Dishwasher motor sparks; not draining properly

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by AcidWater, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Here I discussed finding a new seal kit for my 1981 Kitchenaid (by Hobart). Its a KDI-19, but the motor is a Hobart KD-18.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...r-impeller-height-w-o-gauge-Kitchenaid-Hobart

    While observing for leaks after replacing it, I see a spark from inside the bottom of the motor housing when some cycles change. Its coming from behind so I have to look w/ a mirror. It seems to be coming from inside a soft-looking clear-yellowish colored (old soft plastic ???) "tube" of some sort. Also a red and a yellow wire next to it; maybe they connect inside this tube.

    I'm wondering if this surrounds a switch of some sort and if the spark is normal. Or maybe a replaceable part.

    Maybe this is the Thermal Protection switch kicking in? During one of the cycles, there is a really loud hum. When I press my finger against the Fill Valve, the vibration decreases a lot. I'll have to try again and time the cycles to see exactly when.

    Also the unit is not draining properly. There was about 1 1/2 gallons remaining in it after the complete wash cycle. Much more than the amount I poured in to see if there was a gross leak, before running it. I filled the sump up. But it seems to me that the "scavenge" drain cycle would take out any extra?

    I need to see if something is clogged (found a rusty screw and an almond in the bottom of the sump when I changed the seal).

    One problem is that the water valve is completely frozen and in a difficult place to remove & install a new valve... Have to shut & drain the whole house...
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Don't you think 32 years is stretching the lifespan of a dishwasher. There should never be sparks from a appliance switch or any thing else. The shut off valve needs to be replaced with a 1/4 turn style.
  3. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Yea the v/v is very hard to get to -- next time I need a real plumber I'll make him responsible for not burning the house down...

    This is a Hobart build; should be good for another 30 years if I throw in the right parts.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Hobart commercial dishwashers and Hobart Kitchenaid ones are two different animals. It could be the drain valve, but whatever it is there should not be a spark when it operates.
  5. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    If its the thermal protection switch it means something wrong with the motor. Can I cause the shaft to bind if I screw up replacing the shaft seal? Thinking maybe the drain impeller is too tight against the shaft seal ? The impellers don't look like they are rubbing against the housing; no scrape marks.

    Motor continuity between the leads is about 1 Ohm; nothing between hot & ground so not shorted. So motor windings look OK.

    Or maybe timer or program switch problems -- both of which are unobtainable. But the machine seems to run thru the cycle and the buttons pop back.

    Wish I knew the internal construction of the program switch. Might be repairable...

    If the motor is not spinning it won't drain because it needs pressure to push the water to the discharge point which is above the level of the bottom of the machine.

    The drain valve solenoid works when I power it on the bench & has about 70 Ohm resistance. It does hum so its wearing out but it sure does function.

    So back to timer or program switch... unless the motor shaft is binding.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  6. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Hmmm... can't turn the shaft by hand... should I be able to do that or does the collar of the shaft seal hold it tightly?

    Might be the bearings seized up. Hobart says it might be refurbishable.
  7. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    The shaft is locked up. Wish it didn't have the unique mounting plate. Then I could just toss in a new motor.
  8. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    If the pump was leaking then water may have gotten in the Motor Bearings / bushings.

    You maybe could try some Spray Teflon Lube onto the Bearings and hope it works.

    As for sparks, unless it is a brush motor you should see no sparks. If it is a brush motor then the brushes need replaced, and the armature needs polished.



    Good Luck.
  9. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Found a replacement motor... but also told the bearings are replaceable. How do you take it apart to get to them? Took out the 4 long bolts but now what?
  10. DonL

    DonL Banned

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