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Are you trying to figure out why your dishwasher is making a popping or crackling noise?
Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place for answers. I’ve been working with appliances for 7 years, and I’ve teamed up with Andy our appliance repair expert to answer this for you.
First – I want to reassure you that a popping or crackling noise may not be an issue! Inside your dishwasher is a heating element. When the metal around the heating element heats up and cools down, it can expand and contract.
This heating process can cause sounds like popping or creaking as the metal expands and contracts. This is typically not an issue, and isn’t anything to worry about.
However, although it’s normal for dishwashers to make noises, some of the noises may indicate there’s an issue with the appliance.
If your dishwasher is making a popping or crackling noise, it could be overloaded, have something stuck in the pump, or you might have a loose kick plate. Having air on the water pipes, electrical problems, or a faulty motor could also explain the issue.
Keep reading to stop your dishwasher’s popping and crackling noises!
Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.
Andy is one of our resident appliance repair experts with over a decade of experience. He currently runs his appliance repair company with a team of trusted technicians.
Solving a Crackling or Popping Dishwasher Noise
Using a dishwasher is a great way to save time. However, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that its performance issues can be super annoying.
Don’t worry, though. I’ve prepared a list of 7 quick fixes to help you eliminate your dishwasher’s popping or crackling noises. These are:
#1 Load Your Dishwasher Properly
Before doing anything else, I recommend checking your dishwasher.
If the appliance is not loaded correctly or the dishes are touching each other, you may hear a dishwasher popping or crackling noise.
I know loading your dishes properly sounds extremely obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people overlook it.
There are different ways to load a dishwasher. In most cases, I recommend facing your dishes toward the center or angling them downward.
Ensure your dishes and cutlery are not touching each other and are stacked securely since this is one of the most common reasons your dishwasher is making a crackling noise and doesn’t dry your dishes correctly.
#2 Check the Pump
If your dishwasher was loaded correctly, chances are there’s something stuck in the pump.
When the pump is clogged or damaged, wastewater can’t be pumped out of the machine, leading to different issues, including a dishwasher making popping or crackling noises.
You can easily check if that’s the case by following the steps below:
- Turn off your dishwasher and the water supply. Then, unplug the dishwasher from the wall outlet.
- Take out the bottom basket and move the spray arm so that you can access the filter unit.
- Unscrew the filter unit to access the pump. Then, remove the filter.
- Clean the pump and remove any debris – there may be glass stuck in the pump. I always recommend being cautious and using protective gloves, and ideally, using a shop vac to suck out any obstructions.
If there are obstructions preventing the pump’s shaft from turning, you may need to fully remove the pump to gain access.
Once you’ve done that, reassemble your dishwasher and plug it back in. Then, start a wash cycle to see if the issue was solved.
#3 Tighten the Kick Plate
When you start a wash cycle, your dishwasher can vibrate and move. Although some movement is normal, it can make parts become loose, which could explain why your dishwasher is making a popping or crackling noise.
While doing my research, I noticed that it’s very common for the kick plate to become loose, so I recommend checking this component first.
The kick plate is located at the bottom of your dishwasher. Once you’ve found it, please check if it moves or wiggles.
If the kick plate does, in fact, wiggle, I recommend removing it and reinstalling it to ensure no screws are loose. If your dishwasher is still making a crackling noise after tightening the screws, that’s ok – there are still many more things to try below!
Bonus tip: verify that the dishwasher is installed correctly by confirming that the mounting brackets are appropriately fastened to the underside of the cabinet.
#4 Remove Air From Your Water Pipes
When water has been recently shut off or new plumbing has been installed, air can easily get into your water pipes.
If you notice a popping noise when you turn on your dishwasher, there’s a good chance you have air bubbles in your water pipes.
If there are air bubbles in your water pipes, there are different ways in which you can address the issue.
The easiest one is to open every faucet in your home (shower, bathroom sinks, kitchen sink, etc.) and leave the water running for a few minutes. Please use buckets to store that water and reuse it; taking care of the environment is crucial.
You can also wait a few hours or until you’ve flushed the toilet. Flushing the toilet can often stop your dishwasher from making a crackling or popping noise.
#5 Check the Wiring
Moving on, you’ll want to check the wires attached to your dishwasher. Damaged wires can cause many electrical problems and dishwasher popping and crackling noises.
Since wiring issues can cause the circuit breaker to trip or even a short circuit, I recommend carefully unplugging your dishwasher and calling a professional to avoid hurting yourself.
#6 Check the Motor
Lastly, the dishwasher popping noise could be coming from the motor and another component banging into each other as the dishwasher runs.
To address the situation, you’ll need to unplug the dishwasher and access the motor – this process varies depending on your model. If the motor’s been damaged or deformed, you’ll likely need to replace it. Replacing the motor is often something best left to a professional. It can sometimes be more expensive than simply buying a new model!
Finding Your Dishwasher’s Manual
You may need to access certain components to address the dishwasher crackling noise, such as the motor or chopper blade.
While I’ve provided general instructions to stop the popping and crackling noises, I also recommend checking your dishwasher’s manual since the process will vary depending on the brand or model you own.
That about covers it!
I hope the 7 fixes above have helped you gain more confidence in solving the problem.
Remember, if your dishwasher is making popping or crackling noises, you’ll need to ensure the dishes inside it are not touching each other, unclog the pump, and check the chopper blade and motor for damage.
Moreover, remember to ensure the kick plate is not loose and remove air from your water pipes.
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