My Miele Dishwasher stopped working

fauguyJuly 22, 2011

Ok, so I I've owned a Miele Diamante Plus G2143 since April 2010. Up until earlier this year (about Feb) I had no issues with it. The first thing I noticed in Feb was that all of a sudden there would be a loud rattling sound when the water was draining from the unit. I investigated on my own, and could tell it was from the non-return valve. Miele sent me another one, which was OK for 2-3 days and then started the rattling sound. A tech came out and replaced the drain motor that has the plastic impeller blades attached, and also purged the drain line using a wet/dry vac to make sure the line was clear. When all was said and done, it still made a rattling sound when the water drained. The tech said that "its just one of those things that it does. Sometimes it won't do it, and other times it will", even though mine does it like 95% of the time, and didn't start until 10 months after using the unit.

The second issue was with the newer Miele tabs (the 72 count that are phosphate free). Even though I was only using half a tab, I was getting a lot of suds in the wash cycle. Miele tech support said to use even less of the tab. The only way I could do this is to crush them up into powder and measure out one-half teaspoon into the detergent compartment. There are still some suds, but not nearly as much as when using a half or full tab.

Now on to what happened today. We went out to dinner last night, so the dishwasher only had a few items in there, not enough to run a load. So today after there was some more items from breakfast and lunch, I decided to run it. I close the door, press the power button, and it starts with its standard 30 second drain, but this time it does not end, and continues to run the drain motor, even though there is no water in the bottom. I press the front power button to turn it off, but the drain motor is still running. After waiting about 5 minutes, I unplugged the unit, waited a while, and plugged it back in. Right away the drain motor started back up. I tried to run a wash cycle, and then all 3 of the yellow lights (rinse, dry, end) came on and started to flash. I looked at the troubleshooting section of the User Guide, and it said that if it continues to do this, to call Miele tech support.

So I called, and the guy said that water must of got into the bottom pan and tripped a protection sensor, which is something only a service tech can get to. He told me to turn the water valve off to the unit, and to unplug it. Now I have to wait until Monday for the local Miele service tech to come out.

I'm wondering how water got into this bottom pan area, and maybe if is because of the suds being caused by the newer Miele tabs, even though I'm only using half a teaspoons, which is equal to 1/8th of a tab.

Needless to say I'm starting to get P.O'd here. The thing ran fine for 10 months and was a dream to use. Now it seems like there is one issue after another. Rattling metal ball in the non-return valve each time the unit drains, the suds from the newer Miele tabs, and now the thing is stuck in continual drain mode since water may have got into the bottom pan.

At this point, I feel like telling them to take it back and replace it with a like-model from the newer Futura line. Even if/when they fix this current problem with water in the lower pan, I feel like I can't really "depend" on this unit to work well for years to come, despite how well it cleans.

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OK...Miele tech's coming out. Good. Hold his feet to the fire. Diagnose and fix NOW, would be my opinion. What you've described is utterly unacceptable.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 8:06PM
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I just hope that when the Miele service tech comes out on Monday, that it can be fixed that day, and they don't have to order a part and wait another week to get it.

I've also sent a full email to Miele Tech Support covering everything, and included the pictures I took earlier in the week of the suds caused by the newer Miele tab.

At the end of the email I said this:

"With the continual problems that this dishwasher is having, I feel like Miele should take this unit back and replace it with a like-model from the newer Futura line, such as the G5505SC, in the hopes that it will work better and that I no longer will have to spend by time dealing with these issues. Even when the service tech comes here on Monday to fix this problem with water in the lower pan, I feel like I can't really "depend" on my dishwasher to work well for years to come (which was the point of buying a Miele), despite how well it cleans and the $250 Miele extended warranty that I purchased for it that only lasts another 4 years."

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:09AM
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By the way....since it's been unplugged for about 12 hours now, I decided to power it up, and once again the drain pump starts and wont turn off. And when trying to start a wash cycle, it still flashes the 3 rinse/dry/end lights.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:10AM
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I am curious as can be about the symptoms you've described here and elsewhere. Annoying and baffling. Please come back after the hired pro takes a look and tell us what found.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 7:49PM
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are you using liquid rinse aid? it can cause oversudsing under certain circumstances.

