Bosch dishwasher not cleaning at all.

need-help2April 7, 2013

Hi licensed plumbers, I am at my wit's end.

I posted my Bosch dishwasher issue at the appliance forum and was recommended to re-post here for expert advice. Here is the link with the pictures. Would you help take a look?

Here is the problem:
For the last 1.5 years, I've been struggling with my brand-new Bosch SHE55M1UC, bought from Sears along with a 5-year service plan. It doesn't clean well, doesn't drain or rinse well. Leaving dishes with grits or many with blue-ish streaks. I've bought water test kit (water is normal), fiddled with the rinse aid dials, checked water temperature or even ran the tap water until very hot before starting the dishwasher, cleaned the filters, asked Sears technician to check the spray arms, switched detergents, power or tablets, bought dishwasher cleaner to run empty cycles. checked water pressure from my tap in kitchen, and it seems fine. (I live in a condo with common water piping). This weekend I used small amount of Cascade power to wash my dishes, filled in just to the first line of the dispenser. I didn't load up with a lot of dishes either. I used the normal cycle, then one more wash with a cancel so that I could rinse and drain, then a quick cycle. The result was that I had to hand-wash and rinse about 1/2 of the dishes! I then ran another 3 cycles with cancel. To my astonishment, the dishwasher was still full of SOAP! Please see the attached photo after 6 cycles!
What should I do?
This picture shows where to air gap is connected. It has a up side down folk, with the top connected to airgap, one small branch connected to the white drain from the dishwasher, and the bigger branch connected to the black tube the the garbage disposal. It's install by Sears.

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Did it ever clean properly?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:32PM
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No. It never cleaned properly. I was calling Bosch helpline a couple of times and they made me try this and try that...time past fast and then the warranty expired and I had a 5-year service plan with Sears so I ask Sears technicians to come see it. It was not until later that the blue-ish streaks gets bad when I noticed that the soap are there and never drains well...and then the Sears guy asked me to use tiny bit of soap, not even to the first line in the dispenser. And I later discovered that, even running empty cycles, the soap doesn't go away! When the technician comes, he tells me that the dishwasher is draining normally from the sound he could hear. He made me run the empty cycle, then cancel it so that it drains the bubbles on the top. But even by doing that, the soap is still there! Attached photo is a mid-cycle photo after 5 empty cycles!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:47PM
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You could have one of several problems:

  1. The line running up to the soap dispenser may be blocked, kinked or damaged.

  2. The holes in the soap dispenser could be blocked. What type of soap are you using, liquid or powder?

  3. You could have a backflow preventer in the dishwasher drain line damaged or missing.

#1 seems like the most likely problem if it never cleaned well.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:28PM
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I am not sure what you mean by soap dispenser. Do you mean the drainage? I took a picture here. I am using Cascade power. I also tried Finish tablets.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:45PM
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I'm sorry, I think I misunderstood what you meant by, "the soap never goes away." I though you meant there was still soap in the dispenser.

Did your previous dishwasher work like it was supposed to?

The blue streaks concern me - does it look like it could be copper? Does your water have either very low or very high pH?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:40AM
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Looks like the wrong kind of soap is being used.

There should be very little foam from dish-washing detergent.

Foam does not pump well.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:48PM
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The Bosch doesn't seem to rinse! I ran 12 consecutive rinse (starting the wash without any detergent and then cancelling it) yesterday and the tub is still full of soap! See photo. Before this, I only used Cascade to the first line in the dispenser. I also tried Finish tab previously, not no vail. How can this be? The water seems to drain and actually finish the drying cycle. But once I remove all the dishes (1/2 of them with blue streaks) and wash empty cycles without soap - 12 times - the foam remains there!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Something is really wrong with that amount of foam being generated.

Is your water VERY soft?

DW detergent is NOT supposed to foam.
Foam does not pump worth a darn.
It takes a very tight clearance pump to move it around since it is mostly air.

I would almost bet money that the drain line is not installed correctly also and excessive water is running back into the DW.

Did the drain line get extended from the one that came with the DW?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Hi brickeyee, I had tested my water twice before and it's normal - near the middle, neither hard nor soft. The drain line was not extended from the original. It's hooked up to a PVC branched pipe to the air gap on my sink and then back down to a black pipe to the garbage disposal.
Some people from the appliance forum seemed to have figured out that at least the rinse aid dispenser is the issue because I have to refill every 4-5 wash cycles and all my white dishes have blue streaks. My soap is Cascade power so it's white. Plus there are lots of suds so it also seems coming from the rinse aid.
Somebody also suggested to disconnect from the air gap but put in a high loop and have the dishwasher drain line hooked up directly to the garbage disposal pipe. I am not sure why. If you are a plumber, can you help explain how this will help?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Excessive rinse aid would cause foam to form.

Fix that problem and the foaming should go away.

Dishwasher pumps do not have a tight enough clearance to move foam very wall since it is mostly air.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:37PM
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I am having the same problem of my Bosch dishwasher having a lot of suds at the bottom after it has finished cleaning. What did you finally do to get rid of the problem? I've ran the dishwasher without dishes and soap and used a lot of vegetable oil, vinegar and baking soda for numerous cycles. I've had 2 technicians come out and called Bosch and still have the problem. So frustrated!!!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 3:44PM
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It turned out that the suds come from the raise aid. My rinse aid box was leaking raise aid at the edge of the box. Got it replaced and there is no more suds. My dishwasher is working ok now but not great. I'm still fiddling with the rinse aid dial. It doesn't clean my glasses very well, leaving streaks are foggy film. and sometimes leaves food residue on my dinner plates, even though I always rinse my dinner plates first. For a brand-new dishwasher, Bosch quality is pretty bad.
Yes I had talked to bosh technicians online as well as Sears repairman who came to my house twice. They were useless. It was this forum which helped me diagnose the problem.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Thank you for the information. I'm glad you got the sudsing issue fixed but I'm sorry you're dishes are not getting clean. The Sears extended warranty won't address that? I agree with you, I am also very disappointed in Bosch right now and cannot recommend a Bosch dishwasher due to this. Repair people should also know how to take care of this issue and don't. My electric bill is going to be so high from running this DW for many empty cycles just to get rid of the suds. Thanks for your help and good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 9:24AM
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*your* dishes

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 9:28AM
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This stands out to me:

'This weekend I used small amount of Cascade power to wash my dishes, filled in just to the first line of the dispenser.'

I am unaware of any product called Cascade Power. Do you mean Dawn Power, the foaming dish washing liquid? Or did you just misspell 'powder'?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 11:24AM
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My mid-spell. It should have been "cascade powder".

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 12:28AM
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