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elkaks 08-28-2012 10:09 PM

Maytag dishwasher MDB7100 no water comes from top spray arm
Maytag Dishwaer Model #MDB7100 installed in 2000. Top spray arm does not spray water. Top spray arm does not move and when I put a glass face up on top rack it only fills 1/2 with water. Bottom spray arm works fine, water fills up, goes thru wash, rinse and drain cycle but dishes are dirty because top rack is dry. I disassembled all parts from bottom spray arm down to impellor and cleaned out hard water deposits on all parts, screens, and arms. Checked the food chopper and replaced the impellor. But still no water from top spray arm. Is it a water pressure problem in the dishwaher or house or any other ideas? Thanks.

Protocol. 08-29-2012 09:50 PM

Impellor should control flow to the top arm. Take a garden hose and spray so it comes out the top impellor? That should give you a good indication of flow. It'll certainly get you covered in water. Clean all the holes and TAKE APART the top spray arm and any components that feed the top arm.

notmrjohn 08-30-2012 05:04 PM

You say the arm does not move, even when you spin it with finger? Should spin easily. If not take it off and check for roughness from wear or mineral or detergent deposits.
If ya take a look here you'll see a hose on the outside of the washer, connected to upper arm thru top. I can't tell where or to what it connects to on bottom. You could have deposits built up in either end or a kink in the hose. Let's hope you find the problem before you have to go this far.You'll have to slide the washer out of cabinet to see it.And lower end may be connected benaeth the tub.

elkaks 09-02-2012 01:48 AM

Hose & spray arm are not the problem
Thanks for your ideas but I have already done those. I removed the dishwasher from the cabinet and checked the hose which was clear. I put on a new impellor. I recently noticed that my second dishwasher (Bosche installed in 2008) also doesn't seem to get water to the top, so I'm thinking it's a water pressure problem in my house. The city paved my street a few weeks ago and I think they broke a water valve. The water was shut off for a day. I'm thinking this may have caused my dishwasher problems. What can I fix in my house or is it a city/street problem? Thanks for your help. My wife is going nuts with dishes piling up in the kitchen.

elkaks 09-02-2012 02:21 AM

notmrjohn, I forgot to add that the spray arm moves freely when I spin it manually, but it is not getting water through. It remains dry and does not spin during the wash cycle (It remains in the same position). Thanks.

notmrjohn 09-02-2012 12:44 PM

The washer(s) has a pump that circulates the water. Once washer is full it doesn't matter what supply pressure is. Low pressure would cause washer to fill slowly.
And that just gave me an idea I hadn't thought of til now. I was gonna say that the construction could have caused grit to jam or restrict pump, impeller etc etc. Which may still be true.
But B4 we go on, how do you know the arm does not spray? Can't see it when washer is on. Have you tried Protocols idea? Suppling water to arm from farthest supply you can and working towards arm with door open? Best do that outside if you can. But you may be making an assumption that is not correct. What evidence is there that arm does not spray? Which it could do even if not turning, so I don't know why I asked about that. Ah I, just scrolled up. ( you a mind reader? Last thing I saw was about the city and already checked hose) )
you may not be getting enuff water in B4 washer starts working. Water level is controlled by float and float switch. Float switch tells timer to start when there's enuff water. Float, switch, or timer could be cause of washer starting B4 enuff water, not enuff water for pump, impellor to send up there. Just start washer , let fill check water level. Float is on left front tub bottom, should look like...wait, going to diagram... aha, yours looks like top to spray paint can with smaller cap on top. Make sure it slides up and DOWN easily, mite not be going down far enuff, city grit in tube? Look in tube . Take float out, turn on washer, if washer even starts, some wont without float, you should just hear timer and other parts running no water going in. Turn it off as soon as you here motor start. Wedge flot down, turn on, frequent checks water can overflow. When almost too much water. free float turn on, check arm. If it sprayed, prob in float, float housing, float switch turning water off too soon. or timer, which could be turning on B4 float tells it too.( that's doubtful, even if it turns unit on water should still enter.) If none of my ideas is it, then I'm stumped, except to mess around with solenoid.
"dishes piling up in the kitchen" hey, if you can't fix machine, you could at least grab a rag. My Grandmother did it all by hand for family of 8, with water hauled from a well and heated on kerosene stove. When she many years later moved in with us, sometimes she would just turn on the kitchen water and watch it.

hardwareman 09-02-2012 05:01 PM

maybe if I explain how your dishwasher cycle works you can figure out your problem.
Turn washer on it begins to fill with water, the timer will only let the dishwasher fill for 90-120 seconds REGARDLESS whether or not the float switch is satisfied. The dishwasher kicks into the wash mode, the pump impeller pushes water through the center spray arm and through the hose that feeds the upper spray arm. It is that simple. That being said a majority of the water pushes through the center spray arm, the top spray arm does not get a lot of water most of your wash action comes from the lower arm. Since you say you have cleaned the filter and replaced the impeller about the only thing left is the amount of water in the tub. Did you check that? Maybe you have a plugged screen in the water valve, maybe you have a weak valve. Check your water level after a fill and tell us what you have.

notmrjohn 09-02-2012 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by hardwareman (Post 1001807)
the timer will only let the dishwasher fill for 90-120 seconds REGARDLESS whether or not the float switch is satisfied.

