwasher?
Running the diagnostic mode on your Frigidaire dishwasher can be incredibly helpful when troubleshooting any problems you face. This method is used by qualified technicians when they work on your machine as well.
To run the diagnostic mode, simply press and hold the High Temp Wash and Start/Cancel buttons simultaneously until you hear the machine chime or see that it’s running tests automatically.
If that does not work for your dishwasher model, another method is to press and hold the Dry or Air Dry button and Start/Cancel buttons instead.
How To Force A Frigidaire Dishwasher To Drain?
Suppose you need to stop a cleaning cycle and force the machine to drain immediately. To do that, simply press the Cancel button to cancel the current wash cycle. After a few moments, the dishwasher will start a 90-second drain cycle to remove all water inside the dishwasher.