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Kenmore ultra wash III dishwasher

All cycles seem to funtion correctly. Water appears to be flowing through the upper and lower arms. The float switch appears to be working. Draining appears to be all right. The dishes come out dirty (not clean). I do not have a manual or know if there is a filter clog'd. I need some assistance.

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  • russ9292 Jul 11, 2008

    Hi, thank you for your prompt response.

    Yes, I already removed the upper and lower arms and found they were not stopped up at all. I have, in the bottom of dishwasher a raised piece of plastic about 8 or so inches across, like a dinner plate turned upside down. There are slots all around it and that is where the water comes in and drains out. There does not seem to be anything clogging the water fill or drain. I thought there may be a filter under the darn thing but I guess I will have to pull it out and lay it on its side (that is a real pain if you could see how small and cramped my little kitchen is.

    I do not see where I can remove the lower facing as it looks to be either clamped or screwed on from the inside of the shell.

    I hear it fill and I open the door and see water spouting all over (get wet doing that) and then when I hear it drain I open the door and it is empty, so, it seems it is filling and emptying correctly. Water temp it hot as can be, I have a water softner for the house. It stopped cleaning about 2 months ago but I think it was probably not cleaning gradually (if that makes any sense to you).

    Any more suggestions would be appreciated.

  • russ9292 Jul 11, 2008

    Never thought of that. I will do that in the morning and let you know tomorrow. I have to go to work - bah humbug. I like the comment that you are a cheapskate.............. LOL Me also.

    Heck if the water is clean where would you go then?

    Come to think about it, If it is dirty what would be the cause? Would that not mean that there is a filter that is not working?

    Questions questions questions..........................



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Take off the bottom spray arm. Take off what is below the bottom spray arm.This will bring you close to the pump. There is a little plastic grate. Take the screw out and remove the plastic grate. This should take you right to the intake on the washer pump. Take tweezers or whatever and make sure everything is very clean, that all the intake ports to the pump are clean. It was at this point on our dishwasher that I found debris was plugging the intake holes on the pump. I cleaned it all out, put it back together , and had a brand new dishwasher. Make sure you get right to the bottom intake of the pump, those hole inlets. You do not have to move or tip the dishwasher over. Just do it with the bottom rack out, and the top one out too if it makes it easier. I think I will make this part of my regular dishwasher maintainence every year or two.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009


Well, the water is clean. The only thing I can think of is that the pump is just not doing its job. The only way to know is put a meter or a flow meter on the pump but heck, I can buy a new dishwasher for under $300 so I think I will just give up. Hate to do it but it is not worth the time and effort anymore. I really appreciate your involvement in my problem and I hope I have not over loaded you with my questions. New dishwasher, here I come........ bah humbug. Mine was only 13 years old, they just do not make them like they use to.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008

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I suggest checking the spray-bars - the upper and lower arms - for debris in the little nozzles. Mine get clogged with jar labels and bits of chipped pottery. You can usually remove the spray-bars by turning the knurled nuts to remove them. Keep a note of the order of any washers or spacers, and you will probably find that the nut on the lower bar has a left-hand thread, so you will need to turn that the opposite way to normal to remove it. Once you get them off you can back flush then under the cold tap to make the junk come out of the big hole in the middle.

The filter is usually a little plastic basket in the bottom of the machine that can be removed by turning it a little anticlockwise and lifting it out for cleaning.

If these suggestions do help you solve the problem, please give my reply a rating to help others judge my knowledge / guessing skills.
If they do not, please hold off on the rating and add a comment with more details so I can try to help you further. Cheers, D

Posted on Jul 11, 2008

  • Richard Raynor Jul 11, 2008

    Hmm - seems like you have already done the sensible things! We now need to establish whether the dirt on the dishes is the "original" dirt that wasn't removed by the washing process, or "new" dirt that is being circulated within the machine.

    I'd suggest running the machine on a short cycle with no dishes in it, plenty of proper detergent - I use dishwasher powder from Tesco or Lidl myself because I'm a cheapskate - AND collect the pumped out water in a bucket to see whether that is full of muck or nice and clean.

    Then we'll take it from there if I am still awake.

    Cheers, D.

  • Richard Raynor Jul 11, 2008

    "Heck if the water is clean where would you go then?
    Come to think about it, If it is dirty what would be the cause? Would that not mean that there is a filter that is not working?"

    I'm hoping there will be a build up of heavy gritty stuff in you outlet pipe that will come out when you run it into a low level bucket. It might be reducing the flow to the drain so the muck is staying inside the machine, but we'll see when you try it. Cheers.D.


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The upper arm attaches to a tube in the back of the dishwasher. If the support clamps come loose, the upper spray tube will not be flush with the tube and can't carry water to the sprayer arms. Also the sprayer arms can become clogged with paper remnants, bone fragments, or pieces of peeling. You'll need to remove the sprayer arm and flush it at your sink. If there is a jet that is clogged, tweezers will help remove the residue.
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