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Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Dishwasher Behaving Badly

My major appliances have a tradition of breaking down during hollidays, and this year it's the dishwasher's turn.

Yesterday, after running a load of dishes, there was water on the floor in front of the dishwasher -- about a gallon. There was no water under the sink where the drain goes to the garbage disposal, and today I opened the area under the dishwasher, and it didn't look like it had been wet there.

I ran a rinse cycle today, and there was no leakage anywhere. It doesn't seem possible for the machine to run when the door is open.

Any ideas as to where the water came from??
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Perhaps the elves were in a naughty mood?
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Wow, a gallon is a bunch of water-duh.
If the water was if front it could be the gasket or that the door was not tight on that load. On some models water can be deflected out the vent if the dishes are not arranged as they should be or you are washing something really odd shaped like a laptop perhaps.
Even the wrong detergent can raise hell. Did you change?
Good luck
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 04:58 PM   #4
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Suggest you take a look at your drain feeder line that goes from the pump (one way valve) on the DW to the drain line under the sink. Sometimes these get stopped up from either the DW (unlikely) or the main sink drain (likely). Just remove the line from the drain under the sink and run the DW (putting the drain line into a 5 gallon bucket) and see if it will clear itself. If little or no water comes out (in the rinse cycle) you should then remove the line at the DW and clear the line. Beyond that it may be the pump valve at the DW (where the line connects). It is a one way valve that lets water out but not in, or the pump itself.

Depending on what brand of DW you should be able to fine parts on the internet or Sears usually will have parts for almost any DW (given the brand, sn and part number).

Good luck --
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Al, the first thing I would suspect is a sticky float. If it sticks, the dishwasher can overfill and cause the problem you describe. It may just need to be cleaned. Here's a link to a troubleshooting guide:

http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appli...loatasmbly.php


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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-24-2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Ooo -- good one REW! That would explain exactly what happened, including my short tests which didn't allow the dishwasher to fill completely. The float switch moves without obstruction, but I'll bet that something poked out the bottom of the utensil tray and restricted it.

I'll keep my eye on it and if it happens again do a full test on that part.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 12-25-2006, 05:56 AM   #7
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

when my dishwasher acted up i fired her
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-09-2007, 09:40 AM   #8
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

I had this problem again today, but this time I caught it in the act. The float wasn't stuck, and the water was coming into the dishwasher even when the door was open. That should never happen.

Sounds like the water inlet valve was stuck in the open position. Futzing around got it to stop, and now it's working OK, but I've got to figure out what happened.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-09-2007, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Solenoid opens water valve. Door switch opens circuit to solenoid. Spring closes off water valve. Debris in water valve (fine grit from water supply) gets into rubber seal keeping valve slightly open. Water runs with door open. Or door switch sticks closed with door open (wouldn't explain overfilling due to float cut-off). Simple solution- replace water inlet valve. Tinkerer's solution- disassemble water valve and clean out grit (soak seal in lime away or other acidic solution to dissolve mineral accumulation. Reassemble and recheck.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #10
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Good logic, Ronin.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-09-2007, 10:55 AM   #11
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Sounds like the water inlet valve was stuck in the open position. Futzing around got it to stop, and now it's working OK, but I've got to figure out what happened.
A friend's dishwasher was acting up this week, and their drain solenoid is leaking a bit around the solenoid's gasket.

I expected the parts guy to laugh heartily when I asked for a 15-year-old solenoid valve, but he said that Kenmore still uses the same ones today. $48.

That tells me there's no possible improvements left to be squeezed out of Kenmore's solenoid-valve design, and that it may be easier/cheaper to replace the water-filling solenoid valve than to fix it.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #12
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Agreed, I just ordered a new one, $41, and it will arrive tomorrow.

I was about to start playing with it, but thought I'd check the price first. When the new one is installed, I'll take apart the old one to confirm that there was some debris in there.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-11-2007, 10:49 AM   #13
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Put the new part in, dishwasher works OK.

Dismantled the old valve, and didn't find any crud or clearcut reason for intermittent failure. The solenoid has a weak spring that holds a piston against a tiny inlet hole. There was a small dimple in the rubber tip of the piston. Perhaps if that dimple were positioned just right, then the water would leak through.

So I guess I'll put the DW on probation for two years. Run it only when we're around to check up on it.
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-11-2007, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
So I guess I'll put the DW on probation for two years. Run it only when we're around to check up on it.
I sure hope that means "dishwasher" and not "dear wife"!
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-12-2007, 09:28 AM   #15
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Quote:
I sure hope that means "dishwasher" and not "dear wife"!
Oops. Hey, I should have titled the whole thread "DW Behaving Badly."
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly
Old 04-12-2007, 07:38 PM   #16
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Re: Dishwasher Behaving Badly

Hopefully that solves it. If not, let us know. We can explore the less obvious diagnoses. (I would make sure the float assembly is completely cleaned of gunk and free to move).
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