Thread Number: 22673
What can you tell me about a 1999 Whirlpool Gold?
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Post# 355031   6/6/2009 at 12:29 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        

This house was built in 1999 and still has the original Whirlpool Gold dishwasher that it came with. I've not been able to find out some of the info I'm curious about on it, so I figured it was finally worth taking the time to post pictures and questions.

It's got the electronic timer, the Quiet Partner I package, and something called "Accu-Wash" which I have NO clue what it does.

What I can say about it is that it is hands-down one of the quietest dishwashers I've ever heard. It does an absolutely superb job cleaning too! In fact, I hate to say it, but I'd take it over a Kitchen Aid any day of the week. I have NEVER put a single dish in it that came out with so much as a speck of food in the 3 years I've lived here! I never pre-wash, and sometimes dirty dishes sit in there for several days before I actually run it! I don't generate enough dishes to warrant a daily run, and I'm entirely too lazy to wash by hand......that's what the dishwasher is for after all!

Post# 355032 , Reply# 1   6/6/2009 at 12:30 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Better picture of the Timer Controls

Don't know why the pictures are blurry today.....

What is "Accu-Wash Sensor"?

Post# 355034 , Reply# 2   6/6/2009 at 12:31 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Door Open...

Anyone know what that funky squiggly bar is for on the front part of the upper rack? I don't know what useful purpose it could possibly serve!

The one thing I HATE about this dishwasher is having the silverware baskets in the door. Whoever designed that should be SHOT!!!!

Post# 355035 , Reply# 3   6/6/2009 at 12:32 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Lower Wash Arm

The lower wash arm. Notice the intentions in the roller tracks for the wash arm to pass through...

Post# 355036 , Reply# 4   6/6/2009 at 12:33 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        

I'm assuming it's self-cleaning? I've never had to do anything to it since I've owned the house.

Post# 355037 , Reply# 5   6/6/2009 at 12:34 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Upper Rack

Even it has a wash-arm. Racks can fold down for more flexibility in loading too

Post# 355038 , Reply# 6   6/6/2009 at 12:35 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Power Shower...

It even has a 3rd water jet in the roof. I didn't know they still used these?!

Post# 355039 , Reply# 7   6/6/2009 at 12:37 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Eco-Friendly this isn't...

This sucker uses some water fact while it's running, it even SOUNDS like it's getting the job done! Lots of water roaring and sloshing around inside.

The picture is actually deceptive. The water fills to touch the heating element. It covers the top of the filter screen on the pump, and is about 2" deep at the sump! Water-saver this isn't...

Post# 355041 , Reply# 8   6/6/2009 at 12:42 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        

I'm assuming this is a true Whirlpool design? Whatever they did, it's an excellent washer! Between this beast and the GE washer, I'm sure I'm the enemy of the local aquifer...

What kind of failures are these machines known for? I like it enough that if it fails, I want to be able to fix it and not be stuck with one of these modern machines that spits on the dishes to get them clean.

My mother has a more modern tall-tub version of this same dishwasher (2005 vintage) and it is a total loss at cleaning ability. Dishes come out dirty, tub is discolored, even the pump is about to throw in the towel. I noticed when I was at their house this weekend that it has a very loud growl when washing. Sounds horrible!

On that note.....when theirs dies, what's something worth replacing it with? They will NOT be repairing that awful thing. I wish they still made machines like mine!'s Whirlpool......they did something right, so now they had to go and discontinue it!

Post# 355050 , Reply# 9   6/6/2009 at 13:20 (2,994 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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This is the last of the true PowerClean disheashers. There is a comparable moderns version, the Whirlpool DU930. There is a Kenmore version of it, the Model #is 13599. The Kenmore version has upscale additions of nyloon instead of vynil racks and a true Sani-rinse option. Also the flatware basket is in the bottom rack, not in the door. I've attached the link to the Kenmore use & care guide. Incidentally, I have the Kenmore Elite version of your mom's dishwasher and I have no complaints about it what so ever. I've had it for 2 years and it does bobLoads just fine. It can t ake dried on oatmeal off bowls that have sat for up to a week or more without a iccup.


Post# 355053 , Reply# 10   6/6/2009 at 13:27 (2,994 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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I am not 100% sure, but I also think the Kenmore version has a slightly adjustable upper rack. The both neither have the slanted upper rack like yours.

Post# 355054 , Reply# 11   6/6/2009 at 13:28 (2,994 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Also, AccuWash senses the amoount of soil in the water and adjust the number of washes & rinses as well as main wash temperature.

