Question about Dishwashers

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Maytag dishwasher My magtag dishwasher has been running great for about 4-5 years, now for the past few months it started leaving a pond water/fishy smell on all the dishes. I even replaced my dishes thinking that was the problem.

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  • cjgoulet4 Aug 24, 2008

    How can you tell if the blades are running?

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  • Master
  • 706 Answers

I would try running an empty load and using 1/2 cup of white vinegar..

Posted on Aug 24, 2008

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  • Master
  • 3,422 Answers

Hi,

If your dishwasher is cleaning poorly, check these:

Water-inlet valve
Internal filters
Drain valve
Spray arms
Water temperature
Detergent cup
Water-inlet valve Most cleaning problems are caused by the dishwasher not getting enough wash water, so the water-inlet valve is often to blame. This valve is usually at the bottom left or right of the dishwasher, behind the lower access panel. It's the device with the main water line from the house, a rubber tube to the dishwasher, and two wires attached to it.

When a water-inlet valve is defective, you may hear the sound that's usually referred to as "water hammer." If the water-inlet valve is defective, you need to completely replace it.

Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve Replacement

Be sure to read and understand any instructions that come with the new water inlet valve.

Tools required:

Adjustable wrench

Multi-Screwdriver

Pliers

Step 1. Disconnect the dishwasher from its power source.

Note: Dishwashers are usually wired directly to the home’s electrical system. To disconnect the power, switch off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the electrical circuit the dishwasher is attached to. Try to turn the unit on after disconnecting the power to be sure you were successful.

CAUTION: If you’re not sure you’ve shut off the power properly, DO NOT CONTINUE. Call a qualified appliance repair technician to complete the repair.

Step 2. Turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. This is usually underneath the kitchen sink or in the basement or crawlspace near the location of the dishwasher. Pliers may be helpful here.

Note: If there are no shut-off valves, you must shut the water off at the main water supply valve for your home.

Step 3. Remove the lower panel(s) of the dishwasher. These are usually held by 2 to 4 screws at the upper and lower corners of the panel(s).

The inlet valve is usually near the front of the dishwasher. Attached to the valve you’ll see: 2 or 4 wires, the water supply line from the house and the water feed line that goes to the dishwasher.

Step 4. Remove the household water supply line from the valve. The line is usually secured with a brass compression nut. The water supply line is usually copper or braided stainless steel.

CAUTION: Water supply line may be hot.

Step 5. Remove the fitting from the valve the water supply line was attached to. This fitting may be very difficult to remove. It may help to put the valve into a vice in order to remove the fitting. If you cannot remove it, replace it. The fitting is not an appliance part but a plumbing part that is available at most hardware stores.

Step 6. Remove the screws holding the valve to the dishwasher frame.

Step 7. Label the wires to the valve so you’ll be sure to reattach them correctly.

Step 8. Remove the wires from the valve.

Step 9. Remove the clamp on the black rubber water discharge tube and pull the tube off of the valve.

Step 10. Reinstall the old fitting (or a replacement fitting if necessary) onto the new valve the water supply line was attached to. Use Teflon tape or pipe joint compound as a thread sealant. Make this fitting tight to prevent leaks. Make sure that the fitting points in the same direction as the old one so that the water supply line will meet up with it properly.

Step 11. Install the new valve in the reverse order of the removal instructions.

Note: The water supply line is under high pressure. Be sure to tighten the fittings properly.

Step 12. Turn on the water to the machine, and check for and correct any leaks.

Step 13. Reinstall the access panel(s). Restore the power to the dishwasher and test.

Note: You may have to let the dishwasher run a few minutes before it reaches the next water fill cycle.

Internal filters Every dishwasher has some type of filter to keep large food particles and foreign objects away from the pump assembly:

  • Most modern dishwashers have self-cleaning filters that don't need any routine cleaning.


  • Some have filters in the bottom of the dishwasher that you need to periodically clean. You don't need any tools to remove the filter, and cleaning it is easy. Consult your owner's manual to determine which type you have and its maintenance requirements.


If your filter is clogged, it may be causing the cleaning problem.

Drain valve Some dishwashers have a valve (or gate) that should open only during draining. If debris lodges in the valve, it can't close properly, so water drains out during the wash cycle. Most dishwashers drain into the garbage disposer. If yours does that, listen for water flowing into the disposer during the wash cycle. If you can hear it then, the drain valve may be clogged.