:huh:? The float switch is not in there for decoration. The timer works regardless of the float switch, but not the fill valve solenoid. The drain pump will usually run for a set time regardless of float. The timer sends current to the valve thru the switch. If the switch is on, with float down, valve opens. When water level rises, float rises turning switch off, no current flows to valve, even if timer is still in fill cycle. That's to prevent over flow. How can manufacturor preset a time when he doesn't know fill rate? The time is limited, so if float gets stuck in on/down position any overflow is also limited.
If switch is stuck in off/up position water won't flow no matter how long timer is sending current. If water pressure is low or inflow restricted, there might not be enough water in tub when timer cycle is over, with no current from timer it doesn't matter what float switch says, valve is closed. In some washers the float switch is also connected to motor or there is a pressure switch, some require water to lubricate moving parts, very rare.
elkaks, I'm not sure low water level is your problem. look and see as hardware sez. You can check by messin around with the float and switch, or timer may be cutting out too soon, you can check by filling tub with water from pan, or bucket from well, turn it on and see if arm turns. Watch out for over flow, valve could still open. You can listen to the fill cycle and see if it seems long enough, mechanical timers often have adjustment, mebbee some digital ones too. I knida doubt level is problem, tho you mentioned construction, could have lowered pressure and volume flow, city grit coulda got in there. Usually that causes no shut off or no turn on at all. New impeller, how was impeller housing? And all weird channels and such in there? Mineral deposits or detergent build up? Have you run a cup or two of vinegar thru there? Disconnect hose(s) and run bottle brush thru connections. Weak motor? Gotta be some kinda obstruction some where. When you had unit out of cabinet did you run it? Could hose be getting pinched when in cabinet? Two washers same problem. You got a HooDoo. Offended any VooDoo Mamas lately?
And please don't leave us hanging, if you solve it let us know so we can tell the next person.:(

hardwareman 09-02-2012 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by notmrjohn (Post 1001852)
:huh:? The float switch is not in there for decoration. The timer works regardless of the float switch, but not the fill valve solenoid.

Maybe you didn't understand what I said or you jsut like repeating it to make my point, I don't know. all dishwashers fill on a timed cycle. 90-120 seconds, if the float switch is not satisfied in that amount of time, that is it, no more water regardless. It is a safety feature other wise if the float switch got stuck in the closed positon it would flood the entire house. Therefore if he has a slow fill his tub will not get the necessary amount of water. As far as the rest of your post about dishwasher operation is concerned I will let that go.

notmrjohn 09-02-2012 06:32 PM

My fault, mis-read you, wound up repeating you. Thought you said timer would keep filling regardless of float.

byronagetz 09-03-2012 05:32 AM

This is quit helpful. The store near my house in it. Its out of stock can please anyone tell me is i can order it for home delievery and at where i can order

notmrjohn 09-03-2012 10:26 AM

Well, that's my fault too. i managed to so completely confuse elkaks, that he not only forgot what he was asking, he forgot who he even was.

orange 09-03-2012 06:40 PM

Your concern that the street paving may be related to your dishwasher issue is interesting. Do you have good pressure/flow from sink taps etc.? I suppose it is possible that shutting off and opening your main valve could loosen something and it could get lodged in a "strategic spot'. Just trying to relat your observation to your dishwasher issue.

elkaks 09-03-2012 11:39 PM

Thanks for your all your advice so far. I will try cleaning out the float on both dishwashers. For the first dishwasher, I tried most of these ideas and and cleaned it out and completely disconnected. I didn't notice the second one had problems until a week later. I will try to use vinegar and clean out the second one too. I WILL tell you what happens at the end. It is quite curious. You can't discount the remote possibiltiy of two dishwashers happening to break at exactly the same week the city digs up the street. That's just to throw a monkey wrench into my diagnostic skills!

Protocol, I did take off the top spray arm and clean it, but I will try to look at parts that attach to that. My son did that part but I didn't check it myself (my wife has my whole family involved in this inconvenient mystery).

BTW, I try a trick of holding down the door latch with a plastic knife so I can watch the dishwasher working while the door is open. You get very wet that way! :thumbsup:

Good marital advice! I do plenty of work around the house. Hey, I'm the one who repairs everything!:jester:

elkaks 09-04-2012 01:30 AM

OK. Dumb me. I went back to clean out pump and water ballast (? it looks like a drain pipe) and when I held down the door latch and operated the DW with the door ajar, I saw the bottom sprayer does not turn. The water from the bottom shoots out quite strongly but the arm did not turn. (It does turn when I push it manually.) The bottom spray arm shoots the water into a tower which sprays water in the middle. I took apart the whole bottom last time to clean it out and I think I put it all back correctly. I never noticed if the bottom ever turned before this.

Is there one part that turns both the bottom and top spray arms? The motor probably works because the water shoots out. I haven't even begun tacking the second DW. First I'm failingly working on the first one. Thanks for all your help!!!

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