REPAIRING A DISHWASHER

The control panels on the latest dishwashers can look intimidating.

They’re loaded with so many dials, push buttons, and other features that the machine looks too complex to repair. This is actually not the case. With the exception of the control panel, dishwashers haven’t changed much in basic design over the last two decades. You can repair most dishwasher malfunctions yourself, and we’ll discuss tips for do-it-yourself service and maintenance in this article.

Dishwasher parts can be replaced as a unit, which is often easier and less expensive than having a professional service person make repairs. If you aren’t sure a part is still usable, remove it from the dishwasher and take it to a professional for testing. You can then decide whether to buy a new part or have the old one repaired on the basis of the repair estimate.

Dishwashers usually run on 115-volt or 120-volt power. The water they use comes directly from the water heater, and wastewater is drained into the sink’s drainpipe. The dishwasher is not connected to the cold-water supply. For best dishwashing results, set the temperature control of the water heater to no less than 140 degrees Farenheit. Water cooler than this usually doesn’t get the dishes clean, unless your dishwasher is a newer model that preheats incoming water. The water shutoff for the dishwasher is typically located below the adjoining sink.

Caution: Because the dishwasher is connected to both the plumbing system and the electrical system, you must consider both systems when working on this appliance. Before doing any work on the dishwasher, make sure the unit is unplugged or the power to the unit is turned off, and remove the fuse or trip the circuit breaker that controls the circuit at the main entrance panel or at a separate panel. Shut off the water supply to the dishwasher at the shutoff in the basement or crawl space under the kitchen.

 

Home Appliances Tips

Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and continue to perform, follow these home appliances tips:

Keep your fridge and freezer clean

In general, appliances operate best when spick-and-span.

Besides regularly cleaning up leftovers in the fridge, keep condenser coils clean. Do so by using a condenser coil brush.

To clean the freezer, unplug it, remove all food, wipe it down with a baking-soda solution, use water to rinse it, and then dry the freezer with a towel before plugging it back in.

Defrost your freezer

Many freezers today are frost-free. However, if you have a manual defrost freezer, plan to defrost it at least once every year, before frost gets to about a half-inch thick. Use a plastic or wooden scrape — no knives or other sharp instruments — to remove the frost layer.

Scrub your oven and range, too

Clean inside your oven often and never let food debris stick around on burners, even if it requires a bit of elbow grease to remove.

Don’t spray cleaning fluid directly on control panels though, which could cause them to short circuit. Instead, apply a little onto a rag to clean that surface.

Don’t foil your oven

Experts debate whether you should use the self-cleaning feature if your oven comes with one, but they agree you shouldn’t use aluminum foil under the baking element.

Replace filters

Whether it’s a charcoal filter in an oven, a filter in some dishwashers or refrigerators or the one in your furnace, follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and/or replace them as directed.

Don’t use dish soap in the dishwasher

This can hamper the machine’s performance with gunky buildup. Use only dish detergent.

Scrape off plates

Food debris can clog dishwasher pumps. It’s going to stop up the spray arms and, in the case of emptying the water out, it’s possibly going to make the pump … fail prematurely.

Don’t overload your clothes washing machine

Doing so adds strain on the motor, tub bearings and other parts, besides not getting your clothes clean if water and detergent can’t swish between them. You shorten the life of the machine.

Instead, follow the owner manual instructions on how much to load. Hint: If your machine is banging around under the weight of all of your laundry, you’ve gone overboard.

Improve your dryer’s circulation

Often forgotten, the lint screen needs to be cleaned regularly. Failing to do or allowing your dryer vent to become clogged will force your dryer to work overtime (read: retire sooner) and can present a serious fire hazard.

Plan to have your dryer’s exhaust system cleaned annually.

Watch where you apply stain removers

Spraying it on top of washers or dryers can corrode painted or plastic parts.

DISHWASHER NOT DRAINING

Piston & Nut Assembly

Some models of dishwashers utilize a check valve as part of the drain sump. Within the check valve there is the piston and nut assembly. If your dishwasher is not draining water properly, the piston and nut assembly could be the source of the problem. This assembly is located on the bottom of the tub beneath the sump cover and is accessed by removing four screws. The piston and nut assembly should move up and down freely. When the piston is in the down position, it should form a tight seal. If it is not forming a complete seal, the dishwasher will not completely pump out the water and the piston and nut assembly will need to be replaced.

