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Fixing a Kenmore Elite Dishwasher that is not Cleaning Dishes

by The Handyguys

in Video Podcasts

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Handyguy Paul’s Dishwasher not cleaning  - He takes apart his Dishwasher to clean out the basin.

dishwasher not cleaning

The Handyguys planned to tackle two issues in this episode. They began with Paul’s dishwasher not cleaning problems and hoped to talk about the Handyguy’s electrical toolkit. However, the dishwasher took up the entire episode and the electrical toolkit discussion got pushed back to another show (ok… we sometimes record these episodes out-of-order so the electrical toolkit discussion was published with episode #70).

So what is the problem with Paul’s dishwasher not cleaning that is worth talking so long about? Well, no one likes an expensive dishwasher that has problems doing the one thing it is supposed to do. Cleaning Dishes! Due to the Dishwasher not cleaning Handyguy Paul’s wife was not happy. Upon removing glasses from the dishwasher each morning, she was finding them covered in a cloudy white film. Typically this is due to hard water and is prevented with a rinse aid product. In this situation, rinse aid was not addressing the problem.

To make matters worse, the dishes on the top rack were also not being cleaned very well. In fact, it appeared that the upper spray arm above the top rack was not spraying much of any water onto the dishes.

So what was the solution to the white haze (or is it etching?) on the glasses? And how do you fix these problems. You can find the answer by listening to our podcast or watching our little video. Or how about both? Check it out.

In addition, the Handyguys discuss other common dishwasher problems.

Need appliance parts? Just enter a part or model number:


{ 423 comments… read them below or add one }

JK July 25, 2009 at 9:34 am

Great work guys! It’s amazing how clogged up it was after only three years. Maybe a design flaw? I have one quick question: You mentioned that not using the heated dry feature saved on your electric bill. Did you actually calc this or see a savings on your bill? If so, how much? Or were you just making a general statement? Thanks!

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The Handyguys July 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

We didn’t actually calculate the savings of not running running the heat but we could have estimated it. We did a show where we talked about a mower cost monitor. You can check it out here Episode #42 – Monitoring Your Power Consumption

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lloyd March 15, 2011 at 6:25 am

Wow, thanks to your great video, I was able to take apart, clean and reassemble my dishwasher in about 30 min.

Thanks

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Dan April 28, 2012 at 4:14 am

I can’t find the video that you are talking about …any help with that would be great……cleaning the upper and lower screens did not cure are problem, with dirty dishs on the upper rack….

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The Handyguys April 30, 2012 at 8:14 am

Dan – The video is in this post. If you have trouble you can view it directly on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRCCrEwrst8

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The Handyguys August 8, 2009 at 11:54 pm

It appears that my Kenmore Elite is manufactured by Whirlpool which also makes KitchenAid appliances. My Kenmore Elite Dishwasher has nearly (or completely) identical guts as many KitchenAid models. See http://www.appliance411.com/purchase/make.shtml on who makes what.

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Fritz August 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm

I have a kenmore elite very similar to the one on your episode and it has always only been able to wash “clean dishes”. What i noticed to be different from yours mine is nearly dry in the base, not filled with water ?

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The Handyguys August 12, 2009 at 9:28 am

Fritz,

Good point. Another listener made a similar point via email. The reason is due to the fact that my Dishwasher had one more issue that was discovered after the video shoot. I plan to create another video to explain. The water should be drained out. There may be a little left in the basin but not as much as I had.

Paul

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Ron Prishivalko September 20, 2009 at 1:44 am

Concerning the Kenmore Elite Dishwasher (episode 73), you wrote, “The reason is due to the fact that my Dishwasher had one more issue that was discovered after the video shoot. I plan to create another video to explain. The water should be drained out. ” Is that info available? I have a one-year-old Kenmore Elite that is now leaving clearly too much water after its wash cycle.

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The Handyguys September 21, 2009 at 8:59 am

Ron,

I had to remove one more piece at the bottom of the basin. If I remember correctly, there is a single torx head screw holding the cover to the chopper (mascerator) assembly and the drain valve. In my case, the small drain with check valve (about the size of a dime) was covered with a piece of glass, thus preventing of dirty water containing food particles. Here are some pics of the mascerator and check valve:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenzoidman/117417445/

Handyguy Paul

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Jill September 5, 2009 at 1:01 pm

This video was great! Thanks- still can’t figure out how to put the end “caps” back on the slides so that the top rack can go in, though. Help please.

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The Handyguys September 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

I responded to Jill via email but thought I would leave some information here about getting the end caps back on the upper rails. The design of these caps is a bit odd and takes me a minute to get them on every time no matter how many times I have done it (and it has been at least 8-10 times for each side). Just keep trying and it will work. When I update the video I will try to get a close-up of this as well. I guess I need to get working on that video.

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Chad November 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

Put the clip back in place and it will look like it is on but will still be very loose. Now slide a flathead screwdriver under the edge of the clip right in the middle. Gently pry it towards you. Now push the clip towards the center of the dishwasher as you remove the screwdriver. There is a little tab on that center part of the clip that will catch on the metal rail. No problem…

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The Handyguys November 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for adding that Chad!

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Eric December 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

To correctly install the end caps you need not tools. It is very easy and should take about 20 seconds or less. Here is how.

1. The “arrows” on the outside of the clips should always point outward or away from the center. So when facing the dishwasher rack unit as if you are placing as if you are going to place a dish in it, just simple make sure the END RAIL CAPS arrow points away from the center of the machine.

So when placing the dishwasher clips on the left hand side, the arrow should point

2. They simply slide into place and DO NOT PUSH ON FROM THE FRONT. However to lock them into place once there is one more step.

3. As Chad had mentioned above, which is not a bad thought, it is unnecessary, just simple push on the non pointy side of the arrow which and the pointy side or the clip raises up and just push it over to secure it over the metal lip of the end rail.

Cheers!

Eric

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carl w. curtis September 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

sears dishwasher model 665 fills with water but drains when the wash cycle starts, washes ok until the water is gone. motor is running crrect way for washing and draining.

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ed March 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

were you able to fix this?

mine does same

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richard December 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

sears dishwasher model 665 fills with water but drains when the wash cycle starts, no spraying spray arm turn slow with low press

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Brian September 26, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Hey Guys,

I just want to say thanks for the video. We were going to put in a service call, which would have easily been $100.00 or more. We live in a small town and someone would have had to come in from out of town. Anyways, thought I’d scan around the net for some tips first and found your video.

My dishwasher is the exact same and it was so easy to do but without the video I would never have tackled it. In fact, I had tried to take the top rack out once before and couldn’t even figure that out :) I found some nut shells, glass, and a couple of bone pieces in there. After cleaning it out, the machine works like new again. My wife was really impressed :)

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The Handyguys September 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Thanks for your note. We love hearing stories like this. It makes what we do worthwhile.

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wendell holmer October 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Great video. I was completely frustrated before you explained that the trick is taking out the upper drawer so you can detach the hoses. Thank you.

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The Handyguys October 10, 2009 at 8:05 pm

cool thanks!

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Thankful Reader October 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm

You’ve saved us a few hundred dollars!!! THANK YOU. We’ve had Sears out to look at it 4 times and each time they say it’s our hot water heater, or our hard water, or this or that… We gave up on it and started hand washing dishes. After 2 months of hand washing I finally stumbled upon this blog and did as you instructed. It now washes beautifully.

Thanks Again!

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The Handyguys October 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Awesome! We love this kind of feedback. Thanks for checking us out. Make sure you subscribe and tell your friends!

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LEE October 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm

THANKS GUYS. THE VIDEO DID A GREAT JOB OF SHOWING HOW TO GET TO THE CHOPPER SYSTEM. I HATE TO TUG AND PRY PLASTIC PARTS. THEY CAN BREAK PRETTY EASILY AND THEN YOU HAVE A BIGGER PROBLEM.

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Gary November 1, 2009 at 1:11 am

where can i get an end cap for the upper slide rail (Left)??
kenmore elite model 66517593201

Thank you
gary

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The Handyguys November 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm
Donna November 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm

After losing electricity my Kenmore Elite seemed to have no power. I held the heat/dry button down for 4 seconds and the lock light came on. Thrilled that I thought I had fixed the problem, after one wash cycle I seem to have the same problem – no power. Unfortunately, the same trick didn’t work this time. Are there any other tricks to this dishwasher?

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The Handyguys December 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

Some simple things to try first:
1. Door is not latching properly.
2. Child lock is “ON”.
3. Wash Cycle not set properly.
4. Household fuse blown or circuit breaker tripped.
5. Dishwasher is not wired into a circuit with proper voltage.

I would check your breaker first.

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Bill November 30, 2009 at 11:57 am

Maybe I’m not too bright but I did not notice the first time I watched the video that the knob that holds the bottom spray arm is a left hand thread. I wondered why it was not loosening when I turned it to the left. I was about to take a pliers to it but watched the video again and saw I had to turn it to the right. Lucky I did or I might have stripped the thread.
Its a great video and I too was surprised by how much junk had accumulated

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Alice December 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Hi and let me thank you for your public service,
My Kenmore d.w. is about 15 yrs. old. While it was still under warrenty my complaint was that the water wasn’t hot enough to sterile the dishes. The serviceman took the temp and declared that the 120 degrees was OK. Not in my book! Whenever I open it during the process there’s never any steam as in my previous d.w.
In fact, I consider that temp only tepid, I wash my hands in hotter water. So, for the past 15 years I just wash dishes by hand because I feed cats and want to make sure everything is really clean…plus, by washing by hand I can add a little bleach to the water. What’s your take on what the temperature should be? BTW, that was 120 with my water heater on high prior to both visits by Sears serviceman.

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The Handyguys December 17, 2009 at 11:38 am

Alice – Your incoming water temperature is 120 degrees (from the water heater in high). If the rinse temp that the dishwasher is using is also 120deg then something is wrong with your dishwasher. The dishwasher should heat the water to about 135 -165 degrees. Maybe even higher if you have a “sanitize” setting. Every dishwasher may be different but that’s generally how they work. Commercial dishwashers will heat to 180 degrees to meet certain sanitation standards. I would suggest you try a different service company.

You may also want to check this article
http://searchwarp.com/swa8094.htm

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geoff ferraro December 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm

My wife just opened the Kenmore Elite Dishwasher and foudn an orange rubber band piece. It seems like some sort of gasket for the dishwasher and it was laying on the top rack. When she picked it up it caught and broke. Did you encounter this piece when taking apart your dishwasher and where can I get a replacement? Thank you.

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The Handyguys December 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

geoff – We haven’t seen a gasket like you describe. Could it be from something else that was washed? Do you notice any leaks, unusual noises or inadequate cleaning? Maybe its a gasket from something like a canning jar.

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Forest Neff May 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I had the same problem except my rubber band was purple so it is a actual problem. Mine did’nt leak until after 3 washes and it only leaks out a small amount but enough to be annoying. Please help us. Thank you.

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Forest May 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I have the same exact problem except my rubber band peice was purple. After three washes it did start to leak. It did’nt leak a large amount but I am afraid that it will continue to get worse. So Geoff I understand completely because at first I thought it was something my wife might had stuck in there. Thanks,
Forest

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Simon December 27, 2009 at 1:09 am

Great instructional video. It gave me the confidence to take my Kenmore Dishwasher apart. Thanks.

Unfortunately, taking it apart and cleaning it out didn’t solve my problem. Additionally, I discovered that the plastic around the center of the jet nozzle was broken and probably reducing the water flow to the spray arms, therefore reducing the cleaning effectiveness.

The broken part I can easily replace, although I think it will be an expensive part $100+.

However, do you have any suggestions for solving my original problem? Here it is: Glasses come out with tiny pieces of debris. I put a bowl (right side up) in the empty washer and ran the rinse cycle. Small debris (the size of finely ground pepper) collected in the bottom of the bowl. It’s the same stuff on my glasses.

I’ve tried an acid (CLR) rinse. Also, a chlorine bleach rinse. I’ve taken it apart and cleaned out all the gunk. Nothing works, I still get this tiny debris in the rinse water and then on my glasses.

I couldn’t open up the grinder section, so maybe it needs cleaning? How do I open it up? Your video didn’t go that far.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

- Simon

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The Handyguys December 27, 2009 at 7:57 am

The particle issue is very similar to what I had going on but did not document this well in my video because I actually had multiple issues (and didn’t discovery the particle part until after filming the video). At the bottom of the basin is the plastic strainer which I clean out in my video. You can remove that with a single torx screw being removed. Under that is the grinder and a little valve. This valve consists of a small rubber flapper about the size of a quarter (but not round). This “flapper valve” is supposed to open at various times of the wash and allow the soiled water to escape while other water gets re-pumped to the top of the rack. If the valve is not working, you will get the debris you mention on you dishes.
This valve is hard to see because you only see the top edge of it. It can be removed with needle nose pliers. You just pull it out of its slot to inspect. You can also check with your finger to see if it moves in and out of the small outlet (this outlet is only about the size of a dime). My valve had a piece of glass lodged in front of the outlet which was preventing the soiled water from escaping. As a result, the dishwasher was re-circulating the dirty water… thus leaving particles all over the dishes.

I am planning a new HD video with closeups of all these parts.

Handyguy Paul

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Steve August 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

I had the same problem, here’s how to remove it.
After having taken the two screws out , you’ll notice that the left hole can be grabbed by a pair of needle nose pliers. Pull straight up and mine came right off.

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doug December 29, 2009 at 12:06 am

Handyguy
You sure reduced your client base but have helped so many. I would say that when you have a strainer smaller than anything you can access without a tool you are just asking for trouble. Design Flaw for sure. My Elite is under warranty and one tech wanted me to pay for the service call because there were foreign items in the strainer. Like Lemon seeds and a couple of pieces of food. That is not foreign in my book and once I watched (and saved) your video, I will never need that service again

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The Handyguys December 29, 2009 at 1:04 am

Thanks Doug – Our client base is YOU. We are not appliance repair people. The Handyguys, Brian and Paul, are just a couple of average homeowners who happen to be handy. We produce the podcasts and videos as a free service. If you like what we are offering you can consider supporting our advertisers and sponsors or tell your friends to subscribe to the show. Any diggs, stumbles, tweets, etc are also appreciated.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback.

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Gary Smiley December 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Last night I noticed that my Kenmore Elite dishwasher was having the same problems- it wasn’t washing the upper rack of glasses. I found your site on the Internet, watched the video, did exactly what Paul said, and fixed the problem. The pump was clogged with 4 years of debris- toothpicks, bay leaves, cellophane, glass. Fortunately I had a torx screwdriver that had been given as a christmas present. So I have to thank you guys- it all worked perfectly!

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The Handyguys December 31, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Gary, glad it worked out for you. We didn’t expect that this show would be one of our most popular shows. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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Blair May 27, 2011 at 6:59 am

My dishwasher is having the same problem. Where can I get step by step instructions?

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The Handyguys May 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

Watch the video

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lynda December 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

hi watched your video, really good, my elite is a little diff. model 655- but electronic..also… dont have any more info. as when i bough the house it was here… it recently hasnt pumped water up also… i took apart and went a little futher by removing another piece that looked like it was suppose to chop the food, it was completely plugged with food and looked like wet ground up paper… unfourtantly i already replaced the washer but want to repair this.. what do you think, you think i fixed it by cleaning the added part plus what you did? i havent been able to test it yet…..
thank you

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The Handyguys December 31, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Lynda – I would guess that after cleaning out the grinder things will work much better.

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Laura January 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thank you for the great tutorial! My husband and I just cleaned our Kenmore Elite and found what appeared to be cardboard jammed into the drain. So glad we didn’t have to pay to have it serviced!

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The Handyguys January 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Laura, glad we could help.

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Aimee January 9, 2010 at 1:20 am

Thank you for the wonderful video. My dishwasher was here when we moved in 6 months ago and I have hated it since day one. My dishes are never clean, especially the cups on top – always gunked up. I just finished putting the dishwasher back together and have high hopes – I found several twisty ties, many fish bones, and toothpicks! I would never have attempted this without your video – thank you!

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The Handyguys January 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

You’re welcome Amy! We are going to have some more videos in the future but also there is a lot of great information in the audio podcasts. Give them a listen.

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Florencia January 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Thank you!! This podcast was given to us as a link by the technician at JustAnswer.com. We had the same problem (dirty top rack dishes and film on glasses) on our 3 yrr old Kitchen Aid that looks exactly like your Kenmore with the exception or different configuration of racks. We’d already taken apart the water delivery arms and tubes to unclog hard water deposits to no avail. Tried your fix and announced that I found 3 toothpicks, piece of glass, unpopped popcorn kernels, a Lego sword and general schmootz. Our 9 yr. old replied, “Who is General Schmootz?” Our other problem is that the Rinse Aid is dispensed by the bushels even though the arrow is on 2. It empties in 4 days! Should I just replace it or is there another fix. You guys are GREAT!

