By Evan Crowther
The national average cost of dishwasher repairs (including leak and drain repairs) is $311, but repairs typically range from $242-$360 on the low and high end. These cost estimates only include the minimum average cost of labor — not materials, equipment, or parts. When planning your project's budget, consider these service fees and the cost of replacement parts (if necessary).
Average dishwasher repair cost.
National average cost
Low-end average cost
High-end average cost
The cost to fix a malfunctioning dishwasher can vary significantly depending on the exact problem and the extent of the damage. As indicated in the above chart, you can expect to pay a national average of $311. However, keep in mind that this is an average that only includes labor. Repairing your specific issue may cost more or less, depending on several factors.
In this article, we’ll examine two of the most common dishwasher problems: water leaks and drainage issues. We’ll also reveal the factors that affect the total cost, as well as money-saving tips and ways to prevent future problems.
What's in this cost guide?
Dishwashers can stop working properly for many reasons. When hiring a professional, these considerations will determine the total price.
Type of repair.
Different dishwasher issues require different repair approaches, and the costs may vary accordingly. Some repairs are more labor-intensive or require expensive replacement parts. In some cases, the repair may require specialized tools or skills. All of these factors will impact the final cost.
When asking for quotes, make sure to request detailed estimates for labor, materials, equipment, and replacement parts from local professionals.
Severity of the problem.
Minor issues like a clogged drain filter are simple fixes many homeowners can handle on their own. How bad the issue is will affect the total cost of repair.
For example, the total cost may be lower if the technician can repair a part instead of replacing it. This could be the case for dishwasher leaks and draining issues. Sometimes, just cleaning, unclogging, and tightening hoses and parts can fix your dishwasher. Other times, you may need to repair the pump, hoses, and other components — which will cost more than $242-$360.
Brand and model.
Not all dishwashers use identical parts. As a result, different brands may be more expensive than others to repair.
Some brands may use universal replacement parts, which tend to be cheaper and easier to find. Others may only use brand-name replacement parts. Additionally, some dishwasher models use uncommon designs that require specialized knowledge.
When you get a quote, ask how much it costs to fix a dishwasher of a specific brand and model.
The general cost of labor will vary depending on the area you live in. A repair technician with more expertise will likely charge more for their labor.
However, “more expensive” doesn't always translate to “better.” Try to find a good balance between price and quality when hiring a pro.
The cost of the specific parts your dishwasher needs is one of the biggest factors in determining repair costs. For example, the cost to replace a dishwasher control panel will differ from that of a dishwasher motor replacement.
You should also determine if the cost of a replacement part is high enough to warrant replacing your dishwasher altogether.
While a dishwasher issue is often an unexpected and unwelcome expense, there are ways to minimize the financial impact.
Many dishwasher repairs are simple enough for a handy homeowner to tackle on their own. A clogged drain or sprayer arm is an easy fix that probably won’t require a professional. Be sure to consult your user manual to avoid making the problem worse.
You likely have several appliance repair businesses nearby. Don’t settle for the first one you find. Compare quotes from different companies to get the best price.
Look for OEM parts.
While some appliance manufacturers require name-brand parts, you can sometimes save money by using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Many manufacturers allow third-party companies to produce components. This kind of part typically costs less and is of comparable quality to name-brand parts.
Check your warranty.
Dishwashers often come with a warranty that covers defects in workmanship or materials. Depending on the issue, it’s worth contacting your dishwasher’s manufacturer. The warranty may cover repair or the entire cost of replacing the appliance.
As with any machine, regular maintenance can help you avoid spending money on expensive repairs. Periodically, you should take these preventative steps to keep your dishwasher working properly:
Clean the filter.
The drain filter stops food particles and debris from clogging up the drainage system. Over time, the filter can become clogged and prevent proper water flow. Removing the filter and rinsing it out can improve your dishwasher’s performance.
Run wash cycles regularly.
It’s best not to let your dishwasher sit idle for too long. Running the appliance regularly will keep motors working properly and prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Clear the spray arms.
Your dishwasher’s spray arms can become clogged with food particles over time. Clear any blockages in the holes using a toothpick or thin wire to keep water flowing. Most spray arms are removable to make them easier to clean.
Avoid overloading the dishwasher.
Overloading your dishwasher will prevent the machine from running properly. It can also lead to food getting caked onto the dishes, requiring additional wash cycles. The extra wash cycles can reduce the lifespan of your dishwasher.
In some situations, it’s more cost-effective to replace your dishwasher completely than to spend money on repairs. The choice between repair or replacement can be difficult. Take these considerations into account to decide whether to repair or replace your dishwasher:
- Age of the dishwasher. Most dishwashers last around 9 years. It may be time for a new one if you’re close to that milestone.
- Cost of repairs. The cost of some repairs outweighs the replacement costs. A good rule of thumb is this: If the cost of repairs is 50% or more than the cost of buying a new model, consider buying a new dishwasher.
- Energy efficiency. If your dishwasher is older, replacing it may save you money on utilities. Newer, high-efficiency models tend to use less electricity and water.
- Frequency of repairs. If your dishwasher is breaking down more often than usual, it may be a sign that you need a new one.
Some dishwasher repairs are easy enough to DIY. For more serious problems, it’s best to call an appliance repair technician.
A qualified professional will be able to diagnose and repair the issue. With Thumbtack, finding the best appliance repair professional in your area is easy. Download the Thumbtack app today to get a free quote on your dishwasher repair.
All project cost estimates included in this article were provided by Xactware’s pricing data (unless otherwise noted). For more information, visit Xactware’s pricing methodology page.