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My Westinghouse SF 460V is not dissolving the detergent pellet

Customer Question

My Westinghouse SF 460V is not dissolving the detergent pellet even after 2 washes. I think this machine is getting on a bit but it was working really well till recently. I've cleaned whatever I can see like the filter/basket but no change.
Thanks for considering my question.
Andrew
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Will replied 3 years ago.

Will :

can you use liquid?

Will :

tell you why, I bought some high dollar samsung washer and dryer, big almost industrial, my grinder pump goes out, I check it, it is caked with non dissolved soap, I think they do it on purpose, and probably even more right now, before if it was going away it doesnt mean it dissolved, it could have flaked off in chunks and out the drain, you would have never known, I switched to liquid and problems solved, soap goes farther, clothes cleaner and no un dissolved soap in the grinder pump wet well, if the machine is old it could be it is not agitating like it did when it was young, but trust me use liquid soap, easy on everything, better value better everything, Will

Customer :

Sorry Will, this is a dishwasher not a clothes washing machine. Maybe the same solution though? I'll try to get some liquid but not sure if it will take it.

Will :

dishwasher is the same way, mine drains in the same holding tank, I pulled pounds of caked soap, dishwasher and washing machine, I have dealt with so many devices today I loose track of which is a dish or which is a clothes but it is the same exact thing,

Customer :

Will, how do I do this?

Will :

Do what Andrew? Did you get your dishwasher to work with liquid soap? Are you asking how to accept the answer? If so there is an accept button just push it, IF you are happy if not and you are asking me something else, Dont push accept, so let me know but I will put this on answer and if you are wanting to accept it should go now, love to hear how things worked out if you get time Will

Customer :

The dishwasher is still not working properly even with liquid detergent. I'm not sure what to actually do to get to the "caked" bit. Also, what is the plug thing etc on the inside of the door for? I'm still in the same situation...sorry

Will :

Andrew maybe because this problem was such a HUGE NASTY problem for me, I did a bad thing, and assumed, you had the same non dissolving powdered soap problem and even worse, you use tabs I used boxed granular. You won't find a caked problem like mine, as my dishwasher, and clothes washer both dumped into the wet well, or holding tank, it is actually in the house, built into the floor lined, the plumbing from the appliances, from the discharge side are all dumped into this wet well, when it gets maybe 5/8 full a float switch trips, and turns on the grinder pump, which pumps it up a whole 4 inches, because the dumb asses knowing full well I was finishing this basement, missed the layout of the piers, so it left me 4 inches below gravity feed right into the outside lines, then unknown to me, this piece of crap builder comes to me with this song and dance, then allows the plumber to tie into the wet well from upstairs not just downstairs which has laundry, 3/4 bath and wet bar.

Will :

I had to build an big Oak cabinet around the top of the wet well, for a couple reasons, the well is sealed but the lid is removeable,

Will :

but still I didn't want all this ugly plumbing out there, then if the lid seal leaked it could stink a bit, although the way I set it up, it pretty much cycles through now about every use. So I have to take the cabinet apart, reach down and unbolt a thousand lid bolts, remove the plumbing, which I told you I think, they hard plumbed it, I took and cut the in out main pipes and put flexes in, so four bolts and that moves out of the way, then I have to lay down plastic, get my wet vac, suck the basin dry, then go fixing it, this is where we discovered the soap the first time, and really had no idea what it was, we had no idea soap did not dissolve, and by the time you mix the dishwasher and laundry and sink and half bath, it looked like black bee hives,

Will :

I had to get a hoe, the metal kind with a handle, it worked the best to pull these HUGE chunks of undissolved soap, and then we discovered they dumped upstairs in the incoming side of the wet well because it was obviously cheaper than running a gravity drain into another spot on the pipe going outside, pissed is not close

Will :

to how I felt, I was going to sue and it turned out they pulled crap like this on other homes and there was nothing to sue for, so I learned, so you can see the minute you said it is not dissolving, I immediately jumped to my pro