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Letta Mego June 27, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I got everything done…even the blade off…..

but I could not get the top and back to snap off
to then get to the 4th screw.

So … why doesn’t it snap off??? It’s a kitchen aide..and it all looks just like this….???

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Jonathan January 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I also noticed the cap on the bottom arm turned in the reverse direction from what I’m used to and unfortunately, I ended up breaking off the tabs of the cap. Any suggestions for what I can do to take off a tab-less cap in order to take the bottom arm off?

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The Handyguys January 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

That’s a tough one. You need to try to find a way to hold down on that cap while you turn the spray arm. It should unscrew. It usually does not take a lot of force. But without the tabs, I could see this being quite difficult!

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bill February 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

That is not a cap. It is a plastic bolt that the spray arm screws onto.
I thought it was a cap and also broke off a tab (but fortunately not both).

I was able to hold onto the plastic bolt and rotate the spray arm off. In the video, it looks like a cap is taken off and then the spray arm.

It may be the specific model. I have a Elite 659

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bill February 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Correction, my model is Elite 665, not Elite 659

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The Handyguys February 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Good point. It is not the “cap” or Bolt that unscrews, but the spray arm itself. I plan to refilm this very soon in a higher definition so people can see it better). I’ll be sure to provide closeups of this removal!

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bill February 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

When I removed the screen, the “basin” underneath had no water and it did not look like a basin to me. It looked like a plastic cover over the pump (I could see the impression of what looked like a pump underneath the plastic). When I look closely at the video, I think I see the plastic cover in the water. There was some broken glass on top of the cover.

My goal is to see if I can replace that pump, which I am told is bad, myself. There were two more screws in this pump cover but removing the screws did not allow me to remove the pump cover. I guess I have to get underneath the dishwasher to release this cover?

I had a repairman come in and he said after trying the machine that the pump needed replacement and quoted me 475 for the repair. So we left it that I would replace the dishwasher. Still if I can repair it myself for less it may be worth it.

To clarify my model it is Elite 665 . 15912001

Thanks!!!

The Handyguys February 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

This video has been helpful for a lot of people. If you have found this site via google or other search engine, please be sure to check out all of our podcasts. We are also working on many new videos in HD which will presented on this site. The new dishwasher video will be included.

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The Handyguys February 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Update: The new HD video of this dishwasher repair is recorded and in post production. Stay tuned.

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Michelle March 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

The video was extremely easy to follow and I cleaned out 5 years worth of garbage trapped inside. I even replaced the Turbo Zone assembly because a hole from overheating/weak plastic had crumbled, leaving a quarter-sized gap. I thought this was causing low water pressure to the top rack. The bottom rack works fine. Anyway, I’m still getting debris on the bottom of coffee mugs, all glasses, etc. It’s incredibly frustrating because we paid a lot of money for this dishwasher 5 years ago. If you can help me figure out why it’s spraying dirty water to the top rack, I’m all ears! Thanks!

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The Handyguys March 8, 2010 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the comment on the Handyguys Podcast.

Your problem sounds like my original problem. And I didn’t completely solve it in the video you saw. I had to take out one more cover that protects the chopper assembly and a small valve. In my case, I had a piece of glass covering this valve which was causing all of my glasses to have grit on them. The valve is supposed to allow soiled water to escape during the wash cycle. If something is blocking the hole to the valve, the dirty water can’t escape.

I almost always find stuff blocking this valve. So make sure you take off this cover. Unfortunately I did not show this in the video. However, we have a new video due to come out soon which shows this.

Thanks for listening to the podcast.

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Robin March 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I followed your directions, but discovered there was no water in the bottom basin. Cleaned everything and put everything back together, but I realize the water is not being pumped throughout my dishwasher, although water does fill in the bottom of the dishwasher. I guess I’ll have to call Sears, but I have to say, this has been the most expensive dishwasher we’ve ever purchased and it’s never done its job.

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The Handyguys March 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

Robin, Paul is out of town this week, he will respond if he has any thoughts. Maybe one of listeners has a suggestion for Robin?

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june martin March 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm

how do I replace the gasket over the pump and under the wash arm. the big one at the bottom of the tub.

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The Handyguys March 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

June, i’m not 100% sure. In general some gaskets are just force fit, sometimes they are held with screws. Paul or one of our other fans may have more info.

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Tim March 30, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Your dishwasher podcast was great although I’m afraid it didn’t quite completely alleviate the problem. It was sounding like a washing machine prior to taking it apart and at least its now as quiet as when
it was new. My Kenmore model (665-16462300) has a small plastic
part at the back about halfway up that snaps onto the vertical water supply. It has two ports that receive the connecting pipe on the upper
rack (one for each of the two height positions. These ports have plastic ‘hinged’ covers so that one is forced open when engaged and the other presumably closes to allow water to continue to flow upwards. On my washer, these ports are worn and one in particular doesn’t close at all. Has anyone else commented on this? Could this be the cause of a loss of pressure? What seems odd is that the port covers on this part don’t look as if they ever could have sealed unless they’re designed to close under pressure. Please comment if you can. In the meantime, I’ll try taking the mascerator cover off and look at the check valve’s condition. Thanks again for your site! I’m looking forward to the follow-up video!

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The Handyguys March 31, 2010 at 10:03 am

Tim – The approach I take when trying to repair things like this would be to replace broken parts as I encounter them. This applies to anything, not just appliances. I know the part you are referring to but I’m not 100% sure of its operation or exactly what its called. There are many good online sources of parts. One that I have used before is http://www.repairclinic.com . Paul may chime in if he has anything to add.
-Brian

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Patty April 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

WOW!!! I am simply amazed at how well you explained this technique! I had the holiday at my house, filled the dishwasher full and had all my dirty dishes on the top rack yet at the end of the cycle of my Kenmore Elite. Found your site, did as you explained and within minutes (literally!), I was back in action. Before starting the task, I too, checked to see if I had any water coming out of the top spray arm. It was a very weak stream, not even able to spray upright. Now that I’ve cleaned it out (unbelievable at what I found in there…a piece of hard plastic that had to be 1″ x 1.5″, numerous pieces of rubber from the dogs’ toys that were probably 1/2″ in diameter, 3 twist ties and a few bones!!), I have a pressure washer in there again! Thanks guys, you’ve really made my day!!

The only downfall I had was being able to clean out the macerator (model number 665). I was able to take out the hex screw, but other than that, I wasn’t able to remove anything else?

On a side note, do you recommend using the tablets or liquid/gel detergents? I had an awful lot of detergent caught up in there and was thinking maybe the tablets weren’t the best route to take?

In any case, I am certainly going to recommend this site to any and everyone that I hear having problems with their machines!

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The Handyguys April 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Patty, thanks for taking the time to write a comment! I don’t have a specific recommendation for detergent, I do notice that you don’t usually need to fill the hopper full when using liquids or powders. We buy whats on sale or inexpensive, Electrosol I think is what my wife gets. Try going half full and see if your dishes are clean enough.

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John May 6, 2010 at 11:03 am

hey, this video was very helpful and i did everything you did, but the dishes are still coming out dirty. They are a little cleaner but not much. so i did it again and went a little further in the dishwasher. i saw this picture in one of the comments here.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenzoidman/117417445/
I took the cover off and found some stuff in there, but i also saw some stuff behind this and another grid, but i can’t find away to get to it. there is only a little hole on the top. i tried scraping it with a screw driver but that didn’t do much. it looks like some tissue paper is blocked in the grid. any ideas on how to get to it?

Thanks!

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The Handyguys May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am

I am not sure if you can get any further then chopper assembly that you see in that photo. But be sure that the valve is working and that there is nothing clogging it. I am not sure what other grate you are referring to because there isn’t much behind the chopper other then a pathway for water do go back through the pump (I think). Our new video will be posted on this site very soon (within about 1 week).

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Andy Reinert June 29, 2010 at 1:02 am

did you find out how to clean the other grid? i have the same think and cant find out how to clean it back there

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James Manning May 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

Great video! I not only was able to retrieve something from the trap that my daughter dropped in but was able to clean out lots of debris at the same time.

One comment… when putting the lower sprayarm feed, need to make sure the sprayarm seal in on top of the hub just below it…. I actually was completely finished and I found the seal on the floor wondering where the heck that came from… So I had to work backwards to determine where it belonged. Those seals or o-rings can make a world of difference in their performance.

Thanks for the good work and keep it up. I’m going to check out other Handy guy videos…

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Janet May 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thanks for posting this. I have a Kenmore 665-13729. It is similar, but has 2 philips head screws holding the “tubing” up on the back and top of the dishwasher. After opening the base, I found several twist ties, some broken glass, a piece of bone, some cherry pits, a needle with thread in it, and some other small pieces of plastic etc. (I sucked the base out with a shop vac.)
The dishwasher is running now, I just opened it and it looks like it is working as good as new. :) Thanks again!!!!

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The Handyguys May 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Very cool. Yes, the shop-vac can come in handy for getting it clean.

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Rob Lydic May 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Thank you so much. I was 30 minutes away from buying a new washer and was at Sears looking to buy another one when I found this post on my iPhone. This post saved me $700 and I am very thankful. If I can help you in any way please let me know.

Thank you.

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The Handyguys May 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Hey Rob, Thanks for taking the time to write. Glad you had success. We don’t ask anything. If you want to do something just tell your friends about our show, tweet about it, use the buttons below the post to stumble, digg or whatever. Any promotion that our fans do is greatly appreciated.

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Jo May 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Top rack wasn’t getting any water and after researching online I found your video. My daughter and I followed your video and also removed the other screw and pulled up the cover on the chopper blade (which your video doesn’t show but found in your comments) and we found a piece of plastic, nuts, etc. Cleaned it all out and put everything back the way it was and YIPPEE the dishwasher has amazing pressure again with water covering the entire top rack. Thanks so much – you guys are awesome. We would have never tackled it without seeing your video. It was so quick and easy! Now we just have to figure out wats wrong with the fan on the microwave lol.

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jody June 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this very informative piece. The top rack of my dishwasher wasn’t getting wet and thus was not cleaning dishes. The bottom rack wasn’t getting very clean either. I was brave and decided to take the dishwasher apart myself – figuring it couldn’t get much worse – but missed the critical last step of cleaning around the flapper valve and chopper and was about to spend money I don’t have on a repairman when I stumbled upon your podcast. I was able to clean the flapper valve and chopper with your help. Right now the washer is running great! I’d also like to add that my top water spin arm was clogged. I had to take that part off (simple screw in the center) and use a toothpick and tweezers to get the junk out.
Thank you so much from a new subscriber!

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The Handyguys June 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

You’re welcome and thanks for subscribing!

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Stacey June 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I opened my dishwasher after washing my dishes and found a green rubber band lying on the bottom of the dishwasher, my dishwasher is a little older I’m not sure what year but is a model 665.15625 and I have the installation manuel and user/care manuel and they don’t say anything about a green rubber band in them, I can’t find any troubleshooting manuals out there on the internet, trying to figure out where this rubber band goes back on, it is not broken or frayed and is flat with a raised lip on one side, someone please help!!

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The Handyguys June 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Interesting. What makes you so sure that the rubber band belongs in the dishwasher? I don’t recall seeing anything like that when I was opening mine. However, I wasn’t looking for it either. If I see something like that I will let you know.

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Lauren June 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I have the same issue with the green rubber band– were you able to figure it out??

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Sue June 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Thank you so much for the instructions about fixing the dishwasher. The top spray arm has been broken for at least a month and has been driving me crazy. I have looked at different websites but today I found yours. I watched your podcast and this 50 year old woman fixed it. I couldn’t believe the stuff I found. Now what else can I fix:)
Thank you so much for the instructions they were fantastic.

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The Handyguys June 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

Sue, Thanks for taking the time to write. 50 is the new 20!

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Julie June 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

is the sprayer arm on the bottom supposed to wiggle after it is tightened down?

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The Handyguys June 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Julie,

There is a lot of play in the sprayer arm. You should be able to wiggle it up and down. You can also manually spin it if I recall. It should spin easily.

Paul

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Julie June 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

i put it back together, but it is making a LOT of noise now. Did i put something together wrong

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The Handyguys June 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Yes, most likely something is out of place.

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Robin Ungano June 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I love you guys!!! Stumbled upon your web site and video searching the Internet this morning, and am I ever glad I did. We were having issues with our dishwasher, not cleaning…first top rack, then recently bottom rack as well.

My husband followed your EXCELLENT video, and within an hour my dishwasher was up and running, like brand-new, cleaning everything! Our dishwasher is 5 years old, and I’m embarrassed to tell you what we found…pieces of chicken bones, glass, unidentifiable gook…This taugh me a lesson to be sure and rinse thoroughly everything before putting into dishwasher.

I’m a fan of you guys for life!!
Thank you, thank you , thank you!!

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The Handyguys June 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Robin, you are making us both blush!!! Thanks for the high praise!

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Andy June 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for the simple instruction on how to fix this washer. Best father’s day present is to impress your wife.

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Tara June 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

THANK-YOU! You just saved me $160 to have the repair guy come clean out my trap. That’s what it cost last time anyway….

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The Handyguys June 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

8)

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Lynn June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Thank you SO MUCH! Like so many of the other commenters, I had had problems with my dishwasher cleaning dishes. And like one other person, I had the S—-s repair guys out to fix it. Twice. First time it was the “hot water not hot enough” excuse and the next was to sell me some “dishwasher cleaner” off the truck. Of course this didn’t work either. Neither of them actually took anything apart in the dishwasher! So with my laptop nearby and my daughter holding the flashlight, I followed your absolutely excellent video and had my dishwasher apart and cleaned up, and put back together again in a half hour! The bottom parts had bits of paper, plastic, food chunks and unidentifiable shmootz all over! And now the dishwasher actually cleans dishes again, rather than leaving food particles and un-rinsed soap all over the dishes! Thank you thank you thank you!

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The Handyguys June 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Yay!!! You made me smile, congrats.

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embee June 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hey! I had the same problem with white crud on the top rack and dishes on the top not getting clean… so i looked around and found your video and took her apart — lots of gunk down there that I cleaned out. When I first ran it again, though, still looked like there was crud… Am now running it a few times to see if it disappears. My husband is very amazed as I never took anything apart and tried to fix it before. One question — I took out the flapper valve and cleaned it but now I’m wondering if there is a special way it should go back in? Didn’t really think about that when I popped it back in. That is, can it be put in backwards so it wouldn’t drain the dirty water properly? Also, as someone else noted those end clamps on the top rack are really tough to figure out… They’re back on, but seem pretty loose and wiggly. Thanks for the great video, though — it was unbelievably helpful….

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The Handyguys June 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I don’t think it can be put in backwards but I am not positive. I always just put it in the same way I pulled it out.

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Jill Maxwell July 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Thank you guys for the podcast! I just disassembled and cleaned my washer and can’t believe the difference. For what it’s worth, mine was far dirtier than the one you showed – I took apart and scrubbed all of the internal parts as well as removed the food bits. It’s only been in operation for about two years – looks like this may become an annual event.

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Jill Maxwell July 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Just wanted to let you know, if it hasn’t been mentioned before somewhere in the comments – DO NOT clean out all the dirty water from the basin! The washer won’t restart if it doesn’t have something in there to drain first. I took everything apart again, verified that I had done everything correctly – but no water was going anywhere. Finally decided that the only thing I had done differently from the video was to completely empty the basin that has the flapper valve, so I added water back in and – voila! – it’s now working the way it should.

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The Handyguys July 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Good catch! Thanks for the tip.

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steph July 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

wow, thank you so much. i just took apart my dishwasher by myself and cleaned it out. thank you for the great step by step video. this was my first time doing anything like this. thanks again, i really appreciate it.

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The Handyguys July 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Glad we could help

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prethis July 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

Thank you. My dishwasher clean light came on a month ago and it hasn’t run since. I called Sears and was told the service call would be $129.00. So you literally saved me.

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Barbara August 6, 2010 at 1:02 am

Tip: some models have two phillips head screws holding that oblong plastic spray-arm pipe to the back and top of the dishwasher. After reassembling the strainer and before putting those screws back, throw a dishtowel over the strainer…so if the screws drop into the basin, they don’t skitter down the strainer and you don’t have to disassemble everything AGAIN! (I’m glad I did this…’cause I DID drop that very last screw–but the towel saved it).

