Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Dishwasher (UPDATED 11/24/17)

While the inspector is in the kitchen they will inspect the dishwasher. Although inspecting appliances is outside the scope of the home inspection according to InterNACHI we will go above and beyond and inspect this appliance for our clients. When we first get to the property we will start the dishwasher using a normal cycle. Please review the entire procedure below.



International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior


I. The inspector shall inspect:



II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

I. Inspect or move any household appliances.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should run the dishwasher through a normal cycle and check to make sure that the dishwasher heats up and drains, with no leaking present under the dishwasher or sink. We will also inspect the dishwasher for any damage on the inside and outside of the unit.


Tools Needed

The inspector will need to use the infrared thermometer to check that the dishwasher was able to heat up during operation.



  • When you first get into the property you will want to go into the kitchen and start the dishwasher on a normal cycle. Most of these cycles take two hours so you will want to start the cycle as soon as possible, this way when you get to inspecting the kitchen the dishwasher will be done with it’s cycle. This is where you will want to take your first picture of the dishwasher with the door closed after you started the cycle. You will skip the second picture at this time.
    • Before turning on dishwasher, look under sink:
      • Check to make sure the dishwasher is connected to the hot water supply, with a shutoff valve.
      • Is the water turned on?
      • Are supply lines leaking? (feel with your hand).
      • Check that the drain loop hose is way up, and comes back down (preventing backflows).
      • Check that the drain hose is connected to the drain, and is secure.
    • Open Dishwasher:
      • Check to make sure that the dishwasher door opens and closes properly.
      • Check that dishwasher is secured properly under counter and within cabinet.
      • Close the detergent compartment.
      • Slide racks back and forth for proper operation.
      • Make sure the twirly sprayer arms are aligned straight.
      • After observing all of this you can close and lock the dishwasher door.
    • Open door after dry time:
      • Check that the detergent compartment opened.
      • Make sure the sprayer arms moved.
      • Pull out the bottom rack.
      • Check for leaks on the floor (feel with your hand) in front of dishwasher and sink cabinet.
      • This is where you will take your second picture, showing the bottom of the pan and your infrared thermometer. This is to show that it drained (or not) and the heating element in the bottom heated up (or not).
      • Close dishwasher.
    • Open sink cabinet:
      • Check for leaks underneath the sink after dishwasher stopped. (feel with your hand).
      • This is where you will take your third picture of the section. Take a picture under the sink to show the drain hose and water supply connections.
  • Remember, the 2014 NEC requires GFCI protection for dishwashers, whether it is hard wired (check breaker box for GFCI circuit) or the dishwasher is plugged into an outlet (usually under the sink).

Common Defects

  • The dishwasher door did not open/close, was damaged, or fell open.
  • The control knob is loose, damaged, or missing.
  • The dishwasher is damaged, not attached, leaked, was noisy, didn’t drain, not filling with water, not operational, rubs cabinet/oven door, is rusted, or won’t stay closed.
  • The dishwasher handle is loose, damaged, or missing.
  • The dishwasher racks are loose, damaged, missing, missing wheels, are rusted, or did not operate properly. The soap dish is damaged or missing.


Common Mistakes

  • Not starting the dishwasher as soon as you enter the property.
  • Not checking under the sink before starting the dishwasher to make sure that everything is connected properly.
  • Not getting a clear second picture inside the dishwasher showing that it has drained completely. This picture also needs to show the infrared thermometer clearly so we can show that the dishwasher heated up properly.
  • Forgetting to take the third picture under the sink (the program will not ask for a third picture so you need to remember to take this third and final picture.
  • Not checking all of the different elements in the dishwasher including the racks, soap dish, handle, etc. Make sure we are checking for general damage and operation of the doors and racks in the dishwasher.

The picture above is from a home inspection where the client called to complain that the dishwasher wasn’t working. We weren’t able to fight that claim due to the pictures not being correct. The picture on the right does not show that the dishwasher drained and it only shows that it heated up to 72 degrees. We ended up having to give a refund since we couldn’t prove with our photos that the dishwasher was working at the time of the inspection.

Report / Software


  • The [word 1] dishwasher was operated and no leaks were visible at time of inspection. Inspection of appliances, such as the dishwasher, is outside the scope for a general home inspection. However, as a courtesy to our clients we will operate the dishwasher to confirm that it is working and there are no visible leaks during the time of the inspection. This operation of the dishwasher does not serve as a certification that the dishwasher is properly installed up to current codes/standards, but is meant to give the client additional information that the dishwasher operated and no leaks were visible at the time of the inspection. It is common for appliances to fail over time and the dishwasher should be monitored as needed to ensure proper operation in the future. If the client would like a more intensive inspection of the dishwasher or any other appliance they should contact a qualified contractor to further evaluate before the inspection objection deadline.
    • Manufacturer
      • Multiple Listed in the Program


  • No Electricity: The dishwasher could not be operated or evaluated because no electricity was provided at the time of the inspection.
  • No Water: The water was not on at the property at time of inspection and the dishwasher could not be inspected. A qualified contractor should perform a complete inspection once water is turned on to the property.


  • There was not a dishwasher installed at the kitchen at time of inspection.


  • The [word 1] [word 2]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
    • Identify:
      • Control Knob
      • Control Pad
      • Dishwasher
      • Door
      • Door Lever
      • Handle
      • Kick plate
      • Pump
      • Rack (Bottom)
      • Rack (Top)
      • Racks
      • Soap Dish
    • Defect:
      • Damaged
      • Did Not Close
      • Did Not Open
      • Dishwasher (Not Attached)
      • Fell Open
      • Kick Plate (Loose)
      • Leaked
      • Missing
      • Missing (Door/Cover)
      • Missing (Wheels)
      • Noise
      • Not Draining
      • Not Filling Water
      • Not Operating Properly
      • Not Operational
      • Rubs Cabinet
      • Rubs Oven Door
      • Rusted (Plural)
      • Rusted (Singular)
      • Wont’ Stay Closed