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Amana Dishwasher Film and Deposits Fiasco  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed May 17th, 2006 11:05 pm
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ZooKeeper
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So-  We've got a dishwasher in the field.  Has been in operation since October of 2005.  Our first call on the unit came in early december with a "not cleaning" complaint (my call dispatcher is horrible with the "Customer Request" part of the workorder).  Technician was dispatched and checked the dishwasher, but could find no cause for the issues present.  Marked it up as a "Custom Ed on soap usage".

This did not solve the problem.  Same tech has been out again, and again, can find no apparent cause, so I got involved.

Customer complaint:  Whitish film drying to inside of bowls.  Grainy-textured film inside glassware.  Thick film on flatware, especially in the bowl of the spoon.

My technician assures me that he has interrogated all of the usual suspects; no cracked arms, good water pressure and temperature, fresh soap, good pump, customer has tried new soap, has tried running the tap next the DW hot, etc., etc.

After quizzing the tech further I found that he did not actually measure the water temperature to verify that it is at least the 120 that the manufacturer recommends, nor did he verify what the water heater was set at.  Furthermore, the customer has admittedly very hard water.  They live in "Rock County" and are on a private well and no water softener.

So.  Tech support has given us no further info. I've instructed dispatch to schedule one final call and have talked with the technician and instructed thusly:  The call is to be run, water temperature measured at the diswasher, verified setting of the water heater and to perform a test for the actual hardness of the water.  My thought process being if their water is REALLY hard and/or the temperature of the water is below 120...  Follow me?

If water temp and hardness can be reasonably ruled out..I'm out of ideas. 

If anyone is still reading this...any other thoughts on what the tech might be missing?

 



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 Posted: Thu May 18th, 2006 01:40 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Most likely, it's gonna be one of those. Be sure to check out the detergent quality/appropriateness/freshness and the amount they're using-- watch them do it when your tech kicks off the test load with them... don't ask.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 26th, 2006 04:13 pm
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ZooKeeper
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Little late on this, but just wanted to confirm that this was, indeed, a hard water issue.  It's very frustrating to me that even though the tech KNEW that he was at a farm house on a private well with no water softener that he never looked into the hard water issue until I stepped in...

Stupid part-changing monkeys...

:poison:

 



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 Posted: Sat Aug 5th, 2006 11:23 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Maytag makes a hardwater testing kit I don't have the part number handy, maybe one of the other techs does. Miele uses these cool little strips to test water hardness. Either way, it's worth a quick check on dishwasher poor-cleaning calls.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 5th, 2006 12:24 pm
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Trying to help
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I don't like the strips unless Miele is different then what is sold locally. The ones I tried use to give you ranges, 0-3, 4-7 etc. The Maytag part number for the kit is 038184. Working in NY for all those years you deal with hard water often. You want to get water hot enough to activate your detergent, but not too hot where you cause flash drying. Flash drying is where the object in the unit gets so hot that instead of allowing the rinse aide to work and sheet the water off like a well waxed car, it evaporates off and leaves behind the residue. Kind of like washing a car in direct sunlight. Before you can dry it, you have all those water blotches everywhere. If the water temp is fine, then using selections such as temp boost and sani will actually make it worse. I know it goes against what you would normally think, I thought the same way but have found it to be true. This scenario will usually be wide spread throughout the DW on all items that retain heat, silverware, glasses, etc. 



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 Posted: Sat Aug 5th, 2006 01:06 pm
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ZooKeeper
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Very interesting re: flash drying.  Hadn't thought about that.  I'd think you're water temp would have to be very, very high in order to get to that level, am I right?  160ish?

The hardness kit we're now using is the maytag (I think) branded strips.  Not perfect, but it works well enough to give you a fairly accurate range.  For instance, the customer in question with this dw had water that registered off the scale, putting the water at something like 25 grains.