Thank you so much for posting this video! I’d just had a service call (bum control panel) and didn’t want to spend the money to have them out again, just to fish out the bits of the glass that shattered into the strainer…as a single mom, I feel very empowered right now. ;-)

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The Handyguys August 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

Barbara – Great tip! I do the same thing when working on a faucet, I put a towel in the sink (if I don’t have a stopper)

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Bob September 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Aggravation high on Ultra Wash? Yes! The only place on the web that showed me ho to fix it? The HandyGuys! Cost to fix on my own? $1 for a T15 Torx head = Priceless, Happy, and Proud I didn’t have to pay someone to fix it! Thanks so much for the great videos!
Bob L.
Grandville, MI

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The Handyguys September 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Bob!

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JAK September 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm

What a great, timely podcast. God bless you guys! I could never have figured this thing out without your detailed explanation and the video which I had to go back to once to be sure I didn’t break one of these plastic parts. Muchos gratias. Really and excellent service.

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The Handyguys September 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Thanks JAK

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Teri Zell October 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

we followed your instructions and found to our great amazement that there was all kinds of junk in the bottom and that the bottom rack was getting very clean now. However, the top rack is not getting clean and it appears that the top arm is not spinning. What did we do wrong?

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Lorraine March 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

When I fixed mine, I accidentally put the top rack in backward. After turning it around (duh!) things were fine.

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The Handyguys March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Glad you got it working.

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Donna October 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I’m not sure if the problem I’m having with my KM Elite DW can be fixed w/o calling a professional, but thought I’d check just in case. The DW doesn’t seem to be filling with water, the detergent door opens, but the pod isn’t disolving and the dishes aren’t clean at all. We’ve disconnected the DW and checked the hoses to make sure they are clear, but still not filling up. Now the “Clean” indicator light keeps flashing and we cannot get the DW to turn on and cycle at all. Please help. I don’t want to pay a huge repair bill if this can be fixed at home.

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Yvonne October 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Thanks guys. Paid $85 to have mine fixed and then it happened again. Turns out he didn’t clean the chopper stainer and valve. Thanks for the confidence to tackle this!

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allison galiano November 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

ok so i don’t listen well!!! i removed the grinder because it was full of gunk and now i cannot get it back on! Please help I feel so proud because i got this far and can’t wait to see if it worked.

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The Handyguys November 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Allison – First thing I would do is watch the video again. Make sure you follow all the steps and put everything back the way it came off.

Sometimes when I take something apart I lay all the parts on the floor in a line, in the order I took them off. That way I can just re-assemble in the reverse order of dis-assembly.

Good luck
Brian

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The Handyguys November 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Please check out our episode #129 . There is some new information about getting your Dishes clean that has been very helpful for me. It involves white vinegar. Also, I have discovered that dishwashers of other makes have similar problems. You need to dig down into that basin to get your dishwasher working again!

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Ron Smith November 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I have a Kenmore Elite model 665.16462300. Your video was great and very easy to follow. However, when I got down to the cover over the grinder, I removed the one screw on the left side but the cover would not budge. I went to a local repair place and showed them a picture of the cover. They said there was another screw underneath that has to be removed. I don’t see that in the pictures of the replacement part, but I can’t get the cover to come off.

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The Handyguys November 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

If your model is the same as in the video, there is only 1 screw on that cover. It is tricky to remove it. You have to really work it. Try wiggling it left and right…back and forth to loosen it. In addition to it being hard to remove, sometimes hard water and other grit can make it difficult to budge. Every time I remove mine, it takes some work.

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LarryG November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I’m having the same problem removing the chopper assembly cover. In my model (665.17599200) there is a separate slotted plate held down by a single screw covering the right side of the area where the check valve is located. This has to be removed before accessing the cover. Then there is the screw holding the cover in place. However this cover does not have the knob on top which you can grab on to making is possible to jiggle and loosen the cover and in my case the cover does not budge. I’m considering trying to tap it with a hammer to loosen it.

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The Handyguys November 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

larry – usually a hammer isn’t required to fix an appliance. Altho, I have heard it said “If a hammer doesn’t work you need a bigger hammer!”. Handyguy Paul or another fan may have something more constructive to add.

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Bill Peschel November 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I, too, had a problem getting the cover off the first time. What I did was put a dishtowel over the cover, pinch that spike in the center with my fingers, then lift up (I rested my hand on the pump to get and get a little leverage going; don’t rest it on the cover!).

The top popped off, and the chopper and screen came with it. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to reassemble (there’s a YouTube video at (http://youtu.be/HPrp9kgMJls) that shows how to replace the chopper). Besides, this allows you to clean the entire screen, not the half you can reach.

This is the second time I having to do this job in the last few days, as the first attempt didn’t get rid of all the grit on the glasses. I’m hoping it’s because a) there was a piece of glass blocking the flapper valve that I caught this time, and b) I cleaned out all the debris at the bottom (and I just learned to add water to the bottom so that it’ll work again; see comment above).

KLY November 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Thank you so much! Saved me a lot of money with your very informative and easy to follow video.

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Mike December 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Thanks a ton for the great video and information. As with many others who have commented you saved my a service call. I would like to hope that most appliance repair folks are a little tired, and perhaps embarassed to take these calls as the fix is simple.

Regards

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The Handyguys December 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Mike – thanks for taking the time to say thanks!

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Paul December 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Great video and instructions, but–I’m still not getting clean dishes on the top rack. It isn’t the cloudy film problem you discuss in #129; my dishes and glasses come out sparkling and shiny, just with food or gritty debris still attached (which didn’t used to happen). I’ve cleaned the basin and chopper screen three times, cleaned and checked the flapper valve twice, rinsed out the spray arms and the feed tube, and checked that the water fill level is okay. Is there anything else I can try? The DW is a Kenmore Ultra 665.1373, but comes apart just like your video.

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Frank January 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Mike – Great tips and thanks for them. I have a Kenmore Elite Model 665 17593200 and everything went well until I got to the chopper assembly access. There are two screws that seem to hold this down and after removing both of them I still could not gain access to the basin area. Any hints? Another question. Is there a way to clean out the area behind the Active vent in the door? There seems to be gunk and who knows what behind it. THANKS AGAIN!

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Gail January 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Frank, I must have the same model as you do. I could not for the life of me access the chopper. There was no knob on top to jiggle, and it was not moving. I finally gave up and hoped that all the debris and gook I removed from the basin area was enough to help my problem. I did remove two screws and a slotted plate and continued to remove junk. I finally just put everything back together. The dishes are coming out beautifully now, but it still bugs me that I never did get to the chopper, and I’m wondering what is still left in there.

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Brian February 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Guys I had the very same issue. I tried and tried to remove that final cover to no avail. I didn’t have a little knob on top of mine either. I was about to give up until I finally noticed there was a small raised notch at the top of the cover. I used a small kitchen knife to push it from the side, to the right, and *pop* it came off instantly with very little pressure. It will come off, you just have to hit it the right way.

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Kathy February 2, 2011 at 2:37 am

Exceptional!! This video is the reason that the internet was invented. Thank you for helping out the little guys – or gals in this case!

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Amanda February 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I would like to sincerely thank you guys! You are so awesome! I was having trouble with my Kenmore Elite Dishwasher…and I hate cleaning so if my dishwasher doesn’t work, this is a BIG problem. I watched your webcast on youtube actually. I did what you did, and just ran my first load… Bravo! The little circle filter was completely clogged with apple stickers, a toothpick, and other food particles…. I am so thankful this fixed it! Brilliant… I can’t thank you enough! I will be keeping you in mind for any other problems I may have ! Thanks from a Very Grateful Housewife!

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Diane February 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for this great video! My dishwasher is the same model above and it was leaving white specks all over the dishes. Upon disassemble like you video the area where you found some apple stems etc was completely clogged with white goo. The only thing I can think of was the dishwasher tabs I’m using since it really smelled of soap. Will be changing detergents and see how it goes. Thanks again!

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griblings February 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks so much – followed your instructions, pulled out all sorts of gunk and the machine is back to good as new. Saved me $125!

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Iwona February 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Great video! Thanks a lot. I was about to buy new dishwasher….you saved me money. Mine is 3 years old.
Inside I found piece of glass, plastic wrapper, labels, pieces of fat (!?), a stone, corn kernels. Definitely this is a bad design.
I also drained water from the bottom using turkey baster, I put some baking soda powder and some vinegar. After it stopped fizzling, I finished with hot water. I inserted turkey baster inside the plastic pipe on the bottom and pushed some air in, like you do with drain cleaning. I sucked the water again with turkey baster. I found a lot of black and yellow specs, as large as ¼ inch in the drained water, so I repeated the rinsing until the water was coming out clean. I just run a cycle. Dishes are clean like new.
Thanks again,
Iwona

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Vince Mendola February 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

Fantastic! Well explained and illustrated. I was able to save a lot of money following your suggestions and took me a total of 20 minutes.

Works like new!

Thanks you!

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Craig O. March 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I thank you two immensely. To be able to find the same model dishwasher (a little newer with a few different features) on the internet with a video to show me how to disassemble and reassemble…fantastic. I can’t thank y’all enough for taking the time to enable me to do this. I found so much junk in the basin: q-tip, glass, wooden handle shard, bone, plastic chunk, food. I couldn’t believe it! I cleared it all out, and ran a cycle. I don’t think any water was even getting to the upper rack before. It’s working great.

One note: The suggestion to not take out the food chopper is a good one. I took it out and it took me a long time to get it back into the correct position.

Thanks again.

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Pete March 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

This definitely did the trick. Thanks Guys, I could have never accomplished this without your video!

Unfortunately, I had to take the chopper blade out as the perforated plate was completely blocked up. It took a while to put it back on, but then I realized that the filter plate goes in the front slot and not the back slot…

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Joi November 8, 2011 at 12:10 am

Oh my gosh – this post SAVED me! We’d tried for over an hour to get it to fit into the back slots…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

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Gretchen March 17, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Thank you so much for the teaching video! My dishwasher was so poor at washing the top rack that we stopped putting anything on it since we had to rewash everything if we did. I followed your video instructions and removed all sorts of items such as nut shells, pieces of glass, cherry seeds, etc. I’m so excited to be washing a full load of dishes right now!

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Sue March 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Hi I just wanted to say thank you, I’m a professional wowan with no “fix it” experience at all, My diswasher wasn’t cleaning at all, I followed your video….you wouln’t believe what I found in there, glass, unpopped pop corn, bones etc etc…. It’s working great now thank for saving me a bunch of money :)

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Brady March 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I’m sending a quick note to thank you for your great advice! Just before my wife and I were heading to buy a new dishwasher I Googled “Kenmore Elite dishwasher problems” and saw your site. Follownf your easyinstructions I found, amoung the regular food bits, pieces of plastic that had broken away from the bottom of the cutlery basket. The dishwasher now runs great. Thanks. You saved us a pile of money and a day of buying and installing a new dishwasher. I will keep your site in my favourites.

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Carl Rusk March 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

My Kenmore Elite has this identical “Ultra Wash” system— but does not have that dime-size drain and valve at all! It has the little grill filters— but they protect nothing— just solid plastic in the space where the valve is in your pictures.
I have to clean out mine so often that I only put it back together with one screw. Its still a pain, and even when it is is totally clear of debris, it still leaves residue and doesn’t even take all of the soap from the dispenser. The water drains just fine, so it isn’t clogged, and the water level is fine. The grinder turns fine as well. So I assume that it is just the design of the washer that is flawed.
Thanks for your site and information. I wish that we had not listened to Consumer Reports on this one. This washer should have a finer strainer on the top level to prevent debris from entering the “Ultra Wash” system.

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Carl Rusk March 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

The model number is 665-17263402
Thanks!

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The Handyguys March 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

It seems the water conservation features in many of the newer models just don’t do a good enough job. Funny thing about consumers reports, they sometimes will rate something with more bells and whistles higher. The more features, the higher the rating. That doesn’t necessarily translate into a good wash in this case.

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Carl Rusk April 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

Agreed. I say a little silent curse to C.R. every time I open the washer. What a difference if this system just had small strainer holes on the top level instead of large holes that lets debris down to the inside— like a good European washer does. Just reach down to clean filter.
Thanks so much!

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Shumin March 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I opened up my Whirlpool Gold Quiet Partner III using your video. It’s slightly more complicated: the spray arm is held with square-headed screws (I ended up not removing it as it’s just flexible enough to turn side ways). The strainer is held together with 4 T20-headed screws while the chopper cover (and a cover next to it) is held with a T15 screw. In my case, the plastic tab holding the chopper blade broke, and food particles clogged the metal screen. I cleaned everything and ordered a replacement chopper assembly. The change in water pressure to the upper spray arm was very audible and the dishes came out sparkle clean. Thanks guys!

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The Handyguys March 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Many different models are fundamentally the same, glad you got it figured out.

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Michelle March 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

How do I remove the front door panel from the Kenmore Elite Dishwasher Model 665 ? I want to repaint my door. Is it just a matter of removing the screws? I do not want to interfere with the electronics! Of course, the dishwasher is not wired.

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The Handyguys March 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Not positive – Usually its just a few screws. Just go slow as you take things apart so you remember how they go back together. You may even be able to find a replacement front, even one that matches your cabinets. Paul may be able to chime in with more info.
-Brian

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April April 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Thanks….you saved the day as well as my wallet.

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Cathyb April 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I just followed this video and it worked exactly as promised. The only difficulty I had was that one of the threads on the knob that holds the spray arm in place was pulled off slightly so I had to finesse it a bit. There was so much crud in my dishwasher it’s a wonder it worked at all! Plus there was lots and lots of soap scum. Maybe I should switch to liquid dishwashing soap.

Anyway I will try not to be annoyed by the fact that the energy saving appliances don’t actually work as well, nor do they give you advice about how to perform routine maintenance like this, but really, who designs these things? Or is it all just one big scam? I mean the common advice is to not pre-rinse your dishes (I think the manual even says this) but in real life, if you don’t, your dishwasher will, over time, not work properly. Huh?

That said, your video helped this 50+ year old woman who is not particularly handy save the cost of a service call from Sears. I was getting so frustrated I was ready to buy another dishwasher, but it might have been a Whirlpool or Kitchen Aid that would have had the same problem! Thanks again. You guys are great!

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John April 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Hi guys,

Same problem with my Kenmore Elite. Just not getting stuff clean. Watched your great video, took my time taking apart. Removed all kinds of crap, little bits of plastic, glass (or chips from plates), other junk. Flapper partially blocked, too, just like yours. Dishwasher works perfectly now. THANKS most kindly.

By the way, my sliverware basket had gaps where the stuff would fall through. Checked web for fix: zip ties across the bottom. Worked like a charm.

Also, since I was in a dishwasher mode, made my own powdered detergent. Lots of recipes on the web. Basically borax, washing soda, kosher salt and citric acid (or unsweetened koolaid packets). Dirt cheap, works perfectly well. 1 Tsp per load.

Really appreciate this help. Looking forward to more from you guys.

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The Handyguys April 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Great tips! Maybe I can get some of those supplies bulk and have my wife mix up a batch!

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Carl Rusk April 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I am the guy who has the model that has no rubber covered drain hole in the location you show in the video. There is one down in that plastic nozzle looking part that sticks up near the center. It is clear though. I am close to calling in a repair person, but I am afraid I will be wasting my money. There is nothing blocking the grinder or the screens, but the dishes are still covered in fine particles, with dirty water dried on the bottom of the upside down glasses. Its just not draining out the dirty water, yet drains fine at the end of the cycle. Any more ideas?
Thanks!!!

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The Handyguys April 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Hmm. I am not familiar with that model . Sorry I don’t have any more ideas.

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patricia April 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

OMG!! With your help I fixed my dishwasher. Thank you so very much for easy to follow, step by step directions. It works!!!

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Charles April 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hey, so I’ve read almost all the troubleshooting repairs that I can, but I still don’t have the solution to my problem. My Kenmore Elite dishwasher stopped working yesterday and I still haven’t been able to fix it. Basically, it seems like the unit doesn’t have any power, and there is lots of water inside it too. I’ve checked the breaker and that’s ok, other than that, I’ve looked inside and everything looks to be alright. What do you think I can do to fix it?

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The Handyguys April 25, 2011 at 8:20 am

Sometimes dishwashers are plugged in versus hard wired. See if yours has a plug, if so, make sure its firmly seated. Also, check to see if its plugged into, or connected to, a GFCI protected circuit and that that circuit hasn’t tripped. The GFCI protecting the circuit (if it has one) could be anywhere, in the garage, bathroom or someplace else in the kitchen. Before calling for a pro repair I would check all your GFCIs.

