woman upset with noisy dishwasher

Noisy Dishwasher – Causes and Solutions

A noisy dishwasher can be caused by many things. While a little noise coming from your dishwasher during operation shouldn’t be cause for concern, unusual noises may require some investigating.

The cause of your noisy dishwasher can often be determined by the noise it is making. A buzzing noise, for example, can show one issue, while a screeching noise shows another issue. 

Let’s delve into the causes of noisy dishwashers and explore the solutions to these problems, shall we?


1. Thumping

A thumping noise coming from your dishwasher can be a little annoying. However, in most cases, it is nothing to worry about.

This thumping noise can be caused by water flowing through the drain hose. This makes the machine vibrate and causes the noise.

Another cause of thumping in dishwashers is that the machine wasn’t levelled correctly when it was installed. If you notice your dishwasher moving around a lot during the cycle, this is likely because the levelling feet were not properly set.

To fix this issue, it is just a matter of grabbing a torch and peeking under the machine. In each corner, you’ll find a levelling foot that can be adjusted.

Ensure all of the feet are touching the floor evenly, and this should stop any aggressive thumping noises.

dishwasher repair


2. Buzzing

Buzzing noises are often caused by a drain pump or the wash pump. Of course, you should expect some buzzing from the dishwasher during use, but if it is noticeably different or louder than usual, there are some areas to check for faults.

In some cases, the drain pump may need to work harder because of a blockage meaning the dishwasher isn’t draining correctly. We have an entire article about dishwashers not draining correctly that can help here.

If the wash pump is broken or faulty, this will reduce the water flow through your dishwasher. You may notice that your dishes aren’t being cleaned as thoroughly as usual if this is the case. The wash pump or its filter may be blocked, and so it is worth exploring.

Sadly, the location and filter arrangement of dishwasher wash pumps vary from model to model, so we can’t help too much here.

But try and find the user manual for your dishwasher, as this can help. You may even be able to find a video online of someone cleaning the wash pump of your dishwasher.


3. Grinding

cleaning dishwasher spray arms

A grinding noise coming from a dishwasher can be caused by a few things. The easiest thing to check, though, is whether there is something stuck in the chopper blades of the dishwasher.

During a cycle, the blades rotate to cut up any solid debris that is removed from your dishes. They prevent any serious blockages in the drainage system.

The chopper blades can handle most soft food debris. However, if something like a popcorn kernel, for example, gets stuck in them, this can cause a grinding noise.

Faulty pumps can occasionally cause a grinding noise too. This is typically from a bearing wearing out in the pump.

The grinding noise will usually get worse over time if it is a bearing. Replacing the pump with the faulty bearing will solve this issue. Again, seek guidance from your user manual here.


4. Squealing

A squealing noise is most often caused by worn-out bearings in the dishwasher. There are lots of bearings in a dishwasher, but the most common to wear out are the ones in the drain pump or wash pump.

These bearings support the pump’s rotor, allowing it to turn properly. If they are rusty or damaged, the bearings will begin squealing and also stop the pump from working properly.

Again, looking in your user manual will help you locate the pumps. The pumps are usually sealed units, so you’ll have to replace the whole thing rather than just the bearings.

We hope this look at dishwashers and the strange noises they can make has been helpful. For more help with common dishwasher problems, please explore the rest of In The Wash.

We also have lists of the best dishwasher available in the UK for any budget if your dishwasher is beyond repair.