My kenmore when on fire during the night from the timer mechanism...I later found out that my model was recalled in 1993,but a different series(lot)...because it was 3 yrs old and warranty was out Sear's refuses to do anything for me...even a $140 replacement piece...they showed no concern for my family or the danger the fire posed....i also found out they were made in mexico and not in the US for quailty control restrictions
be careful buying a kenmore dishwasher from sears
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talk with the service agent for the machine as he will know if there is a recall open or a modification for the problem or contact the help line direct to the manufacturer, explain what has happened and ask for a warranty fix as it may be a design fault
This is a serious issue, you may need to contact the manufacturer about it. Check for recalls as your dishwasher is basically a fire hazard. There is a fan in the door that may caught fire or the door latch mechanism caught fire. Perhaps another part caught fire.
I also may recommend you to open a claim with the manufacturer about smoke damages or any other damage that your property may have.
You may want to contact Sears to see if there was a recall on your model dishwasher. There were problems with the door assemblies on some model dishwashers that were caused by the rinse agent leaking into the wire harness of the door. Over time the rinse agent would corrode the wire insulation causing the units to catch fire in some cases. The fix was a free inner door and wiring harness upgrade kit from the manufacturer. Here is a link you can refer to that may offer some assistance:
Most detergent cups are spring loaded and released by either a mechanical trip or by a bi-metal strip latch. If your model is a simple dial timer type, look for a mechanical linkage between the timer and detergent cover. If it is a touch panel control, look for the other type. The bi-metal strip type has a heating wire wraped around it that can open electrically or burn out physically.
Mechanical types can be checked by rotating the timer knob 360 degrees while watching the detergent cover linkage. Electrical types require use of an ohm meter to check the resistance of the heating element on the bi-metal strip.
If you are using powder type detergent, make sure it is not caked when added to the cup or it can jam the rotating type covers.
Had the exact same problem (Control panel burning up, sparking, and smoking during wash cycle) last night with our Kenmore Elite DW model 665.16293400 purchased Nov. 2004. I have reported it to the CPSC and www.kitchenaidfire.com and will be contacting Sears first thing tomorrow. It is outrageous that this problem is apparently so widespread with nothing being done about it! I have no doubt my kitchen would have been in flames if I had not been sitting right here to shut off power to the D/W.