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Don April 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thank you guys….I have a Kenmore Elite 665 model and the top shelf dishes were not being cleaned with food particles throughout the dishwasher. Your podcast showed that the top cover of the macerator/chopper can be removed with one screw (pull up from side with screw after removing screw). The screen was covered with little particles of food blocking the water flow. There was a suggestion that the screen and chopper not be removed but mine accidently popped out when cleaning the screen without removing. The trick to putting it back in was aligning the cut edges of the screen to the sides that fit into the slots that hold it in place. Also you have to hold the spring back and let go when in place. I wrapped wire around the stem to hold the spring back then unravelled it when in place. It working wonderfully..thanks again.

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Hammer May 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

The video is fantastic and you guys are great for providing it. However, I can not get the chopper cover off for the life of me. It’s as if it’s corroded on. I’ve walloped it with a mallet and tried pulling and prying from all angles with no luck. Any ideas??
Also, in pulling from underneath with a hook tool, I’ve seen the main bottom seal break from the tub. Do you think I will now have leaking issues??
Thanks

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The Handyguys May 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

I have heard from comments above that some models have more then one screw holding the chopper assembly. Look for that.

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Hammer May 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

OK, for anyone who has read down this far and is having the same issue: it took a LOT of force to break the chopper cover free in my Kenmore Elite. I did not break it though and it appears that my main tub seal is not leaking although I saw small air bubbles coming from it after filling with water. I had to use a large screw driver, inserted in a vertical slot on the RIGHT side of the chopper and leverage down on the side of the bowl. There was a lot of lime/soap residue inside and around the cover and I assume that was what was making it so difficult. After cleaning everything out, a la video above, it does sound as if there is more water spraying around inside, however, when I open the door quickly, I have never seen the sprayer arms still moving and it appears that they do move but very slowly. (maybe this is normal?) Perhaps, it’s just old (7 years) and just doesn’t have the oomph it once had.(kind of like me, ha ha)
Again, thanks again to the Handyguys.

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The Handyguys May 5, 2011 at 11:38 am

Thanks for the update. I do not think the spray arms move very fast.

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kareng May 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

thank you for this video. my husband and i got ours cleaned out now and should help clean better then it was. i have always liked pre-rinsing and now it has helped to reiterate my point. thank you again.

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Carmen Sorge May 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm

You guys are the best! Like everyone else, the top of our dishwasher was not getting clean, found tons of junk in there (did cut my fingers on glass, should have been more careful).
Seems like I am not the only one who has had pieces break off of the silverware basket (this was one of the things I found). I had tried the zip ties but eventually they get brittle and break. What I found that works better is to put a piece of plastic embroidery screen down in the bottom to cover the holes (the plastic stuff people do cross stitch on). Its stiff enough to stay in place if you cut it just a bit big and shove it down in. Have to replace a couple times a year, but the sheet cost 49 cents and has enough for at least 10 replacements.

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Suzanne May 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Thank you very much guys!! You saved us $$$ in a service call with this video. We were able to take it apart and clean it out without any problems and it now cleans much better!!! It is nice to find some useful information on the internet.

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Cheryl May 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for this video! My husband & I took apart our kenmore elite and found a small baby bottle brush, popcorn kernels, a broken piece of dish and of all things a piece of what appears to be shoe lace. We’re hoping this clears up the “gook” problem we have on our glasses. One quick question-it used to be VERY quiet (it’s only 1 1/2 years old) but now it seems to be pretty noisy. Any thoughts? Thanks!!!!

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The Handyguys May 16, 2011 at 8:34 am

Cheryl – Perhaps something isn’t back together quite right, is loose and rattling.

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Claire Bartlett May 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You guys are awsome!!!! I paid for an unsuccessful repair on my Kenmore ultra quiet dishwasher. It started to fail about 10 months into service. I opened it up to find that there was no chopper blade assembly! It just wasn’t there. There was a lot of debris blocking the rubber flapper valve. And I have asked Sears to provide the part free of charge. We’ll see how that works. But at least I now know I can do it myself!
With Gratitude
Claire

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The Handyguys May 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

WOW, perhaps the service guy forgot to put it back in. Let us know if they give you the part you paid for or if they are going to charge you.

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S and L May 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

This really worked and took so little effort. These guys are awesome.

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Hugh Jazz May 25, 2011 at 5:51 am

Your excellent video saved me an expensive service call. My Kenmore Elite DW has four red “turbo wash” jets mounted at the bottom of the rear vertical pipe- to remove this, grasp the whole four-jet assembly and pull it away from the pipe- it will come off easily- to reassemble, just push the assembly back on the pipe until it snaps in place. Also, after first removing the black rubber flapper, I used a wet-or-dry vacuum to remove debris- safer when handling broken glass and spoiled food. Also, for anyone who has broken the plastic piece for the bottom spray arm, try putting a 3M “Command Small Cord Clip” on top of the broken piece to provide something to grasp. It is self- adhesive, and can be removed when finished. A pack of eight costs less than $5.00 at Office Depot.

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Big Poppy June 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

You video saved me buying a new dishwasher because I didn’t want to spend money on fixing a dishwasher when it is 9 years old. Fridgidare gold series, the top spray arms quit delivering any water. Followed your instructions and it now works perfectly. I can’t believe that little effort fixes a problem that big. I would have swore there was a much bigger problem. Also had a problem of the screen an chopper falling out when I took the cover off but I did like another fella said earlier, I lined up the screen while holding the blade back with the spring loaded. It now cleans like it was brand new.

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Bob Erickson June 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

Thank you! great video. Like everyone else found a bunch of stuff trapped in there, mostly glass, some pits, pieces of plastic etc. Works great again. My wife and I were shopping online for a new DW when I decided to search for a fix and found your video. 30 minutes later we were done. I bet the DW manufacturers and repair services hate this video :-)

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Catherine Frome June 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

My husband has been away on business for 3 weeks and my dishwasher was not working. I have NEVER used a screwdriver or attempted to fix an appliance. After watching your video, I took my dishwasher apart and cleaned it thoroughly. As a 47 year old woman who has relied on others to do this kind of thing for her, I am so thrilled and proud of myself (as silly as that sounds). Thanks for giving me the confidence.

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The Handyguys June 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Catherine, We are proud of you too. Its not silly at all. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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Blair June 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I got stuck when I wanted to remove the flat hose to get at the back tork screw off , it didn’t just lift off like the video. Should I use a screwdriver and some gentle pressure? Also now I might think it is the pump how can I be sure? ( When i opened the DW the spray arm was in the same place, i ran it again and there was a slight difference.)

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Mark July 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Mine didn’t come off like their video either, but mine isn’t exactly the same model as the video, the trick was there is a small lever on the front left of the stack (center) that you can gently twist that will come off (lift up) and release the two pipe tubes without any real effort. Not sure if you’re is the same, but that’s how mine worked.

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Ben June 11, 2011 at 1:53 am

I have a Kenmore 655.15595792 and it recently started having problems washing the dishes. I noticed that the water drains out of the tub almost as quickly as it is filling up so by the time the fill cycle has finished and the pump starts there is not enough water in the tub to wash the dishes. I have taken it apart a few times to see if there is anything blocking the valves but it is pretty clean. I installed a new drain and impeller kit but it didn’t fix anything. Is there any way to fix this problem?

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The Handyguys June 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

Hmm, nothing comes to mind off hand. Perhaps one of our show fans can comment?

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Jodi June 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Thanks you guys! My 3 year old Whirlpool was not washing the top rack and I was ready to lose my mind! My husband and I were able to dismantle everything and get it all cleaned out and it was gross, but worth it. It is cleaning like new again. We are very grateful.

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John Duffy June 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Guys,
Simple complete video. I could not believe how much junk was inside the chopper cover. Our Kenmore was 5 years old, the mess was, well, a mess. Thanks for this video.

JCDuffy

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Kelly June 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

Hey guys,
I had the exact same problem with my 2 year old Kenmore Elite dishwasher… nothing on the top rack was getting clean at all. It also didnt sound right. I couldn’t hear that whooshing sound when the water is being sprayed properly.
I watched your video and couldn’t believe how easy it was to do this repair!
I found cellophane, chicken bones, broken glass, even string.
After cleaning it all out and reassembly, our dishwasher runs like new.
Thank you both SO MUCH!! It made me a hero on Father’s Day!

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Katherine June 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

This is an awesome and really helpful video for specifically the Kenmore and Kenmore brands and models! I was researching why my dishwasher might not be cleaning dishes properly and came across this link that says there six specific areas to investigate if your dishwasher is not completely cleaning your dishes. Water Inlet Valve, Upper or Lower Spray Arm, Heating Element, Filter/Drain Grate, Detergent or Detergent Cup, and the Cycle Selector Switch. Seems like a great resource, though I would pass it along for anyone who might be having dishwasher issues :) http://www.partselect.com/dishwasher+dishes-not-clean+repair.htm

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Dan June 23, 2011 at 1:15 am

This is a great video!!! I have a 5 year old Kenmore UltraWash that I was ready to give up on since it wasnt spinning top rack anymore. After removing about cup worth of debris I have a like “new” washer again. I didnt realize it was this simple getting it cleaned you guys saved me $400, GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!

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Anthony June 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

WOW !!! I followed your steps and my dishwasher almost works like new. Almost no water was getting circulated. Thanks for this great video.

AG

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Mark July 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I believe I have a 655, not the same unit you show in the video, but it was close enough for me to disassemble the main parts that spray water – I found years worth of gunk, nasty, foul, smelly build-up behind the riser spray tubes, under all the water spray/flow lines, etc… I could not find the grinder as my unit doesn’t have the same pan area as yours, mine is gray and doesn’t appear to have a cover that can be removed. My reason for looking for repair notes was the two problems I have: Foul Smell all the time, and white film on all plastics. I’ve read that the white film is caused by a formula change that was imposed by the EPA, and my dishes seem to come out without any grit, just the white haze film, and only on plastics, not on glass, metal or ceramic items. Thanks for the video, it was very helpful. What amazes me is that we paid a LOT of money for a dishwasher that can’t keep itself clean (meaning all the slime that built-up under/behind all the plumbing inside the unit.

Oh, I have one other issue – I have a very small leak that seems to come out the front, bottom, right side, right about the electrical connection box, but I can’t seem to find the part number for the door/frame gasket – any ideas?

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The Handyguys July 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Not sure about the pat # – We don’t have parts lists. Sorry.

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Fred July 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I can’t thank you enough for this. We’ve been having dirty glasses in the top shelf for years. I had opened and cleared the debris in the basin. Although this helped, it didn’t solve the problem, until I opened the chopper assembly and cleaned it. Now it’s as good ad new again. Thank you so much.

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Joanne Beers July 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

We have 2 Kitchenaid Superba dishwashers which are about 10 years old. (The guts are nearly identical to the one in the video.) Neither has been doing a great job–wine glasses, especially, end up with specks of food on them that require soaking to get off even though I don’t use heated drying. I was thinking that it might be time to think about “new.” Figured I had nothing to lose by trying your solution. I was not able to open up the macerator but I did clean everything else out. A side benefit of pulling the guts out is that I could clean out all the spray arms which seem to have accumulated food particles like bits of onion just big enough to block the holes the water is supposed to shoot from. All of this has to improve the performance. Thanks!

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Malcolm July 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Wow. The machine works like new. We had all the same poor cleaning issues. You have solved them. Didn’t find the macerator but dug out lots of the usual gook. You guys rock. You’re at the top of my list

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Margo July 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm

We took apart the dishwasher (thanks to all the help in this forum) but when we removed the flapper valve, it was stuck and then broke :( Also, a white rubber band (gasket) came out and it also tore. So, is it worth replacing these two parts, and where do you think the gasket goes? It was in the area with the chopper and came off when we got the chopper cover off. If you know what these parts are called, then I can look around the web to try to replace them. Our model is Kenmore Elite 665 series.

By the way, the chopper was absolutely filthy and I’m sure that was the culprit.

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Don H. July 25, 2011 at 11:49 am

Great video – I wish I had watched it before I did this job… One thing you may want to add – cover the nearby filter mesh with a towel or something thick before you use the T15 on the screws. An unsteady hand can result in filter punctures. Also, a small handheld shop vac works great sucking out all the guck.

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Don H. August 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

All dishes come clean now…

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Lori L August 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

It sounds like we have the same issue. We tried to pull it apart for the first time but ran into problems with the plastic nut that holds the lower washer arm onto the unit. It was on incredibly tight so we tried to loosen it. The plastic started stripping and now it won’t come off unless we cut if off. We called Sears and they only sell the entire spray arm assembly not just the one piece. Any ideas??

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janice August 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

@Lori I used a toe nail clipper to hold on to the nut while I turn the lowere water thing. Maybe that will help.

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janice August 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I watch your video today 8/14/2011 and fixed my dishwasher and had to fire my son (the human dishwasher) for the last 8 months. Thanks guys this has really saved me alot of money. I was about to call sears.

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Steve Easterbrook August 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Thanks for this video – it’s saved my dishwasher twice now. About 18 months ago, I used your instructions to take the thing apart and remove a ton of guk that was clogging up the filters.
Today, I took it apart again, expecting to find the same problem, but there was very little guk in there. So, after reading the comments here, I went one step further and took the cover off the chopper assembly (I’d never managed to figure out how to remove it before), only to find that the chopper itself is completely mangled. It’s on a plastic spindle, and the plastic is all worn away, with the chopper sitting in the bottom of the space, with a metal spring and several washers. Given how mangled the plastic parts are, I was thinking I’d never manage to repair it, but luckily I’ve discovered the sell the entire chopper assembly as one unit at partselect.ca, so I’ve just ordered one at $40 incl shipping.
Looking forward to getting clean dishes again!

PS the Dishwasher is about 7 years old – it seems like it’s a good idea to clean out the filters every couple of years.

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Tom August 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I never post but this is the exception.
this video was great!
thanks!

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Ben August 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Thanks guys, i was about to buy a new dishwasher and found this video. 20 minutes later it is washing like new !!!

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Rick V August 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Just like all the other posts, we saved a pocketful of money by following the video….ever seen a laptop inside a dishwasher? Anyway, we found the chopperblade lying in the bottom of the sump basin….the shaft it is attached to has broken, probably on the piece of bone we found down there. the question is can that shaft be replaced? We can order the chopper blade assembly but nothing I can find indicates whether or not the shaft is included and how it might be removed for replacing. The plastic shaft has a spring mechanism of some sort attached to it and sticks out through the screen and that is where the shaft sheared. Any help is very welcome.

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The Handyguys August 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

We would love to see a picture of a laptop/iPad/iPhone/Droid in a dishwasher! Rick, you may need to search for the parts locally or through some online suppliers.

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Mike August 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Worked like a charm! This video was so thorough it was like a I knew what I was doing – and I’m far from handy. I live in a house that’s about ten years old and things seem to be breaking all the time and I can’t do anything about it without calling someone. It was nice to be able to do it myself for once and save that money! Thanks so much.

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Marc-André August 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Hi Guys,

We bought that dishwasher 5 to 6 years ago. Since maybe 2 or 3 years we are not very satisfy with his job (washing dishes). I went on Youtube few days ago and saw your video. I did it and now the dishes is cleaner, it’s not perfect, but much better (I found in the basin a lot of debris).

We found that this dishwasher is more noisy then when it was new, any comments or suggestions on that ?

Thank you Very Much,

Best regards,

Marc-André from Québec city, Canada

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Jon Yenney September 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm

great video – followed it exactly, found gunk to clean out, now works great! repairman had quoted us about $350 to replace pump, which we declined, then I found your video. Thanks very much and great work!

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phill September 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

please i seen to have a difrent model with no back tube going up i cant find a model number on it and yes its not cleaning very well.
Please assist

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jingxiamnh September 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for generating the effort to make clear the terminlogy to the newbies!

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Mary Gail September 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You saved me so much money with your video! I am a 61 year old woman with arthritis and I was able to follow your clear video with no problems. My dishwasher washes like new or maybe better. I just put a crusty pan in and hit the turbo jet button and the pan came out looking like new. You’ve given me great confidence. Bless you!

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The Handyguys September 16, 2011 at 8:34 am

Mary, Thanks for making me smile.

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Chris September 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Hello ,after reading a lot of these comments and watching the vid I decided to try this myself while hubby is at work.
I have a kenmore ultra wash 3384415A, not elite.
Well I got the other stuff off but I cant get the thingy with the filterpaper /fabric or whatever it’s called off. Is this the strainer?
I see debris on the underside of the fabric filter, like caked on DW Detergent.
There is a big hex nut that is plastic,almost 1” or so, with a little hex screw,metal ,in the center.
This is all on top of a 3 or 4 ” platic disc in the center of the filter thingy.
I tried to hold the big one with pliers and turning the hex screw but I’m afraid to give it too much force as I read something about one not coming off lefty loosy!
I tried both ways and it won’t budge. I see more of the torx 15 screws under it but I can’t get to them w/o this thingy off.
I really wanted to get this done b/f he gets home and hopefully have it all working….HELP,Please!

