Model Number 665.16882000
Brand Sears Kenmore
Age More than 10 years
Thanks in advance for your help everyone! I have no clue what to try next… but I’m happy to roll up my sleeves and try your expert suggestions!
BACKSTORY: I picked up this used dishwasher with a friends help a little over a month ago, when my pervious dishwasher (a 25 year old dinosaur) had the drain pump go out. This Kenmore dishwasher was apparently working great for a busy family, and installed in their kitchen when I first took a look at it.
As soon as we got it to my house and I installed it, it was obvious something was seriously wrong. None of the dishes were getting clean, in fact they were getting dirtier… like the dishwasher spent 2 hours splashing dirty water around, then baking it on. In hindsight I regret how foolish it was to transport the dishwasher on the bed of a truck with no cushioning… it was just laying on a plastic tarp on the metal truck bed, and I wonder if the vibration caused all the subsequent issues? But the past cannot be cured, so...
ATTEMPTS TO FIX:
I tried to get help from local appliance shops, but none of them worked on dishwashers. I live in a small rural town. So, with no other options, I got online and started learning about dishwashers and trying to figure out what the problem was.
First thing I discovered was the water got cold during the wash. The water heater in the house was a little low, so I turned it up. Still the water was uselessly tepid mid-cycle.
Next I ordered a new element online, and replaced it. Checking the user manual for what the correct temperatures were supposed to be, I verified the new element was working by stopping the dishwasher every 10 minutes throughout it’s cycle and testing the water with a meat thermometer. Can confirm the water now gets to the correct temperatures of 145 and 160 degrees.
But the dishes were still coming out dirty.
Next I learned about rinse aid, modern detergents, cleaning tablets, vinegar rinses, using more or less detergent depending on the water hardness, cleaning the filter, cleaning the impeller, cleaning the spray arms, etc. We don’t have particularly hard water, but some of the plumbing in the house is old galvanized, so I tried all of those things, and cleaned everything out. I saw that the filters, impeller and wash arms, were actually very clean already, and there was no improvement.
Then I learned you can jimmy the door to see what’s going on inside while it runs. I observed that the incoming water was barely trickling down the side of the tub, very slowly. I ordered a new water inlet valve online, and replaced it. I was thrilled when for the first time, the bottom rack of dishes got beautifully, sparkling clean! Even with baked on cheese and pasta sauce! But my joy was short lived...
The top rack was still a mess, so with the help of a parts diagram and a little disassembly, I figured out there was an unseated gasket in the water tube on the back of the tub that pumps water to the upper spray arm, and also the rinse sprayer at the top of the tub was completely missing. I ordered a new rinse sprayer, and reseated the gasket which allowed the upper spray arm to spin and spray water properly.
At some point during all of this work, the dishwasher control panel stopped letting me change cycles, and was now permanently stuck on “normal wash”. Previously it let me do the “Anti-bacterial” (highest temperature cycle) but now it refused to switch to any mode but “normal” “time saver” and “quick rinse” though I could still select the “hi temp scrub” and “sani rinse” options.
I was hopeful that would be good enough, even with a malfunctioning control panel, now that I got the upper sprayer working and was eager to try a load of dishes, when my hopes were dashed yet again. (SEE VIDEO) happened. Just as soon as I thought I had it working finally, the lower spray arm started spinning very slowly, and then, not at all. And now the upper spray arm didn’t spin at all either, or spray water.
It seems that every time I fix something, something else breaks!!! Is this dishwasher possessed??? Or do I have a bad circuit board? A lose wire? A bad pump? A control panel on the fritz? All the above? Something else?
All the options I can think of are rather expensive parts to order, and I probably haven’t thought of everything (!) so I’d love to hear your suggestions… especially how to test to diagnose the issue properly before spending any more time and money!
If you’ve read this far, you are an angel!
Thank-you so much for helping a chick who’s fallen into some sort of never-ending appliance nightmare (with dirty dishes, parts and tools everywhere now!) it will be such a relief when I can put the kitchen back together!!!