You should also check the body valve gasket to make sure it is fitting properly over the threaded portion of the piston and nut assembly and replace if damaged or worn.

Drain Pump & Motor

All dishwashers will have a method to drain the water. Most models will have a single motor driven pump with two separate compartments, one for circulation and one for drain, each with its own impeller. Other types will have a separate drain pump and some will utilize the main circulating pump in conjunction with a drain solenoid and diverter valve or flapper. On models that use a separate drain pump you should check to see if there is any obstruction to the input and output of the pump and also verify that there is power getting to the pump motor during the drain portion of the cycle. If both check ok, then you should replace the pump and motor assembly.

On models that use a drain flapper and solenoid, again you should check for any obstructions and verify that the solenoid is getting energized and that there is continuity. Use a multi-meter to make these tests. Check that the linkage operating the flapper or diverter is moving freely and replace any defective parts. On models that have a two section pump, the drain impeller may be at fault. First, verify that the motor is running in the proper direction. If the motor does not run, then check for power at the terminals on the motor. If voltage is not present, then you should check door switches, timer or electronic control as a possible cause. If proper voltage is present, then the motor windings could be open. If the motor is humming, then the problem could be that the drain impeller is jammed or the motor could be seized. If the motor is seized, then the motor or motor and pump assembly will need to be replaced. The electrical checks can be made with a multi-meter.

Disassembly of the pump will be required to determine if the impeller is the problem. The drain compartment is typically located beneath the circulating compartment. Remove the lower rack, spray arm, pump cover and filter assembly to gain access. Inspect the drain impeller for damage or wear and replace if required. Also check that the food chopper is in good condition and not allowing large food particles to clog the drain outlet, and that both the chopper and impeller are turning freely.

Check Valve Flapper

Some dishwasher models will use a check valve in the drain outlet. The check valve is used to allow water to flow in one direction but will prevent the dirty water from re-entering the dishwasher. The valve is normally a rubber flapper that is located on the outlet port of the drain pump or housing. If you suspect that the drain hose has a restriction or if you find that waste water is getting back into the dishwasher tub, then the check valve is most likely the problem. The flapper valve should fully open during the drain portion of the cycle but should close the opening to the pump outlet when in the wash or circulation portion of the cycle. If there are no foreign objects restricting this action, then the check valve should be replaced.

Belt

Some older dishwashers may use a belt driven pump. If the belt has come off or is slipping then the pump that drains the dishwasher won’t function properly. Inspect the belt for signs of wear or stretching and replace if required.

Timer

Some dishwashers will use a mechanical timer to operate the cycles. The timer controls the main pump motor as well as the drain solenoid or separate drain pump motor if your model has that style. The timer is normally located in the control panel at the top of the dishwasher door. You will require a wiring diagram and schematic to identify the correct timer contacts that control the drain cycle. These can then be checked for continuity with a multi-meter and if defective then the timer will need to be replaced.

Drain Hose

A dishwasher will not drain properly if it has a restricted or clogged drain hose. Restrictions typically appear most often at the outlet from the pump or drain housing where a check valve may be located, at the input to the household drain system or anywhere that a kink may have formed in the drain hose. If food debris has caused a restriction, then you should check the condition of the food chopper as a possible source of the problem. If the hose has developed a kink it should be replaced and the new hose should be supported well enough to prevent any new kinks from forming.

More Repair Parts

We’ve identified the most common parts that can cause a dishwasher to stop draining, but there are other parts that could be at fault. If you are unable to fix your dishwasher with the information above, enter your model number into the search box for additional repair help. Searching with your model number will give you access to all parts and schematics, symptoms for your specific dishwasher as well as all installation instructions and videos.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

WHO INVENTED dishwasher

By definition the kitchen is a room used for food preparation that is typically equipped with a stove, a sink for cleaning food and dish-washing, and cabinets and refrigerators for storing food and equipment. Kitchens have been around for centuries, however, it was not until post-civil war period that the majority of kitchen appliances were invented. The reason was that most people no longer had servants and housewives working alone in the kitchen needed culinary help. Also the advent of electricity greatly advanced the technology of labor saving kitchen appliances.

