kenmore dishwasher problem

klingerNovember 16, 2007

I have what I think is a fairly simple problem. I need to lift up my bottom impellor and screen filter and remove popcorn kernels which I can see below there. My dishes aren't coming as clean as they used to and I think a house guest has put bowls with pop corn kernels in and they are clogging or somehow impeding getting the dishes clean. I can't seem to remove the plastic large screw type thing in the centre so I can remove the rest and gain access. I can see that it is threaded but it seems to just go round and round and not actually move. I doesn't move easily which makes me wonder if it is just not threaded on properly.Is there a trick or secret to removing this? It's a two year old Kenmore elite, here's a pic.



Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on this,

Cindy

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moose_2007

I have a Kenmore as well, it's about 6 years old. A couple of years ago, I noticed that my dishes weren't coming out that clean and that they were a little gritty. As well water was coming out the bottom of the door. When the repairman came he said it sounded like the arm wasn't rotating properly and that water was getting focused on one place(hence the leak). He asked if I had taken the bottom apart and not put it back together properly.
The long and short of it is, there is something about my machine that makes that top screw thing tighten down so that the arm does not rotate properly. Every couple of weeks I give it a turn or two to keep it loose. Now the machine works fantastic again. If I notice grit or insufficiently clean dishes, I know I have to go loosen it. Since your screw thing is jammed in there so tight, that might be your problem as well.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:28AM
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klinger

Thanks moose, my arm seems to be rotating okay, it spins freely.I might have to call the repair person in. It looks like it should come apart easily, but just isn't.
Cindy

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:01PM
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moose_2007

I have a Kenmore as well, it's about 6 years old. A couple of years ago, I noticed that my dishes weren't coming out that clean and that they were a little gritty. As well water was coming out the bottom of the door. When the repairman came he said it sounded like the arm wasn't rotating properly and that water was getting focused on one place(hence the leak). He asked if I had taken the bottom apart and not put it back together properly.
The long and short of it is, there is something about my machine that makes that top screw thing tighten down so that the arm does not rotate properly. Every couple of weeks I give it a turn or two to keep it loose. Now the machine works fantastic again. If I notice grit or insufficiently clean dishes, I know I have to go loosen it. Since your screw thing is jammed in there so tight, that might be your problem as well.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:40PM
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moose_2007

Hi Klinger
Don't know how that repeat happened.
I'm not saying that we have the same problem, but when my screw is tightened down all the way, the arm still moves freely, but for some reason I need to have it not screwed down all the way in order for it to work properly. That's the genie in my machine and I'm grateful I figured it out, because the repairman couldn't see anything wrong and it could have ended up costing lots while he tried to figure something out.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:50PM
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weedmeister

You might try lifting up on the arms while unscrewing.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 4:52PM
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sparky823

Hold the "bolt" in the middle of the arm and turn your arm counter clockwise until it gets loose and you can pull the arm off. The "bolt" stays on the middle hub.

You might just need to run some Dishwasher Magic thru it to clean out the filter and spray jets. It should chew up the popcorn grains unless there are a lot of them.

I have an Elite looks just like yours but mine is about 5 years old. Hope this will help you get the arm off.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:13PM
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klinger

Thanks for your help. I tried all the tips and the darn thing is still stuck on there. I managed to get the "bolt" to move about three revolutions and a bit of thread is showing, about two turns worth. However it doesn't go any further and even with all my might I couldn't get those arms off. Don't think I want to try all my might though, don't want to wreck the darn thing. I've tried cleaning it out with some tang crystals and that made the inside look a bit better, but still not 100%.
Thanks, guess I'll have to break down and call the repairman. This just looks like it should be so easy too. I used to own a bosch and had to clean out the bottom of it all the time, but everything just lifted right out.
Cindy

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:19PM
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sparky823

Which machine do you like the best cleaning/loading wise the Kenmore or Bosch--Just curious.

I almost bought the Bosch when I got the Sears but the lady at Sears said I got more "features" with the Kenmore. Plus I do think the K had more rack room than the B.

Again, try to hold the "bolt" with your fingers and turn the arm counterclockwise and see if you can get it turn turn loose. The arm just backs up the threads of the "bolt" till it is off.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 3:34PM
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jerrod6

Don't these have food grinders?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 6:54PM
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klinger

I prefer the Kenmore over the Bosch. I used to sell appliances and got a heck of a deal on the Bosch.The really good thing is they are so quiet, and they are very energy efficient.I had a kitchen aid after the bosch, and prefered the cleanability and racking of it. Got the Kenmore as it is a whirlpool made one and has similiar features of the Kitchenaid. However less money.The bosch is a pita to continually clean out the filter at the bottom.These dishwashers do have a hard food grinder. I've got some sediment on my fine filter on the top, and I can see a bunch of popcorn kernels in the bottom. I wonder if a kernel has jammed something, or plugged it a bit.
The bottom arm of the dishwasher is swinging very loosely, the "bolt" in the centre is showing about 2.5 threads. it won't turn any more and the arm will not budge upwards.
Thanks again for all your help,
Cindy

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 8:26PM
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sparky823

What kind of detergent do you use? I have noticed that if I use Cascade Complete all the time I usually don't see anything on that fine filter--but I do have a tendency to skip around with brands of detergent.

