Spray arm does not turn – repair the dishwasher yourself?

A dishwasher can save a lot of time in daily household chores. So it is all the more annoying when the dishwasher suddenly goes on strike. However, problems such as a non-rotating upper spray arm can often be remedied with relatively little effort.

The first step: pinpointing the exact problem

Of course, problems do occur with dishwashers, especially towards the end of their service life, and only a technician can provide a lasting solution. However, it is just as possible that it is only a minor problem that is mainly due to a lack of care for the appliance. If a dishwasher’s upper spray arm no longer wants to turn, this can basically be related to the following problem areas:

  • a defective appliance control
  • insufficient water supply
  • a defective water pump in the appliance
  • a clogged fine sieve
  • mechanical defects
  • clogged holes in the spray arm itself

In the vast majority of cases, the last reason from this list is responsible if an upper spray arm can be turned perfectly by hand when the unit is open, but fails to rotate during operation. This is noticeable not only by a change in operating noise, but also by insufficiently cleaned dishes. If certain holes are blocked, the rotation of the spray arm generated by the angle of the water jet cannot be realised sufficiently strongly.

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Carefully dismantle and clean the spray arm

To prevent clogged holes in the spray arm as much as possible, you should not only keep an eye on the lime content of the tap water. It can be very helpful in this regard if food residues are consistently scraped off or rinsed off before the dishes are put into the dishwasher. However, once the holes in the spray arm that act as drive nozzles are clogged, it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

If you need to do it quickly, you can use a wooden toothpick to push dirt into the inside of the spray arm. However, so that the holes in the spray arm are not constantly clogged, it must be carefully removed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and then thoroughly cleaned. Limescale deposits can be removed, for example, by soaking in a vinegar solution. However, you should always be careful not to use any cleaning agents that are too aggressive. This could otherwise damage the seals.

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Installing the spray arm and checking its function

If you note or remember the individual steps of the procedure when removing the spray arm, it will be much easier for you to install it in reverse order. It is very important that the upper spray arm fits well again after cleaning and is not loose in any way. Otherwise it could come off and be damaged when the appliance is put into operation.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Dishwashers expert with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and shares his knowledge on many sites. Helps you choose the best (portable, countertop, built-in) dishwashers on this site.

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