Dishwasher Making Clicking Noises While Running? Read This

Dishwasher making clicking noises

Are you trying to stop your dishwasher from making clicking noises while running?

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen struggle with this issue. But the good news is that you’ve come to the right place to get it fixed.

It’s normal to hear a clicking noise coming from the electric control panel or timer while your dishwasher is running. However, if the noise is rhythmic, then you’ll need to check the spray arms, chopper blade, drain pump, and diverter motor.

Keep reading to learn more about these fixes, and forget all about the clicking noise!

Stop Your Dishwasher From Making Clicking Noises: 4 Steps

Although it’s normal for dishwashers to make noises while running, sometimes these may indicate there’s an issue with one or more of its components.

This is why I’ve prepared a list of the things you must check to get rid of the repetitive clicking noises. These are:

#1 Check the Spray Arms

As mentioned in the introduction, it’s normal for your dishwasher to make clicking noises while running. These can come either from the control panel or electric timer.

However, you must pay attention to the clicking noise. If it’s very repetitive, chances are your cutlery or dishes are hanging below the bottom rack and hitting the spray arms.

How to load a dishwasher
Make sure your dishes are not blocking the spray arms

To avoid this from happening, I recommend facing your dishes toward the center or angling them downward. Make sure they are not touching each other or the spray arms.

By doing this, you’re going to stop your dishwasher from making clicking noises, and you’ll make sure all your dishes dry evenly.

I also recommend making sure that the spinning arm rotates correctly. If they’re not, please replace them by following these simple instructions:

  1. Disconnect your dishwasher from the wall outlet or flip its breaker in the circuit breaker panel.
  2. Open your dishwasher’s door and remove the lower rack from the unit.
  3. Twist the lower spray arm, and pull it out gently.
  4. Remove the upper basket.
  5. If the upper spray arm has screws, please remove them. Then, detach it.
  6. Install the new spray arms and reassemble your dishwasher.

Bear in mind that the process of replacing the spray arms may vary depending on your dishwasher’s model. This is why I recommend checking your manual for detailed instructions.

#2 Check the Chopper Blade

Now, it’s time for us to check your dishwasher’s chopper blade.

If the chopper blade is clogged or damaged, it won’t be able to dice the leftover food into smaller particles, and your dishwasher may make a clicking noise while running.

Don’t worry, though. Checking this component is really quick and simple, you’ll just need to:

  1. Disconnect your dishwasher from its power source.
  2. Take out the lower and upper dish racks. With some dishwashers, you’ll need to remove a tab or clip in each of the slider rails to be able to do this. Check your manual for detailed instructions.
  3. Spin the spray arm at the bottom of your dishwasher counterclockwise to remove it.
  4. Disconnect the water tube by pressing the clips with your fingers. Grab the tube and turn it clockwise to remove it.
  5. Remove the filter housing and pump cover to expose the chopper assembly cover. You may need to remove some screws.
  6. Remove the screws attached to the chopper assembly. Then, please use needle-nose pliers to take the chopper out.
  7. Check the chopper. If it has food debris, you can try cleaning it with a soft brush and warm water. However, I recommend replacing it with a new one because it’s likely that the old chopper blade is not working anymore.

Once you’ve cleaned or removed the chopper blade, please reassemble your dishwasher and check if the clicking noise disappeared.

#3 Clean or Replace the Drain Pump

As you may already know, your dishwasher’s drain pump is in charge of removing any used water from the appliance.

These can often get clogged, but a simple clean-out can often resolve the issue.

The drain pump’s location depends on your model, but it’s often behind the front kick panel. Alternatively, you can move the dishwasher out and turn it on it’s side to access the pump.

Unfortunately, if you find the pump is damaged, it won’t be able to perform its functions, resulting in a clicking noise.

This is why you may need to replace it. Here’s how to do it (get some gloves on!):

  1. Unplug your dishwasher from the wall outlet.
  2. Access the drain pump as described above
  3. Disconnect the wires attached from the drain pump to the control panel.
  4. Remove the wire harness from the drain pump. Then, rotate the pump counterclockwise to pull it out. There’s likely a small tab you’ll need to push on with your fingers before rotating the pump.
  5. Install the new drain pump. Don’t forget to connect the wires.

Please note that the process above may vary depending on the dishwasher brand and model you own. For specific instructions, check your manual.

Once you’ve finished replacing the pump, please reassemble your dishwasher and plug it back into the wall outlet.

Tip: If you don’t feel comfortable replacing the drain pump on your own, I recommend calling a professional.

#4 Check the Diverter Motor

Now, it’s time for us to check your dishwasher’s diverter motor.

How to check your dishwasher's diverter motor
If your dishwasher’s diverter motor is faulty, you may hear a clicking noise.

You see, this component is in charge of controlling the water going to the spray arms. If it’s damaged or broken, your dishwasher can make a clicking noise while running.

Please follow these instructions to check the diverter motor:

  1. Unplug your dishwasher or shut off the house circuit breaker for the dishwasher. If you do the latter, please press the power button to verify that the power is disconnected.
  2. Shut off the water supply going to the dishwasher and pull out the bottom and top dish racks.
  3. Remove the bottom spray arm and remove the feed tube from the pump outlet.
  4. Remove the pump outlet and pull the diverter disc off the motor shaft.
  5. Remove the kick plate (bottom panel) and position the power cord, so it can move freely.
  6. Place a flat pan or a tower under the water supply line connection and disconnect the water supply line from the water inlet valve.
  7. Remove the screws that secure the dishwasher in the cabinet. Then, pull it out.
  8. Lay the dishwasher on its back and disconnect the wires attached to the diverter motor.
  9. Pull the diverter motor out. Check if it’s damaged.
  10. If it is, please replace it with a new diverter motor.
  11. Reassemble your dishwasher.

Remember, if you don’t feel prepared for changing the diverter motor on your own, try calling a professional.

Finding Your Dishwasher’s Manual

As you probably noticed, you may need to change the drain pump, chopper blade, or diverter motor to get rid of the clicking noise.

You can follow the instructions above. However, I recommend double-checking them with your dishwasher’s manual, since the process may vary depending on the brand or model you own.

Find your dishwasher's manual
Check your dishwasher’s manual before replacing any component.

If you can’t find your manual, please search for a label in your dishwasher’s door. It will contain its model number.

Then, go to Google and search for the brand and model. For example, if you own a Samsung dishwasher, type “Samsung [model number] Dishwasher Manual PDF”.

If you need to replace a component, please search on Google for it. Here’s an example: “Drain Pump “Samsung” [model number]”.


That about covers it! I hope that this article has helped give you some more confidence in stopping your dishwasher from making clicking noises.

If you take anything away, please remember to check that the spray arms are not hitting your dishes and inspect the chopper blade.

Don’t forget to check the drain pump and diverter motor to see if they’re damaged. If they are, remember to replace them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this quick article. If you found the 4 tips above helpful, don’t forget to check out our other related posts.

Have a wonderful day!

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more