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Handyguy Paul September 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

I’m not familiar with that model. Perhaps someone else on the site can respond with some information…

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Chris September 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Sorry it’s a 665, got the long no. off the front of the use &care guide

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Chris September 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Sorry ,me again ,I read off the 665 off the plate inside but my receipt says 665.16639, which I just found on the sears site for parts, so it’s the impeller that I can’t get off and the stupid thing is almost $40!

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Chris September 20, 2011 at 1:33 am

ok, so Hubby came home and took it off but left me to do the rest.
Got the strainer assembly off and cleaned out some stuff, small plastic spoon, chicken bone and remains of a label, but the strainer had all kinds of soap residue or something ,so much it looked all clogged.
Well it did not want to come apart so I pryed it apart and cleaned it.
I thought maybe some of the screws would hold it together once in place, but NO ,assembled everything but the top part float when I try to run the DW.
Hubby said it wasn’t made to take apart but I say how are you supposed to clean it then?
Or does Sears do that on purpose so you have to either call for service and get a new strainer or buy a new one?
I thought super glue but he says it won’t work inside the DW so he said to drill a few small holes and put some screws around the edge , but it might have to be sealed better for the water pressure.
Any ideas?

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Chris September 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Hello,is this still active?
We screwed the filter assembly back together and ran it and it still does not work the top……

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Handyguy Paul September 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I would need to see some pictures. It should all go back together. NOt sure what “float” part you are referring to. Did the parts look like our video? IF so, they should all go together… no super glue needed.

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Chris September 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm

No, it’s different then the one in your video.
Had to get the hex screw out of the impeller to get to the filter assembly ,that’s what i was talking about ‘floating’ in the water.
Then we put scews(our screws) in to hold it back together and it does not float up (the top part where the filter paper is) but it still does not work right.
There are pics on the sears site if you put in the model no, it shows you all the parts.(665.16639)The filter ass. is part no 9.
Hubby says that part I pryed apart was not made to come apart but how else do you clean the filter then?
It looks kinda like a UFO ,filter part on top , bottom like a bowl, with a plastic insert inside.
Guy at work told me it has 2 pumps ,could be the one that pumps water in?
So I said I should just buy a new one then?
He said that new DW only last a couple of years if you’re lucky .
This guy repairs appliances, but he does not give out too much info, I guess he wants to come and make some money.
Thanks for any help,real nice of you!
Chris

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Todd September 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

I had tried cleaning out the insides of my dishwasher before, but it didn’t fix the problem. I listened to the podcast, and thought I’d done everything like you had. Then I watched the video and realized I hadn’t gotten into the grinder. I thought that the cover didn’t come off. It didn’t come off quite as easy as yours did, had to pry it loose with a knife, but when I finally got into it, it was covered in food and all sorts of gunk. I tried to clean it in the DW, but the grinder pice ended up popping off. As it turned out, I was able to completely clean it in the sink and put it back in easily. DW now works great! Thank you! Saved myself the $850 my wife was going to spend on a new one! She’s a little disappointed cause she wanted the new one, but I’m not disappointed at all!!

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Rob Wood September 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I watched the video, took the dishwasher apart as described, cleaned it out, reassembled it, and voila! Fixed!

You guys rock!

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Michelle September 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I love your video on cleaning out the dishwasher. I was very helpful since my 3 year old put something down in one of the holes while he was helping unload the dishwasher. However, I’m having trouble getting the bottom washer arm back on. Seems like if the nut is tight, then the nut you screw it onto isn’t tall enough to twist the washer arm on. If I get the arm twisted on, then I the nuts is loose and everything is wobbly. Any suggestions or tips?

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Douglas Brown October 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Thanks! I followed the video, found 4 toothpicks and the dishwasher now works great!!!!!

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Adam October 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

Thanks for the great video. Had trouble with removing the grinder housing until I rewatched the video (“You may have to push this housing to the right”) and it came right off.

I would add that you should remove the fine filter from the large round piece under the bottom wash arms by prising it off with a screwdriver and cleaning out the collected soap scum. Easy to do and didn’t seem to break anything.

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Steve October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

This was simply awesome – in 40 minutes I was easily able to fix what would have cost me $100 for a visit from Sears. Thank You.

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Trish October 12, 2011 at 12:06 am

Thank you for such an informative video. I have the Kenmore Elite 665, so it was a breeze to clean out the system as shown. I always put fairly clean dishes in and didn’t find much gunk to clean out and still have a problem. I think there is a filter at the point where the water comes into the DW. I had a problem once before and called a service company to fix it. They charged $125 to clean out something that was underneath the unit – not in the tub. I am considering replacing this DW with another, but want to know if it is possible to bypass any filtering system on this machine. Any ideas on this? Thanks so much for your help on all our problems out here! You guys are great!

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Blu October 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Thanks a bunch
Was about to throw ours away and get a new one
It was full of crap in there now it’s running like new.
Blu

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elena October 22, 2011 at 12:27 am

Hy, I just don,t know to cancel the locked light on kemore elite dish washwer Thank you

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Lisa R. May 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I realize this is a little late, but I believe you hold down the “Heated Dry” button for a few seconds.

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Trish October 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Blu – how hard was it to get to and clean out that filter? The service guys said (of course – duh) that it takes special tools and I wouldn’t be able to do it. I did find the schematic on this washer and, sure enough it talks about a filter. So, I am now looking at buying a water filter/softener to keep this from continuing. Should help with the ice makers and faucet strainers, too. Would appreciate your comments on difficulty factor in your success. Thanks.

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Trish October 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Blu – maybe you were commenting on the video & not my quest. about the filter……

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Nathan Stephens October 23, 2011 at 4:08 am

Thank you for the video. I was able to clean out the dishwasher areas you recommended and it fixed the problems I encountered.

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SD November 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

What size screwdriver head to remove the screws? Is it a Torx head screwdriver?

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The Handyguys November 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Yes, a t15 Torx like this one

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Grace C. November 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thank you guys… this was a great video. When I got my dishwasher apart…ugh…the gunk I found was overwhelming. Got most of it cleaned out. Will now do this as an annual cleaning.

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Joi November 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

This website/video has been very helpful. However, we are NOT able to remove the plastice chopper cover! We’ve tried prying (as someone suggested!), but it won’t budge. I do remember the repairman (who I called last yr for this problem) telling me that he wasn’t going to remove it because it was ‘a lot of trouble’. SO, he just cleaned out the bottom, with out taking off the chopper cover. (probably why it’s already back to NOT working!)

ANY more suggestions on how to remove the cover? Or, if, in fact, it DOES come off? We have the 665.1746 model.

We did clean out everything else that we could & am currently waiting to see if it helped.

Thank you again for this site!
Joi

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Handyguy Paul November 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

It appears from all the comments we have received that there are various version of the chopper assembly cover. Some have 2 screws, some 1. I would read down through the comments here and see if you can determine how your assembly may open. Typically, you don’t need to remove the cover anyway, but your results may vary.

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Joi November 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Ok, so we FINALLY got the cover off of the macerator screen – it had to be pried off! NOW, do you have any suggestions on how to get the screen back into place? We’ve been trying for over an hour…hate to get this far & not be able to put the screen back on…

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Joi November 8, 2011 at 12:11 am

I went back through all the answers & found that we were trying to put the filter in the wrong slots!! It’s working like a charm now!

Thank you thank you thank you to the HandyGuys & everyone who’s posted suggestions here!

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J Piekarz November 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Holy cannoli!! We can’t thank you enough for this podcast — a quick 30 minutes of work (and a lot of laughter when my husband and I saw the amount of gunk that had accumulated over 7 years!!) and our dishwasher runs better than it has in years! In hindsight, we realize that the dishwasher started disappointing us right about the time the kids started loading it as part of their chores…oh, this will be a fun conversation when they get off the bus…….thanks again, guys!!

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Grady November 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

great video, Thanks

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A Fraser November 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thanks so much guys. My dishwasher (exact same model) was doing the same thing. Was about to call repair guy. My old machines, you could easily take apart and clean, but was not sure about this model. Did not want to break anything. But I did it and wow, there was a lot of stuff including chicken bones and plastic straw covers etc. I am anxious to run my next load. I am sure it will come out clean. Also the money I saved will pay for dinner, when my hubby takes me out tonight. :) Thanks again. Andrea

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gwen December 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm

how do I find this video to repair my dishwasher (maytag). I have slimy buildup in the bottom where the door closes. Have tried vinegar and even let it soak. I want to try to take it apart per video. I love this !!!!

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The Handyguys December 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm

We don’t have a video on that. Try bleach/water to clean the slime. If that doesn’t work try a product called CLR, it may get that clean.

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Polly Talen December 9, 2011 at 1:55 am

I need help. After watching this great video and reading every comment since it was poste,d I am stuck at trying to get the spray washer off. I am holding the plastic nut and turning counter clockwise but have been doing it forever. Maybe 40 times around? Paul did it much quicker. about two threads are showing but more threads are not emerging so I suspect something is wrong. Like its staying in place. It also is not very easy to turn so hard to hang on to while I rotated the spray arm. Perhaps stripped or something? Thanks so much. Can’t wait to watch your other videos. What a find you guys are!
Polly

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Tina December 10, 2011 at 4:34 am

OH MY GOSH!!!! your podcast saved me from buying another dishwasher and/or paying a huge maintenance bill. It all started with my clean light blinking 7 times and it not running. After doing a panel board reset it still wasn’t running properly. I was getting minimal water but was not hearing the spray of water and it was not cleaning anything. After watching your video and seeing how easy it was I took mine apart. OH MY GOSH the amount of food and debris I found. It was so thick that it clogged the holes to the food shredder and was not able to recycle the water in or out well. After doing a full scale cleaning I have no started my dishwasher and it sounds like and looks like it is running normally and is cleaning the dishes. Again thank you so much for this and I will definitely be visiting your website again. Keep up the great work and service you are providing. Tina

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TeschZimmerly92 December 10, 2011 at 6:43 am

Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your publish is just excellent and that i can suppose you’re an expert in this subject. Fine along with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to keep updated with impending post. Thanks one million and please keep up the gratifying work.

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P Graves December 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Wow…thanks for the simple to follow to the point directions on how to fix
a Kenmore dishwasher. You were bang on with your advise. My husband found it clear and concise and following your instructions did the repair.

Now our dishes are clean again. Wish all repairs were made that simple!

Keep it up.

Pat

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Lisa Tarini December 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

45 minutes and 1 screw driver ( I had to Google what the Torx head screwdriver was before I could start; lucky me hubby had one!!) and I fixed my dishwasher!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for the video. I could not have done it with out you. Thanks so much!

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KJF December 22, 2011 at 12:32 am

Your video was one of the most helpful I have ever viewed. I have previously cleaned the dishwasher but was still having problems with cloudy dishes – your video showing the removal of the cover on the garbage disposal unit in the dishwasher was the ticket – would have never done this if I did not see this on the video.
Thanks.

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David December 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Guys,

Thanks for the video. It was very helpful in taking the unit apart for cleaning. I found a rusted screw loose in the bottom and couldn’t find a place it came from. Also, there was not a little rubber flap valve but I think this is because the unit does not have a chopper. The unit came with the house so who knows!

I took your advice once step further and used my shop vac to suck out the junk.

Thanks again!!

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Miles December 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!
The top spray arm on my Kenmore Elite dishwasher had stopped spinning leaving the dishes very dirty (although dishes on the bottom were OK). I found your podcast, and even though I am far from handy with tools, I was able to clean out two pieces of broken glass, a twist-tie, several popcorn kernels, and the real culprit – a label off of some jar that was blocking most of the water flow. Once cleaned out, the top arm is spinning again and the dishes are clean. Without your help, I would have been off buying a new dishwasher. Thanks so much for your podcasts, you guys are awesome.

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Andrew Gage December 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Soooooo useful! Thanks much for this.

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Randy December 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I found your website last night as I was trying to find a fix for my dishwasher. It was filling but not washing and I could feel the motor trying to run. After watching your podcast (#462-fixing a kenmore elite dishwasher) I took the machine down as far as you did, cleaned out the broken glass, half melted straw, dime and assorted shards and clods of soapy residue and had the machine back up and running in less than a half hour. No service call. No parts. No labor.
And I found a great new website to peruse.
I will mention you guys to my family, friends and coworkers.
Thank you and keep up the good work.

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carpet cleaner warwick December 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

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The Handyguys December 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

We use wordpress for content management hosted on a DV server at Media Temple. Feel free to link to us, its appreciated.

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Bill K. December 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for the Kenmore Elite dishwasher fix. Worked exactly as you instructed. I had trouble getting the chopper cover off but I know it eventually would get free, thanks to the video.

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Rick J. January 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm

AWESOME!! You guys made it clear and straightforward for our Kenmore Ultra Wash 665. Amazing what collects in there. Used a baster, too, to clear things out. Great video!

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Conni January 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

First I would like to thank you so much for posting this video and saving me a bundle of money. My family has been complaining about how our dishwasher was not doing a great job at cleaning the dishes. My husband and I started talking about buying a new dishwasher. I decided to search the internet to see if other people complained about the same model dishwasher and that is how I found your website. I watched the video than asked my husband “Do we have that tool?” I was waiting for him to say no, but he said yes and it is in the tool box. I thought he was going to tell me not to touch the dishwasher because I would miss it up even more, but he said go for it. So the next morning I followed your video. All I can say when I took it apart is eeewwww!!!! I could not believe what was in there once everything was apart. I almost got sick cleaning it out. I could not believe that mold was in the dishwasher even after the dishes were so called clean. I also found a big piece of glass blocking the water recycling supply. After putting it back together and running the dishwasher with bleach the dishes are clean all the time. I now know that I have to check for blockage if the dishes are not getting clean. Again THANK YOU!!!!

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PWRadio January 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thanks Lads. This was extremely helpful! My Knmore works like a champ now. :)

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profwilliams January 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Thanks guys!!

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The Kromhoffs January 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Thank you so much guys! As two very non-handy types, we followed your instructions to the letter and saved ourselves $200 in a repair bill – your directions were perfect and this morning we woke up to clean dishes – yippeee!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!

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Mark Bowers January 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

Excellent video. I already figured that the grinder/etc was full of junk (and it was!), but your vid helped me breeze through disassembly/reassembly. Home run!

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Lisa January 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

WOW! This video saved us buying a new dishwasher! We had cleaned out the basin before – but never removed that last piece to get down by the valve and grinder. Voila! Our dishwasher had been filling up with smelly green gunk because I think it was never fully draining, and was spraying really ucky water back on the dishes. Now it’s working perfectly! And we know how to maintain it for the future.

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SM January 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

thanks guys. you saved me some serious $$$.

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Lynne January 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Thanks so much for the video. We were amazed at how much stuff was stuck in the drain. Your video made it so much easier to dis-mantle. I think we would have ended up calling in a professional if not for your insights!

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Jborge February 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

Outstanding job!
This was exactly what I was looking for.

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Brandy February 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm

THANKS! I am a mom and have never repaired anything on my own before. Myself and my 8 yr old son watched your video and did it together. My dishwasher now works…. you guys rock!!

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Avjms99 February 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I just want to say Many Thanks to you guys… That was an excellent video explaining ho to clean the dishwasher.

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Mike S February 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I have a slight variation of the problem. My Kenmore Elite fills with water just fine for the pre-rinse cycle, rinses, then drains normally. But it does not fill before the wash cycle and the final rinse cycle. If I add water to it during these cycles, everything is ok,just won’t fill itself during those two cycles. How can it fill for pre-rinse, but not other cycles?

Your video is great, thanks for all that you do.

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Handyguy Paul February 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

I am not sure of the answer to your question. I would check to make sure float mechanism is working ok. Perhaps it is stuck in the up position? Otherwise, post your question over at http://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/

They are great over there…

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CFC SF February 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

Thanks so much! This was incredibly clear and detailed. I had no trouble following the directions, and the dishwasher is acting like new.

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Sue February 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Thanks so much, great video, great detail. I had no problem doing this.

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jpb February 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Thanks for the detailed video. I applied the instructions to my lower-end Kenmore dishwasher without issue. Found plastic, aluminum foil, food all clogging the drain passage. After cleaning it up, wow dishwasher washes like new again!

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Julie Johnson February 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I followed your video to clean my dishwasher but when I removed the cover over the chopper, the screen was mounted inside it. I used a screwdriver to push the spring loaded screen and popped it into place, screwed the cover back on. I completely put the machine back together but it makes a constant loud humming noise after I start it and before I hear it draining. I wonder if I put that screen over the chopper in incorrectly and if you have any advice on fixing this noise problem.

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JF Dumais February 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

this is really helpful. Thanks so much.