Spray arms There's a spray arm at the bottom of your dishwasher--it may have a tall spray tube mounted to the center of it. There may also be a spray arm located directly beneath the upper rack of dishes and/or above the upper rack.

If debris is blocking the holes in the spray arms where the water comes out, it could cause cleaning problems. Regularly inspect each of the spray arms and clean out the holes as necessary.

Water temperature To get the best cleaning results, the water entering your dishwasher needs to be hot enough. Try running the hot water in your kitchen sink for about 30 seconds before starting the dishwasher, to pre-heat it. Also, if your dishwasher lets you select a higher wash or rinse temperature, try that to see if it helps.

To check the temperature of the hot water that comes from your kitchen faucet use a waterproof thermometer. If the water isn't 120 degrees Fahrenheit, your dishwasher may have trouble getting your dishes clean. You could increase the temperature of the hot water to the whole house--and therefore the dishwasher--by adjusting the hot water heater thermostat.

Warning! To lessen the risk of scalding, don't set the hot water heater temperature higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Detergent cup Dishwashers don't perform their best if detergent is introduced only at the beginning of a cycle, so add detergent to both parts of the cup.

If the detergent cup isn't opening, see the "The detergent cup doesn't open" section, below.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008

  • Priya darshan Aug 24, 2008

    Start with the simple checks listed below. Notice that the first
    item is to check the water fill level-- this is the most common cause
    for poor cleaning in your dishwasher.




    • Check water level when the fill cycle has completed. Should
      be just under the heating element. If not, you may need to replace the
      water inlet valve.

    • Check the water temperature. Should be 125 to 140°F.

    • Check pump re-circulation. Listen: does it sound like it's spraying the water around with enough pressure?

    • Check the spray arm and pump cover for splits or leaks.

    • Check to make sure dishwasher is draining after each cycle. There should only be a little water in the bottom of the tub.

    • Make sure the dishes are loaded properly, or dishwasher is not overloaded.

    • Possibly try a different detergent. Some liquid-gels will bubble and a pump cannot pump bubbles. Make sure the detergent is fresh.


    To check your dishwasher fill level, start it up using the cycle you
    normally use. Listen to the sounds: the first sound will probably be
    the dishwasher doing an initial pumpout. Then that will stop and the
    dishwasher will start filling. Lots of times, you can hear the water
    running. Give it a minute or two to fill. When it's done filling, the
    spray cycle will start. Open the door at this point and check the water
    level. There should be enough water in the tub to cover the bottom
    floor of the dishwasher. On many models, the water should just come up
    to the heating element. If there isn't enough water, you will have
    cleaning problems, guaranteed.


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  • Master
  • 19,396 Answers

Check that the blades are running.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008

  • Ginko
    Ginko Aug 24, 2008

    Check that the blades are running and water have enough pressure, check that the drain hose at the bottom is not obstructed.
    See following tips from Repairclinic:
    "




    It cleans poorly

    If your dishwasher is cleaning poorly, check these:

    Water-inlet valve
    Internal filters
    Drain valve
    Spray arms
    Water temperature
    Detergent cup



    Water-inlet valve

    Most
    cleaning problems are caused by the dishwasher not getting enough wash
    water, so the water-inlet valve is often to blame. This valve is
    usually at the bottom left or right of the dishwasher, behind the lower
    access panel. It's the device with the main water line from the house,
    a rubber tube to the dishwasher, and two wires attached to it.

    When
    a water-inlet valve is defective, you may hear the sound that's usually
    referred to as "water hammer." If the water-inlet valve is defective,
    you need to completely replace it.

    Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve Replacement

    Be sure to read and understand any instructions that come with the new water inlet valve.


    Tools required:


    Adjustable wrench


    Multi-Screwdriver


    Pliers


    Step 1. Disconnect the dishwasher from its power source.


    Note: Dishwashers are usually wired directly to the home’s electrical
    system. To disconnect the power, switch off the circuit breaker or
    remove the fuse for the electrical circuit the dishwasher is attached
    to. Try to turn the unit on after disconnecting the power to be sure
    you were successful.


    CAUTION: If you’re not sure you’ve shut off the power properly, DO NOT
    CONTINUE. Call a qualified appliance repair technician to complete the
    repair.


