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Another Kenmore DDDD (dead, dying, diseased, disabled)


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21 replies to this topic

#1 puppyduks

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

Hello,
I am back on the forums after a long abscence. A couple years ago the good people here helped me fix my evenheat dryer by putting in a new motherboard, and I never forgot. So when my dishwasher faltered I came here and subscribed. I hope I can get this problem figured out without having to call a repair guy.

A little background info: I am a single mom, not real handy but not real clutzy either. I am willing to try anything that is safe for novices, but will not hesitate to call in a pro if that would be safer. It's good to have limits... :)

My dishwasher is a Kenmore Elite model # 16579201. I am guessing it was bought in 2006. I just bought this house a year and half ago so I don't know its history except it was remodeled in 2006 with all new appliances.

The dishwasher makes a very loud grinding/howling sound when turned on, that continues throughout most of the cycle. The owners manual said that it would slowly grind away whatever was in there and the sound would go away, but it has been over a year with no signs of abatement.

I have stopped using it because the soap is not being used up. The door flap is open at the end of the cleaning cycle but the little cake of soap is still there, looking soaked and sad. I have tried using powdered soap and the same thing happens, just a congealed glob of soap at the end of the cycle.

Should I fix this piece of Kenmore or just get rid of it and buy another more trustworthy brand? Or are there any trustworthy brands these days? Like I said before, I am a single mom so I don't have tons of money to throw around. But hand washing dishes with a whiny toddler tugging at my leg isn't a big bowl of joy, either. ;)

Thanks guys,
Puppyduks

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#2 jb8103

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:11 PM

For over a year? Something stuck in a pump but not stalling it, I'd have to say. That's fairly major surgery to get at it. Depends how many pumps you've got, I haven't looked at the literature.

Your detergent should be getting splashed all over the place as soon as the dispenser door opens. Try leaving it open after filling it with detergent, don't bother closing it. Half the women in the world do that anyway.
First, do no harm.

#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:41 PM

... model # 16579201

would that be a 665.16579201 ?
Made by Whirlpool / Kitchenaid
service manual
http://appliantology...hwasher-kudx01/
There may be something stuck in the Sump, under #1
OR in the Chopper # 6, under # 8
ALSO, check to see if there's enough water in the DishWasher.
When filled, water level should be just under the Heater Element.
Posted Image
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#4 puppyduks

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:02 PM

OK thanks, looks like I will be taking apart my dishwasher.

#5 telefunkenu47

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

Just my opinion, but this is a very good wash platform for its price range, made in Findlay OH,It does have its shortcomings however. You must scrape the solid debris off the plates .It doesn't come with a removable filter to keep solids from clogging up the macerator. It is important to remove anything that does not dissolve in water from your dishes before you put them in the DW.
When you remove the macerator cover you will find all kinds of garbage. Remove it. If the macerator and screen are damaged, replace it. Also, take the time to remove the flapper (key no 5) and make sure it isnt broken or pregnant looking.
When replacement time comes, consider buying the high end Bosch dishwasher. It lists at around 1000 bucks, best price I have seen is 799 at Sears. Dont be talked into buying the lower end Bosch for 500to 600 dollars.It is NOT the same machine! The Bosch comes a removable filter. It also has an internal heater that actually heats the water rather than make saturated steam. It is designed to last ten years or more. Wash motors are very robust and seldom fail.Main controls generally fail at 3-4 years when the solder joint behind the heater relay finally melt. about 130 dollars .It comes with an on/off switch so the main board is only powered up when the unit is on. Much less succeptible to power spikes and surges if you live out in the boondocks like I do. No user interfaces to replace ever.
In my opinion it is the best dishwasher out there, period, for any amount of money.
Good luck with the repair! Start saving your pennies for the Bosch.
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#6 puppyduks

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:06 AM

Thanks, nice to know! I'll start a replacement fund. I never put dishes with gunk on them in the dishwasher, to me that's just gross... it's a dishwasher not a disposal... but I l know most people do. I'm just weird with my cleanliness. :)

#7 telefunkenu47

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:47 AM

Mfr's are telling us that a little food residue left on dishes actually helps the enzymes in the detergent to cook, kind of like yeast needs sugar to rise. Just nothing solid. you can leave everything else on the dishes, supposedly, it will give you better results. Seems to work pretty well for us. It was hard to put "dirty" dishes in the dw after a lifetime of rinsing to the point of being clean going in the machine.
Even root canal is easy...if you're a dentist...

#8 puppyduks

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

I started taking apart the dishwasher, but it doesn't look like the manual offered for download on the previous poster's reply. So I took some pictures.

