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Dishwasher - no spray arm action

I have a six year old Kenmore dishwasher model # 665.15892 100.

It fills up and drains fine. However it doesn't seem to activate the spray arms. Both arms spin freely when the machine is shut off. I hear a not so loud buzz sound when I should be hearing the swoosh of the spray arms.

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  • CCCMike Feb 16, 2008

    Thanks for the response.

    I have the wiring diagram from the back of the kick plate. It shows the TCO(?), door switch, and the electronic control in series with the pump and motor assembly for the wash/rinse circuit. Will I have to test each of those before deciding the motor is bad?

    Is there a way to check the capacitor? - which I guess provides sort of a jump start for the motor. I read what you said about replacing individual parts - not to do it. However, I would like to have some idea that I've isolated the problem.

    The impeller, will it turn freely if there's no problem? What can go wrong with the impeller? - just the bearing it's attached to I guess.

    Er, I'm just getting into this and I've run into a simple problem. The internal rear feed cap (2) is attached to the accumulator assembly (1). I've removed the three hex head screws (3) from the screen part of the accumulator assembly.

    The screen part is a light plastic part so I don't want to yank at it too hard. It looks like it should rotate now that the screws are out so I can pull it away from the ears of internal rear feed cap but it's not budging nor is it separating from the other part of the accumulator assembly, not at all.

    Any ideas on this stumper?

    Again, thanks for your earlier response.

  • CCCMike Feb 20, 2008


    With your help I've managed the small triumph of
    removing the accumulator assembly. It turns out there was a fourth hex
    head screw hidden by the feed cap. (I'm thinking when I put it back
    together I'll take the back wall screw out of the feed tube assembly
    that the feed cap is hooked up to so that it won't be quite the
    wrestling match with the snap back to vertical that the feed tube
    assembly experienced when I rotated the feed cap.)

    Anyway, with the accumulator assembly removed and my fingers
    reaching down to the screen and into the other hole I'm not feeling
    anything that would be blocking the flow. That was all I could do from
    the top side right? - I have to inspect the chopper blade and the
    impeller from the bottom.

    Should I remove the heating coil and soak it in vinegar to get the
    sediment build up off or am I better off leaving it in place? I
    understand that when you're removing the sump you have to be careful
    not to damage the heater coil so it seems it'd be advisable to remove
    it unless there's a sealing problem when it's reinstalled.

    I have pulled the dishwasher out and have it on its back. So
    now I have to take the sump and motor assembly apart to inspect the
    impeller and the chopper blade. The sump and the
    motor will come go out the top as a unit and then I'll take the motor apart from the sump on a bench I guess. I'm a little unclear how to remove the sump assembly but I think found a step by step for it. It's just a matter of disconnecting the wires and releasing the clips.

    Unless I see a problem I'll be
    replacing the entire sump and motor assembly (14).

    Now when you say the entire "sump and motor assembly" does that
    include the impeller or will I be removing my old one and installing it
    on the new motor? Should I get the assembly from Sears itself or go ahead and get it from any appliance
    parts supply house that has it in stock? Is there an after market
    manufacturer or is everyone selling the same OEM part?

  • CCCMike Feb 25, 2008

    The dummy is back.

    I have removed "protector, foreign" (9) and the star headed screw for "protector inlet (8). I can not get protector inlet (8) to budge. I googled around and found the procedure is to use needlenose pliers, grab some flashing and yank. It is not moving, the rest of the sump is flexing. I guess this part is cemented by lime build up.

    Any ideas? I'd like to take a look for any clog before ordering the sump/motor assembly.

    And when you say " remove the clips and push the sump up through the top" do the clips slide? I just gave them a quick look but I don't see how they move. Also, should the machine be on its side or on its back?

  • CCCMike Mar 09, 2008

    Your input has been greatly appreciated. I'm out of town a lot and I just ordered the motor/sump assembly today. I never did get that protector, inlet removed to look at the blade. I think I'll try to get a hold of a big pair of channel locks now that I've got the assembly sitting on a bench.

    Anyway, the part should be here in four days and I should be up and running by Saturday, March 15. I'll let you know.

    Oh yeah, my dishwasher has a plastic tub and the light foam panels that came with the machine. The noise of the water hitting the tub has always been quite loud. Any idea how to deaden that sound a little - just thicker or denser foam?

  • CCCMike Mar 19, 2008

    Many, many thanks. It took a while but I got it done.

