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Old 04-24-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Here's the story, a month ago my wife wanted me to fix the outer cosmetic seal on the dishwasher. I needed access to get in there a bit better, so I proceded to use brute strength/ignorance to get it out. I didn't turn off the breaker, unbolt the tops or remove the kick panel.

What happened, unbeknownst to me, is the romex connector slipped allowing the wirenuts to come loose and one of the wires melted the wirenut. I'm sure it made contact somewhere it shouldn't have.

Anyways, after realizing something was holding it back, I took the bolts out of the upper brackets, fixed the seal and put it back thinking it was a job well done.

Now the washer won't fill up with water. What did I ruin?

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Did you check the breaker?

The wire nut your talking about....was it in the dishwasher or on the wall where the cord for the dishwasher connects? I'm assuming the wall because I have never seen a dishwasher wired with NM cable.

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:17 AM   #3
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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Originally Posted by BirdSlapper View Post
so I proceded to use brute strength/ignorance to get it out. I didn't turn off the breaker, unbolt the tops or remove the kick panel.

What happened, unbeknownst to me, is the romex connector slipped allowing the wirenuts to come loose and one of the wires melted the wirenut. I'm sure it made contact somewhere it shouldn't have.


Now the washer won't fill up with water. What did I ruin?
Sigh... brute force is never a grand idea when it comes to appliances, electronics and other items as you now discovered.
I assume you checked the breaker first...
I've had to repair a washer a couple of times over the years and a drier but not a dishwasher.

By not filling with water, do you mean it turns on but it's non functional? in other words are you seeing POWER going to the dishwasher by some part or light on it working, but water is not entering?

There are probably some relays, and of course plenty of wiring to the controls, shorting a wire out as you described could have damaged a wire enough it melted through, so I would carefully inspect every wire in there with the power off at the breaker, and look for burned insulation on all the wiring along their entire lengths and where they connect.

If you don't have the cover, kickplate etc removed, some of them can be a bear to figure out how they are attached/screwed, most seem to have hidden screws or clips. You will have to maybe google your make/model + "opening cabinet" to find a diagram or something for your specific machine.

Last edited by RWolff; 04-25-2013 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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Did you check the breaker?

The wire nut your talking about....was it in the dishwasher or on the wall where the cord for the dishwasher connects? I'm assuming the wall because I have never seen a dishwasher wired with NM cable.
Breaker was fine. Dishwasher is on dedicated breaker.
With all looking like it was ready to go, the dishwasher would go into the run cycle and heat up, move around. The only thing absent was the filling of water.

With the kick panel removed, I was able to see that the wire nuts were in the lower right. I haven't fully removed the dishwasher to trace the power cable back. It appears to be hard wired.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:38 AM   #5
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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Sigh... brute force is never a grand idea when it comes to appliances, electronics and other items as you now discovered.
I assume you checked the breaker first...
I've had to repair a washer a couple of times over the years and a drier but not a dishwasher.

By not filling with water, do you mean it turns on but it's non functional? in other words are you seeing POWER going to the dishwasher by some part or light on it working, but water is not entering?

There are probably some relays, and of course plenty of wiring to the controls, shorting a wire out as you described could have damaged a wire enough it melted through, so I would carefully inspect every wire in there with the power off at the breaker, and look for burned insulation on all the wiring along their entire lengths and where they connect.


If you don't have the cover, kickplate etc removed, some of them can be a bear to figure out how they are attached/screwed, most seem to have hidden screws or clips. You will have to maybe google your make/model + "opening cabinet" to find a diagram or something for your specific machine.

I haven't fully inspected all of the wiring. I did replace the wirenut and set the wires back.

I'm left some details out of the story because I may have done them wrong. The last thing I want to do is come in here and act like I know what I'm doing when I'm looking for help. I'm new at this but learning. Anyways, I did check under the float for obstruction, the float switch (breaker off) for correct close/open operation - I believe I got continuety when I should have.

I didn't see any kinks in the water fill line.

With power on, I got 120v (fill valve) at cycle startup until it was time to fill with water - then it went to zero. Was it supposed to?

A coworker's guess was that it wasn't a bad fill valve, but a bad control board because I fried it? I don't know, but I ordered a new board. Instead of displaying minutes, the board showed a sweeping motion like a clock and didn't fix anything. I figured the board is defective and gave up. We were planning on getting a new/used dishwasher, but it seems like this is (was) not a cheap one.

I guess, I could shut the breaker and water off again and completely remove the unit, look for other affected wiring or kinks in the water hose?

Last edited by BirdSlapper; 04-25-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:46 AM   #6
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


The dishwasher is a Kenmore Elite with stainless interior. Model 665.16932000
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:03 AM   #7
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


That model is a nice one.....translation...$$$

Just so I understand....if your measuring the voltage going it....120Vac....but the moment a load kicks in....0?

I'm thinking that the controller board is going to pull little current compared to everything else....the fill valve is going to be about 1/4a (give or take an 1/8th). So, when it kicks in...most of the voltage is dropped across a bad connection.

