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KitchenAid DW not washing dishes: feeble spray

15 posts in this topic

KitchenAid model KUDP01ILWH2, bought in 2003. Had been working great until about 3 weeks ago when dishes did not get cleaned.

My 16 year old daughter and I found the tech manual and ran the diagnostic. The soil sensor light comes on (at start of interval #4 I think) and then stays on (it continues to do this today).

So we tested the soil (pressure) sensor with an ohm meter: works with light finger pressure.

Thinking it was a back pressure problem, we took out and cleaned the drain pump, main pump, and chopper assembly. Found a bunch of gunk, including bits of broken glass, but it did not appear jammed. We cleaned everything very well and reassembled.

It ran fine for a few days (success!?!), but then just a few days later did not clean at all again. :-(

We noticed that the "heating water" stage was taking a long time, and when we opened the door during that phase noticed the water level was below the heating element -- which sizzled when we splashed water on it.

So last weekend we assumed the problem was that we weren't getting enough water in, so we took out fill valve and tested the flow on the water line (fine).

Question: We also dissembled the fill valve as far as we could, then hooked it up to a 110V source. It's very hard to blow through the fill valve even when it's open... is that normal? (We couldn't figure out how to test the flow rate with water.)

But the valve did work, so we cleaned and reassembled. We also tested overflow switch -- works fine.

But it won't clean at all. When put on "rinse only" there appears to be plenty of water but the spray pressure/volume appears too low.

Any suggestions appreciated! This has been a great DIY project with my daughter and it will be a shame to have to call in an expert repair man when we've gotten this far.

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Rig your inlet valve to flow into a bucket. It should have a nice healthy stream.

Check your drain line for kinks or obstructions.

Check the spray arm for clogs or cracks.

You didn't say your water level problem has gone away, has it? You do say there is plenty of water for the rinse cycles.

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Thanks Sohei! We'll try the bucket idea.

No kinks or obstructions in the drain line: we checked it with a small plumber's snake.

We also checked for clogs/cracks in the spray arm and it looks like new.

Water level during "rinse only" now touches the bottom of the heating element.... before it wasn't even touching it. If it should be totally submerged please let me know.

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Just out of curiosity, in your first post you said you hooked the water valve up to 110 volts and then blew through it. Did you really do that? Maybe I read it wrong.

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Yes, we blew through it. We dismantled it as far as we could, taking the electric coil off the plastic housing. We could see that the magnetic plunger that operates the valve was not moving very freely but couldn't decide if it was due to the spring or some interference. So we wired it up and carefully blew through the valve when off (unable to blow through) and when energized (able to blow through with difficulty).

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Water level is supposed to be below the heating element-- it gets heated as it is sprayed across the element. If the water fills to about a finger width below the heating element after it stops filling, then the water fill level is not the problem. Sounds like a bad motor-pump assembly not moving the water around. Part link ==> http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Circulation-Pump/W10239405/1548519?modelNumber=KUDP01ILWH2

Here's my famous video on how to replace it in less than four minutes:

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Sohei: We couldn't figure out how to route the supply line to a bucket, but we did figure out how to run it with the door open. See picture here and short movie here, It looks pretty slow to us, but now that we know how high the water level should be (thanks to our Fermented Grand Master) it appears that filling is not the problem.

Mr Samurai Sir: The main motor spins fine (we ran it on the workbench) and the pump itself looks perfect. We ran the rinse cycle with the door open and it does look pretty weak (picture here and short movie here). Also the top spray arms do not spin and a cup placed upright in the top rack gets no water in it.

Before we invest $200 in a whole new pump assmbly is there anything else we can test, like the motor's coil resistence or pump output or... ?

Thanks very much!

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Plexiglas :)

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NICE! And ours is clearly not pumping as hard as this one. :-(

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The solution to your problem is in my previous post.

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Agreed, because the motor runs, does not mean the pump pumps - very common scenario with one of these

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Sohei: We couldn't figure out how to route the supply line to a bucket, but we did figure out how to run it with the door open.

The problem is solved now but, just as a note, I pull the valve itself from the bracket and point it into a bucket. This is given that the supply whip is long enough, of course, otherwise I rig a small pan and get sort of most of the water into that, sort of. Mostly. Well, some of it, anyway. A couple of seconds is all it takes anyway to establish whether good or poor inlet flow. Then mop up.

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Just for kicks, remove the check valve and see if it is broken or "pregnant looking" Back when these first came out there was a bad run of these, only affected a few thousand units. Anyway, take a look at it.Youll find it under the pump cover, pull it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. good luck.

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jb: Thanks for explaining how to do this.

telefunken: We thought we might have broken the check valve when we snaked the drain line, so we tested it with the drain line full of water -- no leakage.

We got a new motor but haven't installed it yet because the coil resistance (measured at the disconnected capacitor leads) is 15.4 ohms. The old one was 15.1, and the spec calls for 10 ohms. So we decided to have a beer.

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We finally installed the new motor and it works great, even though the coil resistance didn't match the specs. No idea why.

Thanks for all the help.

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