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Shop for a New Dishwasher or Repair?

Oct 21, 2021

A man and woman repairing a dishwasher

Dishwashers have become a necessary appliance for any home, and they can keep your dishes and your kitchen looking great. Unfortunately, dishwashers do not last forever, and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. We can help you figure out if you should shop for a new dishwasher or try to fix your current one before it breaks down completely!

My Dishwasher isn't Working, Now What?

If you've gone to run a load of dishes in your dishwasher and something isn't working, you might find yourself at a loss about what you should do next. The first thing to do is to take a deep breath. While we know this isn't an ideal situation, it's not the end of the world either. Whether you end up shopping for a new dishwasher or repairing your current one, we're here to help get yours up and running quickly.

When to Repair

If your dishwasher is only giving you a minor issue, (an annoying beeping noise or not spinning the water out after running through a cycle), we recommend that you try to repair it first. These are typically easy fixes that can be done on your own without the need for a service repair. If you want to handle your repair without having to pay for a service call, we recommend going to Google to find a tutorial video with step-by-step instructions for fixing the issue.

When to Shop

If your dishwasher is more than just a little bit broken and you can't fix it yourself, we recommend that you shop for a new one. A new dishwasher will save you time waiting for a service call to come out just to tell you that you should get a new dishwasher (while charging you an arm and leg). While you may hesitate to shop for a new dishwasher because of the upfront cost, the investment in a new dishwasher could be significantly lower than the ongoing costs for repairing your current broken one.

Things to Take into Account

When you are deciding whether to get a new dishwasher or repair your current one, we recommend taking a look at these four things to help you make your decision.

1. Warranty

The warranty on your dishwasher will determine how much it could potentially cost you to repair your dishwasher. If the warranty on your dishwasher is able to cover repairs, then it might be best to have it serviced and fixed. However, if you are no longer in your warranty period or your warranty only covers very specific repairs, then shopping for a new dishwasher might be the smarter choice.

2. Age

If you are on the fence about getting a new dishwasher, then consider how old your current one is. The older it gets, the more likely it will break down and become irreparable. Getting a new dishwasher can help you avoid the potential of a dishwasher breaking down and needing to shop for an entirely new one with no advanced notice. Speaking of age, a dishwasher typically lasts about 10 years₁, so if it’s been about that long (or longer) since you’ve had your current dishwasher, we recommend replacing it sooner rather than later.

3. Type of Repair

If your dishwasher just needs a new gasket or sealant in the door, that might be a simple enough fix that you can handle on your own. However, if the fix is something more complicated or expensive, you might be better off in the long run by investing in a new dishwasher.

4. Repair Cost

Ultimately it can come down to how expensive a repair is and if it can be fixed long term or if you'll be trying to solve your problem again in a few months. While there may be more of an upfront cost with a new dishwasher, the long-term savings of not spending money on repairs could be worth it in the end.

Common Dishwasher Repairs

Here are three common dishwasher repairs that you might be able to handle on your own, depending on your technical capabilities.

1. Leaking Dishwasher

If the dishwasher is leaking, it may be that a hose or seal has become disconnected. The first step to fixing this problem should be identifying where the leak is coming from. Once you identify where the leak is, you can look at the connections for any signs of wear and tear.

2. Broken Heating Elements

A broken heating element can cause your dishwasher to work intermittently. This can be fixed by replacing the heating element. This task typically isn’t too difficult and these heating items can usually be found at your local hardware or appliance store.

3. Broken Soap Dispenser

A broken soap dispenser is one of the easier fixes you might find. A dishwasher soap dispenser is a small plastic housing that contains the pump and nozzle for liquid detergent or cleaning agents to be dispensed into your dishwater as it washes. This can usually just be replaced by purchasing a new one at an appliance store.

How Do You Know if You Need a New Dishwasher?

Here are nine signs it’s time to start shopping for a new dishwasher.

1. Dishwasher is Old

Age can be one factor that plays into the decision of replacing your dishwasher. If you just bought your dishwasher in the past year, you might make a different decision than if you have had it for 10 or more years.

2. Signs of Rust

If your dishwasher is starting to show signs of rust or other signs of damage, it might be a good time to shop for a new dishwasher. Rust can often be a sign of bigger problems that will only get worse over time.

3. Doesn't Drain Properly

If your dishwasher isn't draining properly, it's an indication that there might be a problem with the pump or other mechanisms inside. This is something you should get looked at if it has been persistent for more than a couple of weeks and hasn't cleared up on its own.

4. Door Doesn't Shut

If you're having trouble shutting the door to your dishwasher, this can be a sign that the door isn't in alignment with other parts of the dishwasher. This might not be a problem for you if it's only happened once or twice, but if it's persistent and your dishes aren't coming out clean, time’s up.

5. It's Starting to Crack

If your dishwasher is beginning to show cracks, a new dishwasher is in the cards. Cracks can happen for all sorts of reasons, and some are more severe than others, but if you're noticing them on the outside of your appliance, this probably means that there is an issue with the material inside or underneath the exterior.

6. Leaks on the Floor

A dishwasher that leaks onto your floor can be an expensive problem. It not only damages your floors, but it can also cause water damage to the walls and cabinets in close proximity to the leak.

7. Struggles to Clean Your Dishes

If your dishwasher is struggling to clean the dishes and forcing you to run cycles over and over again or hand wash, it might be time for a new dishwasher. This struggle to clean can be a sign of clogged jets or dirty filters.

8. Dishes Don’t Come Out Hot

If the dishes are cold when they come out of the dishwasher, it may be time for a new appliance. This could mean that your dishes are not getting hot enough to kill off germs and bacteria.

9. It isn’t Energy Efficient

If you purchased your dishwasher several years ago, it might not be as energy efficient as newer models. You can find out if your model is considered a high-efficiency dishwasher by looking for the ENERGY STAR® label on it. If it isn’t, we recommend shopping for an energy-star certified dishwasher that can help reduce energy costs and save you money in the long-run.

How Can Acima Help?

If you've decided that it's time to start shopping for a new dishwasher, Acima can help. We partner with appliance retailers to help you get a new appliance from local merchants without having to pay cash for it upfront. There are many things you should consider when shopping for a dishwasher, but one of the easiest decisions can be to use Acima’s leasing solutions. Our alternative to financing can make getting your new dishwasher simple, affordable and convenient.


How Much Does a New Dishwasher Cost?

While there are many variables that can impact how much a new dishwasher costs, in general, homeowners can expect to spend around $1,000 when shopping for a new dishwasher. (1)

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Dishwasher?

The answer to this question can vary widely, depending on what type of repair is being made on your dishwasher. On average, dishwasher repairs will start around $370 but can be more or less expensive depending on your dishwasher’s age, brand, warranty and type of repair that is needed. (2)

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Dishwasher Control Panel?

A dishwasher control panel will typically cost between $150 and $350 for a replacement. The final price can vary depending on the type of dishwasher you have, its age and the experience of the technician replacing it.

What Does It Cost to Replace a Dishwasher Pump?

A dishwasher pump typically costs between $150 and $250, depending on the type of dishwasher, its age and how difficult the installation is.


  1. How to Make Your Dishwasher Last Longer” — Consumer Reports, June 20, 2019

  2. How Much Does It Cost to Install a Dishwasher?” — HomeAdvisor, June 3, 2021

  3. How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Dishwasher?” — Fixr, February 5, 2021