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A modern dishwasher has a typical life span of between seven and twelve years. By following these simple steps, your dishwasher should live a full life and continue to run efficiently.

1. Clean the filters, which trap excess food from the dishes. In a perfect world the filter should be cleaned after every load. Even cleaning it once a week will prolong the life of your dishwasher.

2. Clean the spray arms. Depending on the model, they are located on either the bottom or top of the dishwasher. Food and/or detergent can accumulate on the arms, blocking the water-distributing holes. When the holes are blocked, the dishwasher runs less efficiently.

3. Maintain the dish racks to prevent rust. Rusted dish racks eventually deteriorate and can break off and damage your pump. If your dish racks become rusted, either fix them with a rack repair kit or replace the rack entirely. Rack repair kits can be found in most hardware stores or online.

4. Before starting the dishwasher cycle, run hot water for ten to fifteen seconds in the kitchen sink. It will warm the water in the pipes and shorten the running time of your dishwasher. The less you run the machine, the longer it will last.

5. Only run the dishwasher when it is full. This will not only save water and energy, but it will also put less strain on your dishwasher. It bears repeating: the less it runs, the longer it will last. 

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