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Stan February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I found your video very helpful. I found debris in the chopper area and a piece of plastic bag blocking the water flow. I cleaned the chopper area and checked the operation of the “check valve, sump” with a piece of bent wire, looking down the tube with a flashlight. I tried one cycle and found that nothing had changed — the upper wash and rinse was still not working.
I followed your link to the photo of the extra part that you had to remove, which as it turns out is called “Protector, Foreign” — foreign matter deflector of sorts. My machine is identical to your video, except that piece is not installed. There is a screw post for it, but the piece itself is not installed.
My basin is quite clean and very little excess water is in the basin. Is there any other place that debris may hide? I know for a fact that some pistachio shells were lost, I found a few in some unexpected places.
Thanks again for the viseo and any light that you might shed on places to look for water flow blockages.

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Danielle February 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Thank you so much for this video! I can’t believe I had the guts to go after my dishwasher with funny-looking screw-drivers, but the video gave me the confidence! Our model was slightly different, and required more tools than yours did, but your outline was extremely helpful.

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Meg February 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm

May heaven bless you guys for making this video! I’ve got a husband in the Army that’s deployed right now, and recently my dishwasher just stopped cleaning. Under these circumstances, my “honey-do” list is something I must accomplish on my own, and I knew this dishwasher issue needed to be conquered. That’s why I was so happy to find your video! Thanks to your step by step guide, I was able to take apart my dishwasher, clean out all the gunk that was clogging it, and put it back together! I now have a perfectly functioning dishwasher again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Karen February 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I have model 665 15632. I have everything unscrewed that I can see and still can’t get the screen off. It looks like there is stuff under the screen. I last unscrewed 8 torx screws. There is another hole where it looks like there used to be a screw at the 5 o’clock spot on the circle. Could it be there is something I have to unscrew beneath? I looked under there but couldn’t make sense of much!

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Larry February 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Wow!!! Thank you so much for posting this video. If not for the vid, I would have called someone to repair and who knows what that would have cost. Thanks again!!!!

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David February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Worked like a charm. Definite design flaw. The shaft that drives the chopper assembly is plastic and had worn down. Blade just fell off. I adjusted the piece that holds the blade in place and hope is stays on. Otherwise the fix will be a significant piece of work. Wife was very happy with the sparkling dishes.
Thanks. Just saved me a ton of money.

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Curt Gandy March 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

This video was SO CLEAR and easy to follow! I took my Kenmore Elite apart, step by step, and found lots of toothpicks clogging my water return valve, exactly as Paul suggested might be causing the problem. I had a little trouble figuring those top tray end clips (really only about 2 min until I watched the video closer to see that they rotate to the side after you depress the center clip) but other than that, you get high marks for making a fine, easy to follow video. You saved me a service call. Thanks, guys!!

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Luke Reimer March 13, 2012 at 12:56 am

Thank You !!!! My Kenmore Elite is identical or almost identical and was inherited when we bought the house 6 months ago … it cleaned ok but never as well as the Kenmore at my old house that was similar but not an Elite model … after 6 months the top rack was cleaning so poorly I was about to buy a new dishwasher …. I found a TON of gummy and hardened detergent when I removed everything, along with some bits of plastic and seeds. The first load post-cleaning was practically spotless!!! Great video and thanks again!!!!!

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Nancy Palmer March 15, 2012 at 8:20 am

Good so far…but I have a Whirlpool Gold (purchased in 2004) and can’t remove the chopper assembly as directed in the video. I removed two screws but the chopper assembly cover doesn’t appear to be separate from the whole basin. Nothing is wiggling free. Do you have a suggestion (besides calling a repair guy). I’m pretty mechanical and think I can do it if I have a bit of advice.

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Rob March 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Awesome! That should fix our problem and save us a bunch of money.. Too funny.

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Suz March 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Great Video! Thanks!
But, I have a Problem..- it is my TOP rack that isn’t getting clean, and there is food left in the dishwasher actually…I’ve tried every setting possible and do rinse my dishes.

The Spray arm in the back; there are 2 difference holes with flaps that gently close shut when the top rack engages either one, depending on the setting (High or Low). The setting we use is HIGH. One of those “Flaps” remains open even after the rack is removed. It is the Top “Flap”, which is where we have always had our setting of the top rack. It goes right into that hole when the rack is moved into place before shutting the dishwasher, and the other remains closed. Not sure of the purpose, but simple deduction is that it provides water to the top sprayer?

Could this be the problem possibly? Will that effect anything at all? I have cleaned out the top sprayer; ran water and blew air through it for good measure. – all is good.

I will still follow the much appreciated video in the meantime – Thank You for helping all of us!

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The Handyguys March 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

The approach in the video will help with the top rack. In fact that is what the video is for! Your top rack is not getting clean because the pump can’t get enough water to send up to the top. The basin gets clogged with food, grit and other foreign substances. Give it a cleaning and see what happens.
The flappy valve on the upper back water track is normal.

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Suz March 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Thanks again! I am glad I read this reply, as I was told by the repairman the Feeder Tube must be replaced because the flap isn’t closing and the pressure is being lost….. Whew! Glad I didn’t buy it yet..

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meredith and jay sobers March 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Great instructional video!!! thanks for the help! Saved us some money on a repair man:)

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rob March 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thanks so much. I just followed these directions and took care of this in less than 45 minutes. Found a bunch of glass stuck in there. Would not have tried it without this video.

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Rob April 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I thought this was going to work great and had cleaned out a ton of glass and other debris. But now my situation is worse, the top rack is dirtier than before (seems like whatever was on any of the dishes is getting swished around and stuck on the glasses) – any thoughts or suggestions? Could I have put it back together incorrectly?

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The Handyguys April 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

I am not sure. It sounds like the spray tube going to the top rack may not be working or that something is still blocking the dirty water valve in the basin. Also make sure that the screen covering the macerator is clear and everything put back together correctly.

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Odine March 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

OMG! Watched the video and had the dishwasher working in under 30 minutes! My only suggestion is to use a cloth when dipping into the well … indeed there was a piece of glass as you suggested there might be. I used a cloth and did not cut myself on the sharp glass.

My husband was thrilled: 1) because I saved him $200+ in service fees and 2) because I did it instead of him!

Will tell all my friends about this site.
THANK YOU!!!!!

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David April 14, 2012 at 12:50 am

Guys, fantastic video. Saved me at least a $100. Followed you step by step. I did use a shop vac to suck out the water that was in the basin. I cleaned out so much junk. I knew before I even put it back together that it was going to have to work better, TOUCHDOWN!!

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Cezar April 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I have a question for one of you. How do I remove the top door plastic cover of my Kenmore Elite dishwasher? It has a grille through which dirt falls, and I want to remove it and clean inside the door a little, but I am not sure how to open it, as I see no obvious screws there and I am afraid to try to force open it.

Any suggestion much appreciated, than you.

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Wendy April 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

Thank you so much! Used two allen wrenches. Operates like a brand new dishwasher! But I have to do this at least every two weeks because the screen to the chopper assembly keeps getting extremely covered with food. I’m thinking the chopper assembly is not working (the blades not rotating. ??) Do you have a video showing how to check this out and fix this somehow? You said not to tackle the chopper assembly unless you know what you’re doing. I probably don’t, but I’d like to try.
Still I’m happy for two weeks at a time because we use it like crazy.
Thanks again.

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The Handyguys April 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Sorry, no video on the chopper.

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Karen April 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I had this EXACT problem with my dishwasher and was able to make the repair snip snap. Thank you, Handy Guys!

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Doug Knight May 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Great instructional video. I’ve followed take the dishwasher apart a few times as my chopper finally broke out of age. Now I have replaced the chopper, cleaned everything, checked the rubber valve you show and the entrance to it, but dishes still have a very fine pepper sized grit on them and don’t know why or what to do next. Any thoughts? Also, could you explain the water flow is the Kenmore Elite DW. The position of the screens etc don’t make any sense to me but it must be right as it works (most of the time). Tks

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Lisa R. May 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Paul & Brian — could you guys be any hotter? Seriously — men who know how to fix things and can patiently and clearly explain how it’s done! Wow! You are a Godsend. Keep up the terrific work!

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The Handyguys May 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm
Lisa R. May 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

OK, so I put your podcast to the test today. My wonderful husband is not the mechanically-minded one in our duo, so he shot me a grateful glance as he headed out the door to mow the lawn, leaving me to my T15, a dishwasher and destiny.

It took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish, as I had to remove some water that would not drain. I cleaned each component carefully as I removed it as well as the entire interior. One chicken bone, three toothpicks, four button-sized plastic objects and about four years worth of icky glop later, success was mine!

I was even emboldened to dissasemble and clear out the top sprayer and it was about 50% clogged with white, congealed goo. I can really hear it spraying now — it must have been trickling out before!

My findings are leading me to believe that 1) we need to get a whole-house water softener, 2) I will cease using the dishwashing pods and go back to the gel/liquid, and 3) this process is one that I will complete annually as part of my Spring cleaning repertoire.

So, thanks again, you household hotties! Now my husband thinks I’m one Foxy Fixit Lady. He’s a secure guy, so I have his blessing to watch the rest of your podcasts and have at it with the rest of the house. Hooray, and go Phillies!!!

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Larry May 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

It’s amazing what a piece of glass can do. My wife dropped a wine glass on the tile kitchen floor and a piece of the exploding glass wound up in the dishwasher without our knowledge. Eventually it jammed the chopper blade against the screen and base of the assembly thereby “siezing up” the dishwasher. Initially I figured the pump/motor had failed and only saw $$$$ signs … yet the dishwasher would drain? I figured Iwould clean out everything as a start and found the piece of glass. Thanks for the awesome video and a promise from my wife for a six pack of Shiner Bock!

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HLMD May 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Our KithchenAid dishwasher started leaking about two weeks ago. If we caught it in time and tried to reclose the door, it would sometimes stop leaking but not every time. Originally I thought the drain might be clogged so I followed your podcast, which was great by the way! However we still have a minor leak coming from somewhere along the door on the left side. I wiped the gaskets clean but there is still a minor leak. Any suggestions on what I might try next?

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The Handyguys May 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Re-check the gasket and also the surface where the gasket contacts the dishwasher body. If its all clean then likely a new gasket will be needed. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

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Jen June 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thanks, Handyguys! One of my goals as a 4th grade teacher and a mom is teaching children self-reliance and basic critical thinking skills. I think its missing for many children nowadays. You’ve renewed my faith and inspired my 12 year old son, too boot. Your guys put together a GREAT video that had my 2 yr old Kenmore Elite d/w running like a new machine in just under 2 hours. My 12 year old son kept asking if I ought to call a repair person so I enlisted his help and we did it! He’s more excited than I am. (Now if I could just parlay that into excitement about DOING the dishes :)!) Not sure my problem is 100% solved. The wash cycle is still going and I’m still getting a wee bit of dripping/leakage at the base of the door while the unit runs. Guess I’ll check gasket seal next? I started this whole process b/c it wouldn’t drain yesterday. I found broken glass, a toothpick, a hard bit of lasagne noodle and MANY green peas down around the chopper assembly and that flapper valve. Fingers crossed.

Just a note to those who, perhaps like me, don’t know my way around the toolbox too well: The necessary screwdriver is probably NOT something you need to purchase if you have a fairly standard/complete drill bit set AND one of those interchangeable-bit screwdrivers. Hubby’s drill bit set had the two sizes of torx heads that were needed (the chopper assembly cover needed a bit smaller size than the head that worked to remove the four filter cover assembly screws.

Don’t be afraid to try this fix! Paul’s video made it easy — I just set my netbook on the open dishwasher door and watched the video as I worked! Thanks loads, Handyguys!

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Jen June 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

Update to my comments from yesterday: I have run two additional loads of dishes since following your excellent cleaning instructions and the dishwasher is cleaning like the day it was installed! And the leaky drips a the base of the door stopped too — I’m sure is because the unit is now draining properly. My 12 year old son now says we should tackle our repeatedly frustrating Kenmore Elite side-by-side fridge that (once again) is not dispensing ice or drinking water. We’ll use Paul’s podcast on that topic,too! I miss my old reliable appliances! So glad I found you guys on the web!

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Wilna June 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm

THANK YOU so much!!! i just saved my husband some $$!

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Kenny June 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I can’t thank you guys enough. My wife and I were on the verge of spending $800 – $1000 on a new dishwasher. After watching the video I cleaned the basin. It was completely clogged with debri & hardened soap. Our dishwasher is about 8 years old and had never been cleaned. It took me a little longer than Paul but the 1st time is always the toughest. Now I plan on cleaning the basin once a year. Thanks again guys!!!!

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Vicki Ashton July 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

I watched your you-tube video – opened up the filter in the bottom of the dishwasher – nothing – replaced the spray arm spinner on the top because it broke off – still have sedament in glasses, cups, and bowls and I have to put all these items in the bottom. I now get chipped glasses, etc.

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Ed July 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hello. my kenmore elite dishwasher is not cleaning. No water to the upper arm. I suspected the pump was bad. replaced it. Still no water to the upper arms. I’ve cleaned everything. is there some other part that could be bad? Thanks

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Rob July 26, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hey Guys,
Tremendous advice. Got me past the difficult part of getting the arms off — so obvious when you see it done.
Many thinks. You guys are great!

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Heather B August 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thanks so much for this…I scoured the owner manuals for instructions to remove the parts for cleaning and came up emtpy, they all suggest calling sears service. This was awesome!

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Janet August 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

Grrrrrr – I cannot get the grinder cover off! There is no notch on the top of mine, so nothing for any leverage. It will not budge. Using a butter knife in the area where the flapper is, I can tell that there is more debris. I’d love to be able to do a complete clean job (the cover of the pan was CAKED on the underneath, with all sorts of grossness), but can’t figure out how to get this grinder cover to budge, I have tried multiple approaches and tools and it just doesn’t want to come off. I’m afraid of breaking it.

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Handyguy Paul August 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

I think some of the other comments have suggested that there is a second screw holding down the cover. Look very carefully. Get your head in there with a flash light and maybe that is the answer.

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Janet August 14, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thanks. I’ve read all of the comments, taken out 2 screws, worn rubber gloves in order to get a better grip, and nothing. Tried a coathanger. Have my little LED flashlight aimed in there, and have tried prying pushing, all to no avail. Taking a break from fighting with it, to handwash the dishes. Sigh.

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Janet August 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Woohoo! Needlenose pliers did the trick, and I dislodged a hunk of hard plastic, from some kitchen utensil. We’re back in business!

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Handyguy Paul August 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Janet,
That is great. Good for you. It is amazing how stuck a plastic piece like that cover can get!

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Aivars B August 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks so much for this great advice and video! It really saved me from a service call!!

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Danny August 25, 2012 at 2:34 am

Hi guys,

I have a Kenmore Elite dishwasher and the Clean light is blinking 4 times then pauses and begins again.
I’ve had this problem before and I was told that there is a sequence of buttons to push that resets the machine. Anyone know the buttons and the sequence?
Thanks,
Dan

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Mike February 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Hello Danny,

Was just curious if you ever got a response to your blinking light issue. We are having the same issue. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks A lot.

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Michelle C August 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

We can’t thank you enough for this video. This is our second time around with this helpful fix – the first one lasted nearly a year! We’ll be adding this to our annual maintenance schedule for our home.

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Mary Brennan September 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

Your video gave me the confidence to tackle this job. I did amazingly well
despite the fact that my machine is not exactly the same model.

It all went well until reassembly. The very last piece will not line up once
the white arm piece is in place. I got my husband to retrace my steps and
see if we could figure out why.

That last part lines up and spinning it clockwise it stays in place. Once
we put the white arm piece in, it does not line up. Puzzled and oh, so
frustrated! So close and yet so far!! LOL

You are doing a fabulous service. Thank you

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Shammy September 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

Great video…almost done…can’t get the spray arm back on…it doesn’t seem to “lock” in the way your video shows at the 9:00 mark. Any tips? I’ve read all the comments on your website and youtube, but not luck. Lots of people having problems getting the spray arm off, but no one having problems putting it back on…help!

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Shammy September 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

actually, here’s my solution…the middle small circle cap has to be lifted ever so slightly to allow for the spray arm to fit in…at least it did for me. Wobbly, but no problem as others have pointed out.

Wanted to say that you saved me and a lot of other people a ton of money, and I’ll be making a $20 donation to a local charity because of this help.

Cheers from Canada!

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Jan September 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Hi! I have a 665.16464300 model that has not been cleaning well, then recently the water stopped shooting out of both jets all together. I followed your instructions and cleaned out a lot of gunk that had built up over the years. The only thing I was not able do was to remove the black valve or even place my finger in the passageway because the hole was much smaller than the one shown in the video (about the size of a dime). I did look down into the tube next to it and didn’t see any obstructions.

