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Old 11-28-2010, 02:02 PM
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Why has my dishwasher stopped washing the top rack?

I haven't had it for more than five years (probably more like three or four). I am not in love with how well it cleans in general unless it's verrrry carefully loaded, but normally as long as I'm careful there's no problem, until yesterday. Now it doesn't even touch the top racks.

It's a Kitchenaid - I don't see a model number that's easily apparent.
Old 11-28-2010, 02:13 PM
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Still can't find a model number, but the manual says it's for models KUDS02SR, KUDS02FR, KUSU02FR, and KUDU02VR.

The upper arm spins freely, by the way.
Old 11-28-2010, 02:17 PM
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Can you put photos of your rack?
Old 11-28-2010, 02:29 PM
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It depends - will you fix my dishwasher?
Old 11-28-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
It depends - will you fix my dishwasher?
Dishwasher? What are you talking about?
Old 11-28-2010, 02:53 PM
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Possible causes:
1. The spouts on the ends of the washing arms are blocked with bits of food (easy to fix)
2. The pump mechanism at the bottom of the machine is blocked, reducing water pressure (easyish to fix, will need a torx screwdriver (usually) to remove top of housing and clean)
3. The pump is failing, reducing water pressure so it won't reach the top arm
4. Some machines run the top and bottom arms alternately, using some sort of a switching mechanism, which can fail and stick in one position.
5. Not enough water is getting into the machine in the first place (easy to check, open machine when running (carefully) and there should be quite a lot of water sloshing about, and water spraying out of the arms - if there is not, try adding a couple of pints of water and see what happens). Lots of possible causes, most of which are not good.

IANADWRM (dishwasher repair man)
Old 11-28-2010, 02:56 PM
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Okay, a bunch of Googling has suggested it may be the chopper thing that chops food bits up before they get to the pump. Diagrams online aren't terribly helpful, though - I've managed to get the bottom arm off, and the arm assembly, and the cover for all the stuff under there (don't have a Torx driver, but a hex wrench did okay - hope I didn't ruin anything) but now I can't figure out from the diagrams what to do next. It kind of all seems like a sealed system.

Also, there is gross nasty stuff hidden under all these things. YEEECH. Should have called Larry, my plumber.
Old 11-28-2010, 03:04 PM
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There must be a tube that feeds the upper arm. See if it's still connected, and not blocked somehow.

I found a bunch of KUDS02SR** models online, and selected one. Do these look like yours?

On preview, have you ever cleaned the filter? Our needs to be taken out and rinsed off once in a while. (I don't see one in that online manual, though.)
Old 11-28-2010, 03:10 PM
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No, there's not a filter you're supposed to clean. The manual, interestingly, has no troubleshooting section.

I've got the whole tube assembly out (my kitchen looks like the dishwasher threw up all its guts) but I can't figure out how to get down farther than the cover of all the understuff - there was the arm, and then the arm tube thing, and then a filtery thing, and then... I'm not sure where to go from here. There's standing water in the lowest part, and some corn. (That's the only recognizable food I've seen - the rest has been this ghastly pale odorless slime. Urrrrrgh.)

Yes, those look like my dishwasher.

ETA - and the tubes and arms don't look clogged or anything.

Last edited by Zsofia; 11-28-2010 at 03:11 PM.
Old 11-28-2010, 03:53 PM
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AHA. Hidden tiny screw. I have found you, you little bastard!

Anyway, it was disappointing - it didn't really look clogged, per se. Couple corn niblets. Rotten broccoli floret. There were two little pieces of plastic which I thought might be responsible, so I removed them, but they didn't really look like they were blocking the intake. Might not have been the problem at all. I put it all back together and am trying a load now, but I'm not really super-optimistic.

On the other hand, I've learned a lot about the dishwasher - before today it was a magic box that I put dirty dishes in and took clean dishes out of. I didn't even know how to take the top rack out!
Old 11-28-2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitaine Zombie View Post
Can you put photos of your rack?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
It depends - will you fix my dishwasher?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitaine Zombie View Post
Dishwasher? What are you talking about?

Ya know, it's exchanges like that that make my day.







Especially if you use your imagination to tack on ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
AHA. Hidden tiny screw. I have found you, you little bastard!
Old 11-28-2010, 04:00 PM
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Yeah, but then there's ghastly slime.
Old 11-28-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Yeah, but then there's ghastly slime.
Some things don't fit the pattern and must be ignored.
Old 11-28-2010, 09:32 PM
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My dishwasher has a telescopic tube that extends from the propeller thingy at the bottom and connects with a tube in the top rack. This is where the water comes from that sprays everything on top.

Occasionally, the telescopic tube gets stuck and won't come out. It also gets stuck in a partially extended position sometimes making it impossible to open the bottom rack. You also have to make sure that there's nothing on top of where the telescopic thing comes out.



Personally, I've found that 99% of what the dishwasher does is through the chemicals in the detergent. For years, I used cheap store-brand detergent and I was unhappy with the results I got out of my dishwasher, often having to hand wash things that had just come out of the dishwasher. Then one day, I got a coupon for Electrosol (which is called something else now I think) and tried it out and everything came out perfectly clean. Since then, I buy either Electrosol (or whatever it's called now) or Cascade.

I also find that the powder works better than the little gel-bag things or the little tablets.
Old 11-28-2010, 10:05 PM
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Electrosol = Finish in the US.


(What it is in Finland, I have no idea.)
Old 11-28-2010, 10:37 PM
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Wait, we have Electrosol also.

However, a repairman once told me never to use it - Cascade powdered only. Ever since then I haven't had a single problem (except, you know, today.)

I don't know if it worked, but I do have a load of clean dishes from the top level!
Old 11-29-2010, 01:14 PM
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If this DW is one with the adjustable height top rack, you should check the water delivery system at the back of the washer.

Where '9' fits into '1'.

There is a tube running up the back of the DW. It sends water to the very top to wash the tops of the top rack, and a middle wand attached to the bottom of the top rack that fits into a valve. If the other valve is 'open', then the water may spray out to the front of the washer instead of being diverted to the appropriate wand.

I'm not sure what number 11 is. Basically if you aren't getting the top washed but the bottom is, then the problem is somewhere along the path in the above diagram.
Old 11-29-2010, 01:57 PM
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11 is the fancy-schmancy super pot washer.
Old 11-29-2010, 02:06 PM
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Yours goes up to 11?
Old 11-29-2010, 02:33 PM
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Hells yeah! It goes up to "only 11 items" and it goes up to "11 hours until we're done washing the dishes" and it also goes up to "11 Torx screws".
Old 11-29-2010, 02:55 PM
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The easiest problem would be if the rotating arm was prevented from rotating. The top rack of dishes is then not washed. You have to actually remove the motor from the bottom to finish the dis-assembly of the whole pump system. I had to do this for a leak in the pump system. This really isn't that hard to do.
Old 11-30-2010, 01:17 AM
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My dishwasher had a similar problem of low water flow and less than clean glasses on the top rack.

I unscrewed the grate at the bottom, removed years-worth of popcorn shells and plastic wrappers, and ran a cycle with bleach to cut through the slime.
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