#1 the dispenser is set too high for the water conditions....which are probably soft if the machine has an integrated water softener. Some final rinse water carries over into the next dishwasher cycle. So if there is a lot of rinse aid mixed in; it can generate unwanted suds.

#2 the rinse aid dispenser is leaking....meaning some rinse aid is seeping out into the wash water. This can cause oversudsing. Are you having to refill the dispenser more than usual?

If the rinse aid dispenser checks fine, then I would not continue using any detergent that is creating a head of foam. The Finish powerballs or quantum tablets seem to work the best. I know they have solved a number of cleaning problems with dishwashers on my service routes. Consumer reports testing has shown they work well.

If proven, that your machine has gone into lockdown due to it sensing a spillover of water and / or suds, you should be encouraged that it is working like it is supposed to. An overflow of this nature is not a mechanical problem. This issue and your passion should be directed at the detergent manufacturer.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:38PM
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I am using the Miele-brand detergent tabs, rinse aid, and salt for the internal water softener.

The water softener is set to its lowest setting of 0-4 grains. I have tried 5-7 grains and 8-11 grains, but didn't notice a difference. I am on city water, and when I tested it last year, I was at 6 grains.

The rinse aid dispenser can be set from a 1ml to 6ml dosage, and the default from the factory is 3ml. I changed it to 1ml dosage last year, as cups felt too sticky with 3ml. Since I have it set to 1ml, I only need to refill it about every 6 weeks, so I doubt it is leaking.

I believe the problem is the newer version of the Miele detergent tabs that was introduced late last year. Last summer when I purchased my dishwasher, I also got all the Miele-brand stuff to go along with it, and at that time the detergent tabs contained a small amount of phosphates and came 60 in a box, of which I would break them in-half and only use a half tab for wash load. There were no suds, and everything came out clean. Then when I needed to buy more, Miele had changed the tabs to a 72-count box and that are phosphate free. So I still continued to use half a tab, and everything was clean. Then a couple weeks later (in March) I had to open the dishwasher during the main-wash cycle because I forgot to put something in there, and noticed a bunch of suds (where the original tabs didn't make suds). I called Miele about it and they said if I'm only using a half-tab, then I need to use less, such as 1/4th of a tab. So I took a bunch of them and crushed them into powder, and since then have been using a measuring spoon to dose out one-half-teaspoon (which is equal to 1/4th tab). There are still some suds during the main wash cycle, but not as much as when I was using a half tab. (If I use a full tab, there are even more suds.) I have checked during the pre-rinse, and the final rinses, and there are no suds during those cycles, only when it's doing the main wash. When it drains, there is no water (or suds) left in the bottom of the unit.

All I can do at this point is wait for the service call on Monday and I'll also show the guy the pictures of how it looks with the suds during the wash mode.

You can see them at the link below...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 4:05AM
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To quote Bill & Ted "Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!"

Since the unit has been unplugged and the water line turned off for 2 days now, I decided to plug it back in and see if it was still stuck in the continual drain mode.

To my amazement, I plugged it in and nothing draining. So I closed the door, and pressed the power button on the front of the unit, and the regular wash cycle light can on. I selected a Quick Rinse, it filled with water, rinsed for 5 minutes and drained. I then tried the Express Wash mode (no detergent), which does a main wash for 5 minutes, drain, interim-rinse for 5, drain, then a final rinse with rise aid for 5, drain and dry.

So it "appears" that that it is now working OK, and I will try a regular wash mode tonight. But I'm still going to have to Miele Tech come tomorrow and check it out, since the appointment is made, and I don't want to have this issue again.

I'm also going to run by Target and see if they have the Method Smarty detergent tabs that were mentioned in another thread, to see if the clean well and don't make suds like I'm getting with these new Miele tabs.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Fauguy, I'd also like to suggest that you have the Miele tech adjust the dishwasher properly for the water hardness you have and check the controller board (or the equivalent for that in the DW).

Starting and stopping aside, I didn't have mine set properly for water hardness and I got a wide variation in results, even with the same tab. As antss would say: user error.

Good luck tomorrow!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Oh, joy....intermittent trouble, no less... the worst kind. Very annoying. Hope your hired tech can sort this out. Please come back.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 7:39PM
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I went to Target and got a pack of the Method Smarty tabs tonight (now that the dishwasher is working again) and tried those.

