Run the Water at the Sink Before Starting Dishwasher Cycle

Fred's Appliance Academy
July 6, 2021
Dishwasher Training

Hi, my name is Renae and I'm an appliance repair tech. In the winter, does it seem like your dishwasher doesn't dry or clean quite as well as it does the rest of the year? Sometimes that can be because your water coming into the dishwasher isn't quite hot enough. Think about it this way. If you tried to wash dishes by hand with cold water, it doesn't work as well as if you're using hot water, right? And hot water wants to evaporate, whereas cold water wants to stick around. So if the water coming into your dishwasher isn't hot enough, stuff might not get all the way clean and it might not dry as well either. One little trick that can help is to run your hot water at your sink before you run your dishwasher. For most dishwashers, the hot water line that connects to your dishwasher is connected to the hot water line that goes up to your sink. So if you run the water at your sink for a few minutes first until it gets hot, then you can start your dishwasher with hot water.
In the United States, the majority of appliances are designed to be energy efficient. Here in the US, all of our dishwashers are hooked up to hot water already, and your dishwasher relies on hot water coming in to function properly. The heating elements generally serve two purposes. The first is to maintain that heat. You'll notice I said maintain, not heat up, which means you still need to start out with hot water. It just maintains that temperature during the cycle. The second is to dry your dishes, but even then newer dishwashers don't get as hot as they used to because as energy laws have changed and evolved, so have the dishwasher designs. Yes, for the best operation in the United States, you want the incoming water to be hot. Unfortunately, your dishwasher is not going to do it for you. If it takes the water at your kitchen single while to get hot, run the water at your tap first until it's hot before running your dishwasher. It'll help your dishes get cleaner and dry a little bit better too.
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