 



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 Posted: Sat Aug 5th, 2006 07:53 pm
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Trying to help
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+25 grains. Damn, might as well wheel in two water heaters every time you buy them out there. Just choosing sani heat or temp boost is enough to produce the milky stains of flash drying in severe hard water areas. Where I was originally from, the water hardness would vary depending on which reservoir they were drawing from upstate. Usually between 10 and 18 grains. You might want to check out the use and care book on the unit. Below is what it states on line for that unit. They have actually softened the wording. It used to say Amana is not responsible for poor cleaning results in area's of water hardness over 15 grains. Below that is a description of flash drying from the web. I have a lot of info on hard water and it's effects as well if you would like it faxed. I started to build a folder of information concerning it because it became more of a problem. Another thing to consider on the grit deposits is water fill. Most of my techs will tell me its fine! But when I make them take the kick-plate off and see if the float has caused the fill to stop or the board timing it out, 9 times out of 10 on grit complaints it's the board. They changed valves on these units to allow a greater GPM rate because of it. New board provide a 10 second longer fill as well. Good luck in what you find.  

  



Recommended Amount


Too little detergent results in poor cleaning, hard water filming/spotting and poor drying. Too much detergent can cause permanent etching/cloudiness. Suds can cause the dishwasher to overflow. Measure the detergent carefully and use only detergents designed for use in a dishwasher. Less detergent is needed in soft water. Try another brand of detergent if sudsing continues. The amount of detergent to use is determined by the hardness of the water and soil level of the load. Refer to the following chart for detergent usage recommendations.


In extremely hard water conditions (13 grains per gallon or more*), it is difficult to achieve good results with any dishwasher. A mechanical water softener may be necessary to improve water quality, detergent effectiveness, and protect the dishwasher parts from the damage that hard water can cause.


 

Web info
   ***Always purge the hot water at the sink until it is hot just before running the dishwasher. This will ensure the first fill is hot. Also, check to make sure that your hot water heater is set between 120-125 degrees. Most units are shipped turned way down. Keep in mind that hotter is not better. Any hotter with these new dishwashers and you get what is called flash drying. This is when the environment in the dishwasher is so hot that after the final rinse, instead of the water running off the glass taking with it all its impurities, it is instantly baked on.

Last edited on Sat Aug 5th, 2006 07:54 pm by Trying to help



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 Posted: Mon Aug 7th, 2006 09:09 pm
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TTH's part#  came up with two results at RepairClinic.Not sure which is correct, but both same price. Both also Special Order. 1) http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R=154&N=374204 and 2) http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R=154&N=1184215



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 Posted: Thu Aug 10th, 2006 10:17 pm
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Keinokuorma
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Softener salt?

At least here they sell some DW salt that is to be used in hard water areas... Newer dishwashers even come with a dispenser that is filled with fresh water before the maiden wash, and these salt pellets are then added when necessary and the dispenser is adjusted according to the hardness reading. I've been called on some cases where dishes have remained dirty, and 7 times out of 10 it has been solved by adding the salt. I don't know what it is, but it does make the water softer.

They tell not to use normal NaCl in the manuals, but the stuff tastes the same, and usually if I'm called on such a case, and the DW has the salt dispenser, I dip my finger in the tank and take a lick to find out. Often it's been plain water there, and as said, adding the salt has helped many. In cases with no dispenser, I have crushed half a pellet into the detergent dispenser, and it works the same way.

I have noticed that when handwashing dishes, adding normal salt (NaCl) to the water will break down the foam but it gives better washing results. Perhaps the DW salt does the same, but our DW detergents give very little foam anyway... Also the amount and type of detergent does count. Liquified detergents often leave some slime behind, the powdered concentrate doesn't.

I've noticed the same with hand soap. Most liquid handsoaps end up leaving more gookus into the sink and sewer pipes than conventional hard soap. And, mostly they really don't clean your hands as well. Perhaps this is because sodium laureth olamine (in liquid "soap") adheres with the plastic tubing as well as with grease, but sodium palmitate and stearate (real soap) doesn't do that as much.

I don't know if it's been wise to taste the DW salt, but I still have three eyes and a tail, so I think it hasn't affected me so far. If anyone has info on this salt, like what it is, and how on earth adding more minerals will make the water softer (but it does), I would be glad to know.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 10th, 2006 10:24 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Fun facts to know and tell about water softening:

- the salt is NOT there to soften the water; salt does not and cannot soften water.

- the purpose of the salt is to recharge the ion exchange resin on dishwashers with built-in water softeners, such as the Mieles. It is this resin that does the actual softening by removing hardness ions, such as ca+2.