You can see the results in the thread listed below, and I'm not getting the suds like I was when using the new Miele tabs.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:15AM
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I got a call this morning saying the Tech was out sick, and they had to reschedule me to later this week since the other techs are booked-up.
So now I have to wait for someone to and check it out.
But since it did start working last night, I can at least use it in the mean time.
I did use a half of a Method Smarty tab in it after diner, and everything came out clean,
plus there were no suds during the main wash cycle.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:38PM
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it could have over sudsed. sounds like the drain pump was trying to empty the sump area which it can do when the bottom pan sees some water. in the mean time the suds may have dried up causing the float switch to clear itself

are you pre rinsing the plates before they go in the DW? are you using any dish detergent while doing this? the extra deteregnt can cause the foam

the amt of DW tabs you are using is quite low so i dont think that would be the problem

6 grains is actually where the hardness should be for best results

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I think it was the newer Miele tabs that was the issue, since they cause suds....the older Miele tabs did not.
You can look at the thread listed below and see the pictures that I posted.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:06PM
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I believe the hardness needs to be set for the water supply for the paricular location that the DW is installed in. There is no set number (3,6 , 9 etc) that will give best results. Per my 2010 Miele instruction, you select the "range" of gr/gal ie 1-4, 5-7 etc. (The newer ones may be able to set a digital value.)

I set the hardness at 1-4 (the factory default setting) and I do not add any salt in the DW because that is the instruction from Miele when you read the manual.... My local water supply is soft enough, SO no salt in needed. The DW somehow "knows" that I do not use salt and never gives me a light to add salt, which I have seen in other homes....

I have never needed sotening (this is my 3rd Euro DW with the same water supply) and I live in a city that has very very soft water. The reason you add salt is to make sure that the detergent can work well. If the water is too hard, the detergent loses its effectivity. If one does not have that problem, one does not need the salt. DWs worked fine for many decades without salts. Yes, the detergent formulations have changed; no chlorine and no phosphates. Even so, if your water is soft enough AND the DW cleans well enough, you don't need the salt, IMHO....

I tried to buy a Miele unit without a salt dispenser and it did not have some of the features that I wanted. So I run the DW without any salt (even though it has salt dispenser) in it without any problems.

It really sounds like all-mighty Miele has made a mistake in their new tab formulation. I really like Finish and Method as my detergent of choice. I have tried Cascade powder and I do not like it. I find that I have to use a larger quantity of cascade powder to get the same result as the Finish or Method.

I understand the oversudsing issue well. I have had problems with oversudsing in my front load laundry machine with certain detergents. I make sure I buy HE detergents AND do not overload the detergent.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Folks, to clarify, the SALT does NOT get mixed INTO the wash and rinse water that contacts the dishes. It's used to regenerate (revive) the resin bed in the machine's on-board water softener mechanism. The same regeneration process occurs in whole-house water softener systems. The brine (salt water) solution is flushed through the resin bed and pumped to the drain, then fresh water flushes through to insure the brine solution is gone.

When the dishwasher fills for washes and rinses, the incoming water flows through the resin bed to soften it (hard-water ions chemically bind to the resin).

One cannot simply toss a handful of salt into a typical dishwasher and get the same effect, it doesn't work that way.

A friend in the appliance industry recently explained that dishwashers with onboard water softeners are a solution to dishwasher-ing problems caused by hard water for situations in which it's difficult or impossible to add a whole-house softener.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 6:26PM
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interesting pix. must be the tabs reacting to something in the water. miele tests these all over the world - they have to work - just not for you

dadoes is correct on the softener explanation. you dont really need salt if the grains are less than 4.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:46PM
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When the tech comes later this week, I'm going to show him the pictures of how it looks when using the new Miele tabs and see what he has to say.

Tonight was the 2nd night of running the dishwasher using a half Method tab. I checked again for suds, and there were none, and everything came out clean. To me, using a half (or quarter) Miele tab or a half Method tab all clean equally well, I haven't noticed any difference with that. But the BIG difference is that the Method tabs (full or half) aren't making suds, while the new Miele tabs do.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:54AM
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No suds on half a (new) Miele tab. Normal mode Futura Diamond

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 2:25AM
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Thanks for the picture!

The Miele tech came out today and opened up the bottom panel on the front. In the lower pan area he showed me where there was some dried detergent residue. There is a white plastic disk that will float up if water or suds get down in there, and that's what triggers it to run in drain mode.

