advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2006 12:38PM
OK, here's the scoop: I have an old Kitchenaid dishwasher (probably 20 years old, maybe more. Everything seems to work just fine, filling, draining, washing sounds. The drain grille in the bottom doesn't appear to be clogged.

However, the dishes aren't getting very clean and at the end of the cycle there is a bunch of crusty dish detergent left sitting in the detergent dispenser. In addition, I've tried whipping open the door several times during the wash cycle and I observed that both the upper and lower spray arms are always in the exact same position, indicating that they are not turning. Water is coming out of them, but I can't tell how hard.

My interpretation from the above is that water isn't coming to the spray arms at a high enough pressure. Now, how do I diagnose this? Is it likely a blockage, or a pump problem. How do I troubleshoot the pump? I don't really relish the idea of having a repairman come over because the repair costs are likely to exceed the price of a new dishwasher. Any experts (or informed amateurs) out there?



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: rz
Date: June 21, 2006 12:41PM
buy a new one.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: Kiva
Date: June 21, 2006 12:42PM
dude, STFF:

[forums.macresource.com]

ok, just kidding winking smiley. I would try the methods in that thread first, but it does sound like you have a different problem. Perhaps gears associated with the sprayers are worn out. 20 year-old dishwasher = time for a new/used one. Sorry.

Hope that's not the case though..

kiva



----------------------



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2006 12:42PM by Kiva.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2006 01:33PM
Well, I hate to buy a new one since this dishwasher was working perfectly until a couple of days ago and it gets the dishes cleaner than any dishwasher I've ever owned. Clearly something has suddenly gone awry, hence it is likely that a specific fix will get it back to working fine...I'm just not sure how to troubleshoot this apparent low water pressure problem. I don't believe in throwing things out just because they are old. Many older appliances are built to last many decades, whereas their newer brethren are designed to barely make it out of the warranty period.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: papercup
Date: June 21, 2006 01:42PM
Try this site which has an online diagnostic feature. [www.repairclinic.com]

Also it is a great place to order parts from, They actually have humans that know what they are selling, and returns on un-needed parts are easy.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 21, 2006 01:43PM
replaced the 9 year old dishwasher in 1978 because made the dishes worse than when they put in, plus the racks were rusted, and it was noisy as heck. just replaced the '78 model a couple of months ago, and it is a major improvement. with yours at 20+, it's time to go new again, unless you can truly find someone to help troubleshoot the pump at minimal cost. if it needs ANY parts or real service, you're better off starting fresh.



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: TLB
Date: June 21, 2006 02:13PM
Just some easy to do checks if you haven't already:
Is there an undersink shutoff valve for the dishwasher water supply? Did it acidentally get backed off a bit? Does the water inlet switch from copper to hose under the sink? Is the hose kinked or pinched?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 21, 2006 02:18PM
quick, turn on the modelamac alert!

maybe send him a PM.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 21, 2006 02:52PM
Hey- the older Kitchenaid dishwashers are very repairable and will last an effing long time.
Your problem is most probably that your pump is too worn to pump fast enough. The vanes wear down after a while, and the water pressure is too low.

Alternatively your rotary arms are clogged with debris or otherwise. So do this:
1- Open the dishwasher up, and remove all the dish racks. There is a little pin at the front of the slide on the top basket that you pull up and out, and then a hard rubber plug can be pulled out of the back of the slide. The rack can then be removed.
2- Remove all the rotating arms. I don't remember how they are restrained, I think you'll need a phillips screwdriver.
3- Peek into the holes that water shoots out of the rotating arms and see if there is gunk built up. If so, clean 'em out. Compressed air, broomstraw, etc. I had one that was full of busted glass, which was weird.
4- Check the bottom filter, pull it out. Check UNDER the bottom filter to see if there is anything in the channel leading to the pump.

Note that when you 'peek' at the dishwasher running, the arms may spin down really fast if they are worn or gunked up where they slide around. No bearings are involved here... What you really want to do is see if there is a spray of water dripping down all over the underside of the upper racks. Or put bowls in a star pattern on the upper and lower racks facing down, and see if there is a spray of water in the bowls. Or put towels down, and make SURE you open the darn thing immediately after you hear it start to spray, or you will plug it up with towel gunk.

Once it's all clean and shiny, put it back together and try it out. If THAT doesn't help, you'll need to pull the dishwasher out and pull the pump off the bottom and replace the vanes. (well, see if the pump works, first..)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2006 03:05PM
Thanks cbelt3, I'll put that plan in to action. At this point I am guessing the pump, since the holes in the arms (top and bottom) don't appear to be plugged and turn easilty, and both arms are always in EXACTLY the same position when I open the running dishwasher. If I move the arms manually, the next time I open it they are in the same place as they were before. The only contraindication is that the dishwasher drains just fine, suggesting that the pump is working OK. Any easy way of pulling the pump impeller, or is that major surgery?



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 21, 2006 03:28PM
As I recall (YMMV, it's been over 10 years since I worked on one of these) the impeller is easy to remove from the bottom. You can usually buy a repair / parts guide at your local appliance repair parts store. They are quite useful if you can't find the documentation on line.

I would personally NOT rush off to buy a new dishwasher if you can fix this one. They don't make 'em like they used to.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: modelamac
Date: June 21, 2006 05:04PM
The thing that REALLY bothers me is the suddeness of the problem's onset.

I assume you have checked to see that both spray bars spin easily.

That indicates, to me, that some of the pump vanes have broken (not worn off) due to broken glass or whatever getting into the pump, OR
some sort of foreign material (plastic wrapper/label from a pkg, etc.) getting into the pump intake area in sufficient volume to partially reduce water flow.

Another reason for the water failing to move the spray arms is that it is no longer restricted to coming out the spray bar holes, but due to some part having suddenly failed, it now has other exit routes.

This seems most likely, as in your case, neither upper nor lower spray bar seems to move.

IN units with an upper and lower bar, the water exiting the pump is partially diverted to a tube that runs up a side wall, across the "ceiling" and down into the upper spray bar.

Try taking each of those 2 spray bar assemblies apart to look for something amiss.

I cannot remember exactly all of the components of each manufacturer's various models, how they are assembled, etc. I usually just solve the problem based on what I see.

Run the unit long enough to see if water is being sprayed to every point on the "ceiling" of the unit.

Figure out how to trigger the door switch with the machine on, and spread a bunch of towels on the floor. Then try running the machine. I'll bet you find a huge fountain where there shouldn't be one.

Not the "here's the fix" answer that you are hoping for, but it should get you started in the proper direction. There is no test that I know of that will pinpoint the part that failed.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 21, 2006 09:44PM
the modelamac signal works again.....
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me fix my dishwasher...puhleeeze!
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2006 11:57PM
Okey doke, Now I've got lots of things to try. Thanks cbelt3 and modelamac. I'll post back again in a few days after a bit of troubleshooting.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 136
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020