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Common repairs and cost:

  • Drain pump cleaning, $100 to $300
  • Water inlet valve, $160 or more
  • Control board failure, $190 or more

Basic maintenance tips:

  • Scrape dishes before loading. Larger food clumps can clog washer arms and pump screens. However, many appliance technicians debate just how clean dishes should be before you wash them in the dishwasher. Some say detergent requires something to adhere to, or it will leave residue on the dishes and dishwasher interior.
  • Don’t overdo soap. Repair pros say people commonly use too much dishwasher detergent, which builds up in the machine, putting a strain on the pump/motor assembly, spray arm and other components.
  • Repair or replace? If the unit has rust, rot or corrosion, or if you’re looking at a repair equal to or more than half the cost of a new dishwasher, you should replace it.

What to budget for a new dishwasher: $400 to $700.

Before You Hire an Appliance Technician:

  • Make sure the company is appropriately licensed, insured and bonded.
  • Confirm that it has good online reviews from consumers on a trusted site.
  • Get several estimates and compare bids based on price, parts, labor and warranty.
  • Make sure you understand all costs before agreeing to work.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Follow her on Twitter @Angie_Hicks.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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