I showed him the pictures of the suds from the Miele tabs. He said it wasn't excessive, but over time it could have caused an issue. He said the suds may be the result of my water being too soft. He did a water hardness test by filling two small vials with water and then adding something to it. He said that my water was 5 grains, which is pretty soft. Even though the water softener on the dishwasher is set to 5-7 grains, he said that I could use the 0-4 grain setting. I told him that I did try that, and it didn't make a difference with the suds I got from the new Miele tabs.

I then showed him the bag of Method Smarty tabs and told him that I've been using a half tab for the past 4 days, and they don't create and suds and clean just fine.

So there was no leaks and nothing that needed to replace. The continual drain mode was most likely cased by the suds from the new Miele getting down in that lower pan area and activating the overflow protection.

At this point, I'll just continue to use the half of the Method tabs in each wash, as I don't want any future problems caused by suds from the Miele tabs. He said the info was going to be forwarded up to see if there have been other reports of over sudsing from the newer tabs. I just wish they would of kept the older ones on the market, as they only had 5% phosphates, which isn't much, and those didn't suds.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 3:23AM
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"He said that my water was 5 grains, which is pretty soft."

Well, no. That's solidly medium-hard, actually.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Ok. I guess maybe compared to well-water, they meant my city water at 5 grains is pretty soft. But I have the water softener on the Diamante set to the 5-7 grains setting, even though they said it would be OK to set it to 0-4 grains.

Last night I used the China/Chrystal mode, not that I needed to use it (no China or Chrystal were in the unit), but just wanted to see if that mode worked OK with the Method tabs (half) I've been using all week with the Pots/Pans and Normal modes.

I checked it during the main wash and there were no suds, but could tell the water temp wasn't as hot (even though its connected to my hot water tank at 140 degrees). This morning I inspected all the items, and everything was clean.
I know that previously when I've used the Miele tabs (half) with the China/Crystal mode, if the stuff is dirty (baked-on foods), that it won't clean as well as when using the Normal or Pots/Pans mode. That is why I use those two modes 99% of the time, as we only use China during the Holidays.

But it's still good to see that the Method tabs cleaned well in the China/Chrystal mode.

I may try the Express wash just to see, but the times are really short (15 min total). It only does like a 3-4 minute main wash and then two 5 minute rinses. The Miele tech said they have no way to "re-program" it for the Express Wash to use a longer wash cycle. I wish it was 15 min wash, and then two 5 minute rinses. That way it would be done in under 30 minutes.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:43PM
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@fauguy, my manual says you can use china/crystal setting for loads that are not very dirty. Many of my loads seem to be not to "gunky" so I've used china a lot. It's not as hot (which I prefer for plastic items) and everything has come out sparkling clean.

I haven't noticed a huge difference with the salt added yet but I've only done 2 loads.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:59PM
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fauguy -- When the Miele tech showed you the dried detergent, where exactly was that? Was the unit pulled out for that? And how did he reset the protection sensor so that it would get out of shutdown mode? Is it something we can do on our own?

Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Basically what happen was this.......

My Diamante Plus unit is now 15 months old.
I had used the original Miele tabs (half a tab per load) up until Oct/Nov of last year when I ran out. I went to buy another box, but it was replaced by a "newer" Miele tab that is now phosphate free. I again used half a tab per load and that box lasted me until about April of this year. I went and purchased a 2nd box, same "newer" Miele Tabs.

It was a week or so later that my unit was running one night (with the half tab) and I went upstairs and saw something that I forgot to put in the dishwasher. So I back to the kitchen and opened it up to add the item. To my amazement, there was about 1" of suds on top of the water. I added the item and closed the unit back up, and it continued it's cycle.

I know from before, that the original Miele tabs did not make suds, because once or twice I did have to open it up mid-cycle to add something....but this was the first time I had to do it while using the newer tabs.

So I called Miele Tech Support and told them. They said "You need to use half a tab them", which I then informed them that I already was using half, so they then said "then try to use less, like one-forth of a tab."

I tried it that night, but you can only cut them so much with scissors before they start to break apart. So instead I crushed them all up into powder using to large spoons and mixed it all together. I then used a one-half teaspoon measuring spoon (which is equal to a quarter of a tablet) to does it out into the detergent door of the dishwasher. I saw that it still did make some suds, but not nearly as much as when I was using a half tab, but everything still came out clean.

