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Forum Index => Dishwasher Repair => Topic started by: Rick52768 on April 24, 2013, 09:57:34 PM

Title: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on April 24, 2013, 09:57:34 PM
Been fighting this dishwasher's poor performance for a while.  Ready to sit it on the curb.  Here is what I think I know using the water/service test:

Frigidaire PLD2855RFC
Neither of the top two spray arms rotate or move at all
Both dispensers work
Inlet valve filter is not clogged
Overflow float never trips
Water reaches the just covers the post that the heater element mounts to
126 seconds to fill
Water temp 120
Check ball rolls back towards the rear on the dishwasher
Water in bottom of dishwasher after all cycles looks dirty
After the drain cycle a little amount of water flows back into the bottom of the dishwasher
Dishes have some whitish grit left on them
Air gap is new, as the old one looked pretty dirty to me
I use the normal cycle with no other options
Drying vent on door was clogged with "stuff" but now is replaced and working.
Not looking to replace it unless I have to.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Bailey on April 25, 2013, 08:52:14 AM
There is a check valve on the drain pump that should prevent water from backing into the dishwasher.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Bailey on April 25, 2013, 08:53:59 AM
Also what kind of detergent are you using? Granular detergent will leave a gritty residue when it gets old.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on April 25, 2013, 09:11:21 AM
I will have to check the back flow check valve.  The detergent is new (couple months old).  To add to the information I tried to use a Jet Dry dishwasher cleaner late last night and it never emptied.   The "wax" plug was still in the cap of the bottle.  Seems like it is not getting hot enough or could the wax harden over time because I have had the cleaner for some time now.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Bailey on April 25, 2013, 05:09:14 PM
If you let it fill and start washing and then open the door, can you see the spray arm moving? I would think if the lid was on the bottle of cleaner the wax plug would be OK. What do you hear when its washing. If its too quiet that's not good. You should hear water hitting the door as the arm turns.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: PARTech on April 25, 2013, 05:11:19 PM
Water temp 120 F? That is about where most hot water tanks are set... Not heating the water enough?
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Bailey on April 25, 2013, 05:21:02 PM
Yeah thats ok for incoming water temp. Would have to check it at the end of the main wash to see if it was up to 140
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: domain on April 25, 2013, 08:30:51 PM
Just cause the ball moves freely, doesnt mean the pump/pcb are doing their fair share O0 O0
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on April 25, 2013, 09:46:15 PM
Okay, so how can I check the pump and pcb (printed circuit board?), domain?  I am guessing the pump also supplies water to the bottom sprayer arm, which spins and shoots water to the top of the dishwasher.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Bailey on April 26, 2013, 09:30:05 AM
I see a lot of frigidaire dishwashers. I keep two pump motors in stock. Sometimes the impeller will strip and the other problem is the plastic cover over the impeller [which just snaps in place] will come loose. It is easy to check but you will have to pull the dishwasher out and lay it on it's back to remove the motor.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: domain on April 26, 2013, 05:14:29 PM
 O0 O0


WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
The water distribution system consists of an upper and
lower spray arm, upper (spray) arm delivery tube, filter,
soil director, pump, sump, and check ball. The system
is designed to operate only one spray arm at a time.
During the first wash and first and second rinses, only
the lower spray arm operates. In the second wash, third
and fourth rinses the spray arms alternate about every
90 seconds.
This alternating of the spray arms is achieved with a
check ball located on a ramp between two outlets of the
pump. There is an outlet to the bottom spray arm and an
outlet to the upper arm delivery tube. In the normal
position the ball is at the bottom of the ramp, in front of
the opening to the upper arm delivery
When the pump starts, the force of the water pushes the
ball to block the opening to the upper arm delivery tube.
Not all of the water is blocked however. The opening is
constructed to allow a small amount of water to bypass
the ball and enter the tube, and fills the tube at a rate of
approximately four inches a second. At the same time,
the outlet to the lower spray arm is open, so the lower
spray arm operates. When the pump stops, the pressure
is removed from the ball and the water flows down the
tube, forcing the ball up the ramp and against the outlet
to the lower spray arm. If the pump remains off for more
than 3 seconds, all the water in the tube escapes and
the ball returns to the bottom of the ramp. But, if the
pump is started in less than .6 seconds, the water from
the upper arm delivery tube is still forcing the ball up the
ramp against the outlet to the lower spray arm. The
force of the water from the pump continues to hold the
ball against the outlet to the lower spray arm which
leaves the outlet to the upper arm delivery tube open.
When the ball is in this position only the upper spray arm
operates. This momentary stopping of the pump is
controlled by the control board.
Another unique feature of the water distribution system
is the two cavities of the sump. One cavity provides
filtered water to the pump for recirculation through the
spray arms. The other, called a quiet water cavity,
allows soil to collect in the area of the macerator blade,
where it is held until the drain pump removes it.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on April 27, 2013, 11:14:59 AM
Now that is an answer I can understand, Domain.  Not sure it is the best principle to have this type of system, but it least I feel better that it could be the reason I have not seen the top two arms move during the service test mode.  I will give it a quick look during a real complete run. 