- adding salt to dishwashers that do not have a built in softener does nothing to soften the water, but does a pretty good job of giving you salty dishes!

- the reason for not using table salt is because the iodine added to the table salt can damage the resin.

Very good. Carry on, sailors.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 10th, 2006 10:30 pm
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Keinokuorma
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Thanks, that sorts it out. :D Well, my Helkama has a built-in softener, and although I live in a soft water area, it still gives better washing results if I use The Salt.

As it regards manual washing, if The Salt does no other good, it decreases the bloating effect on your hands. ;) 

I think I owe you some beer for clearing this out, but I haven't got a cost/time effective paying method (currently it costs €6 extra and takes 5 days to process an overseas wire transfer, and PayPal doesn't work for me yet).

Last edited on Thu Aug 10th, 2006 10:57 pm by Keinokuorma



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 Posted: Fri Aug 11th, 2006 06:17 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man wrote: Fun facts to know and tell about water softening:

- the salt is NOT there to soften the water; salt does not and cannot soften water.

- the purpose of the salt is to recharge the ion exchange resin on dishwashers with built-in water softeners, such as the Mieles. It is this resin that does the actual softening by removing hardness ions, such as ca+2.

- adding salt to dishwashers that do not have a built in softener does nothing to soften the water, but does a pretty good job of giving you salty dishes!

- the reason for not using table salt is because the iodine added to the table salt can damage the resin.

Very good. Carry on, sailors.


I am constantly amazed by the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

I am a proud grasshopper, indeed, to be under your expert tutelage.

 



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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 02:32 am
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Keinokuorma
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In order to be a real country you have to have a beer and an airline. It helps to have a football team and maybe some Nuclear Weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -Frank Zappa .

Well we do have a couple different beers. We have Lapland Gold, we used to have Lapland Gold Ice, and we also get the threesome stuff that Lidl puts through. And many more. What does the Omniscient Samurai propose?

Keinokuorma, a.k.a. the Dummy Load



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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 01:27 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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After a hard slog in the mountains, bagging some peaks and dancing with rocks, I love pounding a 6-pack or two of Tuckerman's Pale Ale during the long drive home.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 02:16 pm
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Keinokuorma
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Probably I must find out if I can get that beer from Finland... I used to drik a lot of this Wild Indian brand, until they stopped production in 1996... porbably I didn't drink enough.

Attachment: wildindian.jpg (Downloaded 66 times)



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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 03:41 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Corn beer! Dayyam, wisht I coulda swigged some o' dat!



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 Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2006 11:26 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man wrote:
I love pounding a 6-pack or two of Tuckerman's Pale Ale during the long drive home.


Sure hope you're NOT the one doing the driving when pounding the 6'er or two!!!!!! Let the Mrs. Samurai or one of the little Samurai guys drive, (when they are old enough of course).



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 Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2006 12:37 pm
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You can get water softening on some Fisher&Paykel dishdrawers. I haven't worked on one with the option, yet.

If you did fail to keep the salt reservoir filled, the resin bed would not get cleaned and ionized, and the resin beads would not be able to their job.

And yes, I too have serviced many water softeners. I used to live in central Pennsylvania and that area has some of the purest limestone deposits on earth. Water heaters don't last long in those conditions.

Nick



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 Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2006 01:50 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Budget Appliance Repair wrote:
Sure hope you're NOT the one doing the driving when pounding the 6'er or two!!!!!! Let the Mrs. Samurai or one of the little Samurai guys drive, (when they are old enough of course).

Obviously, I was just kidding about pounding a couple 6-packs while driving home, Willie. That's extremely irresponsible and I would never do that! I'd hate to think I was sending a message that it's ok to drink and drive to any youngsters who may be reading this. While driving, I prefer a cocktail of heroin, cocaine, and LSD which I mix into a syringe and inject directly into my brain through my right eyeball.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2006 01:59 pm
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Keinokuorma
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nickfixit wrote: I too have serviced many water softeners. I used to live in central Pennsylvania and that area has some of the purest limestone deposits on earth. Water heaters don't last long in those conditions.
Any experience with electrolytic demineralizers? Never got to service one, but there are a couple installed in houses with their own well and a septic system.



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