Part 2 – Finding the Problem, Fixing and Putting it All Back Together Again
In our first part of this article of trying to fix a dishwasher, we started down the path of trying to find the source of that annoying noise in our dishwasher. At this point, you can see that our noise is still present. You can also see that the backside of the motor is a fan that circulates air and cools the motor. The impeller wheel portion of the motor is held in place by a Phillips head screw that expands these two fingers holding in into place. With that off, let’s try it again. Still annoying, so I’m going to keep digging.
Now you can see the solid food waste disposal blade. Many dishwashers have something like this to grind up solid items that make it through the screens so they can be safely drained out. Now let’s try it. Nice and smooth.
If I look closely at the blade I can see that the spacer fins, which are the point of contact between the blade and the outer housing, have become worn down over time. It is allowing the blade to sit closer to the inner part of the housing than it originally did. The blade can now hit this small pit in the housing as it rotates and is causing that annoying noise.
Now this is not an official repair, but since the new blade cannot be purchased independent from the motor I’m going to give it a shot. I’m not positive for the reason for this pin, but my guess is it’s designed to stop food in the motor so the blade can grind against it and break it up. If there is nothing like that to stop loose material it would just pick up speed and spin with the blade. So I’m going to cut a little of this pin off so that the blade can clear it easily as it spins. Let’s fit it back together and give it a test. Ahhh.
To put the dishwasher back together just run all of that in reverse. And don’t forget the second motor seal that you had to remove on the floor like I did.
One other thing that’s pretty important, when you’re reinstalling the dishwasher it’s very, very important that the dishwasher be level especially from front to back. There’s no bottom seal in a dishwasher in most cases. If there is, it’s a light one that’s not waterproof.
If the dishwasher is tipped forward what can happen is those waves that are created from just the circulation of the water can cause the water to run up out of the front as the water surges in the tank. Dead straight, even with the cabinets, or tipped back just slightly.
You also need to be absolutely positive that all of your connections are 100% dry. Even small leaks, over time, can cause major damage to flooring and cabinetry.
So after you have got everything working properly leave that lower panel off, maybe for a day or two, and you never know. When the thing’s running take a look and double check.
My grandpa told me this good little trick. You want to use a red napkin, or a colored napkin, and place it down there. If you did see any leaks that need to be repaired and if there’s any more moisture it’ll make a mark on that napkin and you’ll be able to see for an extended period of time.
Also in this case, a Frigidaire dishwasher, there are small little plastic tabs that they’ve reworked later on so they tend to break when you’re rolling the racks in and out and that surge that tend to come down and rip down on the door slightly. There’s also one on the bottom of the door that rotates and makes a seal against the bottom of the tub.
So that’s about it. Generally you just dig in there and start going. Move carefully and slowly and make sure you’re paying attention to where you’re taking things off, correct screws going back in the proper location and all that kind of thing. The more you do it, the better you’re going to become at it and the more things you’re going to correct and solve. Possible get a friend or family member out of a pinch too. Thanks for reading.