Whirlpool – Kitchenaid – Kenmore Dishwasher: Poor Cleaning

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on March 29, 2006

in Dishwasher Repair

If you have a newer-model Whirlpool or Kitchenaid dishwasher (also sold under the Kenwhore label), that’s not washing dishes very well, here’s whatcha do:

First, make sure your water fill level is adequate, should be just below heating element. The proper fill is 1.8 gallons, so if you want to see what a proper fill looks like before you proceed, use a pitcher and add 1.8 gallons of water to the empty dishwasher basin. Some other things to check for poor washing results on this page.

Ok, if that checks out, the next thing is to determine whether or not the wash motor is runnning. You’ll have to pull the kickplates off so you can check the voltage supply to the wash motor underneath. If the motor is getting voltage but it’s not running, or maybe it’s just making a humm noise but not circulating water, then you need a new wash motor. Or, for a few more shekels, you can save yourself some headache and replace the motor already assembled into the plastic housing as a complete assembly.

Kitchenaid-Whirlpool Dishwasher Mascerator AssemblyON THE OTHER HAND, if the wash motor is running (and you have the proper fill level in the basin) but the dishwasher is leaving crud all over the dishes, then you can probably get by with just replacing the chopper (mascerator) and the check valve, shown here to the right (click the picture for an annotated view).


If you need help getting to the chopper assembly, grab some popcorn and enjoy this illustrative slideshow.

To learn more about your dishwasher, or to order parts, click here.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

trinker February 11, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Ok, I’ve torn all these parts off and gotton to the chopper but I cant see what might be wrong with it? The screen was completely clogged and I can’t see what keeps the chopper blade against the screen or if it should be. I suspect another problem. The washer seems to have lost power and the top arm has residue in the jets. I don’t think it produces enough pressure to the top and suspect the pump impeller is bad but who knows where that is. I can still hear it dump garbage during the cycle but it doesn’t dump it all and it ends up on the dishes. You can put in clean dishes and they come out dirty. I have pulled it from the counter niw and will not likely reinstall it even though its only 4 or 5 years old (Kenmore Elite 665-16914) unless there is some reliable fix. This dishwasher used to work great then started leaving residue and the problem just gets worse. I can’t solve the check valve riddle. That could be the problem?

trinker February 11, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I solved the check valve, a rubber flap. It broke when I tried to pull it out.

davhamm April 15, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Last year my chopper got clogged in Feb, cleaned it back at in April, then again in June, check valve seemed fine, replaced Chopper, and tried to replace check valve Repair clinics replacement is smaller, so I flipped the check valve. Well here it is a year later in APril, and the chopper is clogged again, flipped the checkvalve though it seemed fine.

I don’t know what is going on with this thing. Any help or suggestions, I really dont want to have to pull this appart every 6 months, though that is cheaper than buying a new one.

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