Dishwasher

Everything changed thanks to Joel Houghton, who patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on dishes, in 1850. This was hardly a workable machine, but it was the first patent. This was just the beginning, though, and advancements came pretty fast. Thus, in 1865, L.A. Alexander obtained a patent for a device that used a hand crank and gearing to spin a rack of dishes through the dishwater. Again, this didn’t do to much to clean dirty dishes.In 1886, Josephine Cochrane (granddaughter of John Fitch, the inventor of the steamboat) proclaims in disgust “If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I’ll do it myself.”And she did, Cochrane invented the first practical dishwasher. She was a rich woman who had a lot of dinner parties. She had servants to wash her dishes but she wanted a machine that could do the job faster without breaking so many. So, she built a dishwasher herself!First, she measured her dishes and then built wire compartments – each specially designed to fit plates, cups, and saucers. The compartments fit in a wheel that lay flat inside a copper boiler. A motor turned the wheel, while hot soapy water squirted up from the boiler and rained down on the dishes. She unveiled her invention at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and won its highest award.

Cochrane’s friends liked her dishwasher, and soon, Mrs. Cochrane was getting orders for the machine from restaurants and hotels around Illinois. She patented the design and went into production. Her company is now the well-known upscale kitchenware corporation KitchenAid. Other companies made dishwashers for restaurants and caterers that were powered by steam. They worked by passing the dirty dishes under jets of hot water using a conveyor belt or spinning basket which were inefficient. It was not until the 1950s, when dishwashers became cheaper and smaller, that they caught on with the general public.Models installed with permanent plumbing arrived in the 1920s. In 1937, William Howard Livens invented a small dishwasher suitable for home. It had all the features of a modern dishwasher, including a front door for loading, a wire rack to hold crockery and a rotating sprayer. Electric drying elements were added in 1940.
Adoption was greatest at first in commercial environments, but by the 1970s dishwashers had become commonplace in domestic residences in the US.


Got a Dishwasher Problem?
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(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica Dishwasher Repair


 

DISHWASHERS

Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating.

DISHWASHER WATER-SAVING TIPS
  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
  • Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you run it.
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
  • Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
LONG-TERM SAVINGS TIP

When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find one that uses less water and energy than required by federal standards. They are required to use 4.25 gallons of water per cycle or less — older dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 10 gallons of water per cycle.

Appliance Tips

Appliance Tip #1:

For best dryer performance and to prevent possible fire, inspect outside vent weekly for lint obstruction and good air flow.

Appliance Tip #2: 

For best dishwasher performance, run water at the kitchen sink until hot just before starting your dishwasher.  It’s also best to use soft water for improved washability as well as increasing the life of your appliance.

Appliance Tip #3: 

Using a small nylon mesh laundry bag for small articles, such as children socks, etc can prevent such items from entering your wash pump and causing damage.  Always carefully check pockets and remove all items before washing such as keys, hair pins, safety pins, coins etc.

Appliance Tip #4: 

Using too much fabric softener can cause a build up over time that can actually affect your dryer’s performance. If using liquid fabric softener in the washer, use a very small amount, diluted. If your choice is a dryer sheet,  appliance manufacturers now recommend cutting the dryer sheet in half. Not only will your dryer be happier, you’ll save money, too.

Appliance Tip #5: 

Adding a product called “Finish Glass Magic” to your dishwasher may increase the cleaning performance.  Pour “Finish Glass Magic” into the bottom of the dishwasher tub.  Then, add your favorite detergent to the dispenser as you normally would.  There are several Finish products, but it must have the words “Glass Magic” on the box. Recently, phosphates have been removed from all dishwasher detergents and many people are calling us to report that their dishwasher is no longer getting dishes clean and/or leaving a white residue on dishes, particularly plastic items. You may need to soak the items in a vinegar solution to remove the residue.  Then, use the “Finish Glass Magic” with each wash.  Another product that is very useful with kitchen and laundry appliances is “20 Mule Team Borax”.  Simply pour 1/4 cup of “20 Mule Team Borax” in the bottom of the dishwasher tub for each load.  

DISHWASHER NOT CLEANING?

If your dishwasher is running but the dishes aren’t getting clean, one of these simple fixes could solve your problem. Start by consulting your manual to be sure you’re using the right detergent, loading the dishes correctly and maintaining the right hot water temperature.

Insufficient water in the dishwasher also can cause poor cleaning. If the float gets stuck in the raised position, the dishwasher won’t fill with water. Another likely cause is a clogged inlet screen or faulty inlet valve. To determine if your dishwasher is getting enough water, start a wash cycle. Open the door when you hear the machine stop filling. The water should reach or come close to the heating coil. If it doesn’t, first make sure the float valve is operating freely. If this doesn’t solve the problem, check the inlet valve and screen.