Post# 355055 , Reply# 12   6/6/2009 at 13:31 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        
Sani Rinse...

Can you define Sani-Rinse for me? This one turns the heating element on during the last part of the cycle and heats the water to near boiling. When it's doing the "Sani-Rinse" portion, there are massive quantities of steam coming out of the vent on the front....hence the discoloration of the plastic above it.

Just curious...

Post# 355056 , Reply# 13   6/6/2009 at 13:36 (2,994 days old) by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

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I had this dishwasher model in my house in Omaha. Loved it and got everything clean. She is not quiet by any means. To answer your question about the Accuwash feature...When you combine the Power Scour option with Normal,Heavy, and Pots and Pans cycles it will raise the wash temp to 145 degrees. The sensor ensures that the water meets that temp before moving on in the cycle.
Onto the silverware baskets...the silverware basket can be mounted to the front of the lower rack. Thats what those clips are for in the front of the rack in the left corner and there should be one on the right. One trick that works is to make sure that you load your plates vertically and in the front of the rack area. The back I always used to load my bowls and pots and pans. Another thing is to load the forks and spoons head down in the basket. And mix in each compartment knives forks and spoons. You have to think when you load this basket and what will wash and remember the closer to the jet you get it will clean well. The wash system is very similar to what they put into the KitchenAid 24 series. In fact I think that the 4 way HydroSweep might fit in this...i never tried doing that but have wondered what if...

Post# 355057 , Reply# 14   6/6/2009 at 13:36 (2,994 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
I can't read your control panel so I don't know what the buttons say on it. Sani-Rinse heats the water to 153 degrees and holds it there for 10 minutes per NSF guidelines for domestic dishwashers. If you select hiigh-temp wash (or such similar option on your machine) it only heats the final rinse water to 140 or 145 degrees. BTW, what's the model number of yours?

Post# 355078 , Reply# 15   6/6/2009 at 14:18 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        

It has an actual Sani-Rinse button on it. Inside the upper lip of the door, it actually has an NSF certification sticker regarding the Sani-Rinse, so I think this one's got a true Sani.

The model number is GU980SCGQ2

Interestingly my washer lacks any sort of clips to locate the silverware caddy anywhere else.....

Post# 355084 , Reply# 16   6/6/2009 at 14:34 (2,994 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
Actually if you'd go to the Whirlpool website and download the user manual (GU980S), you'll get an accurate description of your cycles and what happens with light, medium, ro heavy soil. Actually Mike, as the manual indicates, Accuwash has more to do with soil sensing like I explained than simply water temperature set points. And rick, this as a pretty top of the line Whirlpool Gold for its day. This is definitely a keeper. Steve 1/18 has the Kenmore version of this dishwasher and I love his.

Post# 355107 , Reply# 17   6/6/2009 at 18:45 (2,994 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

peteski50's profile picture
The whirlpool gold pictured above was the last good dishwasher they made. At least it used enough water and cleaned faster than todays models. I had a whirlpool portable power clean I bought used made in 1992. I am so sorry I got rid of that machine when I remodeled my kitchen. It cleaned so well and I didn't mind the silver ware basket in the door. If you load plates in front it washes beautifully. If it is that much of a problem you can always put the backet inside the rack. This model above is a Gem - don't loose it.

Post# 355114 , Reply# 18   6/6/2009 at 19:57 (2,994 days old) by tristarcxl ()        

I have no intention of letting this dishwasher go. If I ever move from here, it's coming with me! Thanks to AppNut I now have the manuals and parts lists for it. Why I never thought to scour the Whirlpool site boggles even my own feeble mind...

Heres to hoping it can keep it going for many more years! I think i should probably start collecting parts though......

Post# 355120 , Reply# 19   6/6/2009 at 20:14 (2,994 days old) by magic clean ()        

this model dishwasher was energy star compliant in its day. Normal with 'sensed' heavy soil used about 7 gallons of water. Not too bad, even by today's requirements. Each full fill was 2 gallons or so.

There is a small plastic clip that missing from the right front of the lower rack. This clip along with the one in place on the left; would allow the silverware basket to be attached there. Or if you like, you can place the basket along the left side of the rack. Whirlpool has had the door mounted flatware basket since the mid-1960's on most of its model dishwashers.

The 'squiggly' bar across the front of the upper rack serves as a loading guide for tall lower rack items and the door mounted utensil basket. It prevents things from interfering with spray arm rotation.


