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dazedandconfused

Frigidaire Dishwasher (Cdn. Model BF44P1) Leaking From on Top

19 posts in this topic

Hi,

   Have 23-yr old Frigidaire dishwasher (Cdn. Model BF44P1) that has recently begun leaking from somewhere on top and only during latter third of each drain cycle (when it has almost eliminated all the water). The water (about 4 cups total after the 3 drain cycles) runs down the left side of the tub in 3 or 4 fine streams and ends up on the floor beside the dishwasher (I am now catching some of it in small plastic tray). Seems to me it also leaks more with each drain cycle.

   The only thing I can think of that's up on top is the feed to the upper spray arm and it seems to rotate as it should and connection is tight. Dishwasher has an 'all-in-one' pump that does both washing and draining, with a solenoid activated valve used to switch from one to the other. Don't really want to pull whole unit unless I have to - sometimes moving and undoing things just creates other problems.

   Any thoughts or suggestions?!

 

Dazed

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Water inlet to tub is on the left side.  Might be a cracked inlet hose or loose fitting at tub.

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Water inlet to tub is on the left side.  Might be a cracked inlet hose or loose fitting at tub.

Yes, there is a black, flexible rubber hose leading up to the water inlet but I have looked at where the water is coming from and it is above and behind that area and it is only during the latter third of the drain cycle (when almost all the water has been drained), not during the fill and wash cycle! Just to be sure, I also checked the inlet inside the dishwasher and it is sound and tight.

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Pull the unit. Pull it!

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I don't have a parts break down so don't know how your upper rack rollers are attached to the tank sides.

 

That is a source of leaks in some of the older model Frigidaire and I've also seen it in the older Whirlpools where the the upper rollers for the upper rack are screwed into the sides to the tub with washers and rubber washer to keep from leaking.

 

They start to come loose and water will leak down, you will most likely have to pull the insulation back to see.  Depending on the setup you may be able to tighten all the rack rollers from inside the tub and not have to pull the machine out.

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I don't have a parts break down so don't know how your upper rack rollers are attached to the tank sides.

 

That is a source of leaks in some of the older model Frigidaire and I've also seen it in the older Whirlpools where the the upper rollers for the upper rack are screwed into the sides to the tub with washers and rubber washer to keep from leaking.

 

They start to come loose and water will leak down, you will most likely have to pull the insulation back to see.  Depending on the setup you may be able to tighten all the rack rollers from inside the tub and not have to pull the machine out.

Thanks for the thought but this is a very specific 'failure' mode. It ONLY happens during the latter third of the drain cycle (it is almost like there is some kind of 'blow-back' from the drain to the upper wash arm area). As I mentioned, this model has a common pump with a solenoid-activated valve to switch between washing and drain. Even if some of the drain water is somehow being diverted to the upper wash arm area, I don't understand why it only leaks then and not during the wash cycle, as well! BTW, I did check the upper rollers and they are just fine. The dishwasher is trying to tell us something and I would like us to listen to it before I start disconnecting things (and possibly creating other leaks elsewhere!).

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I don't have an ipl on this model.  Some late model Frigidaires have a drying fan located on the outside top right rear corner of the tub.  Might have a pin hole leak in the drain hose.

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Pull the unit and get a visual. Unless its tiled in it cant be that hard. 

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I don't have an ipl on this model.  Some late model Frigidaires have a drying fan located on the outside top right rear corner of the tub.  Might have a pin hole leak in the drain hose.

This is a 23-yr old unit with no drying fan. The leaking is NOT coming from the drain hose (pinhole or otherwise), it is from somewhere on top and the only thing there is the upper wash arm feed, which comes from the pump down below. As I said, it is almost as if it were 'blow-back' from the pump when it is nearing the end of drain mode but that doesn't explain why it only leaks from on top during the drain cycle and not during the wash (much longer cycles).

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So there is a manifold that supplies water to upper spray arm.  Does it go to the ceiling of the tub to any type of smaller spray arm?  If so, how is manifold secured to the tub? I think the only way you're gonna nail this thing is to pull it.

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Ive seen these units leak from the back top and the top. Nothing really secures the manifold aside from molded fittings. Sometimes the top of the tub will bow in making the the fittings loose and leaking water. Try pushing the top of the tub up. Really though, you just need to pull it and run it outside the cabinetry. That will give you all the answers to all of your mysteries. 

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Really though, you just need to pull it and run it outside the cabinetry. That will give you all the answers to all of your mysteries. 

The hot water supply is rigid, copper tubing cut to length so, if I pull the unit out say, 2 ft., to be able to see the affected area on top, how do I temporarily connect the water supply (purchase flexible rubber hose with fittings?)? This will also pull the electrical supply to its limits.

