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Tech Michael
Tech Michael, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 8965
Experience:  20+ years exp. repairing all types of home appliances, Computer repair
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My KitchenAid dishwasher is not cleaning properly as specks

Customer Question

My KitchenAid dishwasher is not cleaning properly as specks of food are left on some of the dishes after the cycle is complete and some of the dishes feel gritty, particularly on the top rack. I have checked the arms and they are clean. I also checked the drain and it was pretty well plugged where it enters the disposal to drain. I have cleaned it out. I have also run two cycles using some white vinegar to help clean things out. Although it is much improved, it's still not cleaning as it should. Another interesting thing; after the cycle is complete, there seems to be a white residue patch at the top center of the washer door. I have no idea what that is. I'm suspecting now that maybe the valve is not working properly, perhaps plugged, or issues with the chopper assembly (I just learned that there is one). Please help me with what I should do next.


Norm August [email protected]
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tech Michael replied 4 years ago.
Hi Norm,

It sounds to me like there may still be a bit of a clog.
Also it may be in the line going to the pump, or in the pump itself.
Check the bottom of the diswasher under the spin arm first to be sure all this is clear, you will likely have to remove the arm and the drain scree if you havent already done so.
next the pump and the line down there inder the dishwasher is where you need to check next.
please let me know how this goes ir if you need more specific info.
Thank you Tech MichaelSmile
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have checked under the screen. Everything looks clear there and pretty clean. I don't see anything that could be causing a problem there. I will check at the pump next. Can you give me a little more description on what the pump looks like. Is where the water line is coming in?
Expert:  Tech Michael replied 4 years ago.
No, the water line it is connected to is on the bottom underneath the DW.
It will be a small rounded or even squared pump with a hose conncet to it, and a two wire plug(may have 3) if its got a secondary ground.
You then need to disconnect the pump and make sure its clear inside and that the impeller spins freely when turned with a screw driver, also that it isnt damaged.
Next make sure the hoses there are infact clear.Smile
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
After quite a struggle, I got the hose disconnected from the pump. Everything seems to be clear and clean. I could turn the impeller easily with the screwdriver but it did seem to be somewhat spring-loaded. Is that normal or should it free-wheel? If normal, what next?
Expert:  Tech Michael replied 4 years ago.
It will have some resistance but should turn a little at a time.
If all that is clear, it could be that the pump isnt providing enough pressure to pump water as hard as it should into the spray arms.
But one other thing I would do before say this is the case.
Before you run the DW, run you sink hot water until it is very hot, this will ensure that the water is hot enough to do the job.
If that helps, you can do that as a solution. But in that case the heating element whis helps the temp get up to where it needs to be could be going bad..
Let me know when you have tried this.
Thank you
Tech Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
OK, we can try that but it may be a day or two before we need to use the washer again. Is there a chance the control valve might be plugged?
Expert:  Tech Michael replied 4 years ago.

Thats also very possible as well.
It could be one of many things. But try the hot water like I was mentioning, that may give a better clue to whether or not it is heating properly inside the DW.
Thank you
Tech Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It will be a couple of days before I know that answer. Do I need to press accept answer now or wait until we're finished?
Expert:  Tech Michael replied 4 years ago.
You can press the accept if you are happy with my advice, this way the question wont time out.
Then I still am here to hep you at no additional cost til we solve the issue, all you need to do is follow the sam thread you have been to get to me again.Smile
And thank you Norm!
Tech Michael and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We tried your suggestion on the hot water but that does not seem to have changed anything. Also, we changed from powdered dishwasher soap to liquid. That does not seem to have changed anything either. The problem seems to be related to the upper shelf only with residue being left on the dishes. Bottom shelf dishes seem to be generally OK. We're wondering if the upper water sprayers are working properly.

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