    I installed a new motor/pump assembly. I never could have done
    the job with the machine in place. I had a tough time getting the seal
    to drop down evenly enough to get the clips in and was glad I could tip the machine back and look at what I was doing. I hooked up the
    dishwasher and I have run it through a couple of cycles.

    I ran the Quick Rinse cycle and everything worked fine. I ran a Normal
    Wash cycle and at some point in the middle of that cycle I heard some
    harsh mechanical or vibration noise I had not heard before. Maybe this
    happened during a pump out phase but I did not hear it later in the
    cycle. Any ideas?

    And oh yeah. Help! I can not figure out how to put the toe and access panels back.
    Does the toe panel (8270026) go first and then the access panel
    (8543839) insulation mash up against it? I've looked at a diagram at the
    Sears site and I just can't figure it out.

  • Bennettpb28 Jun 14, 2008

    the water pumps around but the top spinning arm dose not move around

  • Anonymous Mar 19, 2014

    Spray arms not working



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I also had this problem and it turned out to be a small piece of a drinking glass that had made it all the way to the chopper and wedged between the blade and the housing. I was able to do all of the work from inside the dishwasher without disconnecting anything.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008

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If it is filling with water properly then it sounds like the chopper screen is clogged so that water isn't getting into the pump. You can remove the top of the pump housing and get to the screen and chopper blade to inspect it. Go to, click on parts and enter your model number and you can view a diagram of the pump parts to help in disassembling it.
If the pump is not clogged then you have a problem with the impeller or motor. If this is the case you can replace the entire sump assembly just about as cheap as replacing individual parts of the pump.
Post back with any questions.
Thanks, Mike

Posted on Feb 16, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Feb 16, 2008

    The accumulator does not rotate to free the feed cap. You rotate the feed cap and remove it from the accumulator. It is pretty tight, but the feed tube going to the upper wash arm will flex just enough to let you rotate the cap and remove it.

    If the door switch, control, or TCO are the problem, you won't hear the motor do anything. If you hear a buzz or humm, then you should be good on these parts. The capacitor could cause your symptom, but of the hundreds of these machines I have worked on, I have not seen a capacitor fail yet. If you have a meter that will check capacitence, you should read 23.5 across the terminals. I have had several that the wires have been pulled off the capacitor, but these have always been on newly installed units that have had the wires accidently knocked loose during the installation.

    Once you get access to the chopper and impeller it should turn freely with no binding.

    Post back with what you find.


  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Feb 20, 2008

    You can get to the chopper from the top by removing the 2 covers list #8 and 9 on the parts diagram.

    You can get the parts from any dealer that supplies them. I tend to stick with OEM parts dealers unless there is a big difference in price. Your dishwasher was manufactured by Whirlpool so any local Whirlpool parts deaeler should be able to get parts for you.You may have to give them the part number from the sears site if they can't look up your model number.

    To remove the sump, unplug the wires from the motors, remove the temp senser by turning it 1/4 turn and pull it out, remove the drain outlet, remove the drain pump by depressing the plastic catch and rotate it and pull it out, remove the clips and push the sump up through the top.

    You can remove the heater and clean it without any sealing problems. If it has a large build up on it you may want to replace it. If the sediment starts coming off in the washer it can damage the pump. When you get the washer repaired you probably need to start using a dishwasher cleaner on a regular basis to keep the hard water stains and lime buildup from coming back. There are several on the market such as Dishwasher Magic, Jet Dry diswasher cleaner, and Glisten. These are good products to use about 4 times a year to keep the dishwasher clean.

    When you install the new pump assy, use a small amount of rinse aid or food grade silicone grease on the seal to lubricate it, do not use petroleum based lubricants.

    Let me know how you come out

    Thanks, Mike

  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Feb 29, 2008

    The clips slide out. I usually remove the pumps with the washer still in the cabinet but if I had it out I would probably lay it on the side so the door would stay open while working on it.

    I can usually get the inlet covers off by sticking a screwdriver into the hole the screw was in just enough to catch the cover and prying back against the cover. You can remove the pump motor without removing this cover, but it needs to come off to inspect and clean the chopper screen and blade if you plan on reusing this sump assy. Once you have the cover off, note which groove the screen sits in so that you are able to reassemble it without any trouble.


  • Michael  Lindley
    Michael Lindley Mar 09, 2008

    Just wanted to follow up on your dishwasher and see if you got it running.

    Thanks, mike



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