Post# 355133 , Reply# 20   6/6/2009 at 21:14 (2,994 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        
4 way Hydro Sweep might fit; check your bushings for wear

We have a 2000 model year KitchenAid (KUDM25) that looks very similar to this inside. The big differences are that the KA has the 4 way Hydro sweep bottom spray arm and has a stainless tub but the top spray arm setup looks the same and the pump looks very similar. The wing bolt holding the bottom spray arm on looks identical.

It has been a great dishwasher and with the KitchenAid quiet package it isn't loud at all.

One thing I would do is check the nylon bushings that the spray arms ride on. The ones for the lower (Hydro sweep) arm wore out causing the spray arm to ride up, not spin, etc. Your bushings may be the same ones. The result was awful washing performance. A new set for the top (not bad but changed while I was at it) and bottom and it is running like new again.

Andrew S.

Post# 355140 , Reply# 21   6/6/2009 at 21:47 (2,994 days old) by amyswasher ()        
silverware basket

I have a Quiet Partner II. The dishwasher in the picture has a bracket missing on the right side. With both brackets in the front, you can put the silverware basket hookes up to the front of the bottom rack. And someone mentioned it will fit on the left side of the bottom rack. Keep that dishwasher!!! In three years I have had that thing replaced twice and now the dispensers don't work(jet dry & detergant). The repair people say they will be out in two months, that was three months ago. I live past the end of the earth, so I have to wait till there are a bunch of calls before someone will come out. Then wait for the parts and go again

Post# 355167 , Reply# 22   6/7/2009 at 00:18 (2,993 days old) by cleanteamofny ((Monroe, New York)        
You've got a gem!

All these new dishwasher maybe nice and fancy, but that dishwasher will remove dried on spinach/oatmeal pots on the top rack.
These new machines cannot get the whole pot clean and this should be the standard test for all dishwasher.

Stop looking at the plates and focus on the pots CR.!

Post# 355184 , Reply# 23   6/7/2009 at 01:18 (2,993 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Oh, jeez... I'm glad y'all like it, it just goes to show that water conditions vary from place to place and not everything that works/fails in one home will do the same in another.

For the record: I've *left* one behind (rental apartment, landlord was a friend and when the old dishwasher in the apartment broke I got one of those -- only difference it was black) and I do not regret leaving it behind one bit. I never liked that machine, it was better than doing dishes by hand but that was it.

To begin with, it etched all our dishes on the first month. Apparently, to save water/energy, it had only one rinse or, to be more precise, the model I had would go thru all the pre-washes/washes, then do *one* "purge" and then one rinse on the Normal cycle. That was it. Then straight to dry. So, if we used enough dishwasher detergent to clean the load, it wasn't rinsed enough and it would etch the dishes. If we used less detergent, it didn't clean at all. We were told that our water was "too soft" and we should use less detergent, even though the water was naturally soft (4 grains/gallon or less) and using less detergent wasn't getting the dishes clean.

So, after replacing glasses and other dishes a couple of times, we took to using (the proper cycle sequences escape me right now) either the Heavy or Pots-n-Pans cycle(s) to force two rinses. Of course, doing so used more water right off the bat and took the machine from "energy star" to a regular non-energy star machine, which is not what we were promised. On the other hand, it improved the cleaning for the silverware.

Oh, yes, the silverware baskets on the door thing. What a pain. If you didn't load it just so, the silverware would not get clean. Just try to convince lazy-ass/distracted room mates to load the plates next to the silverware and pay attention to how they loaded the silverware in it (instead of their usual just drop handfuls of silverware in each compartment). Good luck with that. Of course, performance would improve if you clipped the silverware basket to the front of the lower rack -- until said distracted room mates would come and handle the racks with all of the gentleness of a gorilla, so the basket would fall off the rack and send silverware all over the machine. And putting the basket inside the rack would of course take up lots of space, which is precisely the opposite of the selling point ("silverware on the door gives you more space in the racks"). Before I had that machine I often wondered if the designers of household appliances ever even *use* them, some have some weird design problems that one would have expected would surface on the very first few times they'd *use* the things. But no, in fact I've met plenty of people (including in-laws) that had similar appliances and just loved them, particularly the silverware basket in the door thing. Of course, all of those people live in areas with hard water and do not own a water softener, so that might explain why it worked so well for them.