Will :

problem and solution, so let's back up, first is there any erosion to the tablets? Any at all or are they looking like you just installed them? I never could get a service manual on this model, I am going to have to try another route to get a manual, working blind on this thing is going to be tough, here is my thinking and tell me what you think, you did good and cleaned everything you can see, which is the perfect thing to do regardless, for lots of reasons, one to fix it, maybe, second so we can see if there is a problem somewhere, next until I get a paper copy of a manual if one is available, I just remember the pdf version was not available, I need your eyes and ears, and we need a real good light, either a high power pod light, or a good flashlight with a stand if possible, to we can get a real good look at the area around the soap compartment, and filter basket, now maybe you have done this, some people do, you sound exceptionally intelligent about things, so I am guessing you used pretty good light, but if not, you are not a dishwasher repairman so,,,,,,,,, I mean most people work in the dark, why I never understand, they use old flashlights, or bad batteries and if there was a crack a inch wide they wouldn't see it, then they put things on the floor, instead of even a card table and wrestle it on their knees, instead of setting it up where they can get to it and a light to see it, but I am pretty sure your statement you have cleaned everything means exactly that,

Will :

So if we are not getting erosion at all, and you will tell me that, then for some reason, we are not getting water in the soap mixing chamber, a jet or set of jets are not firing, and allowing water in the compartment, a lot will depend on what you tell me, from your description I am thinking there is little to no sign of any erosion, after two or three attempts, so now we are looking for the method that the water gets into the chamber with the soap tabs, might be obvious might not, this model as I said has no service manual available, at least that I could find, no download option, no order option, no special order option, you may have a users manual, and If not let me know, I am going for anything I can get even a user manual , usually and Knowing Westinghouse as intimately as I do, everything is a proprietary secret, if you walk into a Siemens shop, [formerly Westinghouse] you will be guided down a certain marked off path, and not only will you not cross that marked path, the marked path is carefully planned out, so a visitor cannot see anything in the production, repair, design or testing areas, I am going to Goodyear Tire in Topeka on Friday, was just up there on a big job in September, and it still requires a new security clearance, and I have been in that plant for over twenty years, so a manual from circle W , not usually, I have a huge library of manuals electronic and paper, nothing with this model, but I will get someone to dig through the archives for me, I wanted to get this knocked out quick and stupidly, went right for the non dissolving soap issue, [by the way it is true, powdered soap does not dissolve completely, your tabs may go away, but you have no way to tell by how much, as you have proper plumbing,

Will :

the trouble section, which mostly are checking to see if it whatever is plugged in, most user manuals are not designed for the end user to be repairing anything, but if there is anything in there, that might say, problem soap tabs do not dissolve, tell me what it says if I don't find one and tell you first, I will leave it on here, whatever I find, and instructions as needed, bare with me, I have repaired the entire National Weather Service upper air collection data components, which had not performed correctly for two decades, it took a few years to get it all reverse engineered, but we can find this problem and it won't take years, I just had my head in a dark place, and again my apologies, I should have had you verify all these simple but critical tests, up front and then went for the soap or something else, I think we have a clogged orifice or a pump has failed, that places the water in the soap drawer, or a control is not telling the pump or valve to come on, no chance their are any dry cycle options, the controls all feel normal to you?, plus and sounds or lack of, if there is a clock or timer, make sure it set to the correct time, the door switch, check it for movement if you can find it, if it feels tight or is stuck or sticks, let me know, that would be the main door switch, andif there is a safety switch on the soap chamber, check it, in the meantime I am off to find an engineer or a service manual, and again if you still have yours, give it a read, looking for trouble shooting, and see if anything is mentioned, and I will be back to you asap, and leave anything I find on here, leave this open, and work with you until we get to bottom of this, thank you for your patience, you have been just great, I know I have been long because I feel horrible, but I just had Safety Glass out, scheduled for today, to replace my front windshield, they show up with no molding to hold the new glass, the wrong wipers, and I had to set aside four hours for them today, and now again tomorrow, no excuse on my part, but Safety Glass is an OEM glass provider for Honda, and some Ford products, some Mitsubishi products, this is not Joe's discount glass company, and they came with nothing, so I guess things happen but shouldn't., back to you soon, Will

Will :

http://www.electrolux.com.au/Files/australia_english/Manuals/Dishwashers/EMAN_ESF68040_Nov08.pdf This is NOT your manual, I am having a hell of a time finding your model number, and I am in the US, that usually does not create a problem, I will be sending some other manuals with troubleshooting instructions in them

Will :

