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Re: Soap packet not dissolved
It is always a possibility that the door is opening late but I doubt it. I'm thinking that there is not enough water coming into the machine. This may be caused by a defective water pressure/float switch. If your unit has a float, it will be near the front of the machine and be about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It should move freely up and down. Sometimes, they get gooped up. If you have the pressure type, it usually looks like a relatively flat item about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and has two wires and a hose going to it. It is located in the motor area. Clean the hose. Now, try the washer again. In the middle of the cycle, stop the unit and see if there is a quantity of water in the bottom of the unit so that it is about an inch below the spray arm. If not, there's the issue. If the water is there, the diverter solenoid that controls the spray/drain from the pump is jammed or defective.
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assuming you are using the correct dishwasher detergent type and quantity recommended for the dishwasher, the likely cause for detergent not dissolving is that the water is not circulating well enough through the wash arm. Check the wash arms are clean. Do dishes come out clean? Run the dishwasher with a cup correct side up on the top rack. If it is empty at end of wash then there is no water in the top arm.
Is the detergent dispenser door open during wash cycle?
Also lack of adequate wash water template can cause detergent to remain undesolved. Hope this helps.
The electric solenoid that opens the dispenser has failed. It is possible to replace it but you will probably have to disassemble the door to do it. An alternative might be to use a detergent tablet only in the open cup. It will partially dissolve during the pre-wash and what remains to dissolve in the main wash may be enough to get the dishes clean. Try this if the cost of replacing the solenoid is too high.
I believe that the instructions for using these 3-in-1 tablets is to place it in the open dish detergent cup, rather than in the closable compartment, since the tablet needs to get doused by a lot of water in oder to fully dissolve and be effective in getting the dishes clean.
Since the tablets are designed to dissolve more slowly, they are able to be used for the entire range of washing cycles. If it's a constant problem and you don's have an open detergent cup below or next to your closed detergent dispenser, just toss it into the bottom of the dishwasher instead.
The reason that the tablet isn't getting dissolved fully is because the door is preventing the tablet from dropping all the way out and the door is shielding the tablet from quite a bit of water spray.
Another option is to take a look at your owners manual for the dishwasher and see if they recommend these all-in-one tablets versus regular powered detergent and liquid rinse aid.
Maybe that is a bit much... I thought of something else you might check... there is a screen at the bottom of the dishwasher... make sure it is clean so that water can keep recirculating.
The thing about adding water is that if you add the water at the beginning, it is going to circulate for 3 minutes or so and then dump out the water and attempt to refill. Most machines do a couple "rinse off" cycles before the soap dispenser opens and the machine washes the dishes for a long time. So you have to put the water in after you hear the dispenser "pop" open.
I'm not completely sure about the Kitchen Aid, but their might be a way to adjust the time that the water inlet valve stays open at the beginning of the cycle... you'll have to check your manual.
You are not getting enough water or you are losing the water during wash cycle. Is you dishwasher new or older? How is it plumbed in? If it is plumbed through the floor you will have to put and air gap in to keep the water in it. All tall tub dishwasher have to be plumbed properly.
Well the 2nd part of your question is probably the the reason it doesn't clean. If the soap door doesn't open then the dishes will probably not be cleaned. So.. I would focus on why the door doesn't open first.. is it sticking from old soap residue? If so, clean the dispenser with white vinegar and cycle it a few times without detergent and use the hottest/sanitary setting.. Then make sure you are using an approved dishwashing detergent for yuour wash cycle. Add some detergent to the dispenser and try cycling it without any dishes .. does the door open? If no, then you need to resolve that first.. If it does open, try running a cycle with about 1/2 the normal dish load and see if the door opened and the dishes came out clean.. Routinely, check and clean the drain filter so you aren't redistributing the food sediment from the previous load all over the next load of dishes.. Hope that helps..