Getting ready to give the jet dry dishwasher cleaner bottle a second chance so I will have a time during the second 21 minute wash cycle.  I will also check the water temp during that same cycle.  I do know that the heater element test okay and does get a little hot during the service mode which is very short.  The door vent was an issue, but is working correctly with the "new" parts from a junked unit from my friend.  I forgot to mention that we have very hard water here in my neck of the woods "city" due to limestone mainly.  I have heard that running some CLR in the dishwasher would be helpful, is this true?  I installed a water softener last year mostly for the dishwasher.  So the hard water should not be an issue anymore other than build up(I no longer use fabric softener and towels are just as soft) and I have the setting on the softener very low so getting soap off should be okay. 

Side note, is there a better way to test for correct water softness?  I have been using the free test strips from the salt pellet companies but really do not like the so, so readings.  Check valve flap was deformed and replaced from that junked parts unit.  Any reason it could have gotten damaged in which I should be looking for the cause?  I think the valve letting back in dirty water in the drain tube could have been my biggest issue, so thanks Bailey.  BTW, just in case I did not make it clear the bottom sprayer arm spins and makes a lot of water noise, so the pump and impeller looks to be okay.  I will give an update on the water temp and if the wax plug melts and releases the dishwasher cleaner.  Let me know what you all think about the other detail please.  Thanks
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on April 27, 2013, 02:20:27 PM
Details of last run:
*Took 135 minutes to reach Dry cycle (91.5 minutes is what the chart shows)
         [Had hi-temp option on, seen long HO (water heating delays)]
*1 1/2 minutes shy of 2 hours told time.
*Temperature was near 110 at the end of last cycle (using infrared tester which reads incoming temp at 130)
         [I had tried to read the stream of water in the faucet, but got a better reading in a glass]
*Non-visible steam from vent which measured 94 (Inside temp 67, outside temp 55, dew point 49, humidity outside 82%, inside humidity 30% according to a low cost reader)
         [Was able to see steam in the past]
*I was able to hear different water patterns which makes me believe that all sprayer arms were working, but this is just a guess.
*The dishes look clean (a couple of plates had a grain of grit here and there), but the glasses on the top rack (upside down so no standing water) have that gritty dirt of many colors as you can hopefully see in the attached photo.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 11, 2013, 11:09:05 AM
Still in need of help guys.  Did everyone fall of the face of the earth. I am trying to get this crappy dishwasher fixed before the wife comes back from business trip.  I hope I have not overloaded anyone with information, but I am someone who likes as much info as possible when fixing anything.  Going to make sure the drain pump works when it should in the cycle but that is a pain to babysit the dishwasher for a 2 hour period.  BTW, what should be the max distance between dishwasher and sink drain?  Do not have the complete distance at this moment but the drain hose comes the far right of the dishwasher, through one set of wide drawers to the left side of a good size double sink (countertop mounted air gap) and then back to right bowl through a disposal which drains to the left bowl which is the sink drain.  Just more info to muddy the waters, no pun intended.  Thanks again for any help is getting this issue solve before I have to buy another dishwasher.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 11:42:48 AM
how is your water pressure? too low will cause some of your problems but the water should be hot as well - steaming!