7 of the eight manuals I have read, specifically state if there is detergent left, clean the water discharge holes in the arms, but gave no specific how to, I would look at the hole, determine if it is plastic or steel lined, that would indicate what type of tool to use, but I am looking for a specific tool for you, next, cleaning by using a recommended descaler in the pump is recommended for units that are "getting on a bit" not sure if you used a commercial de-scaler but I would run a cycle it could do nothing be improve efficiency of the pump, use less water, use less electricity as a partially clogged pump or even a rough interior surface could lead to the water cavitation, and decrease the flow, so I would do both run a descaler product listed in your manual, and I hope you have one, because I am finding Australian dishwasher manuals but not your specific model, also Electrolux has taken over much of Westinghouse Australian Dishwashers, so yours could be original Westinghouse and now Electrolux has not bothered with older Westinghouse units as far as keeping manuals. Many times if manuals are not available or have not been converted to electronic format for download, the manufacturers just do not bother, but I have not given up, so along with all the previous checks and resets, descaler for the pump, and cleaning of the arm discharge holes [which is the only specific cure for left over soap after a cycle] they are also very picky about type, if water hardness has changed over the years, a different tab should be used, lots of wording on types and settings for soaps especially tablets,

Will :

http://www.electrolux.com.au/node132.aspx?cat=Dishwashers&subcat=Dishwasher&id=35415

Will :

http://www.electrolux.com.au/Files/australia_english/Manuals/Dishwashers/Electrolux%20Dishwasher%20EX600.pdf page 18 three faults down on left side, detergent left in unit,

Will :

Be careful not to load items close to the dispenser so
that the cover will not open to release the detergent.
The dispenser is not supposed to open when you
use the Rinse program.
Your dishwasher detergent should be fresh and
stored tightly closed in a cool, dry place. Old or caked
detergent should be thrown away because it will not
dissolve properly and will leave a gritty residue on
the dishware.
Wait until you are ready to start the dishwasher to
add the detergent.
If you are using the Delay program, make sure the
dispenser is dry before adding the detergent.
The detergent compartment only opens in the main
wash programs, not the Rinse program.


YOU MAY NEED TO CLEAN THE FILTERS MORE OFTEN
IF YOUR AREA HAS HARD WATER
This can cause low water pressure.
In hard water areas, it may be necessary to clean chemical buildup from the filters every 12 to 18 months. To do this, remove the coarse filter by squeezing the
tabs and lifting it out. Next, unscrew the fine filter and lift it and the main filter out. Wash all three filters gently in hot, soapy water and rinse them thoroughly.

Your spray arms may be clogging causing low pressure too.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spray-arm jets and bearings may sometimes become clogged with hard water chemicals. To remove the spray arms, screw off the nut and take off the washer on top of the spray arm and lift off the arm. Wash the spray arms in warm, soapy water. Use a soft brush to clean the jets. Rinse thoroughly and replace.

Try cleaning the drain pump so it gives you more water pressure.On occasion something may get through the filters and into the drain pump. The drain pumps that are designed to automatically reverse.................... if anything should get caught in the propellers, thus ejecting the item back into the sump area or down the
drain. Should you need to remove an obstacle from the drain, first turn the power off then remove the filters . Next, lift out the small any inserts
from the sump area. (You might want to remove any standing water first.) You can then look into the sump area for the item causing the obstruction. Should you
find something, simply scoop it out. Be sure to replace the insert before you put the filters back in.

You could also try to clean the dishwasher with ' Dishwasher Magic '. This would work like charm :-

http://www.dishwashermagic.com/ Ok Andrew all these files and ideas are from various sources I went to, and got opinions, while non are your specific model, as no one has a manual yet, these are all from dishwasher manufacturers that were kind enough to provide information, you have quite a list and I would do it all, including resetting, doing a scale cleaning cycle, and cleaning the holes in the arms, if you find a ton of scale build up you know what the issues are, and if you have not cleaned say the arm discharge holes ever, you know that this unit getting on, has taken quite a while to build up, now I wouldn't clean it and if it does fix your soap issue, let it go, but I would also not get anal about it, you may have said it in your intro, it is getting on, and now you have a combination of issues, a little build up in the arms, a little less force from the scale in the pump, add it all up and the soap is not being dispensed, I really took it as one day it worked the next it didnt, so there is why I was wondering if the tabs are getting any erosion, so have it your project and I will leave this open for you to find me anytime you want and at the least leave me a message, I do want to know how you get along, it would be REALLY helpful if you could try and do one process at time, so we are not left wondering which did what, but I also realize you don't want to waste a bunch of water and electricity, so do your best, XXXXX XXXXX down what you tried, what you found as you do some of these processes, I would also visit that Cascade site, I know they want to sell you soap, but it is recommended above all soap supplier sites, let me know, and again, I should have had you do most of this in the beginning,,,,,,, Will

