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Justin, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 829
Experience:  Owner of Shaffer's Appliance Service
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I have a Kenmore Dishwasher Model(NNN) NNN-NNNN At every wash

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I have a Kenmore Dishwasher Model(NNN) NNN-NNNN At every wash or rinse cycle, the water pump kicks on first and the water itself does not turn on until 2 clicks later in the timer. This has been this way for years and I deal with it by manually clicking the timer forward twice to get the water to turn on with the pump. This happens the same way for every wash or rinse cycle. I just replaced the timer thinking it was the issue, but the problem still persists.

Justin :

Are you saying the drain pump kicks on first for about two minutes, then the water comes in?


Hi, I didn't receive a response in live chat. You may post your response here at your convenience. Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I dont believe its the drain pump, its the water pump that runs for the entire cycle pumper water to the spray arms. It turns on before the water turns on for that cycle.
That's normal. The ONLY thing that controls the water valve is the timer. You've already replaced it and still encounter the same condition. A lot of dishwashers do this. This was built by frigidaire and a lot of the mechanical timers would turn the wash motor on for about two minutes prior to water filling. This helped people not turn it into water fill directly, which can result in a short fill.
Your dishwasher has a tech sheet with a timer chart on it. If you follow the timer chart, you can see the wash function does indeed precede the fill function. The sheet is generally behind the front panel of the door.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just opened the door again and I don't see anything resembling a timer chart.

So is there no additional risk or the pump motor burning out since it sounds like its running dry at the start of the cycle?

I wonder why they would program the delay into each wash/rinse cycle? For example: The SHORT WASH program on my dishwasher has a wash-rinse-rinse. The delay between pump and water is the same for each...why would they just program the delay into the first wash cycle to avoid the human error of short fill that you mention?
Yes, that's exactly right. As a customer, you can place the dial at any position, whether it's the first or second wash, OR the final rinse. Some people only do a short wash because they pre-rinse. It is built into the timer cam to prevent the short fill, which inevitably causes poor wash results. No, the two minute delay will NOT burn the motor out. There is ALWAYS a bit of water in the sump. I promise you this is a normal operating condition. The paper is usually between the inner door liner and the outer door panel. If it's not there, you might check behind the toe kick. If it's not there, it's probably lost.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Justin. You were very helpful
Thank you and have a great week. Thanks for using Just Answer.

This is Justin with Just Answer. I appreciate you allowing me to help you with your question. Your dishwasher is running as designed. I hope you have some piece of mind now. Good luck to you, and please come back in the future.