 
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 11:45:35 AM
if water is too low in dishwasher it will not pump to pressure  it will surge and sound like its washing but not
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 11:50:14 AM
after dishwasher fills open and see where water is then try pouring about a gallon into the tub and close the door see if it sounds better
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 11, 2013, 12:00:22 PM
Water pressure has always been a concern of mine.  Newer neighborhood with 5/8 water mains, 62 psi at hose spigot, drops to 42 when the second hose spigot is turned on.  Increased the water line (1/2") to dishwasher included a good size hose to dishwasher.  Bottom sprayer sprays easily to the top of the dishwasher.  Water temp as stated in my earlier post is 130 coming in, but not so much after it comes into the dishwasher.  Getting ready to run a load with nothing but a couple of clean glasses to see if even then they come out dirty (with no dirty dishes) and I can time the drain cycles.  I will give adding a gallon of water a try as well.  I have always wondered what the correct water level should.  It never trips the overflow sensor, which is likely normal. Thanks for the input grkeener.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 12:05:07 PM
low water pressure will cause a lot of your problems as the unit fills by time not level also check your water valve screen to see if clogged by hard water
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 11, 2013, 12:07:28 PM
I have checked the inlet filter and it is free of hard which I was surprised, but happy to see.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 12:10:11 PM
by the way to best clean the dishwasher pour 1 gallon of vineger into bottom and let soak overnite then run a cycle next day
dont put c.l.r. into dishwasher some parts may be sensative to it and damage the dishwasher
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 11, 2013, 01:04:36 PM
I will try vinegar then.  Some folks here said it was a good step, but I understand how it could be a problem if left to soak too long.  The only problem is I think the sprayer arms have gunk in them.  I believe this as I can see some hard water crust where the two halves on the plastic spray arm meets.  I may try them in the sink upside down as the vinegar in the bottom of the tub will do nothing for the spray arms in the terms of soaking.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: grkeener on May 11, 2013, 01:21:27 PM
as long as the holes are not gunked they should be good. but cleaning cant hurt
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 11, 2013, 01:23:45 PM
Holes are clear, but I will clean the arms as well.  Vinegar is in the dishwasher well soaking already.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 12, 2013, 10:32:40 AM
I did have a few bit of "stuff" that came out of the bottom spray arm.  I put masking tape over the holes and filled the arm with vinegar, which worked fairly well.  Running the vinegar cycle right now (which soaked overnight) and to get the full use of the vinegar, I disconnected the drain pump for the first three drain time and then reconnected it.  So I did notice a big difference with more water in the tub.  But I still do not know what the normal sound or water level should be.  And of course I did hear a difference as it even tripped the overflow sensor due to missing that first drain cycle (or 3 to be correct). 

Of my many questions, would adding enough water to trip the overflow sensor after the start-up drain cycle help in the following wash/rinse cycles as the rest of the drain cycles are shorter than the first cycle? I will have to move stuff and clean the basement to prepare for the call to the water company to solve the low pressure, or low volume issue as I have no idea what they will do to fix it, if anything.  I have heard of a test that will let you know how many gallons/min are being delivered to the unit which from memory involves a measured container and a stop watch.  But my question would be what is the required minimum volume for my dishwasher?

 There is still "dirty" water in the quite sump area after this vinegar run.  Is it normal after a complete normal wash cycle to have dirty water in the quite sump?  How does the quite sump ever really get clean?  What does the turbidity sensor do in the terms of actions the dishwasher will take if it senses the water is dirty?  Can I test the sensor with a multimeter?  I am soaking the heating element which has some hard water crust on it with paper towels soaked with vinegar.  Hopefully that is the cause of the dirty water in the sump this time.  And then I will run a complete cycle without any dishes but with soap, adding water after the first drain and see the condition of the quite sump water.  Then run a complete cycle with clean glasses on the top shelf and see if they are clean or dirty, but any help before hand that would guide me in the run direction would be great.  Thanks
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: sparky823 on May 13, 2013, 01:46:32 AM
Could your fill valve not be opening fully during the fill? I know you said you checked the screen but couldn't deposits(mineral) inside the valve prevent a full flow?
I have also read where some people remove the flow restrictor in the valve without any problems when they have low water pressure.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 13, 2013, 10:39:45 AM
Is there an easy way to check to see if it is flowing as it should? Do all models of dishwashers have restrictors?  I will check the donor unit (same make, model and year) to see if it has a restrictor as I cannot remember seeing one when I check the inlet filter but I was not looking for one at that time.  Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: sparky823 on May 14, 2013, 01:23:04 AM
If you could rig it up to fill with the door open, then you could see how well it pours into the machine, otherwise just have to go by how much is in the bottom after it stops filling.
 
The restictor is inside the valve at the bottom of the strainer-at least on a Kenmore/Wpool. And Yes I do believe all of them have restrictors.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 14, 2013, 05:50:55 AM
All it takes on my model is to use a screw driver to push in the latch on the door to trick it to work with the door open.  I will do a visual on the fill, but have no norm to base my results on. I checked the donor unit fill valve and did not see anything that looked like a restrictor. Is it just a washer with a smaller hole in the center?
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: sparky823 on May 14, 2013, 07:50:53 PM
Best I remember on mine, it was like an o ring that fit around a plastic disk(?)-the disk has holes in it and the strainer fits over this. When you pull the strainer out then you see the other piece(disk) in the bottom of the valve.
 
Maybe just switch the valve off the donor onto this machine and see if you get more water or you might just need a new valve.
 