I got the bottom arm off by twisting clockwise with a needle nose plier.
Posted Image

So the inside looks like this
Posted Image

I don't know how to get the big round screen thing off. It looks like there are 3 bolts but a regular size phillips screwdriver just twirls round and round. What tool do I need to get it off? Or am I missing steps in my procedure for getting it off?
Posted Image

Thanks guys. I could never do this without you.
puppy

#9 jb8103

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:30 PM

Those are torx screws. I'm not sure taking it apart right now is your best next move, but here we are. See the manual for removing the manifold tube that feeds water to the upper spray arm - there should be a metal clip at the top, and another about halfway up the back. Feel for a snap underneath where it goes into the pump and push back. You need that out of your way.

Get used to service manuals not looking quite like what you've actually got.
First, do no harm.

#10 Scottthewolf

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:10 PM

Judging by your pictures above you have very hard water. That gray film you have all over the interior of your dishwasher in lime scale buildup from hard water.

You need to do two things, first you need to purchase any of these items, follow the instructions on the package and use regularly once a month:

http://www.repaircli...eodorizer-Parts

The second thing is to stop using liquid dishwasher detergent and switch to Finish powder.
Scott Wolf

#11 puppyduks

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:50 PM

Thanks, I'll pick up some dishwasher cleaner. The grey stuff is such a fine powder, it's everywhere, but at least it wipes up easily with just a finger. And underneath the stainless is shiny.

Those are torx screws. I'm not sure taking it apart right now is your best next move, but here we are.


Hmmm, should I just live with the noise then until it finally dies, then buy a new dishwasher? Or call in a pro?

#12 jb8103

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:58 AM

No, you're almost there now. You can find a torx driver set at any hardware store, they come in a variety of drive styles, take your pick for six or eight bucks. Once that cover is off there are a couple of protector plates also, but all should be revealed.

My only reservation about disassembly now is, why doesn't that detergent dispense? What is your water level? Is it just a failing dispensing mechanism (which can be ignored) or is the pump itself done? We never checked that.
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#13 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:26 AM

The most likely cause of the detergent just laying in a pile after the wash is finished is a bad wash motor.

The loud noise when running also leads me in that direction, (That is the big complaint I have about these machines - you can pretty much count on having to replace the wash motor at the 5 to 7 year point. The impeller seal will start leaking but it isn't enough of a leak to see on the floor because of the way the front housing seals up against the front of the motor and the water goes directly into the front motor bearing and eventually penetrates the seal on the bearing then you start hearing the noise and it just keeps getting loader and the motor runs slower causing wash problems.).

First place to check is the area in front of the chopper blade and the chopper blade and screen for any obstructions that could be causing the noise. If nothing is found in that area or if there is and you still have noise and wash problems after cleaning it out, it's going to be time for a new wash motor or the complete wash motor/sump assembly.
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#14 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:40 AM

ALSO, check to see if there's enough water in the DishWasher.
When filled, water level should be just under the Heater Element.


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#15 puppyduks

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:24 PM

I'll make a visit to my local ACE and get the driver set. As for the soap, could the problem have been just bad, cheap soap? It is probably a year and a half old and I am only halfway through the box of soap tablets. I ran two loads the last two days, with new, powdered soap from Cascade. I put only about two tablespoons of soap in the dish and closed the lid. (Before, I was putting a whole tablet which just barely fit in the dispenser cup, or filling the entire cup to the top with powder). Both loads washed great. Soap lid was up at end of load, no powder left and clean dishes. :) Maybe it's just wishful thinking that the problem with the soap is operator error?

BUT, there is no doubt about the noise. It's loud. And it came on suddenly one day, and has never really gotten better or worse. It's been almost a year and a half now. I guess I will find out what I've got when I get that screen thing off with my new, handy dandy torx drivers.

I also checked the water level. Nice, hot steamy water that goes up to the element. No dry spots seen on the inside of the cabinet, so that's good news.

#16 jb8103

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:13 PM

Dishwasher detergent has a shelf life of six months. You got good results (despite the noise) on your last two loads in the last two days using fresh detergent. Even your dispenser mechanism works.

Things are definitely looking good for you.

I'm very curious to find out what's been stuck in that pump assembly, or whatever came loose...

Edited by jb8103, 25 September 2012 - 08:14 PM.

First, do no harm.

#17 puppyduks

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:36 PM

Just an update, I have had to put this project on hold because my Kenmore 90 series washer decided it doesn't want to drain anymore. I am on the fence about fixing it or just buying used ones off craigslist.

When it rains it pours...

#18 kdog

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 02:18 AM

Fetch the full model number from the sticker on the side of the door, and kick back and enjoy this nice pictoral prepared by our esteemed master - as for your kenmore 90 washer, don't be too hasty as it may be a fairly simple project to restore draining - post a thread (with the model number) in the laundry forum and see if we can help.
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#19 jb8103

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:49 AM

I'd rather fix the drain issue than move washing machines around, but I'm just naturally lazy like that.
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#20 puppyduks

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:30 PM

Well I got the drain pump off, gonna get 'er fixed up pretty easy and cheaply!

On second thought, I think I just jinxed myself.... :)




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