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Dishwasher problems


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Hey guys. I'm hoping someone has come across this before. Lately (last week or so) my GE dishwasher has been leaving a BAD film all over everything in it. The strange part it, I'm doing nothing different than I have been doing over the past 7 years. I've done the typical search and what I'm seeing is:

1. Hard water (not the case here)

2. Soap (same box from a month ago).

Any clue what causes this? I suppose I could be putting in too much soap, but I doubt it, same amount I've always used.[:-banghea

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I just remembered, the same thing happened for a short time with mine.

I never did figure it out, but It seems like when I stopped using the drying mode thingy, it stopped. Do you use Jet dry? Is it empty?

Kurt's got it.

I never had a film on any dishes I did in the wood stove.

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I had a GE dishwasher that I hated. Build date 1999. The POS started spitting out black chunks of goo at about 7 or 8 years of age. Turns out it was the asphaltic sound deadener that was somehow coming loose and attaching its half-melted self to my dishes and the DW tub itself.

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The film is chalky white. It will come off with scrubing, but it takes some elbow grease.

Heating element is HOT...lots of steam when you open the door during mid-cycle.

Don't use jet-dry. I'm too tight. :-)

I did take the lower screens out, nad had some nasty build up. cleaned everything the best I know how, ran a cycle empty with vinegar mixed in the water. I'll know more later tonight.

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The film is chalky white. It will come off with scrubing, but it takes some elbow grease.

Heating element is HOT...lots of steam when you open the door during mid-cycle.

Don't use jet-dry. I'm too tight. :-)

I did take the lower screens out, nad had some nasty build up. cleaned everything the best I know how, ran a cycle empty with vinegar mixed in the water. I'll know more later tonight.

As others have said, poor water flow. The white substance that you're seeing is the auto dishwasher detergent that hasn't been rinsed off and that's been baked onto the dishes.

To troubleshoot, first consider the fill valve. It might not be opening fully or it might be shutting prematurely. Run the dishwasher. You should be able to hear the fill valve open & close. During the first fill cycle, after it's opened and closed, stop the machine, open the door and measure the level of water in the bottom of the tub. Measure at the small raised platform just in front of the lower washer arm. The water should be *at least* 3/8" deep at that ledge -- better yet, 1" deep. If it's not, the fill valve isn't working properly. Replace it. If you have low water pressure, you can put in a valve that has a larger bore and that will allow a higher flow rate. I had to do this to mine because our water pressure sometimes drops down to 15 psi.

If the water level is ok, then there's an obstruction in the pump path somewhere. Most likely down inside the sump. Remove the lower basket and use a nut driver to remove the upper strainer. Set it aside. Use your fingers to lift up the lower strainer. Set it aside. If the water in the sump is very hot, toss in an ice cube. After the water is cool enough reach your fingers down inside there. It'll be gross. Feel around down there and remove any debris. In particular, things like onion skins, plastic wrap, and chicken skin can clog up the intake on the side of the sump. Just clean out anything that's in there.

Now, if you bend your fingers back toward yourself, you'll feel a screen with a wire lying against it. When the dishwasher is running, this wire sweeps around in a circle on top of the screen, acting like a small, light-duty food processor. As the wire sweeps over the screen, it dislodges debris and prevents the screen from becoming clogged. Sometimes this wire breaks. If that's happened, you'll find the wire lying at the bottom of the sump. the dishwasher will work fine without it, but will occasionally become clogged and you'll need to clean out the sump by hand more frequently. You can tell when it's become clogged by the sound that the dishwasher makes when it's washing. If you press your ear against the door during one of the wash cycles, you should hear a very robust water-washing-against-the-door sound. It's hard to describe, but once you get used to it, you can tell at once if the pump isn't really moving much water.

Let us know how it goes.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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