Does a home warranty cover the dishwasher?
Dishwasher problems can be a real headache. As a homeowner, you know that in just a few days without a working dishwasher, your family’s busy daily routines can go down the drain, and dishes can pile up.
Dishwasher problems are also expensive and often occur after an extended warranty expires. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure your home warranty covers dishwasher repair or replacement.
This article explains common problems associated with dishwashers, the kind of coverage a home warranty can provide for dishwasher problems, how a warranty is different from homeowners insurance and how to take better care of your dishwasher to prevent problems in the first place.
Common problems associated with dishwashers
Have you ever opened your dishwasher after a cleaning cycle and found the dishes still dirty? Like any appliance that gets a lot of daily use, a dishwasher can become the victim of wear and tear — especially after its warranty runs out.
Without regular care, it’s common for a dishwasher drain to get clogged with food, for the spray arm to break, for the inlet valve to malfunction and for the soap dispenser to stop working properly. While dishwashers are designed to last about 10 years, 30 percent will have issues within the first 5 years, rendering dishwasher care a worthwhile investment.
Any one of these common dishwasher repair issues can impact the efficiency and function of the dishwasher and cause food debris and bacteria to remain on dishes. Leave these issues unattended and the dishwasher will stop working entirely, and chances are it will be after the extended warranty expires.
To keep your dishwasher running well, practice these dishwasher maintenance tips:
- You don’t need to pre-rinse your dishes, but you do need to remove bones, pits, toothpicks or other solid bits that could clog or damage the filter, drain hose or drain pump.
- If you find yourself needing a lot of rinse aid to remove spots from your clean dishes, you may have hard water, and you’ll need to regularly remove hard water residue from the seals, racks, spray arm and door. You may still need rinse aid to make your dishes shine, but the dishwasher will function better.
- Inspect the top and bottom spray arm monthly for damage or clogs, and gently remove obstructions to maintain the spray pattern.
- Remove and clean the filter at least once a month.
- Keep an eye on the floor around the unit for leaks or seepage from the drain, and be sure to address the problem before water damage occurs to your flooring or cabinets.
What is typically included in a home warranty with dishwasher coverage?
Even if you are a diligent homeowner who takes appliance maintenance seriously, things can still go wrong. That’s where a home warranty company really comes in handy.
Home warranty coverage protects you from the cost of repair and replacement of your home’s appliances and systems — from your water heater to your garbage disposal. Unlike homeowners insurance, which covers the structure of your home in case of disasters or accidents, home warranty benefits are designed to cover the costly repairs needed for regular wear and tear on the mechanical systems and major appliances in your home.
A Cinch Home Services warranty covers all components and parts of your dishwasher. But each home warranty company has its own coverage allowances and limits for dishwasher repair, and some repairs may not be covered. There are also some issues that a warranty company doesn’t cover because they are typically covered under homeowners insurance instead.
Dishwasher damage not covered under a home warranty
Repairs resulting from incorrect use, intentional damage or improper installation usually are not covered under a home warranty. Secondary damage, or damage caused by another malfunction of the incident, is also not covered under a warranty. If your dishwasher was damaged from flooding or fire, for example, it would likely be covered under your homeowners insurance.
Pre-existing conditions are also typically not covered by a homeowner warranty unless it is an unknown pre-existing mechanical failure that could not have been detected with a visual inspection or simple mechanical test. For instance, if you recently bought a home with a dishwasher in it and you can provide the home inspector’s report showing the dishwasher appeared to be in working order, you can get warranty coverage even if the failure was technically a pre-existing problem.
Keep in mind that home warranty coverage is secondary to the manufacturers’ warranties. So if your appliance is still new enough to have a valid warranty from the manufacturer or an extended warranty, most repair costs will be covered under that first.
Dishwasher repairs covered under a home warranty
Normal wear and tear is damage that results from the proper or every day use of an appliance over time. Some parts of your dishwasher will simply deteriorate and need to be replaced eventually, no matter how well maintained.
With the parts being put to test under high-pressure hot water every day, some things will inevitably rust, corrode or break down. Those are exactly the kinds of issues that a warranty plan is designed for.
How to compare home warranty plans with dishwasher coverage
The average cost of routine repairs on a dishwasher fall within the $160–$300 range when you don’t have warranty coverage. And if the dishwasher needs to be replaced, the cost could be much more. You also likely don’t have a lot of time to spend to try to understand your dishwasher issues when it breaks down.
A home warranty protects you from the unpredictable cost of repair and replacement, and it also provides you with reliable service, taking the guesswork out of both your budget and your repair needs.
When you are shopping for a home warranty plan to cover your dishwasher and other appliances and you are comparing one home warranty company to another, consider these three key factors:
- Service contract and service fees: The warranty company should have a competitive annual contract fee and reasonable service fee for the warranty, which gets paid directly to the repair provider at the time of service.
- Qualified repair service: A reputable warranty company should have a network of reliable, qualified service providers in your area, who can be called as soon as you make a claim on the warranty.
- Coverage options: Make a home appliance and system inventory so that you can request the kind of coverage you really need. You may also want to explore add-on coverage that goes beyond simply appliance coverage, extending to things like swimming pools.
By developing regular maintenance habits, your dishwasher should keep ticking for as long as your family needs it. But if something does go wrong, a home warranty plan that includes appliance coverage will help you get it repaired quickly at very little up-front cost. A covered appliance can be relied on – for better or worse.