Inlet valves that are starting to fail sometimes make a hammering noise. If you hear this, replace the valve. But before you start any work on the dishwasher, unplug it or turn off the power at the shutoff switch or main circuit panel. Test to see if the power is off by turning on the dishwasher and making sure it doesn’t run. You’ll also have to shut off the water before removing the inlet switch. Usually you’ll find a shutoff valve under the kitchen sink or in the basement or crawl space under the dishwasher. Otherwise, close the main water valve.

Whether you’re replacing the valve or simply cleaning the screen, you’ll have to unscrew the brass fitting that connects the water line to the valve. Remove the four screws that secure the valve to the bracket to access the filter screen. Reassemble and reinstall the valve in the reverse order. Wrap Teflon tape around the fitting threads before screwing the fitting into the valve.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

DISHWASHER WATER-SAVING TIPS

DISHWASHER

Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating.

DISHWASHER WATER-SAVING TIPS

  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
  • Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you run it.
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
  • Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.

LONG-TERM SAVINGS TIP

When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find one that uses less water and energy than required by federal standards. They are required to use 4.25 gallons of water per cycle or less — older dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 10 gallons of water per cycle.

Help Your Appliances Last Longer

Do your appliances die before their time? Here are ways to keep them humming longer. Is it just me or does it seem that appliances don’t last as long as they’re supposed to?

Our dryer died after 11 years (two years before a typical dryer’s lifespan is up), and we repaired our refrigerator three times before it reached its 12th birthday (it’s supposed to live for 13 years).

Full disclosure: I wouldn’t give myself an A in appliance care. But in the future, I vow to keep up on regular maintenance that’ll keep my new dryer running longer than my last one.

Rob Carpenter, owner of a Mr. Handyman franchise in Maryland, shares some insider tips about how to extend the life of home appliances.

Refrigerators That Last

Refrigerators break down when doors don’t close tightly, forcing motors to work overtime to keep food cold. To test your door seal, close the door on a dollar bill: If the bill slips, you’ve got a problem that requires refrigerator maintenance.

Magnetic strips embedded in gaskets around refrigerator doors make doors close snugly, but they routinely wear out and should be replaced or re-magnetized every couple of years. If you’re handy, re-magnetizing is a DIY job — just run a powerful magnet along each side of the gasket, in the same direction, about 50 times.

If messing around with the refrigerator door is beyond your pay grade, call a professional. Pros typically charge around $242 to repair door problems.

Washing Machine Endurance

Loose change banging around your washer drum can cause dents, chipped paint, and rust, so make sure to empty pockets before washing clothes.

Also, maintain your washing machine by regularly cleaning or replacing filters that trap water sediment before it enters your machine. Filters, which look like thimbles, are located in the back where supply hoses attach to the machine. Remove hoses and either poke out debris with a tip of a flathead screwdriver, then remove and wash the filter, or replace it.

Dryers That Keep on Drying

In addition to regularly cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap and exhaust hose, inspect the exterior vent — hot air must escape your house unimpeded.

Make sure the hinged exterior vent pops open when the dryer runs. If it doesn’t, open the cover and scrape out lint with the end of a hanger or dryer vent brush ($13). If your vent is louvered, clean slats with an old toothbrush.

When my dryer recently lost its heat, we called a repair guy who discovered a family of sparrows living in the vent. He sucked the birds out (poor birdies), and then we covered the vent opening with a wire mesh.

Dishwasher Extenders

Here are ways to keep your dishwasher stress-free and long-lasting:

  • Prime your dishwasher by running the hot water in your sink before you begin the cycle. This will clean your dishes with hot water from the very start of the cycle.
  • Once a week, run your dishwasher empty except for a cup of vinegar, which will keep it shining and smelling fresh.
  • Clean out food traps regularly.
  • Wipe clean the seals around dishwasher doors.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/appliances/make-appliances-last-longer/#ixzz43OUtmhUK

Bosch Dishwasher Recall

Bosch Dishwasher Recall – United States and Canada

On January 15, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Bosch Home Appliances announced a voluntary recall to repair certain Bosch dishwashers manufactured in the United States between May 1999 and July 2005 and sold in the United States and Canada. Please read this notice carefully and call the Bosch Hotline for a free repair if your dishwasher is included in this recall.

http://www.bosch-home.com/us/dishwasher-recall.html