I Just Fixed Our Kitchen Dishwasher - YAY!!!

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    Mar 12, 2014 4:48 PM GMT
    Our 5-year-old dishwasher had been having trouble filling with water lately, to where it was barely filling at all, could hardly operate. I figured it was either a clogged water inlet screen, or the inlet valve. A top model when new, it still was cleaning great until recently, no complaints that otherwise required its replacement.

    So this morning I pulled the washer out and tipped it over, to check for any blocked inlet screens. Not the problem. I also checked that the water supply line was good to the washer, not restricted. Full flow, A-OK.

    So I identified, disconnected & removed the water valve assembly. And also took iPhone pics of the washer's ID plate. Then I went to an appliance parts supply store. They got the part number off the valve, and read the washer model & serial numbers from my iPhone.

    They had an identical replacement on hand, for $55, about what I was expecting. I took the chance and bought it.

    Back home I installed it, and... TA-DA!!! The dishwasher now fills fully, all fixed. The water valve was indeed the problem. Apparently had become balky with water deposits over time.

    I'm actually quite proud of my butch skills. Butch? Hell, they're positively lesbionic! LOL!!! icon_biggrin.gif

    Are any of you guys good at home repairs? I love the challenge of trouble-shooting and fixing things, I'm not afraid to tackle anything. Even things like this I've never done before, that I have no prior knowledge about, no repair manual, no nothing but logic & instinct.
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    Mar 12, 2014 5:21 PM GMT
    I used to purchase a lot of "broken" equipment at salvage sales, replace a $30 part (or even a $1 part) et voila! Something I can sell on LabX for $1000!
    Kept the best pieces for myself, of course.

    But now thanks to Ebay and the like, everybody is doing it. Hard to get those pallet-load bargains any more.
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    Mar 13, 2014 1:50 AM GMT
    The pump in our 20 year old dishwasher recently started making a loud obnoxious droning noise (my guess: a bearing going out), and we didn't even entertain the thought of fixing it. It was one of the old food grinder types that make a lot of noise, and we were ready for a much quieter machine. The new Bosch 800 series that replaced it is rated at 44 dB.

    Of the four appliances that were new in 1994, only the Maytag washer remains, the gas cooktop, dryer, and dishwasher having been replaced over the last year and a half. From everything I've read, the age of appliances lasting 20 years is basically over. The washer has worked perfectly for 20 years, and it will be a sad day when it finally bites the dust. I refuse to buy one of those godawful HE washers, and my research leads me to believe that Speed Queen is the best made non-HE washer currently made.
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:21 AM GMT
    paradox said
    The washer has worked perfectly for 20 years, and it will be a sad day when it finally bites the dust. I refuse to buy one of those godawful HE washers, and my research leads me to believe that Speed Queen is the best made non-HE washer currently made.

    My Maytags lasted almost 18 years, took a flood to kill them. But then I got a "godawful HE washer", a front loader, and it was great. Washes better, easier on the clothes, uses less water, superior in every way.

    Why don't you like HE washers?
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:37 AM GMT
    pellaz said
    just not worth it to puddle abut things.

    Depends on the cost, versus the value of the broken appliance, and the cost of replacing it.

    For this dishwasher I had set a cost threshold, that if exceeded meant I'd buy a new unit. It's 5 years old, so not too much life left in it, but it's still running very well otherwise, and cleans great. I looked at new models and I didn't see any great improvements over what we have now.

    This one automatically adjusts the wash time and number of fills based on how dirty the dishes are. It also can sanitize according to NSF standards, and is Energy Star compliant and super quiet. It remembers the last settings electronically, so in normal use pushing just a single button takes care of everything, no making a half dozen selections for each load. And it matches our other kitchen appliances.

    $55 seemed a reasonable expense to keep it, if a bit of a gamble. Replacing the whole dishwasher with something comparable would have cost at least $600, more if we wanted additional features like a stainless steel tub and hidden controls.

    And BTW, I did a full load in it earlier tonight, perfect results, just like when it was new. So I consider the repair money and my efforts well spent.
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:58 AM GMT
    Hmm... come to think of it, you could work on my 25 y/o over/under laundry machine if you like. It needs a new dryer belt, and from the sound of it, maybe a new idler pulley, if one can be found. The squealing is so loud, you can't stand to be in the house when the dryer is on.

    But for some reason, they designed the thing so that you have to take all the sheet metal completely off to get the drum free enough to slip the belt on. (I've done it before.) Then sort of hold the drum in place with a stick or something, while you screw the sheet metal back together with your other three hands.

