Why Is My Dishwasher Making a High-Pitched Noise

As a dishwasher owner, you might have experienced a high-pitched noise coming from your appliance. It can be irritating, especially if you’re trying to enjoy a peaceful night or entertain guests. There are several reasons why your dishwasher might be making that sound, and in this article, we’ll cover them and provide possible solutions.

Normal Dishwasher Sounds

Dishwashers typically produce a variety of sounds during operation. These include water filling and draining sounds, a gentle hum of the motor, and the swooshing of water spraying around. These sounds are usually normal and shouldn’t cause concern. However, if the dishwasher starts producing a high-pitched noise, it might indicate a problem that needs fixing.

Causes of High-Pitched Noise

Defective Motor

The dishwasher motor is responsible for powering the spray arms that clean the dishes. If the motor has a defect, it can result in a high-pitched noise. A defective motor can also cause the spray arms to rotate unevenly, leading to poor cleaning results.

Clogged Spray Arms

The spray arms are designed to shoot water to clean the dishes. Over time, they can become clogged with food particles, soap scum, and hard water deposits. If the spray arms are clogged, water pressure builds up, and the dishwasher produces a high-pitched noise. Cleaning the spray arms regularly can prevent this problem.

Worn-out Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher. If it’s worn out or damaged, it can cause the dishwasher to produce a high-pitched noise when filling up with water. Replacing the water inlet valve can solve this issue.

Malfunctioning Circulation Pump

The circulation pump is responsible for moving water around the dishwasher during the cleaning cycle. If it’s malfunctioning, it can produce a high-pitched noise. The circulation pump might need repair or replacement to solve this issue.

Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump removes the dirty water from the dishwasher after the cleaning cycle. If it’s faulty, it can cause the dishwasher to make a high-pitched noise when draining. Replacing the drain pump can solve this issue.

Loose Wash Arm

The wash arm rotates during the cleaning cycle, spraying water onto the dishes. If it’s loose, it can cause the dishwasher to make a high-pitched noise. Tightening or replacing the wash arm can solve this issue.

Damaged Dishwasher Belt

The dishwasher belt is responsible for turning the motor and spray arms. If it’s damaged, it can cause a high-pitched noise. Replacing the dishwasher belt can solve this issue.

Loose Objects

Loose objects, such as utensils or dishes, can sometimes fall inside the dishwasher and cause a high-pitched noise during operation. Ensure that you load the dishwasher correctly to prevent loose objects from falling inside.

Dishwasher Installation

A dishwasher that’s not correctly installed can produce a high-pitched noise during operation. Ensure that the dishwasher is level, and all the connections are tight and secure.

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Maintenance Tips to Prevent High-Pitched Noise

Preventing high-pitched noise in your dishwasher involves regular maintenance. Here are some tips to keep your dishwasher in top shape:

  1. Clean the spray arms regularly to prevent clogs.
  2. Run hot water in your sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure that hot water reaches the dishwasher quickly.
  3. Use dishwasher-safe detergent and rinse aid to prevent soap scum buildup.
  4. Don’t overload the dishwasher, as this can prevent proper cleaning and cause high-pitched noise.
  5. Ensure that the dishwasher is level to prevent loose objects from falling inside.
  6. Check the dishwasher belt regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace it if necessary.
  7. Inspect the water inlet and drain valves for damage and replace them if necessary.
  8. Have a professional inspect your dishwasher regularly to identify and fix any issues before they become major problems.

How can I prevent high-pitched noise in my dishwasher?

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the spray arms and inspecting the dishwasher belt, can help prevent high-pitched noise. Proper loading and unloading of the dishwasher, using the correct detergent and rinse aid, and having the dishwasher installed correctly can also help prevent noise.

Can using the wrong detergent cause a high-pitched noise in my dishwasher?

Yes, using the wrong detergent or rinse aid can cause soap scum buildup, which can lead to clogs and high-pitched noise.

How often should I inspect my dishwasher for issues?

It’s recommended to have your dishwasher inspected by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the spray arms and checking the dishwasher belt, should be done more frequently.

Can I fix a high-pitched noise in my dishwasher myself?

It depends on the cause of the noise. Some issues, such as loose objects or a clogged spray arm, can be fixed easily. However, if the issue involves the motor or other complex components, it’s best to have a professional inspect and repair your dishwasher.

Can a high-pitched noise from my dishwasher be dangerous?

No, a high-pitched noise from your dishwasher is usually a sign of a mechanical issue and is not dangerous.


A high-pitched noise coming from your dishwasher can be an annoyance, but it’s usually fixable. By identifying the cause of the noise, you can take steps to fix the issue and prevent it from happening in the future. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help prevent high-pitched noise and ensure that your dishwasher continues to work efficiently.

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