I ran a rinse cycle to test if it worked, but nope. It filled and drained the water and the spray arms moved, but no water shot through. So, I’m back to square one, but with a very clean unit.

Any suggestions of what might still be wrong? Thanks!

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Uncle Chuck September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Thanks! After our first service call for this beast I’d been doing the cleanout service all too regularly but we were still getting grit on upper-rack dishes sometimes, I didn’t know about the check valve which was our final (I hope) issue, cleaned that out last night.

Two things to share. First, if you have a wet-dry shop vac it’s the best way to remove the standing water so you can see what you are working with.

Second, after you’ve done this cleanout, a great way to clean the inside of the dishwasher is to run an empty load using citric acid (I buy generic sugarless lemonade mix, or you can find citric acid at Indian and Mexican groceries). I put some in the soap dish, some in the pre-wash dish, and put a little glass bowl with some sitting upright in top rack. It cleans off the soap buildup and leaves the stainless steel tank shiny. You can even have glass and ceramic dishes in there for this load to remove that soap-and-grit residue, but don’t put in anything with aluminum which will discolor. I’d recommend just leaving out the silverware too.

I’ve seen mention on the web of a “foreign object protector” for this model that appears to fit into this region and mount with one screw to prevent this problem, but it is not on the parts list. Perhaps it was on an early revision but didn’t work so they deleted it.

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Handyguy Paul September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love the recommendation about using citric acid. I need to run some of that through my dishwasher!

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Jim September 27, 2012 at 12:18 am

I must have an older model. I have 8 screws holding the lower wash arm in place. When I remove it, I’m confronted by a 1/4″ hex nut in the center of a 1″ nylon hex nut/round disk part. I’m assuming the inlet and chopper are inside that. How do I remove this piece?

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Vicki September 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

You guys rock! After a year, our Kenmore was not working. After the video and taking it apart, it was full of all sorts of ick in the bottom section. (We have five kids and they do the dishes. They do them as fast as possible. Nuff said.) We’d have never figured out how to take this apart without the video. Thanks!

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Bekie October 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

We have a Kenmore Ultra Wash III dishwasher, model 665 1677993. The lights come on, it fills with water, and I can hear it click on the dial. I can also hear it sometimes click and try to kick on near the bottom, but the dishwasher does not actually turn on and run. The motor is not running, and the water is not cycling or washing the dishes. Do you have any ideas?

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pandoraseom October 11, 2012 at 3:45 am

Everyone should need to run some washing soda to wash the Dishwasher.Please friends try it out today.

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John Norman October 11, 2012 at 8:37 am

I replaced the mascerator unit but still the rotating arms top and btm are not cleaning dishes. The dishwasher fills up with water in the btm the detergant puck just drops to the btm in the water the dishwasher drains when cycle is finished but does not seem to force water out of rotating arms

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Kristina October 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I just wanted to say THANKS for posting this video. I bought my dishwasher used about a week ago. It worked fine for the first three days and then it started leaving gunk and residue all over things. I was ready to give up but thankfully found your post. I took everything apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. (The crap in there was unbelievable) It now cleans so well! :) THANKS AGAIN!

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Sandi October 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

Excellent video, but I’m stuck on the removal of the lower spray arm. The threads from the bolt are showing, but I can’t get the arm off. At first I thought the bolt came out. but now i see that it stays there and the arm comes off however it’s not popping off. what am i doing wrong?

Thanks.

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Laura Evans November 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Excellent video and information!!! My husband was convinced we needed a new dishwasher. I googled and found your site. I followed your easy directions and found a tea bag blocking water above the chopper and then pieces of a broken glass, toothpick and grape stem inside the chopper area. I cleaned it all out and now our dishes are getting clean again!!! Thank you so much for your expert advice.

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Derek November 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Great site,thanks, my dishwasher now works like new and all it cost me was an hour of my time!

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Rwk November 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm

This was brilliant guys. Perfect step by step and required hints about the assembly. You were right, lots of stuff at the bottom. Lots of little plastic bits that must have broken off stuff being washed. Thx

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ghengis goldstein November 20, 2012 at 12:47 am

Thanks! This fixed my dishwasher, which had the exact symptoms described.

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J Saake November 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

Things I found in front of the grinder are now available on e-Bay. They include a tine from a plastic fork, gristle from a chicken leg and a short piece from a twister-tie.

One take away lesson: your dishwasher is not a food disposal unit. Rinse dishes over your disposal BEFORE you put them in the dishwasher!

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Steve Bergstrom December 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Great work guys! This was a piece of cake thanks to you. Saved me about $200.00. Most of my problem was bits of a broken wine glass in the strainer near the rubber valve. Please use a shop vac to remove water from the strainer before putting your fingers in there. Otherwise, brilliant. Took me 45 minutes max. Also, one of the great things about youtube. Most of the time you can find a video about anything there.

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Jason frey December 19, 2012 at 8:35 am

Awesome video!!! Thanks so much, saved me from calling a repair service. We had no water getting to the top rack. Keep up the great work!

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J Daniels December 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for the video. I found it immensely helpful.

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rugz Org December 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm

“Fixing a Kenmore Elite Dishwasher not Cleaning Dishes” ended up
being a fantastic post, . If merely there was far more weblogs just like this one on the internet.
Anyhow, many thanks for your precious time, Niklas

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Buzz January 12, 2013 at 10:28 am

Many thanks fellas for the excellent video on clean out of a Sears Elite dishwasher. The video is extremely helpful to go back and review the steps while in the middle of the job.

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Vicki Ashton January 14, 2013 at 10:25 am

Sorry, your video has not helped me. I have been dealing with this problem for almost a year. The only way I can get around the dirty sediment is to put my glasses and cups in the bottom rack. I had my son, who is a plumer, take apart the dishwasher and it was clean. The spinner on top broke and I had that replaced. I run the garbage disposal prior to washing the dishes, I’ve tried changing detergent, etc. I either continue the way I am or invest in another washer – needless to say it won’t be a Kenmore.

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The Handyguys January 14, 2013 at 10:42 am

Perhaps a water hardness test is in order. Hard water can impact how well things get clean. Near my house is a Sears Hardware. They sell water softeners and will do a free hardness test. You just go in and ask them for a free “water hardness test kit” (Its really just a small jar) You then put some water in it and bring it to the store. They do a test while you wait and tell you how hard your water is and, if you buy a water softener, what the setting should be. Oh, and Sears sells Kenmore water softeners. You can also get the same tests done by almost anyone else who is in the water softener business. I dont think the big home centers do this test. Culligan or other similar direct to consumer water treatment companies will do a much more advanced test (They test for other contaminants, not just for hardness).

Oh, and we can blame the EPA for a lot of these issues. They have limited the use of something called Phosphates in laundry soap. Phosphates are the main thing that helps dishes get clean! The concern is that phosphates also promote plant growth (its also in many fertilizers) and this can cause an over abundance of alge in waterways when the waste water isn’t treated.

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foothills potter January 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Your vid did the trick. We had a science project growing down there. Cleaned and fired it up and we could here the water rushing around in there again….what a lovely sound.

No more hand washing for me. :)

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50ping.net January 18, 2013 at 6:29 am

Thanks for finally writing about >Fixing a Kenmore Elite Dishwasher not Cleaning Dishes <Liked it!

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Tom January 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for taking the time to make a video on Kenmore dish washer,
it was very helpful. I have a Kenmore Elite range M/N 790.3106,
It has a bridge burner & the center burns at a lower rate then the front and rear. I have been tring to locate a flame adjustment procedure on line,
no luck, help if you can, once again great job. Tom

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Gaston January 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

Just what I needed.
Well done.
Thank you very much for this video.

GH

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PK January 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Thanks guys, but help! Great video, very helpful to get my DW cleaned out, but now it won’t fill with water. Did I mess up by pulling the excess water out of the bottom after taking off the chopper cover? I pulled so much junk out, but couldn’t see well enough to pull out the valve, so I used a shop vac to suck out the water. I then rinsed out the area a number of times and removed the water before putting everything back. When I went to run it, it sounds like everything is working, but no water. I then removed everything again, and put some water in to see if that would “prime the pump”. I put everything back and tried again. Again, it sounds like it’s working, but no water. What do I try now? My husbands not too thrilled, because he never noticed the grime and thought it was working OK. Now not at all.

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PK January 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Never mind. I figured it out. I had cleaned the whole interior including the float, and apparently didn’t notice that it was hung up and didn’t go all the way back down as it should have. Oops!
Thanks again for posting this video as I know it saved me big time!

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Handyguy Paul January 28, 2013 at 12:00 am

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the updated and good catch.

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Handyguy Paul January 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I don’t think anything inside would effect the flow of water. After all, the first thing that happens in a cycle is that all the water is pumped out of the basin. Did you turn a water valve off before working on the unit?

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Heather Manz January 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hi guys,
I watched the video and was super proud of myself for taking everything apart very easily. Our problem is that we have very hard water and as I was taking the pieces out they are covered in this thick white dust, almost like paper in parts and like rocks in the crevices of others. It’s literally like sand in my chopper assembly. I want to completely clean all of this out and off before I put it back together. Any suggestions? Will it hurt anything if this debris or dirty water gets in the center opening of the motor while I’ve got it disassembled. I’m worried about any chunks of stuff getting in there so I stuffed the edge of a washcloth in it. Thanks! My husband is going to be so proud of me!!

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The Handyguys January 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Do you best to keep the debris from getting everywhere. You can use CLR cleaner to help clean the parts. (The stuff in the grey quart container, not the CLR kitchen Spray). You could also use vinegar to help clean the hard water. Try a shop vac to suck up the loose particles too.
-Brian

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Michelle February 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thank you very much, you men are wonderful!!! I did this all myself and I am someone that is not mechanically inclined the video helped me so much. thanks again!!

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Warren February 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Great video guys. My Elite is a59 Model and the unit looks different under the cover. There is a triangular piece that pulls up to get to the debris, in my case glass. On the back wall of the tube that runs up to the overhead there are two valves. I noticed that one is always open is that normal?

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Handyguy Paul February 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

The two valves are to connect the water to the spray arm on the upper rack. When you close the upper rack, it connects to one of two of those valves (depending on the height you have the rack set). If you always have the rack set at one height, then that valve gets pushed open and usually just stays open. It is not a problem unless you adjust the height of the upper rack and begin using the other valve. Even then, the valve that is always open will probably begin to close over time.

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MaBabes February 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Our Kenmore has given us great service,but this morning I felt the walls of the dishwasher, and they are covered with a thick layer of white, hard, chalky rough surface that turns one’s hands Snow White, and it will not come off. I tried a double tablet wash with the dishwasher cleaning product but it came out no better than before. What are some major, heavy duty solutions that I can try that would still allow my dishwasher to be safe for dish washing afterwards? It feels like cement and is just as hard to the touch.

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The Handyguys February 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

Try CLR – Get the stuff in the gray quart jug, not the spray.

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Uncle Chuck February 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Every couple of months we run the dishwasher with an empty load, using the pots-and-pans cycle and a hot rinse, with citric acid. The citric acid leaves the stainless steel interior, and the drain hoses etc sparkling clean. It is totally safe, you don’t need to use nasty industrial chemicals for this. You can buy pure citric acid in many ethnic groceries, or get the cheap, generic instant sugarless lemonade mix (like Crystal Lite, but cheap) which is almost 100% citric acid. I fill the soap and pre-rinse trays with one packet, pour another into the bottom of the dishwasher and pour a third into a shallow glass cup that I put upright in the middle of the upper rack. (There’s no science to why I do it this way, but it seems to work.)

If your glasses and dishes are looking milky, it is safe to have them in the same wash load. (No soap, just the citric acid.) It is very important to not add anything with metal to these loads as some metals will stain from the acid.

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Edward February 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

My Kenmore Elite (similar to the one in your video) has been making a loud werring sound during the washing cycles. I have taken the lower arm filter,accumulator assembly and chopper apart and re-installed. I did replace the bearing/seal for the lower arm hub. Noise is still there. I think it may be the wash pump. Any suggestions on the noise problem and how to repair it?

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Fred February 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Hi,
My Kenmore Elite is model 165.13122k107. Motor died so I’m putting in a new one. Trying to clean everything inside while I’m at it. The twin tubes going up to the upper tray and cleaning arm do not release from the back of from the top. How are they fastened to the tub? The bottom end of it is already released.

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Fred February 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

mistake. The model is 665.13122k107

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Fred February 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Does anyone have a solution for this? Can’t release the water tube from the back or the top of the tub in Kenmore elite 665.13122k701.

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Mike February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Great video! Very instructional but I seemed to have yielded no results. Noticing a lot of gunk and was able to clean out much of it. Thought I made progress but dishes continued to come out dirty. Most of the damage is on the glasses as pieces of residue don’t entirely get rinsed off and then dry on making almost impossible to get off. My problems being:
Not sure where the residue is coming from and
Why the dirt isn’t getting flushed out with the drain cycle
In the pictures on these sites:
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=fpa6au&s=6
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=1q1vgp&s=6

You can kinda see the dirt that’s not being drained out and is ending up on my dishes. These pictures were taken after I ran a CLEAN load. So there my dishwasher should have been spotless, instead it has pee’s, pieces of potato on the sides and tons of grime which I recognize on my glassware. I’m concerned it may be the pump and lack of water pressure but I can feel the force of the jets from the counter on top the dishwasher and the sounds indicate sufficient force. I took the plate off the bottom and none of the pipes or clogged. This dishwasher is only 4 years old and is a Kenmore Elite Ultra Wash, only problem has been in the last couple months and the only thing I’ve noticed is during the initial drain cycle it seems to make an odd sound. Not very loud or distinct but I haven’t recognized it before. Anything to offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Fred February 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

It was held in place by two very large clips. I twisted the tube from side to side to locate the center of the clips. Then I stuck the largest flat blade screwdriver I could put under the tube and forced it off. I couldn’t even see the clips until I got the tube off. Putting it all back together now.

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Barbara March 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Thanks guys! My house is being renovated and couldn’t take it when my dishwasher stopped working. I followed the video. Lots of gunk in there including a glass shard wedged in with a piece of plastic. It is washing like new. I will make this part of my annual cleaning. I was bragging to my girl friend, I was so proud. Now she wants me to look at her dishwasher.

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Susan W. March 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thank you sooo much! I have this exact dishwasher and the top wasn’t cleaning properly. This video walked me through the entire process and I can’t believe what I found in the filter! Lemon pits, a toothpick, glass, plastic! Six years worth! You saved me over $100.00.

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Eileen Beck March 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

My sister fixed her dishwasher and sent me you video. Your approach worked like a champ on my Whirpool!

I have a rent house and the folks just told me their dishwasher is not cleaning well. It is a Jenn-Air DW730B with very different-looking insides. Any ideas on how to take it apart?

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The Handyguys March 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

No, but it may not have the same design defect. Many dishwashers will have a normal screen/filter that can be checked. Also, newer detergents don’t work well because our government has limted the use of Phosphates. Try a different detergent, many have had good results with the Powerball Finish product.

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Kingthing March 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Thanks so much. I’m not even remotely handy and I could follow this. Got tons of stuff out. Saved me a house call!!

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Jenny March 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thought I’d tell you how I got the housing off the grinder. If you gently tap the straw-looking piece to the right, it lifts right out. I used the handle of my screwdriver, and it worked perfectly.

Wanted to add my thanks for a great video. I’ve taken the washer apart before, but I hadn’t been down into the basin to clean until I saw your video. Thank you.

TREASURES RECOVERED: broken glass, twistie tie, pistachio shell, chunks of potato, scotch tape, plastic bits, and what may have been salmon bones.

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Timur March 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Thanks a lot guys!
You saved … well … my trust in humankind

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Colleen March 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

Just as I was about to purchase a new dishwasher – frustrated that the ‘old’
one wasn’t really old and feeling responsible for adding more junk to our landfill – I tried one more time for advise & found your video! Your instructions were crystal clear & my dishwasher is acting it’s age again! Thank you so much for sharing this information & doing it in a way that a regular homeowner can tackle.

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Bill March 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Guys = Thanks for the video, it was perfect. We have used the citric acid to clean the diswasher with success. But over the past several months it was not cleaning and then started leaving a film. After opening the basin the reason was obvious; it was packed with a white chalk residue that the citric cleaner left behind. After following your video and testing the dishwasher with a “quick rinse” cycle it sounded like there was a water turbo inside which we haven’t heard in a couple of years. This was a great fix.

After reading your advice and readers comments we will try a different soap too.

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Handyguy Paul May 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

It turns out the the removal of Phosphate in detergents seems to be the biggest cause of white film being left behind. I have proof…I have tested my dishwasher with an old version of Cascade that still has phosphate in it. It cleaned up all the white film that was embedded on the “stainless” steel shell. Look for a video episode on this issue soon.

