FP dish drawers not cleaning well anymore

chinchetteMay 15, 2014

My FP DD's are 8 years old. Recently DH forgot to put salt in our water softener. I got a build up in the dish drawers. I used Dishwasher Magic in one of them, and it made it worse. I am getting grit on the dishes. On the other I used Lemi Shine. The first load came out clean, and the next one came out with the flatware not clean. I do have enough rinse agent in the machines. Any suggestions?

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Reminds me i need to order salt!

You may have more of an issue than my recent head scratching. Did you check everything?
Take out the rack, the filter, the spin arm for a quick clean. Is it spinning freely?
(i also ran mine nearly empty with citric acid for a test)

I discovered the cycle button/pad had changed to 'rinse' instead of the usual 'normal' cycle on its own. -we both missed the obvious...but at least it is nice and clean. : )

Not much help but hope it is something as simple and dumb as our minor issue.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:09AM
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I did check all that. Its leaving film on everything. What kind of citric acid did you run it with?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Hmmm. I replied a couple hrs ago but the post is gone missing. Second time that has happened in as many days.

Anyway ... did you remove and clean both filters? The pump rotor can also be removed for examination and checking for debris in the drain impeller area. Confirm that none of the spray arm nozzles are clogged, there's a small one on the bottom that sprays downward to flush debris collected on the filter plate toward the drain.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:02PM
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Fori is not pleased

Every few years we need to take the whole thing apart and clean it. It can make a difference. Last time I did it things had gotten bad enough that I dumped a few inches of vinegar in each drawer to clear it all out. Possibly a bad idea. One should check that that is okay if one were to do that.

There have been times when my water supply gets weird and I have to use Lemishine in every load.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:17PM
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I will try lemishine again. I am not sure what the pump rotor is. It is probably the part I did take off. I will have to get a diagram of parts. I did clean the filters. Will check it all again.

What was really weird was all the grit I got after using Dish Washer Magic!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Pump rotor.

Top (blue) is the recirculation impeller. Bottom (gray) is the drain impeller. Yours may be a different color depending on age of the unit.

It removes by turning the outer collar (counterclockwise, I think), then lifting upwards. There'll be a slight magnetic pull against lifting it. Be sure it's aligned properly when reseating. The three gray vertical bars spaced equally around the rotor must align into the three slots in the stator housing. Then turn the collar to align the three outer tabs with the index arrows on the stator housing.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:14PM
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Great! I understand that now. Yes, I've cleaned that.
Dadoes, do you like Lemishine? Or something else? My flatware is coming out poorly. I am wondering if I need to adjust how much rinse agent comes out. How do I do that?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Have any of you tried the Lemi-Shine detergent? I think they also make a rinse aid now too.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:08AM
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Looking further into it, I checked an earlier thread and found:
Any residual water is from the final rinse so should be clean.
Dirty water appearing there is likely from backflow through the drain hose. This is often caused by an improper installation, i.e. the drain hoses are not arranged correctly on a high-loop under the countertop. There's also a small rubber flapper in the pump outlet on each drawer to help prevent backflow that can stop working and need replacement ... although a proper high-loop on the hoses largely counteracts it from being a problem

My filters are greasy after each wash. The water remaining in the kidney shape flilter area is dirty. How do you check the rubber flapper?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:50AM
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You didn't cite the model number, but I'm assuming 603 series based on the age.

The little flapper valve (part number 525414P --> 528625P) is in the end of drain hose where it connects to the pump outlet tube. Access is by removing the motor cover from bottom of the drawer. Procedure calls for removing the drawer front panel, the motor cover fits up in there because it also functions as a cover/channel for the wiring harness to the controller board (be careful releasing the cover clips there to avoid breaking them). The drawer also needs to be released from the support rails so the front of it can be lifted slightly to facilitate removal of the motor cover. Be sure the drain hose, fill hose, and wire bundle are routed properly when replacing the cover.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 3:58PM
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Okay. I think that is above my ability level. Thanks for the explanation. If DH can't do it, I'll call the repair man.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:14PM
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I have one of them working decently right now, but it leaves smudges on the flatwear. Dadoes, is it odd that the kidney shape filter is greasy after each load? The water looks clean but with a film on top. Do you think that does mean the rubber flap needs to be replaced?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:22PM
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Maybe dadoes can show you how to run it through diagnostic mode - if this DD has one.

A film on top of the water sounds almost like it's not getting all the grease out. I had this happen with my Bosch sometimes when it was new (learning curve).


    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:48PM
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"but I'm assuming 603 series based on the age."

I found these documents for DD603 (I hope the links work)




    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:54PM
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The flapper(s) would be suspect (and potential issues with drain house routing, i.e. no high-loop) if the drawer (either or both) gets a backup of water (from the sink drain or garbage disposer if you have one) some while (several hours to a day+) after a load is finished ... *more* water than the normal puddle that's left in the drain filter.

Greasy water left after the final rinse sounds like either a detergent selection or dosing issue, or the water heating element not working (which should throw a fault code).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:45PM
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I'm not getting a backup of water right now. I am using Cascade. At the end of the load it is hot. So I think maybe I am not using enough detergent. I was cutting back due to etched glasses.

