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KitchenAid PowerClean Module  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2007 06:59 pm
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mnementh
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Okay... I'm a noob here, but I do kindof have a lot of experience in a number of disciplines, including appliance repair. ( I spent 3 years working for a local Ding & Dent store, rebuilding new damaged appliances for discount retail. Mostly gas ranges & dryers, some laundry, very little dishwasher)

I have a KA dishwasher which uses the PowerClean module; when I first took it in about 4 months ago it had just started leaking around the mainseal, so I did that service per the PowerClean Module Service Manual found on servicematters.com.

When I put it back together, I realized that I wasn't sure how the two drain check balls go, & the manual is very specifically useless on that point - no reference AT ALL except the diagram below, which shows BOTH check balls under the drain cover. As there is not enough room under the drain cover for both of them (the drain cover will only seat if ONE is placed in the center of the well shown in photo A) I looked closer, & determined that the mating surface on the bottom of the Separator/Filter assembly (Photo B) has a chamfered edge, indicating that it is in fact a seat for a check ball. Based on that, I assembled the unit with the drain check balls as shown in photo C, with one ball below the drain cover in the well in the lower pump housing, & one above the nipple in the drain cover opening so that it is free to seat against the chamfered hole in the bottom of the separator/filter assembly.

The dishwasher seemed to work okay this way, not great, sometimes upper rack not getting as clean as I'd like, but I just attributed it to careless stacking. Last week, it stopped cleaning in the upper rack at all, & lower rack washing became very poor. I took the unit apart this weekend, & found that the Separator/Filter Assy had split in half at the seam; probably from pressure buildup inside, as the screens were almost completely clogged with soil & scale. 
At this point I have to ask myself "Did I put those checkballs in wrong, & could that have caused this failure?" I've got a new Separator/Filter from my local partshouse, but I really don't want to risk exploding it if I've assembled the pump incorrectly.

I guess my problem is this - I'm having a hard time visualizing the water flow through the Separator/Filter, & as such I can't see logically how the check valves work.

So, if any of you out there actually know, could you please tell me if the check balls go as shown in photo C, or if they go as shown in photo D? If they DO go as shown in photo D, then WHY are there 2 of them in that cavity? What purpose is served by that arrangement?

Do the check balls go in a different arrangement I haven't addressed here? If so, How?

I've read in posts across a number of forums by a number of technicians that this design is one of the best that Whirlpool ever came up with, & that if I'm having trouble with dishes not getting clean, there is definitely something WRONG - these dishwashers simply wash very well.

So, I'm asking for help from the forum - What do you know?

Thank you very much,

Mnem - Manic Mechanic & Dragon about Town.

Attachment: Balls.JPG (Downloaded 213 times)



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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2007 12:27 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Great job on the attachment! Post the model number and I may be able to get a more detailed diagram. Though, looking at the diagram you supplied, I'm wondering if you're missing a ball... in your powerclean filter module, that is. The diagram you posted shows three check balls: the top one is called out as simply the "ball check," while the bottom two earn the special moniker of "drain check balls." Did you reassemble all three in your module?



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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2007 04:08 am
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mnementh
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Wow! A personal response from the Samurai himself!

*Proffers an ice-cold Kirin, then bows deeply from the waist* *NAMASTE*

Thanks... Yes, the KA manual (Found here)

http://tinyurl.com/34h5nm

is very clear on how to place the single ball check you refer to... it goes as shown in the diagram above, in a pocket in the inlet base which is attached to the bottom of the Separator/Filter. But for some reason, it makes no reference at all to the correct placement of the drain check balls, instead concentrating on the motor shaft alignment procedure/seal replacement, then moving right on to chopper assemby with the drain cover shown already installed.:huh:

My model # is: KUDR24SEBL3 , though the only reference I've been able to find anywhere on the service of the actual pump assembly itself has been the above manual.

Thanks for the quick response,

Mnem
"Pizza is nature's way of controlling the anchovy population." :stooges:

Last edited on Sun Jul 1st, 2007 08:52 am by



____________________
"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2007 09:21 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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OK, the diagram I found is only slightly more detailed that the one you posted and equally unilluminating. However, I think it's highly unlikely that you could place the drain check balls in the well in an arrangement that would cause the Separator/Filter Assy to split. BTW, could you post a picture of that?

Also, the pump outlet has been a common troublemaker on this otherwise fine dishwasher. The common failure is that one of the seams splits allowing water to escape sideways rather than getting forced up into the spray arm. On a dishwasher of this vintage and with this problem, it's usually worth going ahead and replacing it to avoid a future failure.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2007 04:21 pm
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mnementh
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Okay - first off - sorry for the ommission, but the pump outlet cover was new when I rebuilt the pump - it had cracks in the ears under almost all of the screws, so I just replaced it as PM.

