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Is Fridgidaire Dishwasher [Cdn. Model BF44P1] Inlet Valve Stuck OPEN?!?


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dazedandconfused

Hi folks,

   I posted recently about an older (31-year old) Frigidaire dishwasher that was in need of a new, door gasket because it was "leaking" - I wanted to know if I could cut an inch or so of the gasket off to make the ends butt? So, I go the gasket installed successfully and we started using the dishwasher again after months of not being able to do so! On the third of fourth time of using it to wash a full load of dishes, my wife yelled up to me that the dishwasher was "leaking" and, upon running downstairs to the kitchen, found her already using large towels to try to sop up the water pouring out of the bottom front of the machine! I immediately disengaged the controls by pulling out on the control knob but the water kept coming so I disengaged the door latch and the water still kept coming so, in desperation, I dove under the sink and closed the hot water valve feeding both the sink and the dishwasher! Finally, the water flow from the front of the machine started to slow and eventually stopped!

   When I said to her that I had never seen anything like it, she said that this was just like the last time that it had "leaked" (the reason for replacing the door gasket except that I had assumed that she had meant that it was a 'small', slow leak, not like this)!! We were expecting a dinner guest and had to spend quite some time 'mopping up' all the water. Then my wife asked if I could give her back the hot water since she needed it to prepare dinner and, not knowing exactly what had just happened, I said "maybe'. I slowly opened the hot water valve under the sink and water once again started to flow into the dishwasher, again making it overflow out the front of the machine - I quickly closed it again! Since then, I have checked a number of things, including the resistance in the inlet valve solenoid (very low) and the action of the float switch (it goes from virtually 0 to 'infinity' when it passes the trip point) - everything 'seems' to be O.K. I then tried to run a partial cycle where the dishwasher drains and then fills again but it just keeps filling and I then have to SHUT IT DOWN!! One thing I did notice since I was watching the float switch and the float 'leg' as the machine was filling, after about a minute or so of filling, 'something' pulled the float right down to the low/no water position, tripping the float switch and, once again, the machine continued to add water to an already high level.

Does anybody have any idea of what might be causing this problematic situation?! Is it possible for the inlet valve to be in a continually 'open' position or could the float be 'worn out' so that it is no longer as buoyant as it should be? Or, something else?! Given the age of the machine (it is in cosmetically good shape), I am not prepared to spend a lot of money (> $100) to repair it but, if it were something as simple as the float switch (intermittent?), I would probably give that a try! As always, I appreciate any thoughts/suggestions that you might have to at least get the sink, hot water working for my wife. Thanx

Dazed

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Budget Appliance Repair

It's a bad water inlet valve - if you turn the machine off and the water keeps coming in, (especially if it still keeps filling when the door is open), then the valve is stuck open, (it can be intermittent). 

Sounds like that was your original problem then the valve shut properly again so it worked for awhile then failed in the open state again.

 

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dazedandconfused

Thanks for the quick feedback! You're pretty sure then that my dishwasher water inlet valve is stuck OPEN (even with the hot water valve under the sink turned OFF [dishwasher water feed comes off the side of this valve], water continues to 'dribble' into the dishwasher, about 1 inch per 24-30 hours). Since the water inlet valve must be normally CLOSED so that, if the power is cut off, the valve will go CLOSED (otherwise the dishwasher would overflow on a power failure and that would not be good!!). Given this fact, is it not pretty unusual that the dishwasher inlet valve is sticking OPEN?!? Since I don't like to throw items into the landfill because of a single part failure and we are planning on, but not yet ready, to buy a whole new set of kitchen appliances (finish/colour undetermined), I am working on sourcing a reasonably-priced, replacement, inlet valve ( p/n 8057402/WS462001/5303351026, new or good used) on the fervent assumption that it will fix this life-disrupting problem! Interestingly, I have been unable to find on 'Google' many references to dishwasher inlet valves sticking OPEN, most discussion is with them sticking CLOSED!

Any reassuring/confirming  comments would be most helpful and appreciated! Is there a way that I can electrically check that the inlet valve is stuck OPEN? Thanx

Dazed

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Budget Appliance Repair

Disconnect the plug that slips onto the two terminals of the water inlet valve - if water is still coming in then the water valve is bad.

Sounds like you also have a problem with the mechanical shutoff valve under your kitchen sink also, (if you turn this valve off and you still have water trickling in then that shut off valve is also bad).

 

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dazedandconfused

Thanks for the help, Willie! I managed to pick up a working, used, 'similar' inlet water valve (out of a Whirlpool? unit) from a local Appliance store for a reasonable price (the few new ones still available had to come from 'far away' - at least a week to 10d and, with shipping, weren't exactly cheap). I had to modify the mounting of the valve on the unit (using what the guy at the Appliance store called 'McGyver'ing skills) since the gasketing was different and the electrical connections were rotated by 135 deg.!). The slowly leaking hot water, feed valve under the sink shouldn't be a problem now - I did tighten the nut on it somewhat (it was dribbling onto the cabinet 'floor') although I don't know if that would also fix the dishwasher 'take-off') My wife now has her precious, hot water back and we will be giving the dishwasher a test once we fill it with dishes (been doing them by hand for awhile now). Hopefully, this fix will last at least until our kitchen renovation (this fall?!?).

Dazed

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This being a Canada model I don't know if the same as the US models but most of the new Frigidaire dishwashers use a timed fill, (about 90 seconds), and the water valve has a flow washer inside to make sure only a certain amount of water will flow thru it in a specified amount of time with an incoming water pressure of 30-110 lbs per sq.in.

This Whirlpool water valve maybe close enough and work fine or you may get a too large of water fill which could cause some leakage of water washing over the front lip of the tub when washing.

The float in the US models isn't to shut the water off at the specified level but as a safety if the water doesn't drain from the prior cycle or the valve flows to much water it won't flow over and out of the tub.

If with the used Whirlpool water valve the float is shutting off the water flow before the 90 second fill cycle is done then you most likely will have problems.

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