Good things come in threes and the Meile Corporation learned this many years ago. Many modern dishwashers use only two spray arms but this particular company began manufacturing automatic dishwashers with three spray arms as early as 1967. This is perfectly logical as some models have tall tubs that can support three dish racks. However, all dishwashers can develop operational and cleaning issues surrounding these spray arms, and the addition of a third arm creates slightly more complex problems. If your three-spray-arm Miele dishwasher is malfunctioning, you can troubleshoot at least four aspects of the appliance on your own.
Rearrange the dishes in the racks if the dishwasher is failing to adequately clean them. Start at the top rack, making sure no tall glasses, cups or long utensils are blocking the upper spray arm. Next, rearrange the dishes on the middle and bottom racks that might be blocking their respective spray arms. Some models will emit a buzzer sound and display a message on the screen stating "Middle Spray Arm Blocked" or "Lower Spray Arm Blocked." Use these indicators as a guide for rectifying cleaning issues with the three rotating spray arms.
Wipe off food debris that builds up on the sides and outer edges of the dishwasher's door. Over time, this buildup can prevent the gasket from forming an airtight seal, allowing dirty water and detergent to leak outside the dishwasher. Don't assume there's a problem with the three spray arms as the dishwasher is not designed to clean things on the outside of the tub or cabinet.
Clean the nozzles on each of the three spray arms. The steps to remove the arms differ by model number. However, the general process involves unscrewing and lifting the top, middle and lower spray arms, in that order, then using a toothpick to get at large food particles that could be clogging the flow of water from the nozzles on the spray arm. For specific steps, read the operating instruction manual that came with your Miele dishwasher.
Check and clean the triple filter system. A clogged filter system can affect the operation of the three spray arms. Some Miele dishwashers display a "Filter Check" message after the appliance goes through 50 wash cycles. The filter removal process generally involves turning a handle counterclockwise and lifting the filter from its compartment. The filter is typically reusable after you rinse the food particles away under the faucet, scrubbing the filterwith a nylon brush if necessary. Consult your manual for specific instructions.
Tips & Warnings
- All three spray arms generally use the same water source, so there aren't three separate water lines.
- Navigate to the "USA" version of Miele's website to download the operating instruction manual that is specific to your dishwasher's model number (see Resources). The model number commonly appears on a label that adheres around the doorframe of the dishwasher.
- Beware of scalding hot water if you interrupt the dishwasher's cycle to open the door.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images