 
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 14, 2013, 08:32:13 PM
I was thinking about swapping valves and likely will just see if there is any difference but I was just trying to see if I could work on it from a mor scientific approach then trying the part swapping monkey approach. I think before I swap it I will get a baseline on how quick I fill a gallon jug and compare the "new" valve from the donor.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 16, 2013, 05:57:24 PM
Okay, ran the dishwasher with normal setting and it was not bad as I could find only one gritty glass, bowl and fork.  So it sucked!  There is also a fair amount of "dirt" in both sides of the sump.  I checked the water flow coming into the body of the dishwasher and I feel that it is low.  But with nothing to compare it to, I really have no idea what it should look like.  I guess I could take a picture of it filling if anyone thinks that would help?  Would I not see about the same pressure out of the valve as I see in the supply line to the valve? The donor valve has .2-1 bar, 0.021-1 MPa on it's side and my valve has invensys s-101 on it, if this is helpful to anyone willing to answer these questions.  Thanks again for help you can be.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 16, 2013, 06:35:19 PM
Valve flow test: 128oz (gallon) of water in 1:15 minutes.  Total fill time 1:30 with a total of 149 oz.  Sound normal?  Flow from supply side looks like a pressure washer compared to the fill side using either valve I have on hand.  So I would think the house water pressure is not an issue, other than if it drops the fill side would be that much less.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: niobrara on May 16, 2013, 07:13:31 PM
Rick are you sure your motor pump is just not weak and not moving enough water?
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 16, 2013, 07:25:37 PM
No, as I have no idea what a normal acting pump would look like. Looks like good volume of water to me. If I remove the spray arm the water shoots fairly high. Have a good way to test it?
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: niobrara on May 16, 2013, 07:35:49 PM
I set all the arms facing towards the door after it is full and start it. I let it run about 1 minute and slowly open the door and see where the arms are.If there turning, I just fix them I do not design them and sometimes what we bought is what we have. I really dont have any idea what is wrong with that unit it seems to be working as designed. You fill, your have pressure you drain and you have heat. :popcorn:
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 16, 2013, 07:58:51 PM
I get where you are coming from.  I am just trying to get any insight into why this dishwasher makes the dish clean, but leaves dirt or grit on them at the same time.  I was hoping that someone who has worked on this crappy model would point me in the right direction, but any brand or model should work fairly close.  The spray arm does turn at a okay pace and shoots water to the top of the tub.  In fact, that is how the grit gets in the bottom of the glasses which are upside down on the top rack.  So the dirty water never seems to be removed from the dishwasher, collects in the sump(s) and sprays on the dishes at even the last cycle.  I would agree with the folks that think it is the volume of water.  Just surprised that no one seem to have a reference on what a normal flow and volume of water should be.  How much water should the tub normally have?  I am sure this may vary make and model wise, but at least an average.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: niobrara on May 16, 2013, 11:42:57 PM
 Just surprised that no one seem to have a reference on what a normal flow and volume of water should be.  How much water should the tub normally have?  I am sure this may vary make and model wise, but at least an average. OK you need 120 degree water coming in,min water pressure 20  max 120  6.7 gallons per wash cycle .83 flow rate. And it will not work if the water is to hard.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 16, 2013, 11:57:37 PM
What does the .83 flow rate mean and is this 6.7 gallons total wash cycle as in 96 minutes?  The rest I have cover that you stated as I have had a water softener for over a year now. Thanks for the details.
Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 22, 2013, 12:06:04 PM
Still in need of help or at least that is what the doctors say.  Here is a list of as much information about the recent past:

3-4 factory technicians looked at the problem while it was under warranty with no real change.
Fill time is 1 1/2 minutes
149 oz per fill cycle
Donor valve from the same model (had a couple of leaks) has the same flow rate
House water pressure is 62 psi at hose spigot
Water from bottom of spray arm hits the top of the tub
Back flow valve in place and not deformed
Inlet water temp 130
Water inlet filter clean
Water pressure (flow) to inlet valve strong
Both the soap and jetdry dispensers work
Total run time 30 minutes longer than the chart states
Water can be seen shooting with good force draining into the disposal
The inside of the dishwasher looks brand new due to heavy cleaning (vinegar)
I have forced the sump to be cleaned by forcing it into the drain function and adding water until the sump water is clear.  Dishes on this last run were lighting dirty.
There is always "stuff" floating in both sizes of the sump.  I believe the right side is the dirty "quiet" side and the left side is what water is used for washing dishes.

After a run you can tell that the dishes and glasses have been cleaned (no finger prints, shiny, etc..) but they have multicolored grit (dirt) on them.  So something is allowing the dirty water to mix with the filtered water.  As I am guessing that the two halves of the chamber should not mix and there would be no reason  (water level or lack of, temp of water, etc...) that should change this fact.
 So I feel pretty good and my guess that my problem is due to dirt/grit on the filtered side, but lack the knowledge or work experience to figure out why.  I am going to look at the sump system of my donor unit to see how the two chambers would mix, but still in need of a helping hand to give some pointers in dealing with this portion of dishwashers, Thanks.

Title: Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
Post by: Rick52768 on May 24, 2013, 12:25:18 PM
How does the turbidity sensor work?  I read somewhere that is adds run time to the cycle, which my total run time is extended by 30 minutes.  My question is how does running it longer solve the problem of dirty water in the both of the dishwasher?  I would think it would run a drain cycle and add more water.  Thanks