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If the drain hose and electrical cord (probably hard-wired) is long enough, I expect you can leave water line disconnected.  Just fill the tub manually with water (normal amount that unit uses) and manually advance the timer to the part of the cycle you think it's leaking at.  Run it for a short time on wash also.  You might even spot the leak once you get the d/w out far enough.  Look for mold or traces of water and soap.

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OK, so I pulled out the dishwasher and it appears that the leak comes from the vicinity of the tub water inlet. Why it then only leaks during the latter third of the DRAIN cycle is beyond me!! Anyway, the flexible, black, rubber hose from the outlet of the fill valve goes up the left side of the dishwasher and enters the top of a beige, plastic rectangular piece about 3" x 2" x 3/4" which sits on top of and is connected to a white, triangular plastic piece ('chute') that runs down about 5" to form the actual water inlet to the dishwasher (these 'extra' pieces explain why it appeared that the leaking water was coming from ABOVE the dishwasher inlet). The part # on the latter piece is S-270101 and it has white 'scale' on the outside. Since I can't find a diagram of my specific dishwasher model, I have searched and found 'similar' models which call these two parts the 'fill cap' and the 'inlet', respectively. There are couple of tab holes on the top outside of the 'inlet' which apparently hold the fill cap and it together. What it would help me to know is what is inside these two pieces - e.g., anything like a filter that could be plugged, causing water to back up? It would also help to know how to take the two of them apart, i.e., how much pressure should I exert on the tabs. Parts may no longer be available for this unit so I need to proceed somewhat cautiously!

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     Well done finding the leak Brother dazed.  You might be able to clean those inlet parts, making sure theres no mineral buildup that could interfere with the flow of water.  Make sure the inlet hose is not kinking at the inlet port, causing undo spraying.  If the hose and port are clean, and no visible damage to the inlet assy, you might be alright without replacing any parts.

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There are couple of tab holes on the top outside of the 'inlet' which apparently hold the fill cap and it together. What it would help me to know is what is inside these two pieces - e.g., anything like a filter that could be plugged, causing water to back up? It would also help to know how to take the two of them apart, i.e., how much pressure should I exert on the tabs. Parts may no longer be available for this unit so I need to proceed somewhat cautiously!

Thanks for the response, Sohei. Answers directly to my questions in my previous post would be most helpful. Also, does anybody know if there is a gasket between the white plastic inlet 'chute' and the dishwasher metal wall (or on the inside of the wall)? There is a large white plastic 'nut' on the inside of the dishwasher where the water enters and which I assume is how the water inlet assembly is held to the dishwasher wall but it would seem to need something there to stop it from leaking. Can you please explain how cleaning can be expected to stop the leaking? Reluctant to take it apart unless essential lest I break something using too much force :-(.

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     Affirmative on the gasket and should replace.  If original part no longer available try food grade silicone sealant between inlet assy and outer tub wall.  Soak the inlet assy in water and calcium/lime remover.  As far as why it leaks, the more resistance in the flow of water may cause it to splash or even back up in the inlet.  By soaking the part you may not have to take it apart.

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O.K., I finally figured it out! What I just couldn't understand was how a problem with the water inlet would cause the dishwasher to leak in the latter third of the DRAIN cycle but, now I know! After pulling the dishwasher almost all the way out (electrical wiring wouldn't let me go any further) and pulling off the insulation blanket, I noticed that the water stains appearing to emanate from the bottom of the water inlet on the side of the unit were actually coming from farther above (left, rear top-of-side). So, I took a flashlight and shone into the upper back corner of the dishwasher cavity (where the drain hose heads towards the sink drain) and it looked like there was some scale on the outside of the corrugated plastic hose right where it had been forced to do almost a 90 deg angle down towards the floor. Seeing this, I decided to disconnect and then pull the drain hose and, lo and behold, the hose was cracked between five of the 'ribs'!

Now it all started to make sense - this is what was happening. As the unit began the drain cycle, water would leak from the hose into the insulation blanket that it was immediately adjacent to where, after some period of time, the blanket would become locally saturated and water would begin to drip down the side of the cabinet and the unit where I would dutifully catch it or mop it up. This would repeat itself every time the dishwasher would go into drain cycle (3 times per use). So, now I knew I needed a new drain hose for a 23-year old dishwasher, which tuned out not to be a trivial task. Reliable Parts told me that the best I could hope for was a 'universal' corrugated, plastic hose. The one I needed had a 1/2" connection at the dishwasher end and a 5/8" connection at the sink end and was 7' long. After exhausting all of the sources I could think of, I decided to buy 7' of 5/8" I.D. black rubber drain hose and put a short, plastic 'sleeve' inside the dishwasher connection end (the fitting there is only 1/2") and tighten the hose clamp snug.

All is now back together and we are just waiting for the dishwasher to fill up with dishes before we give it a try. Wish me luck!! Being a 'concrete sequential' kind of guy, I need to be able to explain observed behaviour in order to validate possible causes.

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Nice find!  Did you happen to shoot any photos?

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