Question about Maytag 24 in. PDB1420 Built-in Dishwasher

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Maytage dishwasher soap dispenser not operating properly

My Maytag is nearly 19 years old, Model WU482. It has a round soap dispenser divided into 2 sections. The dispenser doesn't open during the second wash cycle. I've made sure it is not clogged with old, hardened detergent. I don't know how to take it apart to see if a spring or something is broken. What do you suggest? Is this a do-it-yourself repair? Thanks for any information you can provide.

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I have an older (1990) Maytag dishwasher that had the same problem. In my case liquid dish soap had penetrated the seal and dried out causing the rotating cover shaft to freeze up.

Remove the door panel and then disconnect and remove the soap dispenser from the door. Make a diagram of the soap dispenser as you carefully disassemble it; there is a coil spring around the soap door axis. If you find a buildup on the door shaft or in the hole it rotates in or in the groove the door rides in, try removing the residue with a plastic scuffy pad after letting it soak in a lime scale remover (Lime Away) or some other cleaner. I think Jet Dry makes a dishwasher cleaner. Before you reassemble the dispenser, wipe a thin film of plumbers grease (available at Home Depot or Lowes) on the shaft.

If the door is free turning and doesn't appear to be bound up, then the problem may be with a heating element that expands when energized, allowing the door to open to the second soap compartment. An ohmmeter will be needed to test the thermal lock.

These jobs are fairly simple and should need only a Phillips screwdriver and a volt ohmmeter.

Happy Motoring!

Posted on Nov 24, 2008

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You are in luck. I had to figure out a solution to this same problem tonight (same model). There are four screws running up each side of the inside face of the door. Remove those screws and you will be able to seperate the bottom door panel from the control panel. Reinsert the top two screws on each side loosely to keep the control panel from falling away. Once you have the bottom door panel off you will be able to see the cam assembly that controls your detergent door. If you carefully study its operation you will see that a spring on the left side (yours may be missing, hence the reason its not opening) holds the cover in its natural position by attaching in a hole in the black plastic peice near the top of the assembly, and grabbing a small "arm" on the side of the cam. When you close the cover, a metal U shaped clip catches the cam and puts tension on the spring. At some point in the wash cycle an electric charge causes that clip to jump away and the spring rotates the door to the other side.

My spring had come off and needed to be put back on. Fortunately, there is nowhere for it to go so it dropped out as soon as I took the door apart. I also had to remove the metal clip (actually I believe it is called a "bi-metal switch") and bend it back toward the cam just a hair to make sure that it would catch positively. Once you have the door apart you will see that this is an extremely easy fix.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009

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Assuming the dispenser is in the door... maybe take off the front door panel to access the inner workings of the dispeser to see if the spring is worn out or missing. otherwise, try a little WD-40 sprayed onto the hinges or moving parts.

Posted on Mar 06, 2007

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Dishwasher - Soap Stuck in Cup If you have dishwasher detergent stuck in the soap cup after a full cycle, please check for the following conditions:

  • The water temperature should be at 120 degrees (140 degrees if your dishwasher has water heating capability). Check your water temperature Check your water temperature.


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If you have dishwasher detergent stuck in the soap cup after a full cycle, please check for the following conditions:

  • The water temperature should be at 120 degrees (140 degrees if your dishwasher has water heating capability). Check your water temperature

  • Make sure the soap cup is not blocked by anything.


  • Allow the dishwasher to fill and make sure it is getting a proper amount of water. The dishwasher should fill for about 90 seconds. On permatuf models, the water should measure 3/8" above the island near the center of the tub. On all other models, the water should measure about 1/2" below the heating element.


  • Check the lower spray arm for any blockage in spray holes or items that would restrict its turning.


  • Make sure the soap cup has opened at the end of the cycle.


  • Check the sump area inside the dishwasher for any restrictions.

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