So since April, that is what I've been doing, just using the one-half teaspoon dose for each nightly load.

When I went to run the unit on July 22, I pressed the power button on the front, and it started a continual drain mode with the 3 yellow LED lights (rinse, dry, end) all flashing. I could not select a program and start the unit.
I called Miele Tech Support, which instructed me to unplug it, and shut off the water to the unit from under the sink, so that is what I did. He said that there is a lower-pan under the unit with an overflow protection switch that will put the unit in a continual drain if it gets wet.

The unit was unplugged and unused this all weekend, as on Monday 24th there was to be a service tech to come out, but he was out sick, and the other tech was booked-up, so I was re-scheduled for three days later. A bit later on that Monday, I plugged the unit back in just to see if it was still on the continual drain, and it wasn't, so I was able to try a Rinse mode, and it worked Ok.

At that point, I didn't want to use the Miele detergent any more, as I had a feeling it was the suds that got down in the lower pan and tripped the overflow circuit. So I went out and got the Method Smarty tabs. I tried those (half and full tab) and it cleaned just fine and there was no suds.

Now on Thursday the Miele Tech and the Area Tech Supervisor came out to inspect it. The dishwasher did not have to be pulled out. All they did was remove my lower wood toe-kick board and unscrew and remove rectangle shaped metal plate on the bottom-front (about 6"x3"), that would normally be covered-up by the toe-kick. Behind that metal plate was a bottom metal floor and he showed me where there was died-up detergent. There was also a circular piece of white plastic that was on the bottom, and attached to something else above it. He said that was the overflow protection, that if water or suds happen to get down in there, that it triggers the circuit and puts the unit into the drain mode.

But they said all the water gasket seals were fine, and ran it on a rinse, and no water leaked down in there.

I showed them the pictures I took of all the suds from the newer Miele tabs. They both looked at them and said it didn't look excessive, but said it still really shouldn't make a lot of suds. Neither of them could explain as to why the newer Miele tabs made suds, but said that overtime it could of built-up and then triggered the over-flow down there. The Area Tech said he was going to "forward it up" so that the other departments can be aware of my issue and maybe have to re-test the Miele Tabs on their own. They also tested my water hardness and said it was 5 grains, which my unit was already set to that level.

I showed them the Method tabs and said I've been using them for 3 days and haven't had any suds from them. The one tech said he uses regular Cascade powder detergent in his older Inspira unit, and it works just fine for him.

So to sum it up...

I believe the suds from the newer Miele tabs that I have been using since October of last year was the cause of the problem, and eventually got down in the lower pan area and triggered the overflow circuit. Then when I had the unit unplugged and not used for 3 days, whatever was down in there dried-up, and released the overflow protection. So I'm not sure how the tech would "fix" it if there were water/suds down in pan at the time of him being here, since mine was all dried-up and just had some white residue.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 5:05PM
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"not sure how the tech would "fix" it if there were water/suds down in pan at the time of him being here"

he'd vacuum the pan out or use a sponge to remove the water/suds!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Yes, I figured that part, but wasn't sure if there was some type of "reset" switch down there that they could use to get it out of the continual drain mode.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:52PM
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I've used the China Chrystal mode for the past few nights, just to see what results I'd get. It does a 10 min pre-wash, then a 10 min main wash, 10 min rinse, and a final 10 min rinse with the rinse aid. Then with the drying, it's done in about an hour.

Everything does come out clean, but I've noticed that on plastic tupperware item (used for left-overs or re-heating them in microware) that you can still smell a food odor on them. If I used the Normal or Pots/Pans mode, I don't get that food odor left on the tupperware item.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 5:37PM
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""reset" switch down there"

That would kinda defeat the purpose of a float switch that shutoff the unit when water leaked into the pan.

So... yes - there is a reset switch. To reset it, you evacuate the water.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:15AM
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I seriously don't get why you people insist on using tabs if you have to break the damn things in half. I mean, it just sounds like a complete hassle to me. Seriously, just a little powdered Cascade. It's always worked brilliantly in my 07 Miele La Perla.
"To quote Bill & Ted "Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!".... was hilarious.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:53AM
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