The easiest way to tell if your dishwasher is pumping water through all the spray arms is to take all of your spray arms and line them up at 6 and 12, so you're going to line them up, front to back.
Spray arms are located at the bottom of the dishwasher and can easily be pulled out by a simple twist and lift. Spin the spray arm with your hand to see if it rotates freely. If it doesn't, it may be time to replace it.
Dirty spray arms
By far the most common reason why your spray arms may not be spinning properly is the build-up of dirt and debris. Remove the dishwasher basket to freely access the spray arms and carefully clean them out. For more information on how to clean the spray arms, click here.
If your dishwasher is not spraying water, the filter and pump could be clogged, the overfill float switch may have malfunctioned, or the spray arms are blocked. There may be water valve issues or inadequate pressure. You can check why it's not spraying water from the water supply valve.
Is it possible to run the dishwasher cycle without the spray arm to clean the unit out and then replace it with a new arm? Hello Chris, what is the answer? It won't clean the unit. The wash arm is required to run the unit.
The Lower Spray Arm is used in your dishwasher to spray water and clean your dishes. If broken there will be visible damage or your dishes may no longer be cleaned properly. If your spray arm is broken (due to general wear or high heat), it should be replaced.
Most dishwashers will have at least one spray arm at the bottom of the inside. What is this? Still, many models also come with a second spray arm that spins at the top part instead. Together, dishwasher spray arms will spin when there's enough water pressure going through them.
Locate your dishwasher's water inlet valve. It should be located behind the lower kickplate panel in either the right or left corner. There will likely be two screws either on the top of the panel, or on its bottom. Remove these two screws, and then remove the kickplate.
The spray arms are usually powered by the water pump within the dishwasher. If the filter or the water pump is clogged, it will not provide enough pressure for the spray arm to spin as they should.
Remove the lower dishrack from the unit. If your dishwasher has a spray tower in the center of the spray arm, remove it now by unscrewing it with your hand. You should see a bolt in the center of the spray arm. Remove the bolt and then remove the lower spray arm by pulling up on it.
Use a piece of wire, such as coat hanger wire, the same diameter as the holes to clean out the holes in the spray arms. Put the arms back on the dishwasher and spin them to make sure they turn easily. In extreme cases, soak the spray arms in warm water and vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits.
The check valve stops wastewater from re-entering your dishwasher through the drain hose. If the water in your dishwasher is draining, but then backs up once the drain pump turns off, you are most likely dealing with a faulty check valve.
To clean the arms, take them out of your dishwasher and use a metal pick or a long piece of wire to remove the food and soap residue blocking the spray armholes. Once you've cleared away the obstructions, run a stream of water through the arms to ensure water can freely flow through the spray arm's holes.
The lower dishwasher spray arm simply pulls out, whilst the upper spray are will be secured by a plastic nut. Visually inspect your spray arms for blockages and remove any debris or plastic that can be seen. Simply replace the spray arms as they came off.
Remove the lower rack to access the lower spray arm. Gently lift up on the body of the spray arm while rotating it counter-clockwise about 90 degrees. This will "unscrew" the arm assembly and permit its removal. To replace, put the spray arm back into place and turn the body clockwise until it locks into place.