I also run the Dishwasher Magic through mine about every 2 months. I think this helps keep it all clean. Hope you get your problem solved. Also Thanks for the info on the Bosch vs Kenmore. I hope mine last a long time. I think this Kenmore is very quiet. Mine is a Quiet Guard 7 which was the quietest back when I got mine. They probably have a 9 or 11 by now.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 1:54AM
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cpovey

Try cleaning your machine with Dishwasher Magic. Yes, Tang is similar, but it has two advantages:
1. The concentration of the active ingredient is approximately 10 times greater than in Tang.
2. It has a wax seal on the container to prevent it from being used up in the pre-wash-it only dispenses into the main wash, where it does the most good.

Many grocery stores carry it, as well as Sears/K-Mart.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:30AM
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klinger

Hi, I have been using costco detergent in a big tub. I think that is also part of the problem. Dh loves the price of it , but I know it's not fresh , not the best choice. I'm going to pick up a small container of Cascade, I'll try the complete one. I'll also pick up some dishwasher magic. I live on an island and sometimes we don't have all the products in the smaller city I live in. Tommorow I'm going to the big city so I'll make sure I get a few of the dishwasher magic. Thanks a lot for the suggestions everyone.
Cindy

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 10:58AM
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sparky823

I was also wondering if you can see the kernals in the bottom, have you tried to pour some water in the strainer part to the point that some of them would come to the top of the strainer and you could scooop them out that way?

Yes try the Cascade Complete. Also I read that you need to buy it in a small supply because after it is opened it is losing effectiveness in 2 weeks. Sometimes the "good deals" aren't that great when they don't work well for us. The Complete helps keep your strainer(fine mesh) clean.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 8:27PM
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jerrod6

I still don't get it. If this DW has a food grinder then what is the problem with popcorn kernels? They should have been ground up. I guess I don't understand why ANYTHING would be in the bottom because the food grinder is supposed to grind the stuff up and then it gets flushed away.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 11:49PM
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klinger

Sparky I'll try filling it up and see if they'll come to the top. There is quite a few popcorn kernels I can see there.The hard food grinder should be able to mascerate them. I wonder though if they are clogging something or maybe they have jammed the impellor in the grinder? This could be a pump issue too, I've wondered about that. I sold appliances for abut 8 years and although that was about 9 years ago I still do have a basic understanding about how this is supposed to work.
Okay I just turned my dishwasher on and the bottom has lots of water in it but there are no kernels floating about, perhaps they are water logged. The arm appears to be rotating just fine.
Thanks again for any tips,
Cindy

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:52AM
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azroger

Cindy,
I don't know if this is still a problem for you. I had the same problem getting the arm off. It turns out, you screw the little gray nut INTO the arm. That's clockwise on the nut and counter clockwise on the arm as Sparky823 said early in this thread. I fought that thing hard even after reading Sparky823's suggestion. I pulled up on the gray nut all the time I was swinging the arm. Nothing. Finally, I tried just getting the nut back where it started. Just a little bit past where it started, the arm fell off. If you push down while turning, it comes off easily. Then all it takes is a TORX screwdriver and you're where you need to be for that pesky popcorn.
Roger

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 10:39AM
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sparky823

azroger: Glad that my suggestion helped you. Don't know what the problem was with yours but you should try running some Dishwasher Magic through it ever so often. I feel like it helps keep mine all cleaned out and really makes the tub shine.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 11:34PM
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bsparks294

I just went through all of this two times in the last month. The repairman came out to fix it both times under warranty but he says he will not fix it again.

The grey screw just turns a little and then it has some slots that line up with the other piece and the thing falls off.

But now to the problem. The little grinder included in these machines will not actually grind like a garbage disposal. If anything hard is put into the dishwasher such as popcorn kernels, glass (we had a glass break), etc. it will just break the grinder. Then the food particles collect near the screen filter and that is why the dishes become dirtier after washing then when they are placed in the dishwasher.

The repairman sees this all time and warns people to basically wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. You probably will get some cleaning with the dishwasher in this condition, but not optimum performance.

The part costs about $20 on the internet, but the repairman will charge you over $100 to put it in, if not covered under warranty.