I think I may need more Jet Dry to enter the machine. I can't remember how to regulate that. I have panels on the fronts. At any rate, first I will try slightly more detergent.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:42PM
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I use 1 tsp detergent in the prewash cup, 3 tsp in the main wash cup. Perhaps 2 tsp for the prewash in very heavy-soil situations, and/or maybe 4 tsp for the main wash. Skip the prewash dose for very light-soil loads and perhaps on shorter cycles (Normal Eco or Delicate Eco) Always skip the prewash dose on Fast or Fast Eco cycles as they do not run a prewash at all.

I do not have a household water softener. Some years ago a softener salesman came calling, his test came up 9 grains hardness.

However, I'm currently using a supply of Institutional Cascade with chlorine bleach (and phosphates) that I bought online a couple years ago, and Cascade Complete with enzymes (and phosphates) that I found at back of the shelf at a local grocery. Phosphates makes a difference. The bleach formula works wonders on tea and tomato stains. Enzyme formula for heavy soiling if the bleach effect isn't needed for the load.

Non-phosphate detergents may require a little higher dose to deal with water conditions, as the ingredients that were substituted for phosphates may not deal as effectively with mineral content in water.

Prerinsing dishware can promote glass etching because the more caustic detergent ingredients end up at a higher concentration in the water without food soils present.

Scrape off chunks and debris but do not rinse.

I don't think increasing rinse agent dosage will necessarily help your situation but it's something to try.

Adjust rinse aid (assuming 603 series) --
- With drawer power ON, press and HOLD the Eco button, then press Lock at the same time until another beep occurs. Release the buttons.
- rA should appear on the LCD
- The cycle selector lights indicate dosage level. Heavy cycle light is lowest dosage, toward ALL the lights for highest dosage.
- Press Lock repeatedly to adjust the dosage.
- Press Power when done. (There are other options that can be adjusted -- AP AutoPower, EC number of end-of-cycle beeps, Ld auto lid-lock, dS clean-dishes indicator. Start button switches through the options, Lock button changes the setting for the selected option.)

This post was edited by dadoes on Sun, May 18, 14 at 16:12

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Thank you for that dadoes. I use tons less detergent because I have a water softener. Maybe I need to use more. My dishes are not very dirty even without rinsing, I guess because of the types of foods we eat. No dairy and not much sauce. I try my hardest to get DH not to rinse, but I haven't been able to convince him. Its usually me that loads anyway. I found some debris in the spray arm. I am not sure I got it all out. How do you do it? Seems stuck.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:13AM
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The spray arms of course can't be disassembled, the two halves are heat-bonded together. Best you can do poke the holes with a toothpick or some such if any are clogged, flush a strong stream of water through (perhaps with a garden hose spray nozzle), and shake to dislodge any debris.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 1:23PM
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I was able to clean out the spray arms. One dish drawer is still creating smudged or filmy flatware and some film on dishes. There is still grease in the filter. I've increased the detergent.

How would I find a code for possible hot water not going on?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:44PM
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Every cycle (except Rinse only) is always heated to specific target temps for the main wash and final rinse. Cycle time is extended as needed to reach the target temps. A fault code would (should) trigger if the controller board senses that the temp hasn't increased in 2 hours of running. If you aren't getting a fault code F4 during operation and cycle times are normal, then water heating probably isn't the problem.

If your unit has the LCD display (this diagnostic does not work on integrated models that don't have the LCD), follow this procedure to display the water temp during operation. Watch if it increases and gets to the target per the selected cycle (the target temps should be outlined in your instruction manual).
- Start the drawer running.
- Press/hold the Lock button for approx 4 seconds (one beep) to engage Keylock (lock symbol appears).
- Press/hold Start for 8 seconds. The display will alternate between showing ðC and the water temp. (Pressing Start switches to display ðE with a number which is the voltage output from the controller board. Each press of Start switches between temp and voltage display.)
- Press Power once to cancel the diagnostic display. I haven't done this in a LONG time, presumably in this instance (one press of) Power does not shut the machine off.
- Press/hold Lock a few seconds to cancel Keylock.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 11:17PM
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I see, if it is running shorter than 2 hours, then it means it met its target for temps.

Mine is the non-LCD integrated version.

Have you any idea why I would have film on the glasses? I always though that was from too much detergent. Thanks so much for all your help!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:10AM
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The 2-hr fault-trip for water heating is for each cycle phase that involves a target temp. For example, the Normal cycle has a prewash, prerinse, main wash, rinse, rinse, and dry. The main wash heats to 140ðF, so if just that part of the cycle runs for 2 hours without the water temp increasing, then the fault code triggers. Suppose on a given cycle run the heating element works through the main wash, then it fails at the end of that period after the target temp is reached. The final rinse doesn't heat, so runs for 2 hrs until the fault triggers.

Too much rinse aid can cause a soapy/iridescent film. It's only on glassware? Plates & flatware are OK? Try reducing the rinse aid dose instead of increasing it.

Perhaps your water chemistry has changed in some way and is reacting with the detergent. Try a different detergent. Or several.

You say there's grease in the filter. If you disassemble the filters, clean them and tub sump area ... the residue recurs immediately after the next load is run?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:10AM
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The flatware is smudgy and the glasses have film. Some of the plates do too.

Yes, each time the residue occurs, and the water that is left at the bottom has a greasy film.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 3:09PM
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The culprit is found. The water softener was not working. Got that going again. The last load is clean. Some of the flatware is filmy, some is great. I've increased the detergent. There is still the greasy film in the water in the filter, and the filter feels greasy. I guess I'll increase again.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:15AM
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