Will :

Locating Your Dishwasher's Model Number


 






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Will :

I sent above because using SF 460 V with spaces or without fails, I tried SF, SF4, SF 460, the model search is dependent on many conventions, but if you would look at the chart above, and tell me do we have a dash or anything that is missing or is it just as I wrote it SF SPACE 460V I would really like to find a repair manual, if we need a part, I am not going to find it, no one has told me yet if my convention is way off, or what, anyway if you would look again the drawing is from a Westinghouse as to where to locate a model, and send it to me

Will :

For now I am going to let you digest all this and get started on some of it, looking forward to hearing what you find, first place I think I would go first, at this point, reset electronics by unplugging, while unplugged pull the arms out and let me know how clear or clean they are, then we will keep on with the rest, I would do everything, so you have the most efficiency you can get once the soap has returned to doing it's thing,

Customer :

Hi Will, yes it's just as you wrote it SF 460V

Customer :

I meant to say thanks

Will :

You are welcome and thank you at least I know I am not chasing some missing dash, don't know if we will find one, but the cleaning of the arms and pump makes perfect sense, will be interested to know if you find anything as it is the most common cure for tabs not dissolving along with the right soaps and on and on as you can see, so I can go and make sure I have not missed this manual or anything else by a typo, which is great,

Will :

http://spares.alliedappliance.com.au/catalogue_4_3_10_86.html anyone for an SF how old is this washer? Approx?

Customer :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the washer has a few years on her; I've been in this house for 5 years now. I'm now putting a liquid cleaner through a cycle according to the instructions (bottle upside down in bottom rack etc)

Customer :

Theres really no ther ID I can find.....I'm not really wanting to dismantle stuff but guess I'd give it a try...its all strange to me. Cheers Andrew

Customer :

So....problem of detergent not dissolving in dispenser has not been solved. I will keep trying.

Will :

And all arm jets are clean or clean looking,? To resolve this you may have to pull those arms off, I promise they are not that big a deal and if the soap is not helping wash, well not much good to you,,, you should see some improvement with the cleaner, in the arms where there is no where for deposits to go, not a lot, but some, who knows it may take a couple cleaning cycles to get the scale from the pump, but everything points to those items, keep me in the loop I would like to know how you get along, and what you think after the cleaning, sounds like the ole girl is worth salvaging to me, the newer units re more efficient, however, they may not clean like you like, a dishwasher is not like a furnace, unless you run a ton of dishes through it, so the energy could be very little consideration from the existing unit and a newer model, for the expense up front, keep me informed, I don't like to lose, my Brother is in really bad shape right now, so my apologies for not being around like I am most of the time, but hopefully he will come out of this OK, we will see, stay in touch,

Customer :

Hi Will, I hope your brother is as good as can be and happy Christmas to you and your people. I have taken the arms off and they seem clean. I pulled the bottom sieve/perforated panel out and cleaned it as well as the "basket" filter cup. I just bought some powder type detergent sachets that are environmentally friendly so they may work better. I will keep experimenting and let you know but so far its still ain't working like it used to. Cheers Andrew

Will :

Anything changing? any thing you notice at all? How about the jet ports, all clean?

Customer :

Hi Will, still not working/dissolving properly. Jets are clean and I'm running hot water first......oh well, I'll keep tinkering.

Will :

Tinkering is fine, but it stopped working suddenly as I recall, that could be a combination of things that happened all at once, yet everything you check is fine, I will opt out of this and let someone else see if they can figure out what the problem is

Will :

Someone should pick this up and read the history

Customer :

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX resolved but thanks for trying. Cheers Andrew

Will :

Not a problem, but as you tinker, remember, unless the soap materials changed dramatically, it is some kind of mechanical issue, just thinking out loud but, everything checks according to any manufacture suggestion, and any other user with the same issue, have you tried to put like 1/2 of 1 tablet, and see what is left? If possible to do, and you put 25% of normal, normal cycle, and the entire small portion remains, maybe the fact that NO amount has a relationship to a more specific issue to focus on? Or maybe it all goes away, so we know it is getting water but a restricted amount in, not after?




































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