Good luck, Brad

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:17PM
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dadoes

Dishes do not have to be "washed" before loading, but neither is a dishwasher to be treated as if it's a garbage disposer.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:33PM
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trekker

I'll second that last comment. Any DW repair person who tells you to wash the dishes first clearly knows nothing about dishwashers. I have a Sears Elite (bought July 2003) and I never wash the dishes before putting into the DW. I was just checking the manual and found that the machine uses between 1.8 gallons (for a rinse/hold cycle) and 10.4 gallons (for a pots & pans cycle of really dirty dishes) of water, which is a heck of a lot less than you'd use if you washed them by hand.

Thanks for the discussion on the screen & filter, because sometimes I do get a little grit remaining on 3 or 4 pieces. It's worse right at the moment because my water softener died, but I'll go into the bottom of the unit to check the filter.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:47PM
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sparky823

bsparks-Why will the repairman only fix yours 2 times? I thought if anything is under warranty they have to fix it or give you another after so many(3 i think)service calls for the same problem. Looks like he would replace the gray nut if that is the problem. I havent had any trouble with that or the grinder and I dont wash mine!
Seems the appliances are getting sorrier and the service also.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:30PM
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jerrod6

Agree that you don't have to wash your dishes before using today's DW, BUT you do have to scrape them off. I think many of us read the advertising that says "hard food disposer" and then assume that the DW contains a real sink like garbage disposal unit...and start tossing dishes still full of hunks of food and whatever else.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 2:23AM
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ginnieoc

I have a Kenmore DW and believe the chopper blade needs to be replaced. However, I can't get the lower spray arm. I unscrewed the cap (reverse thread) and tried to pull the arm off. It doesn't budge and now I can't even screw the cap back down. Any help???? I am very frustrated. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:20PM
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hydrangeakiller_yahoo_com

I got mine off...I had a couple of screws fall down there and was afraid to run it in case it messed up the garbage disposal. I unscrewed the cap (reverse thread) then unscrewed 3 of those torx screws. It still did not budge but looked like there was a white plastic thing that went around the cap and had a tube that went up the back of the dw. It looked like the tube could come apart (it was a couple of pieces snapped together with a plastic tab) so I undid the tab and pulled it about 1/4 turn clockwise and the pieces came apart. It then unlocked from the base and I pulled it off. The piece in the middle that had the thread for the cap came off next. Then there was another torx screw and voila, we were able to get the dropped screws out. Also I found that the little piece in the middle with the threads needed to be pushed down in order to get the white thing back on, but after it's on you need to give it a good yank to pull it back up so it spins freely...that sounded maybe like the problem someone had above. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:41PM
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compostibles

I also had the problem with the dishwasher not draining by itself at the end of the wash cycle, I had to hit the "cancel/drain" button to get it to drain. I also noticed some popcorn seeds under the guard near the good grinder inlet. I had to remove the 4 torx screws and lift off the guard. Got a number of popcorn seeds, cherry pits, a bit of broken glass, and then I got to thinking I may be able to take the cover off the food grinder and see what else was floating around in there. Another torx screw and gently wiggling the plastic cover off revealed a veritable trove of more popcorn hulls, cherry pits and another bit of broken glass. Must've been plugging up the drain hole. Anyhow, it's back together again, it was a cheap fix (1 hr of my head inside the bin). Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 12:21AM
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immidge_verizon_net

My kenmore will begin and light up washing/sensing...then stops after a while and doesn't clean the dishes. when i open the door..i see that the cleaning pack was released and is laying in the bottom of the dishwasher. anyone have this problem and how do I fix it without calling a repairman or having to buy a new one? Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 10:51AM
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jch_jch_com

hydrangeakiller's advice got me to the right place. Unfortunately, that did not turn out to match what I was seeing, but, it was the right idea. The repairman was so quick it had to be fairly easy. I just kept looking until I figured taking everything out was the easiest way. I put up a web page to show what I did. http://www.hardenbergh.org/things/GrinderHowTo/

Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning the Grinder of Kenmore Elite

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:09AM
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j_raybon_comcast_net

I not sure if water is hot enough to clean. Sometimes it seems ok. For sure it does not dry after wash cycle. When we get up in morning almost everything is wet.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 7:14PM
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jasu3_bellsouth_net

i HAD A REPAIRMAN FIX A LEAK ON MY DISHWASHER & WHEN FOR SOME REASON HE HAD TO MOVE THE CONTROL PANEL. wHEN HE LEFT & i TRIED TO WASH DISHES, IT WOULD NOT DO ANYTHING. DEAD. I DON'T WANT TO BRING HIM BACK AS HE WILL PROBABLY CHARGE ME FOR SOMETHING. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:17PM
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don_macorama_com

Iget a green blinking light on the front panel. The book says its a heater problem.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:57PM
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