    Almost enough hassle to make me shop for new ones. At the time I bought it, it was the most expensive thing I'd ever spent money on that wasn't a boy toy of some sort. i.e. first "grown-up" purchase. Maybe if I procrastinate long enough, an extra kilobuck or two will show up before the drum stops turning. icon_confused.gif
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    Mar 15, 2014 2:11 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    paradox said
    The washer has worked perfectly for 20 years, and it will be a sad day when it finally bites the dust. I refuse to buy one of those godawful HE washers, and my research leads me to believe that Speed Queen is the best made non-HE washer currently made.

    My Maytags lasted almost 18 years, took a flood to kill them. But then I got a "godawful HE washer", a front loader, and it was great. Washes better, easier on the clothes, uses less water, superior in every way.

    Why don't you like HE washers?


    From reading complaints online, the top loading HE machines simply don't get clothes clean. The front loaders do get clothes clean, as the washing action is much more vigorous, but the spin cycles have a reputation for twisting sleeves and pant legs to the point of tearing. A friend of mine absolutely hates her front loader because it destroys clothing.
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    Mar 15, 2014 5:56 AM GMT
    I cruised the washer/drier pairs at Home Despot tonight. (I feel so decadent.) The expensive front-loaders claimed to be "steam" washers and even "steam" driers. I have no idea WTF that means? Sounds pretty energy-intensive. icon_confused.gif

    Interesting point about the damage from front-loaders... seems like all of my slinky gay things go in the "delicate" cycle... Like about half of my laundry.

    *sigh* I'll probably just fix the old one.
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    Mar 15, 2014 11:03 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI just learned a new word today;

    "Lesbionic".....

    I love it!

    Actually I stole it from the TV sitcom Will & Grace. Rosie O'Donnell was in an episode, I think playing a character rather than as herself. "Jack" was disputing her claim that she's a lesbian.

    "Say something lesbionic," Jack demanded.

    "Home Depot," Rosie replied.

    Jack gasped. "You ARE a lesbian!"

    And so I thought "lesbionic" was an appropriate word for use with a home repairs thread.
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    Mar 15, 2014 12:18 PM GMT
    paradox said
    From reading complaints online, the top loading HE machines simply don't get clothes clean. The front loaders do get clothes clean, as the washing action is much more vigorous, but the spin cycles have a reputation for twisting sleeves and pant legs to the point of tearing. A friend of mine absolutely hates her front loader because it destroys clothing.

    That's odd, because when Consumer Reports does their controlled lab tests of washing machines, they say front loaders clean better than conventional top loaders, and are gentler on clothes, with less wear. I never had any trouble with my front loader tearing things, nor with twisting. I first regularly used a front loader in Germany in 1978, and it was excellent then, too.

    Plus by not having a central post agitator, just an open drum, front loaders accept bulky items that top loaders generally can't. For instance, bed comforters and sleeping bags.

    HE top loaders, which don't have post agitators, but rather some form of wave plate at the bottom of the tub, seem to work less well.
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    Mar 16, 2014 3:59 PM GMT
    Wow, talk about well synchronized failure... we got the new dishwasher a couple weeks ago, and the new dryer, a couple weeks before that. This morning, the washing machine motor started pulling huge amounts of current and filled the laundry room with bad electrical stink. Thankfully, it managed to finish the load ok, but I don't dare try to run any more loads through it.

    I checked on the Consumer Reports website, and the Kenmore Elite front-load washer that matches our new 9 cu ft Kenmore Elite dryer is one of CR's top rated washing machines. I can definitely see the benefit of a washer that can handle the same huge loads that the dryer can, and there's also the fact that there's a Sears hometown store right in town. As well built as the Speed Queen may be, I'd have to go out of town to buy it, and government energy standards mean the fill level is calibrated to not fill the washer to the top of the tub on a full load. There are YouTube videos showing how the fill level can be easily recalibrated to fill all the way up, but doing so will probably void the warranty. So, it's kinda looking like there's a new HE front loader in our future. And, if it all goes horribly wrong, I always have Art_Deco to blame. icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 25, 2014 8:45 PM GMT
    Follow-up on the new front-load washer: seems to be washing clothes just fine. Only problem has been how it abruptly pulses the water on and off at the beginning of a wash, which causes a nasty water hammer. The solution was a pair of water hammer arrestors mounted on the back of the washer; the hoses went from jumping to barely moving, with no hammer noise at all.