And Yes, the diagram you found is not very much more detailed than mine, but DEWED! LOOK! :thumbsup: - it shows BOTH drain check balls going in the TOP of the drain cover!!! (As in my photo D)

Okay... this is what I've figured out, I think... one thing I just noticed is that if I install the check balls as in photo C, with one UNDER the drain cover in that well in the pump base, then the nipple in the drain cover actually "pins" the ball in place in that well - it cannot move at all. A check ball needs to be able to move in order to work, otherwise it's just an impediment, not a valve. As there is no other place under the drain cover a check ball could fit, I have to think that it doesn't belong there - they must both go as in photo D.

I've attached a pic of the Separator/Filter assy; as you can see, it has split along the seam between top & bottom halves. The lower pic shows how occluded the filter screens are, but what is hard to see is how the filter material appears "stretched"; it is not smooth & tight across its surface like the new one, but rather slightly puckered outward as if a great amount of pressure had built up behind it. Add this to the split seam, & I think that is exactly what happened - the screens clogged up, too much pressure built up inside the Separator/Filter, & it eventually split the casing.:tard:

Now my question here is more along the lines of "What caused the separator, which was perfectly clean & clear of any debris when I assembled this unit, to not clean itself properly, causing this?"

This is where I begin to question placement of those check balls... if they aren't placed properly, I'm sure they could either block flow of water going where it should, or even allow the wash pump section or the drain pump section (or BOTH) to cavitate, and I suspect there may be the cause of my clogged Separator.

I think at this point, especially in light of my discovery about the way I had it assembled originally not allowing that one check ball to move, and with the encouragement of the diagram you found, that it's time to do a little "empirical engineering". I'm going to try it with the new separator first as in photo C, (since it's already assembled that way) then as in photo D... we'll see if it makes any difference in wash quality. :rocker:I just hope I don't strip any screw holes out, as I've already had this apart 3 or 4 times with the first rebuild.

Thanks for your help,

Mnem
*Toddles off to find his long overcoat, cuz it's gonna be raining in the kitchen*:drowning:

Attachment: ExplodedSeparator.JPG (Downloaded 191 times)



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"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Fri Jul 6th, 2007 01:45 pm
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mnementh
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Okay, I'm back -

Well, I tried it the with the new separator as shown above in photo C; running the dishwasher with the door open (in my long overcoat) to observe. The water from the wash hit the stove on the opposite side of the kitchen. :flush: Then I tried it as in photo D above; the water from the wash DROWNED the stove... and the fridge... and tried to scrub my eyeballs off my face before I could get my coathanger out of the door interlock.:surfin: I think we have a winner!

And yes, before I got too excited:spaz:, I DID verify that the unit does still drain properly & doesn't pee all over the floor. :cop:

So Thanks for the help, I'm gonna go enjoy my nice clean dishes now! :party:
(And stop eating off of paper plates, ;)

Mnem

"It's kindof like Pro Wrestling - Part reality, part illusion, part bullshit, all mixed with big scary guys from parts unknown in dire need of psychiatric care.":samurai:



____________________
"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 03:27 pm
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JFEsch
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Hi guys

First time caller and listener, ah, first timer here.

Mnementh, thanks for the great information. Now I am not afraid to work on my beast as much, though it has bit my left hand about 3 times. Darn sharp edges.:yikes:

I have a Kitchenaid Whisper Quiet Dishwasher model KUDM25SHWH1, and having the same issue with dishes not coming out clean and water left near the base of the pump (inside the washer not out). The last time we had a tech come out and fixed it. The tech stated this was normal that junk built up around the "2 balls" and then tend to stick once in awhile.

I can get the water to drain out, most of the time, by running the CANCEL cycle several times. I can tell when the water is drained by the sound the washer makes. Getting tired of doing that and waste electricity.

I have taken the beast apart and cleaned out any junk. I found alot of cleaned grease, a piece of broken glass, 2 olive pits, and a small rock (no gravy beef gravy-Monte Python).

I looked up the part that prevent the "balls" from "dropping" into the well and noticed they put something like a "T" instead of the single "Pin".

Does water flow both ways in this well and that is why they have 2 balls in this area so there is a chance one of them will get in the hole?

I don't want to have to buy a new pump assembly cause that is doing its job and all parts look in good shape. No chunks of plastic.  The machine is 7 years old.

Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

John

Oregon

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 11:39 pm
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mnementh
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John -

I don't know for sure, but I suspect that since the other side of the drain cover has the drain check ball in it, this arrangement of check balls must serve some other purpose. :huh:

Personally, I think (after having some time to consider it) that they are arranged so that they create a pulsation in the water to the filter/separator to aid in its self-cleaning action. :touched: The drain check ball is on the other side of the drain cover; if you're having drainage issues, I'd check there first.
You said you found grease clogging in the well; I'd make sure the screens in the filter/separator are clean (You should be able  to see through them easily).

