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John, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
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GE dishwasher spray arm holes/nozzles keep getting clogged

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GE dishwasher spray arm holes/nozzles keep getting clogged with food particles. I've dissablmed each and cleaned out multiple times with pipe cleaners, but it keeps happening. Seems food is getting into the recycled wayer. I removed lower spray arm and checked screen, i dont see any holes. Not sure what else to take apart and inspect/clean/replace or even how to take the rest apart.

Hi I'm John I will help you with the problem.

Have you removed the raised screen to the right at the sump to clean that out ?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not sure how to do that. The only thing that is easy to remove was teh lower spray arm by turning counter clockwide and pulling up. That and the float cover are easy. Im afraid i'll break anything else. Is there a diagram and method you can refer me to?

give the number 506 a squeeze and lift it off the screen in the sump can get clogged up.

And always scrape the dishes before doing the wash.


Also get the water hot from the kitchen tap before you start the d/w.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thx for teh diagram. Whcih part number is XXXXX "raised screen" that I need to remove and "clean out"? is it 506? if so, i've tried to remove that, but it seems there are other parts I need to remove first, so I can't get that off. Do you know which order I should be removing parts? And is it just pulling them off or some other method?


(Yes, we always make sure we get the water hot. I've measured the temp as well. Plus we use the extra heat boost feature of the dishwater)

Squeeze number 506 the lift off the spray arm has to be removed first.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
506 won't come off as 585 (the tube that allows water to go up to the upper spray arms) is right over it and somehow attaches to the base of the spray arm


Heres the parts breakdown you may have to pull the unit out to get to the sump .

Its easier to get to all the parts that can cause the problem .

The real problem is the food still on the dishes when you wash .

So once cleaned out don't add plates or bowls that have food still on them.

its the only way to stop that problem.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok, I removed the whole tube that sends water to tehj upepr spray arems and removed 506. Now what. Do I jsut pull out 508? It doesn't seem to want to come out. There's water in it for sure down at the bottom and some gunk.

No don't pull it out just clean the sump its the problem their is a screen to the opening of the pump housing and the gunk is stopping the motor from getting water so no water circulation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
theres nothing in it, just water

What about the gunk you said was in the sump was it just water ?

If its just water then check number 329 its a flapper valve and it can be stuck by food particles.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok, I pulled out the sump screen and checked the sump, no food. Lts of white gook on the sumop screen, which I cleaned. Looked the same to what is ending up in the washer arm nozzles. I never get lettuc or tomatoes in the washer arms, always this white gook. I then grabbed a toothbrush and started scrubbing whatever i could get to and all this white gook started to come off the walls of teh sump, ets. I ran the dishwaster for rinse, poured ine sump vinegar, and did it all over again. What else do you suggest? Thsiw hite gook was caked all over other parts to under the washer arm. is white vengar the best or should I use something else to disolve all of this crud?

The best product to use is Dishwasher magic it will clean all the inside parts and make the unit run like new again.

its a very good product it works

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So based on what i've told you, do you think this build-up was my problem? I never have an sisue with food particles being left in the dishwasher, and none was in the sump. Just thie white gunk. So do you think i still need to take the rest apart and check the flapper valve?


if not, besides dishwasher magic, which im not sure I can find anywear today, anything else I can try besides white vinegar?



Yes the Dishwasher magic should clear the gunk and you can buy that at Wall mart.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I purchased and ran 4 bottles of Dishwasher Magic (Walmart - $4) and some of the nozzles are still clogged.... I ran each seperately, full cycle, super hot water.

Open the door and wipe down the very front of the tub it can get gunky at that location .

And you have to stop putting the dirty dishes in without scrapping them off or the problem wont go away.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The tub is clean. Its not food particles, its this whie fat like substance

Try the heavy duty cleaner CLR pour a few cups in and let it go through a cycle .

If that doesnt do it nothing will.

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