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Rob April 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thank you so much for the video. This has got to be the best fix-it video I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot. Saved us more than $100. Sounds like it is something we’re going to be doing every year.

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Anne Marie April 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Thank you! I was just about to call the repairman when I decided to google “Kenmore Elite not cleaning” and found the link to your website. Your instructions and video were great and easy to follow. I cleaned out at least 20 pieces of glass as well as lots of gunk! I used a baster to take out the water so I could make sure I retrieved all the glass. I can’t wait to run the dishwasher. With all the stuff I cleaned out of it, it has to run better. First,though, I have to put those end caps back on. I was starting to google that when I found the answer right here! Thanks again!

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Krystal April 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Great video! Took our Kitchen Aid apart but discovered that the small quarter sized flap you pulled out is missing on ours. Would that cause small particles to be on the dishes? We don’t seem to have that piece.

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Fran May 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm

My dishwasher stopped working about 2 weeks ago. We continued to put dishes in the dishwasher but they were coming out really dirty. I found your video on fixing our Kenmore Elite. I decided to fix the dishwasher using your video instructions because they were so straightforward. It took me a few hours but I’m pleased to report that the dishwasher works perfectly now. I followed your instructions completely and was able to find the problems. Thank you very much. You saved me a house call from the repair man. By the way, I’m a 65 year old woman with a doctorate in public health. If I can do it, anyone else can too.

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Tom May 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Here’s another thank you for the great video and detailed instructions.

Took longer to clean all the parts of gunk than it did to take things apart and put back together! But still, less than 30 minutes for the whole job.
Oh,yeah.. I found toothpicks, plastic candy wrapper, olive pits, small chicken bones and … lots of slime under the fine screen and in various grooves.

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JaneF June 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thank you for the tremendously helpful video. I was able to dismantle and clean out my Kenmore Elite without any trouble!

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Tim Novak June 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

This was best video ever. you should have seen the crud I pulled out of the dishwasher after following your tips. this saved
me an expensive service call and after running
an empty cycle with white vinegar it is functioning
like new again. thanks so much for your tips

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Robert Wynkoop June 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Was thinking I was going to have to replace a 3yr old dish washer. You video was great. Cleaned all the junk out, now the wash flow sounds / is much better. Also cleared the stuff in front of the drain check valve.

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Kate July 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I do notice mine not getting clogged as often when I run the water in the sink to preheat (which obliterates any energy savings) and use plenty of soap granules – the good stuff, not the environmentally friendly stuff- and I’m a tree-hugger! but I like clean dishes and we all have our repair budgets, sigh…) and the high temp setting for washing. Today I am attempting to clear a clog somewhere by actually pouring near-boiling water into the dishwasher as it fills. If that doesn’t work, we will have to take it apart. Thanks for this video. It will save lots of money on a repairman visit.

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Ralph July 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Our Kenmore 665 dishwasher stoped washing correctly so I changed the chopper and flap valve. Now the washer makes the whooshing sound indicating that the arms are turning. After all that the problem is that instead of filling with water and starting to wash the washer fills/starts but begins to drain when the wash cycle starts. the wash cycle then continues until done but then the drain cycle does not seem to complete burt we can hear it turning on an off until my wife hit the canel button.

I then changed to control board with no change in operation. Any suggestions?

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Ralph September 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I changed the soil sensor W10134017 to no avail.

Then my wife ran again after running the hot water first. This got the washer to at least seem to work by starting the wash cycle but it never seemed to want to stop so she eventually press the drain button. I have the diagnostic sheet but can’t decipher if replacing the pressure switch 8542575 could make a difference. I do not think my model has LED indicator lights to make running the diagnostics easier.

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AM July 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

Hi,

This was a great video. I have never had the need to do my own repair – this was the first time I have done this and your instructions were great. However, my Kenmore is from 2003 and I could not get access to the chopper assembly or to the flapper valve to clean that area out. I got everything else cleaned out (it was pretty nasty). I also ran a load with just CLR and 2 plain water cycles. I still see some debris on my glassware and they have some soap suds as soon as I open the dishwasher. Any other suggestions? I think I may need to run a few plain water cycles to clear out debris since this is the first time I have cleaned the dishwasher, but I’m not sure.

Thank you again for a great video and any suggestions you may have.

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Lynn July 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hi Handyguy Paul. I’m on a mission to fix my Kenmore Elite model 665-1592000. Problems are two fold: the dishes weren’t getting clean (which is how I found your video – thank you!) and the dishwasher won’t drain completely – it’s leaving several inches of soiled water in the bottom of the pan. Here’s what I’ve done so far: I’ve cleaned the drain air gap. I’ve disconnected the drain hose assembly from the air gap and confirmed that the drain hoses are not clogged by starting a short rinse and then hitting “cancel/drain” to allow the water drain into a bucket. It drained completely and I thought I’d solved the problem so I hooked everything back up and ran a load of dishes. When I opened the dishwasher at the end of the cycle, those 2″ of dirty water were back. When I tried to use the “cancel/drain” button it didn’t respond this time. I can hear the motor try to respond but it just isn’t draining. Is it possible that I need to do a cleaning of the pan assembly you show in your video? Or, if you think that isn’t likely the cause of the not draining problem, do you have any ideas on what else it might be? Thanks very much!

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Kristen August 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

THANK YOU !!!!!!!!

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Jared August 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

This saved me from buying a new dishwasher. The unit was working fine but making a terrible rattle whenever water would flow into the unit. I took it apart and found a pebble (from fish tank) in the chopper. If I had not got the unit to stop with the noise my wife was going to get a new one.

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Kathy August 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

The video of how to clean out the dishwasher was great. but have another problem… When I did the 1st load of dishes the dishwasher tablet did not dissolve. Water temp is at 140. The dishes remained dirty…What now do U suggest. We are up to it.. Don’t really want to buy another dishwasher. this one is about 12 years old is it unfixable?

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Yazid August 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hello both to you Handyguys Brian and Paul,

Thanks so much for such an amazing HD video. It is just amazing!
I still have issues with my dishwasher and would like to submit some questions; hoping to get some help/pointers and apologies for the lengthy message.

My dishwasher is an 11-year old Sears Kenmore , model No 665.155882000, which does not clean well, especially the dishes on the top rack.
It has functioned quite well prior of having this issue.

1st attempt: Cleaning the basin did not solve my problem:
I successfully took apart, clean and reassemble my dishwasher. Did not find too much debris in the basin. Found stuff, but not too noticeable pieces.

Note: The very 1st time, I found it hard to remove the chopper assembly cover. On my model, it does not have that piece that Paul’s Elite model has, that you can push it to the right to popup. I used a tiny “kind of hole” on the left, where I could fit it in a screwdriver to push it to the right to be able to remove it. [Was very careful and gentle to not break it].

Question 1 (minor): I am unable to insert my finger in the “drain valve” hole. My finger could not go too far in; and did not feel much there… Does it mean that there is nothing clocking?

Cleaned the few debris in the basin but did not solve my problem.

2nd attempt: Cleaning the chopper solved my problem for few cycles:
Re-opened, and followed an advice from another web site, to remove the chopper and clean it.

The chopper was full of tiny food pieces. (same what you see on a food processor chopper when used for vegetables).
Cleaned the chopper, and this solved my problem … for a short while.
After few days of use (a little bit more than a week), I went back to square 1!!!

Note: The chopper sits on the outermost railing (as can be seen in the video). If doing the job without paying too much attention, one can waste time by mistakenly trying to sit it onto an “imaginary innermost” railing .

Re-opening to clean the chopper does the trick again and the dishwasher starts to clean well, for a few cycles. Hinting, that the root cause of my problem is clogging the chopper.

Question 2 (medium): Your video does not suggest removing the chopper. Does this hint that my issue is solved for a short while by cleaning the chopper is just masking the real issue when cleaned? (which leads to my main question below).

Question 3: Is the chopper supposed to stay clean, or is it normal for it to get full of food debris after use.
Question 4 (main):What are the possible root causes of my problem and solutions? Kind of tired of applying the work-around by manually cleaning every second week.

Thank you in advance,

Yazid

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Handyguy Paul August 30, 2013 at 11:38 am

Have no idea if there is still something blocking or not. Be careful though. I doubt it is blocked at that valve hole but who knows. I am not sure why your chopper seems to be clogging up. It is possible that the valve that is supposed to discharge dirty water is not working. It is hard to tell without seeing the unit.

What detergent are you using? I have seen some powdered detergents clock up the chopper. Have you tried Finish powerballs?

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Roy December 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Handyguys. I have the same problem that Yazid has described. It used to be that I’d have to clean out my chopper screen about once every 6 months or so after finding top rack dishes still dirty after a wash cycle. But now, that chopper screen is clogged with debris after just a week or two … and we’ve even created a “rinse first” policy, which we never had to do when the dishwasher was new. There are no holes in the main basin cover screens; that whole piece looks fine. Nothing clogged in that rubber flapper valve … pulled that and checked around that area best I could.

For the moment I’ve removed completely the chopper assembly … it’s causing more issues than it’s solving at the moment, but I’d like to figure out and fix whatever is causing that chopper screen to get filled with crud so fast. I’ve fully replaced that assembly with a brand new one, and it still gets clogged about every two weeks. Any clues?

Thanks for the video … I used that years ago to learn how to get into the dishwasher basin to clean it out.

Roy

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Becky August 30, 2013 at 1:19 am

We (my son, myself and my husband – with a bit of help from my daughter) took it apart, rinsed everything, found a large piece of bendable plastic and put it back together. It is running a rinse cycle now – to see if we did it correctly!
I will run a load tonight and see if it is different in the am! Thank you very much!!!!!!!!! There was tons of sticky gooey gunk all over the parts. Cleaned that up, too!

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George September 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Clear, concise and easy to follow. All apart and all together without breaking a sweat . Thanks!

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John October 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thanks for the very helpful video. I fixed a poor performing Kenmore dishwasher to like new and the information in the video got me past some steps I would have had a hard time figuring out if at all.

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Derek October 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Awesome, you guys rock! Thanks!!!

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Thomas Fulford October 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Outstanding!!! The video was easy to follow and I was able to disassemble and clean my dishwasher as a first step in troubleshooting why the water was not reaching the top of my dishwasher. Fortunately, it was the only step and the problem was solved! Thanks handyguys for putting this video out!

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Denan Strong October 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thanks you guys! I have a Kenmore Elite that washes okay, but all of a sudden started making an odd noise that sounded to me like some high torque rotating mechanism was grinding against something – not a sharp metallic sound, more like heavy plastic on plastic.

Anyway, I ran across your video and figured what the heck, it looks easy enough what not try it before calling a repair person…

Bottom line, the chopper had partially eaten some semi-soft plastic of some sort and ribbons of it were jammed in the screen. I cleaned the plastic out and some paper garbage (labels from new glasses), put it back to together and Voila! – no more funny noise!

Thanks a lot, you probably saved me a bunch of money.

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Rachel November 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thank you so much! My dishwasher was cleaning so poorly that I quit using it all together. My husband has been so busy that I hated to bother him and I hesitated to calla repairman because of the expense. I ran across your video and I am so glad I did! It was disgusting. It had clearly been plugged for a long time and had little pieces of plastic, food and lots of hard water build up. After lots of scrubbing and rinsing(I suctioned out the water with a small carpet shampooer) it is finally clean! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see what other fixes I can now do on my own

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bart November 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Kenmore Elite model 13103K owned since early 2010 ( I actually have two). Just like the one in the video.
Problem: top rack not getting much or any water. Just the advice I was looking for. I figured something is clogged up, just needed to see how these come apart.
Thanks, this should do the trick.

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Adam November 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Thank you so much for this video! It gave me the assurance that I could take apart the plastic components without breaking something and I feel much more informed about dishwasher maintenance.

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Trac December 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Thank you! So gross clean in it out but there was a toothpick and a chard of glass… After 1st load-sparkling clean dishes!

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Kasandra December 14, 2013 at 1:30 am

Thanks so much for the video, it was very helpful but I have a question. When I pulled out the bottom assembly a small round blue rubber piece fell out. I can’t for the life of me figure out where it belongs. Thanks! Oh, and mine isn’t a Kenmore Elite, it’s a Kenmore Quiet Guard Deluxe.

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Terry Y December 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Boxing Day Dec 26 2013…11 folks over for Christmas dinner and our Elite on the fritz…fills but after that nothing…DISASTER….followed the tips here…15 minutes later…4 toothpicks, 1/4 BBQ skewer, an olive pit and several other pieces of ???….back in action…repair folks locally wanted 145$hr (holiday emergency visit), minimum 3 hours (we are 90 miles north of Montreal)…you saved our day! This will be a semi annual ritual…thank you…merci beaucoup.

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Dean Giamette January 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

I want to sincerely thank you guys. I have a newer and less expensive model of the Kenmore dish washer that had stopped cleaning. The only difference seemed to be that the tube to the top sprayer was held in place by two screws. After watching the video I was able to take the thing apart and discovered an unbelievable amount of unknown shmutz, as well as coffee beans, broken plate shards, sticks, and grease inside. After cleaning all the nastiness out of there, the machine works like new again. I could have never done it without you.
As mentioned by others, this will be a regular maintenance item from now on.
Your’e the best.

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Joseph February 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I have a Kenmore dishwasher (665.16264401) that has a completely different water feed tube in the back. So far I have been unable to find out how to remove it so that I can get to the final screw to allow me to clean out anything that may be clogging up the works.

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Jim April 18, 2014 at 9:08 am

My Kenmore Elite Dishwasher 665-13793K600 stopped refilling after the main wash cycle. The dishwasher starts and fills, runs through the wash cycle, drains, and the main pump starts and runs, but the water fill valve does not activate. If I fill the machine with water manually (pour water in by hand) the pump circulates the water properly, eventually drains, the main pump again starts, but no water enters. Cleaned everything, including the small rubber drain valve. Repairman replaced the main control board without success. I then replaced the soil/temp sensor but no change in results. The fill-limit switch seems to working ok – can hear it click when I move it manually, and it does operate during the initial fill. The issue would seem to be that no power is being sent to the fill valve solenoid when the rinse cycle starts which is why we replaced the main control board. Is there another part that might be controlling the power to the valve..?

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Michael White May 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Worked like a charm. There was quite a bit of plastic, glass, toothpicks, paper and other assorted items. My kitchen aid dishwasher it working perfect again. Thanks again for the “how-to” video.

Take care,

Michael

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Bruce May 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Thanks so much Handyguys, this podcast was clear, concise, told me exactly what to do and looked just like my Kenmore Elite. The dishwasher sump was super clogged!! Thankfully I didn’t burn out the wash motor. After a thorough cleaning and re assembly, it works like new. Saved me mega bucks for sure.

Thanks for putting this podcast together. I’ll let everyone know about your site.

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dan June 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm

If dishwasher is not cleaning good or not getting enough water, be sure to check the water inlet valve screen/filter.

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Esther June 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Ugh, I wish I would have know this before my purchase. It’s only 9 months old and doesn’t clean well. I have the extended warranty so I will see what Sears service does for my issue. The inside of my dishwasher is obviously dirty! I thought that maybe I’m suppose to run some type of cleaning agent but like you said if food is caught inside and dirty water can’t get out it’s probably swishing dirty water around. Gross! Thanks for your video.

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Craig July 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

My Kenmore dishwasher will not pump water up to the spray arms. The spray arms are clean as a whistle and when the dishwasher is running you can see that the pump is pumping water but nothing up to the spray arms. It’s like it’s just circulating in the bottom of the washer. I have tried to remove the black round pump spinner from the bottom of the washer but held in place by a screw and a 1″ hex and can’t get it off. Is there a special tool I need or am I going about this the wrong way?

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Shawn August 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Thank you folks.
It was a great educational video. I opened my dishwasher and cleaned it up.

Now, I am into the next iss “Why the Dishwasher does not stop it’s cycle”.
Any hint will be appreciated.

Shawn

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Larry August 10, 2014 at 5:47 pm

You guys are the best! My wife threatened to buy a new dishwasher if I couldn’t fix it. You guys came to the rescue! Thanks!

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Kevin August 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Wow, did I find wads of gunk in mine. There were largish pieces of plastic from baggies I think, two sucker sticks, half a popsicle stick, at least 4 pieces of glass, some popcorn kernels, part of an otter pop, and gunk. It’s all cleaned out, back together, and a test load is running. My fingers are crossed it cleans better. Regardless, thanks for the very informative video! Only in today’s YouTube age could somebody as unhandy as me take apart and fix their dishwasher. I forget sometimes how amazing the internet can be.

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