Hello, I own a Kenmore dishwasher, model 665.1677580 and the detergent door won't open to release the soap. The detergent cup and door are clean, the dish rack doesn't interfere and the door uses a bimetal switch. Any tips on how to test the switch or a timer?
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Most likely it's a corroded door catch or a bad solenoid. Hopefully it's not the main control board. You'll need a repair manual or technician. A work around would be to use detergent tablets in the compartment
The most common problem with the detergent doors on KitchenAid
dishwashers is that they either don't open during the cycle or open
only halfway. Before looking into more complicated repairs, make sure
that the door is able to open. Check the seal around the door and the
door latch for soap- and food-related gunk, and scrub it off if
present. Sometimes this can keep the detergent door from operating
properly. Consider switching detergents, as some liquids and
pouch-style dish detergents can gum up the detergent dispensers. Also,
make sure that there is nothing blocking the detergent door when the dishwasher
is loaded. Because of the location of the detergent door, a large item
such as a cookie sheet or a pan can prevent the door from opening. Run
the dishwasher through a cycle without anything placed in front of the
detergent dispenser and see if that solves the problem.
rely on an internal timer to complete the wash cycle properly. When
this timer malfunctions, certain steps in the wash process (such as the
release of soap from the detergent dispenser) can be interrupted. If
the dishwasher detergent door is either not opening or appears to be
opening late in the cycle, this is likely the mechanical culprit. A
broken timer isn't something that's simple to replace without knowledge
of dishwasher repair, so it's best to consult a professional if you
suspect that this is the problem.
Malfunctioning Door Components
For the detergent door to function properly, all of its mechanical
components must be in working order. Older dishwashers' detergent doors
rely on a spring-loaded hinge to pop all the way open when the timer
gives the signal. If the door doesn't swing all the way open instantly
when it's manually released, the spring may need to be replaced for the
dispenser to operate properly. If the particular model is newer and
does not rely on a spring to open the door, chances are it either uses
a wax motor or a bi-metal switch to release the detergent door at the
appropriate time. If either of these components is dying, that can mean
that the detergent dispenser will not operate properly.
Most detergent cups are spring loaded and released by either a mechanical trip or by a bi-metal strip latch. If your model is a simple dial timer type, look for a mechanical linkage between the timer and detergent cover. If it is a touch panel control, look for the other type. The bi-metal strip type has a heating wire wraped around it that can open electrically or burn out physically.
Mechanical types can be checked by rotating the timer knob 360 degrees while watching the detergent cover linkage. Electrical types require use of an ohm meter to check the resistance of the heating element on the bi-metal strip.
If you are using powder type detergent, make sure it is not caked when added to the cup or it can jam the rotating type covers.
The dispenser flap should be spring loaded to spring open if the lock is released. If it doesn't spring open you should make sure that the spring is placed correctly on the hinge of the flap - if it doesn't spring open it won't get the detergent where it needs to go during the wash. We had the same thing.
The detergent cup itself can become clogged with old dried detergent that prevents it from opening. Sometimes just cleaning the cup takes care of the problem.
In case it will not solve your problem, the unit should be replaced.