Kitchenaid Dishwasher troubleshooting...

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Old 12-14-09, 12:29 PM
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Kitchenaid Dishwasher troubleshooting...

My 9 year old Kitchenaid (I'll get the model when it finishes this test cycle) DW is making an "unusual" rumbling noise (seems like vibration) and not cleaning dishes as well as it used to. After seeing the DW prices these days (that's another thread), I think I may fix this one. When I opened the door, the spray arms did not appear to have been moving. I expected they normally spin fast enough that their momentum would carry them for a spin or 2 even after the door opens. These are dead still when I open the door (quickly). They move freely by hand and the upper rack is wet so water is pumping/spraying (and I can hear it). How fast do DW spray arms usually spin?

Thanks,
Snarksdad
 
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Old 12-14-09, 05:10 PM
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They do not spin like a propeller, or anything. It is sort of relatively slow, but not real slow. If your pump is not moving water fast enough, it may be due to that normal water volume to the spray arm is compromised, due to sump obstructions (gook, plastic wrap, broken glass and other objects. You can remove often 2 filtering screens to gain access to the final intake screen that is right before the chopper/pump intake. That is a small screened opening. If anything like paper clips or bread twist ties got in there, that could even stop/slow the impeller and possibly pump action.

Make sure lower spray arm holes are not clogged with often plastic bits. You can unscrew the arm off it's holder (and it may unscrew backwards from normal. Try it both ways, if need be). Take it off, observe and shake it. Some spray arms even come apart in halves, but not necessary to even try to take apart if nothing blocking the holes and nothing rattling around inside.

Is the depth of the water adequate? There has to be enough water (say 1 inch) to be able to keep adequate water in the sump to keep motor from cavitating.

If it is not something simple as things mentioned, it will be something serious.

Last year I took a chance on an older dishwasher that had some bells and whistles features and looked like new still on the outside, by replacing the motor/pump assembly, and was an easy changeout(if you are at all mechanically inclined I rate the job a 1-2 out of 10). I talked him into it. We don't always do that though. And on another recent outage somewhere else, my boss insisted I install a whole new unit. He says he is able to buy new ones pretty reasonable for ones that advertise to be quiet and digital touchpad for $350 or even less, I believe.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
They do not spin like a propeller, or anything. It is sort of relatively slow, but not real slow. If your pump is not moving water fast enough, it may be due to that normal water volume to the spray arm is compromised, due to sump obstructions (gook, plastic wrap, broken glass and other objects. You can remove often 2 filtering screens to gain access to the final intake screen that is right before the chopper/pump intake. That is a small screened opening. If anything like paper clips or bread twist ties got in there, that could even stop/slow the impeller and possibly pump action.

Make sure lower spray arm holes are not clogged with often plastic bits. You can unscrew the arm off it's holder (and it may unscrew backwards from normal. Try it both ways, if need be). Take it off, observe and shake it. Some spray arms even come apart in halves, but not necessary to even try to take apart if nothing blocking the holes and nothing rattling around inside.

Is the depth of the water adequate? There has to be enough water (say 1 inch) to be able to keep adequate water in the sump to keep motor from cavitating.

If it is not something simple as things mentioned, it will be something serious.

Last year I took a chance on an older dishwasher that had some bells and whistles features and looked like new still on the outside, by replacing the motor/pump assembly, and was an easy changeout(if you are at all mechanically inclined I rate the job a 1-2 out of 10). I talked him into it. We don't always do that though. And on another recent outage somewhere else, my boss insisted I install a whole new unit. He says he is able to buy new ones pretty reasonable for ones that advertise to be quiet and digital touchpad for $350 or even less, I believe.
Thanks Ecman. There were some bits of saran wrap clogging the upper spray arm, but I cleared them before my test run. I have about 2 inches of water so that seems OK. Yes, I have disassembled the screens and cleaned them many times and the chopper too. The last 2 runs seem to have been OK so I am not sure what the initial vibration noise was. I'll just keep watching it for now...

Thanks,
Snarksdad
 
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Old 01-14-10, 02:18 PM
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Mine makes a lot of noise also, especially when pumping to drain.
 
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