    Step 2. Turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. This is usually
    underneath the kitchen sink or in the basement or crawlspace near the
    location of the dishwasher. Pliers may be helpful here.


    Note: If there are no shut-off valves, you must shut the water off at the main water supply valve for your home.


    Step 3. Remove the lower panel(s) of the dishwasher. These are usually
    held by 2 to 4 screws at the upper and lower corners of the panel(s).


    The inlet valve is usually near the front of the dishwasher. Attached
    to the valve you’ll see: 2 or 4 wires, the water supply line from the
    house and the water feed line that goes to the dishwasher.


    Step 4. Remove the household water supply line from the valve. The line
    is usually secured with a brass compression nut. The water supply line
    is usually copper or braided stainless steel.


    CAUTION: Water supply line may be hot.


    Step 5. Remove the fitting from the valve the water supply line was
    attached to. This fitting may be very difficult to remove. It may help
    to put the valve into a vice in order to remove the fitting. If you
    cannot remove it, replace it. The fitting is not an appliance part but
    a plumbing part that is available at most hardware stores.


    Step 6. Remove the screws holding the valve to the dishwasher frame.


    Step 7. Label the wires to the valve so you’ll be sure to reattach them correctly.


    Step 8. Remove the wires from the valve.


    Step 9. Remove the clamp on the black rubber water discharge tube and pull the tube off of the valve.


    Step 10. Reinstall the old fitting (or a replacement fitting if
    necessary) onto the new valve the water supply line was attached to.
    Use Teflon tape or pipe joint compound as a thread sealant. Make this
    fitting tight to prevent leaks. Make sure that the fitting points in
    the same direction as the old one so that the water supply line will
    meet up with it properly.


    Step 11. Install the new valve in the reverse order of the removal instructions.


    Note: The water supply line is under high pressure. Be sure to tighten the fittings properly.


    Step 12. Turn on the water to the machine, and check for and correct any leaks.


    Step 13. Reinstall the access panel(s). Restore the power to the dishwasher and test.


    Note: You may have to let the dishwasher run a few minutes before it reaches the next water fill cycle.





    Internal filters

    Every dishwasher has some type of filter to keep large food particles and foreign objects away from the pump assembly:



    • Most modern dishwashers have self-cleaning filters that don't need any routine cleaning.



    • Some
      have filters in the bottom of the dishwasher that you need to
      periodically clean. You don't need any tools to remove the filter, and
      cleaning it is easy. Consult your owner's manual to determine which
      type you have and its maintenance requirements.


    If your filter is clogged, it may be causing the cleaning problem.




    Drain valve

    Some
    dishwashers have a valve (or gate) that should open only during
    draining. If debris lodges in the valve, it can't close properly, so
    water drains out during the wash cycle. Most dishwashers drain into the
    garbage disposer. If yours does that, listen for water flowing into the
    disposer during the wash cycle. If you can hear it then, the drain
    valve may be clogged.




    Spray arms

    There's
    a spray arm at the bottom of your dishwasher--it may have a tall spray
    tube mounted to the center of it. There may also be a spray arm located
    directly beneath the upper rack of dishes and/or above the upper rack.

    If
    debris is blocking the holes in the spray arms where the water comes
    out, it could cause cleaning problems. Regularly inspect each of the
    spray arms and clean out the holes as necessary.




    Water temperature

    To
    get the best cleaning results, the water entering your dishwasher needs
    to be hot enough. Try running the hot water in your kitchen sink for
    about 30 seconds before starting the dishwasher, to pre-heat it. Also,
    if your dishwasher lets you select a higher wash or rinse temperature,
    try that to see if it helps.

    To check the temperature of the
    hot water that comes from your kitchen faucet use a waterproof
    thermometer. If the water isn't 120 degrees Fahrenheit, your dishwasher
    may have trouble getting your dishes clean. You could increase the
    temperature of the hot water to the whole house--and therefore the
    dishwasher--by adjusting the hot water heater thermostat.

    Warning! To lessen the risk of scalding, don't set the hot water heater temperature higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.




    Detergent cup

    Dishwashers
    don't perform their best if detergent is introduced only at the
    beginning of a cycle, so add detergent to both parts of the cup.

    If the detergent cup isn't opening, see the "The detergent cup doesn't open" section, below.
    "


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