Why A Dishwasher Buzzing Sound Could Be The Motor

A technician with his toolbox near a dishwasher

Is your dishwasher motor buzzing louder than a beehive?

Buzzing is an issue that many dishwasher owners face at some point during the lifespan of their appliance, and it can be very annoying and quite concerning.

Dishwashers are not cheap, so it’s understandable that you’re desperately trying to figure out what’s causing the buzzing before things get worse.

Luckily, you came to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a small guide explaining where the buzzing is coming from, what it means, and what your options are.

Keep reading to get rid of the buzzing!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and James Blackford.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

James is one of our resident appliance experts, with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair business.

In case you prefer to listen, here’s a clip from our podcast where we discuss dishwasher humming or buzzing sound and what it indicates.

The Typical Cause of a Buzzing Dishwasher

In my experience, a buzzing dishwasher is always related to the motor inside it.

A diagram of where a dishwasher's motor is located
A loud motor is a sign that it’s worn out and probably needs to be replaced

I hopped on a call with James to ask him about his take on the buzzing, and he had very interesting comments.

This is one sound that I hear quite often in the field. It typically appears in the form of the dishwasher running loud or making a buzzing or electrical motor-type sound while washing. To me, that’s always an indicator that your washer motor is going bad”, he explained.

An open dishwasher loaded with dishes
There’s a chance the sound you’re hearing is normal

He also warned people to be careful before trying to repair the motor buzzing sound themselves.

If the appliance is cleaning the dishes, just leave it alone. The wash motor is one of those things where unless you have a knack for repairing stuff, you’ll want to get a professional in to get the job done. There’s a lot that can happen with these motors that can make the situation a lot worse if approached the wrong way“.

Can You Repair/Replace a Dishwasher Motor Yourself?

Dishwasher motors are somewhat complex, requiring a certain degree of expertise to be worked on. The problem with trying to repair the loud motor buzzing sound yourself is that you need to know exactly what you’re doing if you don’t want to create additional issues.

Going in and manipulating the motor without a clear idea of what you’re looking for can potentially turn a buzzing but working dishwasher into a useless appliance that won’t even turn on anymore.

Are There Any Other Dishwasher Sounds You Should Look Out For?

Yes! Dishwashers make all sorts of sounds while they’re cleaning your dishes. These include clicking, humming, and more, so you must listen carefully to ensure the buzzing is not normal. Otherwise, you might call a technician or open the appliance yourself, only to realize everything is ok.

What’s the Next Step?

The typical motor repair/replacement for a dishwasher will be in the range of $300-$700, so it’s definitely not cheap. And when you take certain factors into consideration, it might not even be worth it.

The average dishwasher costs anywhere between $400-$1,200, so if you bought yours for a similar price, it wouldn’t be a good financial decision to pay for repairs. If the price of repairs is near the price of a new dishwasher, you’re better off just replacing the appliance altogether.

A technician repairing a dishwasher
Weigh the cost of repairs vs the cost of replacement to make the right choice

However, if you own a more expensive model or want to keep your current dishwasher regardless of the cost-benefit situation, then by all means, feel free to call a professional to take care of the dishwasher buzzing sound for you.

Preventing a Dishwasher Buzzing Sound

Sometimes, there’s no way to prevent a dishwasher buzzing sound, as it can be related to broken or worn-out components, which is completely normal. However, taking good care of your dishwasher and using it according to your manufacturer’s specifications can go a long way in extending its components’ lifespan.

Here are some of the actions I recommend you implement into your daily routine:

  • Clean the dishwasher regularly: There are many parts inside your dishwasher, such as the filter, that must be cleaned often to prevent clogging, bad smells, and improper water drainage. I recommend cleaning your dishwasher’s filter at least twice per month.
  • Don’t exceed the load limit: Most dishwashers have a standard maximum load capacity that should not be exceeded. Going over the maximum limit can use more resources than needed and put unnecessary strain on the dishwasher door, latch, and motor. Not to mention that your dishes might not be cleaned properly.
  • Watch carefully: Sometimes, the dishwasher buzzing sound coming from the motor can originate from a different sound that appeared weeks earlier. It’s important that you keep a close eye on your dishwasher as it operates to identify any other noises, such as crackling and popping, that indicate problems.


That about covers it!

When your dishwasher is buzzing like crazy, more often than not, you’re unfortunately looking at a bad motor on the unit.

I hope this piece has helped you better understand the overall situation, the cost of repairs you might be looking at, and whether it’s actually worth paying for them or replacing the dishwasher entirely.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was useful and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other wonderful resources below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

I wish you nothing but the best!

— Craig.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more