Also, remove and check the entire drain hose, from the sink drain all the way back to the dishwasher. Greasy gunk often clogs this up and interferes with drainage.
Oh yeah :idea: - there's a check valve in the plastic nipple where the drain hose attaches to the dishwasher that can clog up too; don't forget to remove the drain hose from the dishwasher and look there too!:shock:

Hope this helps,

Mnem
"It's a thankless job, but I have a lot of Karma to burn off."



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"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 05:49 am
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JFEsch
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I did check the drain hose, stuck my fingers in both ends, blew into, and took the wet dry vac to it, sounds like an adult movie, :shock: and it is all clear.

After getting everything back together and my final cut on top of my left index finger :yikes:from the stainless steel, it didn't want to drain. It started getting better after doing the cancel button thingy.  Now it will do a full cycle but still will leave some water up to the top of the plastic strainer. :? Hit cancel again and the remaining water gets pumped out.

Would there be an adjustment on the logic board to tell the pump to stay on for another 30 seconds or so? :headbang:

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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2008 02:18 pm
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mnementh
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Hmmm...

These units drain based on the float switch AND a timer; they drain unitil the float switch closes and then for a specific time thereafter, or until a "deadman" time timer sets if the float switch doesn't close to prevent motor/seal burnout from running dry.

If these units are healthy & not backed up in the drain, they should evacuate completely in 45-90 seconds & shut off shortly after that.

I would try next letting the drain hose dump into a bucket to verify proper volume; if it drains completely & has good flow, I'd look into wherever that drain hose connects to your sink drain.

After that, I'd guess the next step would be the pump itself. Use the manual for the PowerClean Module found here:

http://tinyurl.com/34h5nm

and disassemble the unit down to the pump impeller & macerator. Look for any clogs or damage to the impeller; try sticking the hose of your shop vac on the end of the drain nipple to verify clear passages from the pump cavity to the drain.

Do NOT remove the screws holding the motor to the pump housing, even though the directions show you how. You need a special alignment tool to put it back together; without it you'll be fixing a prematurely failed mainseal in short order, and there is nothing to service which requires that disassembly.

Hope that helps,

mnem
Remember... you only cut yourself on a dull blade. With a sharp one, you amputate.:yikes:



____________________
"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2008 02:28 pm
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JFEsch
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Well, I did tear the thing down. No leaks so far. Everything looked fine. The pump looked good, and the hose got examined and sucked, by the wet dry vac that is. You think maybe the float switch might need a little up or down adjustment.

I will do the suggestion you made by checking the volumn of water coming out of the hose into a bucket.  I will also snake the discharge hose to make absolutely there is no blockage.

I will let ya know what I find out, but it will be next week sometime.

Thanks for the advice.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 16th, 2008 03:21 pm
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mnementh
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There really isn't any adjustment of the float available on these.... it's not that precise a measure, and you don't want to mess with it anyhow - it's how the run water level is set; high enough to keep the heating coil immersed but low enough that it doesn't all pour out the door. Like I said; your unit is not draining properly if it takes longer than the timer gives it. The question is what is getting in the way...

mnem



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"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 05:11 pm
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JFEsch
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:party:It was the check valve coming off the pump that was restricting the discharge flow. That what repair tech was referring to about a check valve being clogged with junk. :bananadance:

That is working fine now, but the dishes still have food particles on them after the completed cycle.:headbang:

Do you think I should replace my 2 "balls" or :huh: ?  I have ran the machine a couple of times without dishes to ensure all debris has been removed but with no luck with dishes.

I finally got tired of cutting my left hand on this machine so I decided to take off my index finger Monday night. :beating: Not really but I did managed to take off my left index finger on a metal lathing accident, so now working on this dishwasher will be a challenge and so will be typing.

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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 08:08 pm
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mnementh
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Large food residue remaining is usually a result of food not being ground up properly by the macerator in the center of the pump; small food particles are usually either a result of the sump not being drained completely, or the filter assembly not self-cleaning properly. This can be caused by those check balls being in the wrong place, an over-clogged filter assembly, or a split filter assembly like the one I had. Make sure it's clean (You should be able to see clearly through all of the filter area on the assembly) & carefully inspect the seam around the circumference of the filter assembly; it can have a hairline crack which only opens up under pressure & heat.

mnem
Be the water.



____________________
"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 08:11 pm
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mnementh
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PS - STOP THAT! *Points at Lathe* NO FINGERS FOR YOU!

mnem



____________________
"Mrs K, I'm afraid it's bad news. Your son was born with... THE KNACK."

"Isn't there anything we can do?"

"I'd say start with a socket set, and maybe a good multimeter..."
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