Testing Dishwashers Cont…

There is a previous thread about the “routine” used on inspections. Some, as I did, mentioned running the dishwasher first once they got to the property to allow for the cycle to complete while they were working on other parts of the inspection. I do the same, but will give a few minutes into the cycle while a take a quick look and orient myself with the interior of the house, prior to starting the exterior inspection.

The reason I bring this up and if the house been vacant for sometime, it’s a good an idea to keep an eye what may be happening with the dishwasher. This is not from an inspection but from my own personal experience.

Semi quick synopsis. Parents house they’ve been in almost 50 years. Both are in their nineties and neither can hear well. Mother fell, broke her hip and has been in assisted living for almost 8 months. Dad has been with here for more than 6 months. Their house has set semi-vacant during that time with a few days and hours a week to go over for mail, bills etc.

During that period, they got a rodent infestation. Mice, rats and squirrels. Poor Dad couldn’t hear or see any signs, but I noticed it every time I was there. It was confirmed there was an infestation and most all remediation has been completed.

Ran the dishwasher the other day and it was leaking from underneath. Had the local appliance guys come out and take a look see……. rodents chewed not only the drain pipe but a lot of the insulation on the wiring.

I guess it all goes back to, “Do we run the dishwasher or not?” :thinking::shushing_face:


I always stay in the immediate vicinity when running the DW… Just in case. :wink:
unfortunately if a mouse chews through the drain line you won’t know until the DW drains.

Personally though, I’d rather find it during the inspection than my client on their first day in the house.

Todays inspection, I checked to make sure the drain line was connected under the sink, and there wasn’t one.

Then I found this in the basement.


Here in Texas we are required to test the dishwasher unless there is an issue that we identify that can cause issues. This is my routine once I enter for the interior inspection.

  1. Perform interior orientation with one of the tasks is to identify any interior main water shut-off. The exterior was already checked along with location of water meter and any exterior main water shut-off. For drastic issues I know where the shut-off(s) is/are.
  2. Run the kitchen sink both hot and cold while starting the next step. This is to ensure there are no drain back-ups and proper hot water is present.
  3. While the sink is running inspect under the sink for potential issues.
  4. Remove the dishwasher kick plate to identify any issues there.
  5. Visually inspect the remainder of the dishwasher.
  6. By now any sink back-ups hopefully are obvious and the dishwasher is started.
  7. Perform a complete kitchen inspection which allows me to watch for any dishwasher issues.
  8. As the rest of the first floor is being inspected the area around the dishwasher and sink is checked again multiple times for issues.

There is nothing else inside of the home that requires an immediate attention or long term attention so this works well to help ensure there are no dishwasher issues.


Makes me consider removing the lower cover plate and having a looksee before turning it on.


Dang, aggressive little critters. They really gave it their all. Wonder what attracted them to the hose so much? Smell of food/waste in the lines?

Pretty sure making a nest. They will pretty much resort to anything they can gather/find.


Had that happen in my house before…what a mess. After I re-installed everything, I wrapped the Drain Line with Aluminum Foil Duct Tape…Hope its working out for the new owners :thinking:


So… WHY do rats gnaw?

According to the robots at ChatGPT…


Yes sir - good job!


Pretty good answer that Ryan posted above…

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I hear AI is going to be the end of us all.


I think the rats might be in charge of AI. Notice how all of the reasons are positive and they basically say just let the rats chew? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Seen quite a bit of messes under the DW by removing the kickplate.

  • Hoses with no clamps
  • Loose hoses
  • Hoses not connected
  • NM cable direct out of the wall and tied to the DW attachment point.
  • Frayed and bad wiring
  • Signs of slow leakage with some growing mold/mildew.
  • Signs of past leakage with damaged cabinets
  • DW feet not even touching the floor.
  • DW’s leveled with scrap material instead of using the leveling feet

I’m sure I didn’t list them all but some above are obvious reasons not even to test the DW.


Did that one have an Air gap at the sink? If so then it wouldn’t be trapped and you’d get sewage stench in the kitchen.

If it’s got a high loop and water is sitting in the pipe, then it’s got a trap, not the right trap, but at least a trap.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’d definitely call this out but the urgency depends on how the pipe is upstream from there. It needs fixed, but released methane into the kitchen space, specially with open burners could go kablooey.

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Same here. Also I only run it through the rinse cycle just to be sure it does work and there are no leaks. I’m not going to walk through the house with the dishwasher running. Especially starting at the beginning and then going outside, not me. I’ve had too many that did leak.


None that I could see. I wrote it up for no visible air gap and improper installation.


So I do repairs for realtors and others(not on anything I inspect btw), and if for some reason you couldn’t get a tail pipe under the sink, you could probably make that install work if you just dumped the waters into a P-trap that had it’s own AAV. The dishwasher would replenish the trap water and all would be right with the world. It’d still be a wonky installation, but I don’t think it’d violate any codes unless you couldn’t have an AAV and some jurisdictions prohibit them since they tend to fail over time.

I know…I’m about to get “Just disclaim it and move on” from someone but I’m just curious about how to make it right if the conventional method doesn’t have enough space.

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AAVs are allowed and one could probably install a dedicated P-trap for the DW, but I don’t know, I say just go behind the cabinet, hook into the sink drain, put the air gap in so an inspector can see it, and call it a day. I prefer simplicity. :grinning:

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The efficient inspector will bring a box of dirty dishes from home and some dishwasher detergent. Then you can truly test the dishwasher and complete home chores at the same time.

In the same vein, dirty laundry can be completed in the inspected home with little effort thereby increasing your leisure time at your own home!