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How does a dishwasher timer work with respect to the fill valve?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 jeoff

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 03:03 PM

My cheapo-provided-by-the-builder GE dishwasher that is 6 years old seems to be having a low-fill issue. My understanding is that the water level should be just underneath or at the level of the heating element. I am assuming this means the horizontal portion that is used to heat and not just where it actually rises up out of the base, which is where my level actually is. Is that a correct assumption?

I have determined using my multimeter and experimentally that the float switch working. I have bypassed the door switch and visually determined that the fill valve seems to be delivering water into the machine just fine. Once the machine is 'filled', I have determined that I need to manually lift the float switch another 1/2" or so before it clicks and would cut off the fill valve.

I am not sure what else to check and had a question about how the timer and float switch work together. Does the timer actually turn the fill valve on only for a period long enough to fill the machine? Or, does it actually provide power to the fill valve the entire time it is in certain cycles and the float switch cuts it off preventing an overfill?

What else can I check? Can you answer my questions above?

Any help would be appreciated,
Jeoff

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#2 jeoff

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 04:05 PM

More info. I was able to turn the timer knob until I could hear the fill valve open and start allowing water in. It didn't stay 'on' very long. By grabbing the knob and putting counterclockwise pressure on it I was able to get the valve to stay on longer and ultimately fill the machine. However, once the first cycle drained and refilled, it was low again.

Does this mean my timer is bad?

#3 Pegi

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 04:25 PM

The dishwasher is time till.  How much water enters is how much enters thru the fill valve in that time.  The float switch is a safety flood switch and only comes into play if too much water enters and it cuts the power to the fill valve.  The water should never activate the float switch if the unit is running normally.  If you are not getting enough water you either have a fill valve going bad or you do not have enoug water pressure to the valve for proper fill.  This will happen on any dishwasher reguardless of the brand.
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#4 jeoff

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 04:33 PM

Thanks for the response. I will remove my fill valve and check it for obstructions. It does seem to be working when it is supposed to.

However, the amount of time it is being enabled by the timer does not seem like enough given the output I am seeing from the valve. It would need to be streaming out much more to fill the machine in the amount of time it is given.

#5 Pegi

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 04:48 PM

Find the tech sheet, usually behind the toe panel in an envelope on the right side of the d/w, it will tell you how many seconds, perhaps 20 or 30 or 40.  Then time the fill.  Usually a low fill problem is a bad fill valve.  The rubber flow washer swells up not getting enough water thru like it should.
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#6 jeoff

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 05:43 PM

Just saw the last post and I cannot find a tech sheet behind my kick panel or underneath. I measured the fill cycle and it is approximately 45 seconds.

I had gone ahead and removed the fill valve and disassembled it and cleaned it a little with some CLR. Nothing looked wrong, but I do not know what that flow washer is supposed to look like. Is a picture available?

Cleaning the fill valve made no difference in the problem. See attached photo.

Should I purchase a new fill valve or can I just purchase the washer?

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