Question about Kenmore 24 in. 16539 Built-in Dishwasher

3 Answers

Dishwasher fills w/ water, does not wash, but does drain.

I have a Kenmore model # 16539 SmartWash DW.  Type No. 575-0.  Motor # E71195.  It is about 5 years old.  When I run the DW it will fill with water but it does not wash the dishes.  It does not spray any water inside - the spray arms do not spin, the insides are not wet.  But, after the timer cycle is over it drains perfectly well.  So, I know the water inlet valve works.  I also know the heater element works.  I also know the draining system works.  It sounds to me like a pump/motor problem.  Would you agree?  I've also hear that it could be a door switch, but if this were true I wouldn't expect the controls to operate.  Usually, when the door is slightly open the control panel disengages. 


I've also heard that some DW's have two pumps: one for washing, and one for draining.  Can you tell me if this DW has two pumps?  I'm trying to understand if I need just a motor, or a motor and pump assembly.  Since the draining works just fine, I am assuming the pump (if there is only one) is ok. 


Thanks and Regards,


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  • dcove Nov 23, 2007

    Same problem, 665 13854. I was told by sears to try the "china" setting which supposedly uses the 1/4hp drain/fill pump as the water spray pump instead of the 1/2hp pump. I tried this and still no water. I disassembled the spray arm assembly to check for blockage and while disassembled tried a rinse cycle. Opening up the door quickly revealed a bit of water coming out of the spray arm supply but no preassure, almost like it was the house water pressure only. Is this a bad start capacitor ? The unit is only one year old...

  • Anonymous Nov 25, 2007

    I have the same problem, the dishwasher fills normally, and then I hear a humming sound but no other activity. When I cancel the cycle, the dishwasher drains clean. I pulled out the dishwasher from under the kitchen-counter and I saw a little bit of leakage where the motor meets the rest of the housing (I guess this is where the impeller and other stuff is located, pardon my lay-person language).

    It is a Kenmore Elite Model #:665.15932.

    If I want to check whether there is something stuck in the impeller as suggested in the previous posts, how would I check? How can I remove the motor/housing to investigate further.

    Thanks in advance.

  • KBB14 Dec 19, 2008

    I have the same problem with my 2004 Ultra Wash Model 665...fills with water, sensing light comes, then stops for a second. Then you can hear another pump kick in (it hums) and just runs continuously but no water is spraying through the arms. When you cancel the wash, it drains perfectly. I've checked the filters, all is clean. The grinder blade is free to move and in good shape. Any idea??


  • edwilks Apr 26, 2009

    model 665 13752K601. kenmore, fills with water OK, but no pressure to turn the wands.

    I installed a new motor assembly and pumps. still not enough water pressure to spin the wands. this model has a bottom, central and top wand assembly.



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Joel, it's hard to tell whats going on here without the full model number. The number you posted should start with a 665, 363,587 or 464.  Here is a couple of things to look for.  It sounds like you have a seperate drain pump. Remove the bottom toe panel and hopefully there will be a tech sheet behind it.  Check the harness to the motor itself.  You want to verify that there is 120V going to it when the wash motor should be running. If you hear the motor humming and kicking out on the overload, then we can assume you have something stuck in the impeller or the motor is bad itself. The tech sheet will give you a diagram for the hot and nuetral.  Check the float switch inside the tub, it should move freely up and down. This is a safety device to insure the dishwasher does not overfill.  If this is a 665,  there will be a start capacitor on the left side of the wash motor.  If one of the wires came off the cap,  the motor won't run.  Regarding the door switches,  if you have 120V going to the motor during the wash cycle, you can assume the door switches are o.k.   Hope this gets you started in the right direction...Catriver.

Posted on Oct 14, 2007

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The problem of not washing but the dishwasher will fill and drain just not wash is due to the failure of the main pump impellor seal. This item lasts about 4 years of heavy use. The seal fails and then water gets into the pump front motor bearing which fails. Sometimes you can pick this up if you notice the washing cycle has a whine to it.
Bottom line. Sears have an impellor kit #8193951 about $30. You have to remove the dishwasher. Remove the locking bolt on the top of the pump motor. Rotate the pump to unlock it and lift it out. The impeller screws off the pump. Note how the seal comes off the pump and put the new impeller and seal assembly on. If the front motor bearing has failed then you will need a new pump assembly $200 from Sears unless you feel like diassemblying the pump and motor, pulling the bad front bearing off the shaft and replacing it. In all the its a quick job to replace the whole motor assembly if you have toDishwasher fills w/ water, does not wash, but does - ef549c21-14cb-4b17-82f1-529b46d0f7b8.jpg

Posted on Apr 19, 2013


Just so you know...Same problem...Just took the thing apart.

The motor and impeller are bad. The seal on the impeller is worn. The water then went into the bearings on the motor and all need to be replaced...


Posted on Jun 18, 2008

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SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

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