If it was me.....

I would replace the hard wired connection with a SO cord and install an outlet in the box where the dishwasher currently connects. That way you can disconnect it when you need to.....

I would then take a household iron...and a meter..and plug both in to that new outlet. With the iron on, you should still see at least 115Vac, or, no more than about a 5v drop.

If the volts goes to 0, you have a more serious problem. If the voltage holds....plug the dishwasher into your new outlet. If it still does not work....time to go shopping.....if it does work....you owe me a beer.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:22 AM   #8
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
That model is a nice one.....translation...$$$

Just so I understand....if your measuring the voltage going it....120Vac....but the moment a load kicks in....0?

I'm thinking that the controller board is going to pull little current compared to everything else....the fill valve is going to be about 1/4a (give or take an 1/8th). So, when it kicks in...most of the voltage is dropped across a bad connection.

If it was me.....

I would replace the hard wired connection with a SO cord and install an outlet in the box where the dishwasher currently connects. That way you can disconnect it when you need to.....

I would then take a household iron...and a meter..and plug both in to that new outlet. With the iron on, you should still see at least 115Vac, or, no more than about a 5v drop.

If the volts goes to 0, you have a more serious problem. If the voltage holds....plug the dishwasher into your new outlet. If it still does not work....time to go shopping.....if it does work....you owe me a beer.
Hey Dawg,

I never measured voltage going in while the machine prepairs for its cycle. That's a good idea. I'll do that.

I measured voltage at the connection for the inlet valve. It would be 120 and then drop to nothing.

"Voltage dropped across a bad connection" I guess I should remove the unit and look for loose, severed, burned wires.

SO cord? I think I used that for one of my fluorescent lights in the garage, back when I thought only one 8 footer would be good enough. Its black wire with hot, neutral, ground?

Are you sure that there will be a "box" back there? A lot of things around here have been done in a very half ass fashion. Don't even get me started!
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:26 AM   #9
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Where do you live? It helps to put your location in your profile...we don't need your address....just general area....like..."South of the border" kind of thing.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #10
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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Old 04-25-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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I have never seen a dishwasher wired with NM cable.
Really? Must be a California thing. I've never seen a dishwasher that wasn't hard wired.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdSlapper View Post
Here's the story, a month ago my wife wanted me to fix the outer cosmetic seal on the dishwasher. I needed access to get in there a bit better, so I proceded to use brute strength/ignorance to get it out. I didn't turn off the breaker, unbolt the tops or remove the kick panel.

What happened, unbeknownst to me, is the romex connector slipped allowing the wirenuts to come loose and one of the wires melted the wirenut. I'm sure it made contact somewhere it shouldn't have.

Anyways, after realizing something was holding it back, I took the bolts out of the upper brackets, fixed the seal and put it back thinking it was a job well done.

Now the washer won't fill up with water. What did I ruin?
more than just a little confused here. What is the outer cosmetic seal? Also did you pull the dishwasher?
Anyways as far as I can tell your dishwasher runs but will not fill with water, correct? You say you have 120 volts to the water valve and it still isn't filling, that can mean only two things. Either you turned the supply water off or the water valve is not opening up to let it fill. If you have water supply and voltage to the valve, bad water valve.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


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Really? Must be a California thing. I've never seen a dishwasher that wasn't hard wired.
This is the blurb out of the manual for my dishwasher....sure sounds like they are talking about a plug....not nm...

Why would you want to hardwire the dishwasher? If it was never going to be pulled out....sure....you don't hardwire a dryer....

Quote:
After making sure that the voltage and the frequency values for the current in the home
correspond to those on the rating plate and that the electrical system is sized for the
maximum voltage on the rating plate, insert the plug into an electrical socket which is
earthed properly. If the electrical socket to which the appliance must be connected is not
appropriate for the plug , replace the socket,rather than using a adaptors or the like as
they could cause overheating and burns.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #14
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I think I ruined the dishwasher


Just a thought, did you turn the water off during you man handling the dish washer?
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
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more than just a little confused here. What is the outer cosmetic seal? Also did you pull the dishwasher?
Anyways as far as I can tell your dishwasher runs but will not fill with water, correct? You say you have 120 volts to the water valve and it still isn't filling, that can mean only two things. Either you turned the supply water off or the water valve is not opening up to let it fill. If you have water supply and voltage to the valve, bad water valve.
That's ok, I probably wasn't very clear. With my very limited household appliance skills and from what I can see, there are two sets of seals - an inner and an outer. The inner appears to keep the water in the machine. The outer is pretty chinsey and doesn't seem to be of any use.

I didn't fully pull the dishwasher - just pulled it enough to fix the outer seal. Yes, the dishwasher appears to run but doesn't fill.

There was 120 volts at the fill valve at startup, then it drops to zero during the fill cycle. Should it do that?

I manually just filled it with hot water and I'm running a cycle of dishes to see if they come out clean.

The water supply is open. I'll go ahead and order a fill valve like I should have in the beginning.

Thanks!

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