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Kenmore dishwasher and insulation...

Hi. I am hoping someone can help me. My husband just installed a Kenmore dishwasher. It is actually his parents old one, so I believe its a few years old. I am not sure of the exact model number but on the dishwasher it says kenmore ultra wash. Anyway, it comes with insulation that goes over the top and sides of the dishwasher. I am trying to find out what the insulation is made of. I am thinking its fiberglass since I have heard that dishwashers are usually insulated with this, but Im not sure. There are some tears in the insulation and I am concerned if this is fiberglass that particles of it could get in the air or on the dishes. I do have the part number for the insulation.. It is called sound shield, and the number is 3381229. I appreciate any help with this. Thanks for your time.

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  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    I appreciate your help. The material does look like a foam material. Could fiberglass come in a foam like material? I emailed sears about what exactly was used in the insulation but they could not tell me... Do you know any way I can find out for sure? Do you work for kenmore by the way? Im not sure how this forum works. Thanks again!


  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    Also wondering, can the dishwasher be used without insulation or would there be too much heat generated and possibly cause damage to the countertop?

  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate you all taking the time to research this!

  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    And thanks again JSrock!

  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    I dont know why I was thinking there was a response from more than just you JSrock. Im pregnant and my brain is not working right. lol

  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    Just curious, is there a webpage where you found out this info about the polyester fiber material? You must be a better internet searcher than I am because I cant find much about it. lol Thanks again!

  • jen78fl Jan 29, 2008

    I was just looking on and read this (The manufacturer has replaced part number 3381229 with this item, part number 8573242. I looked up this new part number on sears parts direct and it says $53. But, actually, my husband just ordered a new one, but we used the old part number 3381229 that was on the actual insulation we have. So we paid $34 for that. I wonder if they changed the material and that is why its more expensive.. This is getting confusing. lol Sorry for all the messages!

  • jen78fl Jan 30, 2008

    Thanks, You have been a big help! I think the insulation was cheaper because it might be something different than what was shown on repairclinic.. The sears parts direct store also had the one for $54 which has the same part number as the one on The insulation material that we have looks kind of yellow and thick, like a foam material..My husband was thinking it was fiberglass that has been packed together..but who knows.. he is just guessing.. Anyway, not sure if it started out white, since it is a few years old.. or if its just something different altogether... Thanks again!



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I do not believe the insulation to be made of fiberglass. It is usually made of a yellow or tan colored foam material (not exactly sure what you call it). If there are concerns over the tears, you can reseal them with duct tape. Since the insulation wraps around the dishwasher tub and is mounted under the cabinet, there is no danger of any particles getting into the atmosphere and/or on your dishes. I would be more concerned about the insulation tears getting larger. That's why I would suggest you reseal them to insure the insulation provides the necessary noise buffering you need. If the tears are minor, I would save your money and continue to use the existing insulation. I hope this reassures you.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Jan 29, 2008

    No, I do not work for Kenmore. But, I used to work for a major appliance repair company that shall remain nameless. The insulation is used more for sound insulation rather than from heat. does provide some useful protection from the heat as well (if that makes sense). I would not recommend using the dishwasher without it unless you can bear the extra noise. I doubt if any heat damage would occur as most wash tubs are made of plastic and are sealed during use. never know. The majority of the heat does get vented from the exhaust port on the FRONT of the dishwasher, however. I cross referenced the part number you provided and it crosses to a different number (1180851) at The cost of the sound shield is about $54 if you desire to replace it. You can order it and they will ship it directly to you for a modest shipping fee. I am not affiliated with their website, either. I have used their service on many occasions and have never been disappointed by their service. In addition, the parts they provide are the same parts used by your major appliance repair companies, but at a lower price (remember...I used to work for them - not to mention you won't be paying labor charges). After viewing the photo of the material on their website, I know this is NOT fiberglass. I'm not sure what it is made of, but I know your fears can be eased by knowing that this is not a hazard to you or your family. The material is dense enough that it does not release fibers into the atmosphere. I'll do some checking around to see if I can find an answer, though (curiosity is killing me now). I hope this infomration is helpful to you. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Jan 29, 2008


    I did some searching and found that the material is a polyester fiber insulation. It is wrapped around the appliance to act as an acoustical barrier for noise reduction.

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Jan 29, 2008

    The blanket used by Sears is made of a material called "Thermoplastic". The name implies (I guess) that it also acts as a shield for heat too.

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Jan 30, 2008

    I can't remember exactly which website I found the information. I did a google search for "dishwasher acoustic blankets" and it led me to some obscure write up about the development of the material, what it was used for, and what it was made of. Congrats on finding the material at a cheaper price too. I mentioned repairclinic because of the ease of finding parts and the fact that I'm familiar with it. Glad I could be of some help to you



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