Kenmore Elite leaving food debris on dishes


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Old 09-03-07, 08:23 AM
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Kenmore Elite leaving food debris on dishes

I have a 5 year old Kenmore Elite dishwasher that is leaving food debris on dishes - especially the top rack cups, but not so much the bowls. A repair person has been out 3 times now. We've had the heater element replaced, advised to redo the outlet plumbing (which was done incorrectly by the original plumber and we have since corrected), and had the inlet valve replaced when there wasn't enough water coming in. We still the same problem with food debris. The debris is very fine like grains of sand - like it's already be ground up.

I've read a bunch of the dishwasher posts here, and one thing I have not seen a repair person do is to take things apart completely and look for blockages. I plan to do that today. I decided to do a test by putting a dot of chocolate syrup on the inside bottom of cups in the 4 corners of the top rack to see how long it too the dishwasher to clean that out. It took over 5 minutes. Is that normal or is that an indication that not enough water is getting up there?

I have a noobish question about the outlet drain tube. We redid this so that it goes up above dishwasher height and then down to the garbage disposal. The repair person did tell us that he didn't see any evidence of water backing up into the dishwasher. When the dishwasher drains, should I still see water in the drain tube near the drain outlet. When it's done draining, I don't see any movement in the water in the drain tube, but is it supposed to be there at all?

Thanks,
Sue
 
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Old 09-03-07, 06:17 PM
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Whats the model number... Sounds like it just needs a good cleaning as stated in the owners manual to clean about every 2-3 months.. DishWasher Magic works pretty good... also open door and very bottom lip run a rag under and see what you get...
 
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Old 09-08-07, 05:29 AM
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Thanks for your reply!

Unfortunately, it has already been cleaned out really well - multiple times. We've sponged out the areas you mention, done Dishwasher magic and then also vinegar. We see the food debris on the very next washing after the cleaning.

Model number 665.1593400

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Sue
 
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Old 09-08-07, 09:16 AM
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It is hard to know what is going on behind the door of a dishwasher since the door blocks your view, obviously. All one has to go by is the evidence, such as what you state in your post. But there is a way. You can lower the door, cut a piece of plexiglass to fit (often home centers sell it and it is like 1/16 inch thick or so and is covered by blue plastic film you peel off)just as the door does, activate the door switch to simulate the door being closed, and run the diswasher and actually SEE what is going on, with minimal water leaking out if plexi is cut right. This is a last resort for when a person is stumped or uncertain if the arms are really doing their job or not.

It is also my understanding that some of these upper arms do not always rotate continously all the time. You may have to look into this for your model.

For water to get up to the upper arm requires maximum pressure which means you need the sump and pump of the dishwasher working up to their potential; no clogs anywehere in the sump pit (which you can check by removing screen and feeling/observing with light and mirror.) The water level must be up to specs so pump is not cavitating in air. Obviously you do not have all air, if any. But you want to make sure you have all water being drawn thu the pump.

I am assuming the arm itself has been looked at. Observe arm holes on more than one occassion as I have seen debris inside cover holes one second and be open the next.

Proper arm pressure has to occur in order to have the arm spin and not just have the water come out the holes with meager or no spin. That is why the plexiglass test will show you exactly what it is doing. You may have to mop up some water on the floor though.

[When doing this test, you must have it all worked out in advance that you will quickly be able to stop the dishwasher, especially in case water flies out from around sides of plexi more than expected.]
 
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Old 09-08-07, 11:17 AM
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Thanks much for your thoughtful reply. I will give the plexiglass a try. I'm comfortable taking the other things apart and looking for any blockages.

How do I activate the door switch? I saw the repairman do this briefly, but I can't remember if he had a special tool to do it or just a screw driver.

If there is ground up food flying around, could it be not draining properly? I don't see any standing water in the bottom at the end of the cycle, so that stumps me. The food debris is definitely ground up - never any whole pieces of food like whole pieces of corn or anything like that. Like I mentioned earlier, what we see on the dishes looks like grains of sand.

Thanks,
Sue
 
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Old 09-08-07, 02:01 PM
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To energize the latch you have to just analyze it and see how the lever moves to make contact with an electrical switch, and then make that work. It may require a screw driver.The tricky part that I recall is that you can't JUST simply move the latch. It is designed just so people or kids can't do the very thing you are going to do; and that is run the dishwasher with the door open! It has been a while since I did this, but I remember it was easy enough to figure out without being schooled on it. You have to move a couple things in the catch at once, or something. You have to observe how the latch grabs the catch. You have to simulate that. Nothing had to be wire-nutted or jumpered. None of that.

You MAY want to employ a helper to standby down at the breaker box so that they can turn off power to the dishwasher at a moments notice, because you may have trouble undoing the latch quickly!

Regarding seeing no standing water at the end of the cycle? At the end of WHAT cycle? Run the dishwasher and open the door when it is in the wash-cycle and see where the water level is.
 
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Old 09-08-07, 02:32 PM
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Thanks again. You're right about the latch. I tried just moving it up and nothing happened. I'll take a look in there. I think I can figure that out. Good suggestion about the breaker box - just in case.

During the wash cycle, the water is just under the heater element. When the repairman replaced the inlet valve, the problem of low water was corrected and he said it was now at the proper level.

I haven't gotten the plexiglass yet, but I did a test today and moved cups to the lower rack. They did get clean down there.

Sue
 
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Old 09-09-07, 09:29 AM
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You can run dishwasher, and during the wash cycle, concentrate on looking at the top arm. Then with you staring at that spot, sling open the door quickly to see if you catch the upper arm spinning (as soon as you open the door, it will try to stop spinning. That is why you have to concentrate and be quick about it.) Then if uncertain, point upper arm a certain direction, like left-right, or front-back direction, then run unit and see if it has moved. But even if it does, that does not mean it moved at normal speed nor moved on it's own for sure.

Note that water will fly out when you sling open the door and you'll have to mop up. As soon as you open the door, the water action stops, so only the immediate water in the arm will fly out. It won't keep flying out.
 
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Old 09-09-07, 10:13 AM
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The arm is moving and I see a little water coming out of the holes. So, water is getting up there...apparently just not enough (since the dishes get clean below but not above). I still need to do the plexiglass test.

Thanks.

Sue
 
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Old 09-09-07, 11:33 AM
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I had a problem like yours once, not that long ago either, servicing a rental, and I wasn't positive, so I ran it by an appliance tech at the place I have been buying parts at for the last 20 years, and I asked him if he ever had to get into the heart of the machine to service the line that feeds that upper hose and he said never. He just went, "Huh", when I told him mine was doing what yours was doing.

Some help THAT was, and he's like a 60 year old trained/experienced residential/big commercial/industrial tech!

I went back to that rental, bound and determinhed (I get that way) and I discovered that by filling the dishwasher with more water, solved it. I did it manually by running it in the wash cycle and then rotating the timer all the way around to the off position to stop it. Then I ran the washer on wash again and it started to fill with more water ontop the water already in there. After it was deep in water, I got excellent upper arm pressure spray. I almost got soaked in the process from slinging the door open as often as I did. She was there watching. I told her I wish I still had my plexi-glass (lost it some years back) She had a tile floor I had to mop up.

I told her that if she absolutely needed the top rack to come spotlessly clean, to do as you are now doing, or, she could manually raise the water level how I showed her what I did.

I think some other issue happened later to the dishwasher and the landlord got tired of messing with it so he had as new one delivered, so that ended that.
 
 

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