A good dishwasher can be a lifesaver in the kitchen. Advancements in modern kitchen appliances mean that many dishwashers no longer require you to pre-wash or rinse your dishes and silverware, saving time and money, even more so with Energy Star Certified models.
One characteristic of a dishwasher that may determine just how well it works for you is the layout and size of the upper racks and lower racks. Without adequate space and organizational dividers, even the most capable dishwasher will run only small loads. Even the best dishwasher racks are useless if it does not stay on the tracks.
Fixing or replacing wheels on your dishwasher rack isn’t all that complicated
In this article, we will go over:
A problem that isn't unique to GE Appliances is wheels or rollers falling off racks in the dishwasher. Usually, this is not a particularly major issue and one that is easily repaired, often with no tools.
If this does happen, the best case is simply needing to put the wheel back on and realign the dish rack. However, this can also lead to a wheel falling and melting on a heater element or the full rack completely falling, shattering the cups and dishes.
Regardless of the result, it is an issue that can be incredibly annoying and frustrating. There are several solutions, both to repair a wheel that has fallen off, and to replace or fix the wheel to hopefully not fall off again.
If you notice any water leakage, you likely have a
Regardless of how expensive the dishwasher model is or how much the quality matches the high price, manufacturers still try, and in many ways need, to save money through production and materials costs. This creates weak points in the dishwasher.
Many wheels and rollers for dishwasher racks are made from a lower-grade material than the rest of the appliance and attached using the simplest and fastest method - usually held on by integrated clips of the same low-grade plastic. With repetitive heavy loads and use, the clips or the wheels themselves, are prone to fatigue and can fall off or be melted by the dishwasher’s heating element.
Dishwasher wheels can fail for a variety of reasons - including from just wearing down over time
Build quality is why the Maytag dishwasher is often regarded as superior to many other dishwashers, but the reliability comes at a price. Maytag dishwashers are among the most expensive.
Whether the wheel simply fell off or is completely broken, replacement and repairs are relatively simple and easy and take very minimal tools. Replacing the old rack wheel with a new one may be the perfect solution.
Replacing the wheel or the wheel assembly is relatively simple after ordering the right part. GE provides a robust online catalog of replacement washer parts. To find the specific model or the serial number of your dishwasher, look inside the appliance for a rectangle stick on the door or the side of the opening.
Now it is time to order the replacement dishwasher parts. If you need to order a replacement wheel for a rack, it might be worth ordering a complete set of 4 and replacing them all. New wheels will help prolong the alignment and smoothness of the dishrack sliding on the guide rails.
While not considered a repair "approved" by GE, some customers who have encountered this issue have achieved similar and occasionally better results by replacing the wheels with aftermarket casters. It may take a bit of trial and error to find a set of casters that fit your particular model.
Installing lower rack wheels on a GE Dishwasher
With proper maintenance and genuine parts, replacing the wheels that keep falling off will provide many years of service.
Instead of replacing the entire wheel unit, several homemade solutions might be able to help. Especially if there is a delay or backorder with the parts, these might be temporary solutions to bridge the gap for an actual and more permanent fix.
The main goal of these fixes is to fill in most of the space in the roller channel and keep the wheels straight as they roll along the track.
One solution is to use a small piece of duct tape around the wheel spindle or the wheel itself. The tape makes a tighter fit in the channel and helps keep the wheel straight.
Sometimes, removing and then soaking the wheel in boiling or near-boiling water for a few moments will help it snap back into place.
If the wheel does not securely clip back on the axle, or if it has become wobbly, you may need to replace the entire part.
Take a routine look at the rollers and spindles, and ensure they are clear of food debris and soap scum. Some detergents have abrasive qualities and can add to how fast the spindles wear down. Food debris and scraps in the roller channels can also cause the wheels to become misaligned and create uneven wear.
Taking good care of your dishwasher can potentially prolong the life of your wheels
Ensure the clips that keep the rollers from coming out of the front of the roller channels are secure. These help the entire rack safely on the rails.
Even though they may not bear the same amount of weight, it is just as important to keep an eye on the wheels on the bottom rack to ensure smooth operation. The same tips regarding soap scum and food debris still apply. Keeping things clean will also help reduce any buildup of mold or bacteria if the washer door remains closed for an extended time.
Avoid lifting the dishwasher door with the bottom rack rolled out and allowing the rack to slam back into place. Doing this will help minimize the stress on the wheel axles and the wheels themselves.
If you are replacing the wheels on the upper and not the lower rack, you will need to remove the end caps before you can remove the rack. Some end caps can be removed by gently leveraging coins or a flathead screwdriver between the cap, rack, and the locking tab. Be careful not to damage the locking tab.
Metal end caps merely require you to push down on the locking tab with your finger to slide it out.
To change the wheels, follow the advice below:
As mentioned just above, you simply need to remove the wheel cover and snap it in and out of place as needed.
You should be able to line up the wheels with the track and simply slide it back in unless there is some other problem.