Why is dishwasher not drying dishes?

Are you constantly having to dry dishes that you just pulled out of the dishwasher because they are not completely dry? This can be extremely annoying if it constantly happening and getting in the way of your family time every night.

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There are a number of causes for the dishes not to be drying completely after the dishwasher completely stops.

Below you will find a shortlist of the most common causes of a dishwasher that does not completely dry all of the dishes. Along with the list of causes, we included steps to follow to fix the problems yourself and save yourself some time and money on repair costs.

4 Common causes for your dishwasher not drying the dishes

  • The vent is stuck closed
  • The heating element is not working properly
  • Failed thermostat
  • Broken Rinse aid dispenser cap

The vent is stuck closed –

In order to get all of the dishes clean inside a dishwasher, there is a whole lot of water being used. This water is extremely hot in order to be sure all of the food particles and residue is completely removed from all of the dishes, cups, glasses, silverware, and other utensils. Along with the hot water is plenty of detergents.

Once all of the cleaning and rinsing is done and the water stops spraying the dishes then begin the drying process. Part of that drying cycle is the heating element which raises the temperature inside the dishwasher to aid in the drying of the dishes.

Unfortunately, the inside of the dishwasher is a fairly closed system that the water inside does not spray out everywhere. Due to the superheating of the water, there tends to be a lot of steam and water vapors trapped inside that would most definitely impede the drying of the dishes.

Fortunately, designers of modern dishwashers have a handy solution to this problem and they are called vents that are opened electrically as part of the drying cycle.

So, if you are experiencing issues with the dishes not getting dry completely, one of the first things you would check is to see if the vents are stuck closed and will open to allow the excess steam and water vapor to escape.

Using a multimeter you can check to see if the switch is functioning properly. If you find that the switch is faulty you can replace the switch either by getting the part from the manufacturer or purchase an aftermarket switch and replace it. You can Get it here

The heating element is not working properly –

When it comes to the drying cycle of the dishwasher one of the most important parts that make up the drying system is the heating element. After all of the cleaning and rinsing cycles are finished and the water stops spraying inside, the dishes inside the dishwasher will start the drying process.

Gravity is a big part of the drying process, especially for all of the glasses, cups, and bowls which are generally placed upside down in the top rack. The same can be said about the large pots or pans being placed upside down in the bottom rack.

Since drip-drying of all of the dishes inside the dishwasher would likely take many hours, so to help speed up the drying process a large heating element is placed at the bottom of the dishwasher.

This heater brings the temperature inside the dishwasher during the drying cycle to help bolster the drip-drying process to make the dishes dry faster.

If you are running into issues with not all of the dishes are getting completely dry at the end of the full cleaning cycle, you should check out the heating element to ensure that it is actually heating up.

If you suspect the heating element could be the cause, you can use a multimeter to test for continuity. Be sure to turn the power off to the dishwasher at the breaker panel.

If the heating element turns out to be faulty, you can usually find parts by going to the manufacturer’s website. You can get element here

Failed thermostat –

Most large appliances in your kitchen have safety systems built-in to protect the homeowner from problems that could arise during use. In a dishwasher, one of those safety systems is a device called a high limit thermostat.

This device is designed to prevent overheating of the dishwasher, which is a possible fire hazard if it got out of control.

The problem of having a faulty high limit thermostat is that it immediately cuts off power to the heating element. If this happens early on in the drying cycle it is highly possible that this could very likely impede that drying ability of the dishwasher.

With the ability to heat up the inside of the dishwasher compromised if the heating element is not working due to a failure of the high limit thermostat.

If you have already checked the vent and heating element, it would be a good time to check the high limit thermostat for continuity. If the thermostat is determined to be bad and cut out the power to the heating element it is highly unlikely that your dishes, especially the glasses, cups, and bowels will be completely dry when the dishwasher is completely done.

Using a multimeter to check the thermostat for continuity. If the thermostat is bad, you will need to get a new part from the manufacturer and remove the old one. Once you have replaced the thermostat you want to run a complete cleaning cycle to ensure that everything is in good working order. Get one here

Broken Rinse aid dispenser cap –

Many of today’s dishwashers use was is called a rinse agent that helps to repel water from dishes that also aids in the quicker drying of dishes. What sometimes happens is if you notice some of your dishes, especially in the top rack likes your glasses and cups aren’t completely dry.

This is likely caused by a broken or faulty cap that does not open to allow the rinse agent to disperse along with the water to cover the dishes. It is this coating that also helps to prevent hard water spots on glasses and also flatware.

If you suspect this is the problem you should inspect the area around the rinse agent filler compartment to ensure that opens freely. If it appears to be damaged repair or replace the cap.

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