Author Topic: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter  (Read 766 times)

EmFrugal

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Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« on: October 09, 2017, 10:58:08 AM »
I am on a mission to start more DIY projects around the house. Our 18 year old Kenmore dishwasher stopped cleaning things gradually over the last few months. Finally it got so bad that we thought we needed to replace it. Just for the record, we have three kids and run ours pretty frequently. Hand washing (as I'm sure someone will suggest I do instead of using a dishwasher) is not something my DH and I want to spend a ton of time on.

I started researching new machines but noticed that reviewers kept mentioning removable filters. That peaked my curiosity and prompted me to search the internet to see if our older machine had a filter. Sure enough, several videos popped up showing me how to disassemble the bottom interior section of the dishwasher. Honestly, until I found the videos, I had no idea dishwashers had filters.

Once disassembled it was easy to see it had likely never been cleaned or had not for many, many years. We've only owned our home for 4.5 years, so definitely not since we moved in. Complete nastiness was in the filter and adjoining parts, including pieces of chipped off plate, a few small rocks (I blame my children), a plastic bread clamp, and some other assorted material. BUT once I cleaned everything out, reassembled and ran an empty load with a little vinegar, our dishwasher now cleans dishes again!! It also sounds far more powerful.

So take note that if your older dishwasher stops cleaning well, instead of giving up on it, try cleaning out the parts at the bottom first!

geekette

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 11:10:59 AM »
Congrats!

We've also been keeping our 14 year old Maytag running.  DH has replaced the door handle twice, the control panel once (after cleaning the leads no longer fixed it), and, of course, cleaned the filter (ours was mostly labels from jars - oops).

In recent years, he's also replaced the dryer heating element, the bottom range element, and the moisture sensor in the microwave.  Parts from eBay fixed my FIL's 60 year old cooktop which had multiple problems.

We're both currently restoring a 75 year old Singer sewing machine (needs new electrical) and cabinet (the finish is shellac, which apparently can be repaired in place with a bit of denatured alcohol and some time, surprisingly).

DIY FTW!

EmFrugal

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 11:36:01 AM »
Now that is impressive! This is my first foray into fixing appliances... baby steps ;) Hopefully I can add on over the years.

Cornel_Westside

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 04:53:05 PM »
I don't think many people would have suggested handwashing. It's a huge cost of time and uses much much more water than a dishwasher for the same amount of dishes.

BTDretire

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 06:56:25 AM »
You got me wondering whether I should clean the filter on my dishwasher.
I got out the manual and find nothing about a filter. So, I let google be my friend and
found the most it has is a screen on the chopper. I think I'll leave it be until if it ever drains slow. It's not a hard job, but we don't use our dishwasher to it's best service, we always rinse our dishes clean before putting them in the dishwasher, so their would not be much on the screen if anything.
https://www.repairclinic.com/Video/Video-Landing/219-/Whirlpool-Dishwasher-Food-Chopper-Replacement-8268383

EarthSurfer

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 08:01:34 AM »
EmFrugal, Congrats on your DIY awakening!

I find a lot of joy in helping others break through and discover they can solve a problem for a fraction of the cost of replacement or 'professional repair.' Most recently I helped a cycling buddy who is a heart surgeon repair his $1,000 dishwasher. (Why is it always dishwashers?)

I grew up in a DIY household, and the only time we called for repair / service was after Dad was certain he didn't have the tools to fix the problem.

In my case, I usually find DIY more convenient. I do the repair on my own schedule.
Retired early, retired often since 1998...

dcheesi

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 08:47:45 AM »
Thanks for the heads-up! I'm in an apartment right now, but I'm having similar issues with my dishwasher. Hopefully this will save me the hassle of a maintenance call.

FWIW, I've never had problems with any dishwashers in my previous homes, and I also was unaware that there was a filter to clean. Not sure how old this unit is, but I can't imagine it's much older than my last one (probably 15 years by the time I sold the place). Maybe this model is more prone to clogs or other issues, or maybe the previous tenants abused it?

Hula Hoop

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 01:08:55 PM »
This blows my mind.  I clean the filter on our dishwasher every weekend.  It's around 8 years old and the filter is in the bottom below the lower rack.  Even after only one week, it's often full of grease and gunk.  Can't imagine that it would be like if you'd never cleaned it ever.

sunnyca

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 05:59:31 PM »
Huh. Iíve never cleaned my filter either. That being said, I just cleaned it, and it wasnít too bad. Whew!

I did notice a pool of water in the filter trap though. Is that normal?


marty998

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2017, 11:42:52 PM »
I have a really embarrasing dishwasher story to tell.

About a couple of years ago I thought it had packed it in, dirty water was pooling, the cycle wasn't completing and it was making some horrendous gargling noises.

Started googling for replacements (it's pretty much cheaper to buy a new one than to call a plumber to get it fixed).

The noise was driving me mad after a couple of months (yes, I was slack and left it that long). One day while handwashing I looked under the sink to pull out a new dishcloth... saw the kinked drainage hose and facepalmed myself.

Since the water couldn't drain the dishwasher was getting confused and wouldn't function properly...

Unkinked hose and all worked fine again :)

Dezrah

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Re: Fixed Our 18 YO Dishwasher Just By Cleaning Filter
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 03:48:37 PM »
I love Youtube DIY videos.  The good ones will show you every single screw turn making it foolproof.

I haven't cleaned a dishwasher filter, but I have done a deep cleaning of all the gaskets and miscellaneous nooks and crannies.  I have to switch off my brain to make it through without gagging.  I found a surprising amount of fish scales in the process.