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Broken Glass in Dishwasher
Old 06-11-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Broken Glass in Dishwasher

A glass broke into a lot of small pieces in our dishwasher. I'm trying to get all the pieces out, but I'm sure there are lots we can't get to. There's no screen or filter than I can see, and disassembling the drain will require some special tools.

Note that Sears won't tell you anything about their products or give any advice: Sears phone call excerpt. I understand the liability issues, but sheesh.

Anybody dealt with this? I haven't found any relevant stuff on the web.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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We have a Sears dishwasher and that's happened to us as well. I got out all I could see and ran it through a wash cycle empty. Never saw any sign of glass afterwards...although both DW and I did complain about having a scratchy throat for a few days.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Maybe run it empty with a potato or two to pickup the glass.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
A glass broke into a lot of small pieces in our dishwasher. I'm trying to get all the pieces out, but I'm sure there are lots we can't get to. There's no screen or filter than I can see, and disassembling the drain will require some special tools.

Note that Sears won't tell you anything about their products or give any advice: Sears phone call excerpt. I understand the liability issues, but sheesh.

Anybody dealt with this? I haven't found any relevant stuff on the web.
Get what you can - isn't the screen the round covered drain w/ vertical slots? Clear the slots, maybe be nice to your fingers and use a vacuum to get the little shards you can't see but your finger tips will find. Don't worry about the rest - if the dishwasher pumped out it's gone to rest in your drain lines. Easier than glass stopping up the garbage disposal. I've felt like the fruit trapped monkey, only bleeding, in that situation before.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Well, I've been having fun getting those pieces out. Taped a tube and a straw onto the shopvac hose, so I can poke that thing into the holes, and grab the pieces of glass. For the ones in the back, I've had to use a mirror and flex straws and learn how to move backwards.

I'll put the potatoes in my mouth to catch the glass and prevent scratchy throats.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
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I would only worry about glass if it gets in your peanut butter.....
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #7
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That looks a bit familiar. Whats the model number?

If its one of the ones I think it is, it has a 'solid food' screen and rotary scraper arm designed to break up foods. Stuff small enough to pass through the screen gets pumped into the drain. Stuff big enough gets whacked with the rotary arm until it breaks down small enough to pass through and be eliminated.

Clean out the big pieces and what you can suction out. Then run it a few times...if you dont hear any funny scraping scratchy noises, there probably isnt anything caught in the food screen and you're good to go.

If you unscrew the thing on top of the sprayer you should be able to remove the sprayer. Arent those just torx bits holding the plastic cap in place?

I've broken mine down a few times and I cant recall anything unusual to do the disassembly. But then I have quite a few tools.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:02 AM   #8
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It's a Kenmore Ultra Wash III.

I can undo the sprayer, but that didn't get me anywhere. Yes, those are Torx (star) screws holding that cap in place, and I probably would have opened it if I'd had a Torx driver.

I got all the pieces out that I could see. I think that glass literally shattered in more than 1,000 pieces. All like little diamonds.

Anyway, I ran the rinse cycle twice with no problems. So it's probably fine now. This morning, when I opened, there were two little diamonds sitting on the door. Weird.

Who'd have thought one could have so much fun with a dishwasher? Part of me was hoping that it would crash and burn so that I could justify buying a quieter dishwasher.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:09 AM   #9
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Yep, thats very similar to the one in our old house that I partially disassembled. Its made by whirlpool.

You can get a little set of 90 degree torx wrenches (like a set of allen heads but with the torx ends) for a couple of bucks. Or bits to go into a power screwdriver for about the same price. Once you get that cover off, the food screen and scraper are fully accessible.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:09 AM   #10
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Thanks, CFB. I think I'll do that just to make sure I got all the pieces.

If the Sears people could have told me that, it would have saved me a lot of time. I hate this liability stuff. It reminds of a time when I was in an electronics store, and I heard someone ask "Which of these two capacitors should I get?" and the answer was that the salesperson couldn't answer due to liability concerns.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:15 AM   #11
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After you get the sump cover off and fish out any pieces, make sure you check your air gap at the sink because that is commonly where chunks of debris get lodged. That's all you should need to do.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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Shoot I meant to mention that...you might just replace it Al, its a sub $5 part.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #13
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Naw, I took the air gap out years ago. That is, the discharge tube goes up, makes a straight connection to another tube, and goes down to the inlet to the garbage disposal.

In the last house I had, the plumber had installed a standard airgap thingy, but, I guess, because there weren't enough holes in the sink, he just attached it under the sink. As a result, if the garbage disposal was blocked, the dishwasher effluent would spray all over the cabinet under the sink.

Being an overworked wage slave in those days, I called in a appliance repairman, and he said: "You know, you don't need that air gap thingy." "Wha?! Blasphemy!"

So now it's 15 years and two houses with a straight connection, and no problems yet. I guess the purpose of one of those things is to prevent siphoning of water back into the DW from the sink, right? As long as the tube goes up high enough, there's not much danger of that. If I had the sink full of water, and pulled the plug just when the DW was emptying, maybe.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:13 AM   #14
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Its possible to put a high loop in the dishwasher drain to prevent siphoning, but that hasnt been proper building code for quite a while...especially in CA.

Thing is, if you move the home inspector will note that and you might end up doing it anyhow. I always apply that rule..."am I going to have to do this when I sell the house anyhow, while i'm stressed out and my heads on fire?" A lot of people avoid doing things and then have to do them to sell, and have to pay the cost while never enjoying the benefits.

Worse than pulling from the sink, the dishwasher might siphon from the sewer drain...especially if its a bit plugged or slow moving.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:59 AM   #15
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Wow I'm shocked! An appliance repairman would say such a thing... well I guess he wasn't a factory-trained service technician like I was. One question: if the disposal was blocked and the discharge sprayed out the air gap, where would that dirty dishwater be going now with a straight connection? It wouldn't be staying in the DW would it? Hey, whatever works. I use the hand washing method so I know how clean my dishes are. (actually my wife hasn't told me we're going to remodel and have one installed yet)
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:18 AM   #16
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Being an overworked wage slave in those days, I called in a appliance repairman, and he said: "You know, you don't need that air gap thingy." "Wha?! Blasphemy!"
But-- but-- but--

I bet he ripped all the "DO NOT REMOVE" tags off his mattresses too.

We haven't had an air gap on our dishwasher for over six years. It turns out that there's a big ol' air gap where the dishwasher's drain line discharge goes into the disposal, and that's good enough for me. It's also nice to have a dishwashing liquid dispenser in the airgap hole.

If the Airgap Police complain someday during a house sale I'll just state my case and offer to move on to the next buyer. I'm all for eliminating safety problems but that's frequently a very different thing from complying with the building code.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:23 AM   #17
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ok... true confessions of code breakers... most of my electrical outlets are not grounded (gasp).
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:36 PM   #18
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ok... true confessions of code breakers... most of my electrical outlets are not grounded (gasp).
Or even worse, they probably are...
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