You could say that, at least back then, the DoE did not have the kind of people that could test machines for performance and/or energy use, I hope they improved. Among the clueless things the "Energy Star" people did were running the dishwashers without dirty dishes in (they loaded the machines with clean dishes), which gave some machine with sensors an abnormal leg up all the others, and also they did not test machines in very hard, hard, medium and soft water (neither does Consumers Report, BTW, if I recall correctly they only test the machines in hard water, never in soft/softened water), so machines that fail to rinse well never got penalized for it. I wouldn't hold my breath though, rumor has it that in the last year or so the "energy star" people awarded energy star status to a few french-door bottom freezer fridges, but did not run them with the water/ice dispenser on -- when people started calling the DoE about it, they simply removed the energy star status but did not even apologize for it nor, as far as I can tell, change their tests to account for stuff like that.

I wonder what it would take to get folks like us to work for the testing places like DoE and Consumer Reports. My impression is that they are bored to tears with their jobs and want to get it over with instead of seeing it as a way to help improve the state of the art and defend the consumers.

Post# 355187 , Reply# 24   6/7/2009 at 01:39 (2,993 days old) by tristarcxl ()        


It seems as though you were the victim of a buildup of tolerances. You had naturally soft water which sucks for washing. You had a house full of roommates that were too stupid to load a dishwasher. You obviously used the incorrect detergent for your needs.

Naturally soft water means you do have to use less detergent. If you use too much, it will cause etching. It says it right on the box, not to mention it's been well documented since the 1960s. Powdered detergent is usually always worse about etching than a liquid or gel.....did you ever try other brands or types? Etching can also be caused by water that isn't hot enough. That's why the installation manual clearly states that the water is supposed to be 140˚F at the faucet for proper washability.

I agree that the location of the silverware rack sucks, but I'm just as lazy as your roommates, and I've never pulled a dirty piece of silverware out of the machine.

Our water here is relatively hard, so for proper washing, I pretty well have to put a little extra soap in the bottom of the machine for it to get the soap concentration high enough. We're one of those places that has the white crust that forms on the faucet aerators. I've had the same glassware since 2002, and even with the awful GE/Hotpoint junker I had at my old apartment, I've never had a problem with etching. The detergent matters more than the machine or the water.

In fact, I have a repair manual that was written in the early 1970s that has about a 3 page dissertation about water hardness and the importance of choosing the proper soap. It clearly states that if the customer is having problems with etching on glassware, to try another brand of detergent.

It sounds to me like you are taking out aggression on a machine that was abused and used improperly. Not because it's a bad machine. Out of all the machines I've used (and I've used a lot), this one hands-down does the best job.

Post# 355197 , Reply# 25   6/7/2009 at 02:30 (2,993 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Well, let's try again then, you can ask people who know me. I've tried all the dishwasher detergents available at supermarkets at the time. I *know* about soft-water, amount of detergents etc... I even mentioned that we reduced the amount of detergents just to find out it did not clean enough, and when we used a (normal) amount that would clean it did not rinse well enough and, when we used more aggressive cycles that rinsed better, the problem disappeared (usually, if you use more detergent and a heavier, longer hotter cycle with soft water the etching is supposed to get worse). Obviously, in the normal cycle the machine did not rinse well enough -- why?, because for the majority of people that have normal to hard water, it will rinse just fine then. The correct attitude would be for the designers to realize that if they wanted the energy star so badly, they'd have to redesign the wash system and make do with a little less water in the wash part so they could guarantee two rinses every time. But neither DoE or Consumers Union *test* for rinsing, so what they hey, it's out the door. Also, while I do not remove the blame from my room mates, I will say I lived with that particular crowd for a number of years with different dishwashers and that was the only model that gave us that much grief, which does stand out -- other machines, even when giving mediocre results, were better than the one under discussion.

To be honest, as I mentioned before, I'm glad people like the machine (and I think I was even fair enough to mention that some people I know that had similar/identical models with hard water in my group of friends/family liked their machines, that's why I got one). I put in my experience not to rain on anyone's parade, or to be aggressive. I figured I'd just mention what I had experienced because (a) clearly the design did not account for, at least in the model/year I got it (it may have changed, they seem to have several different user guides with different cycles on the web site) for people with soft water who might want to use something other than Heavy or Pots-n-Pans; and (b) other people may have or know people who have that machine and had/have the same problems we experienced and be wondering "WTF?, why is it we have a completely different outcome?" and one of the answers is "water quality/hardness". My voice is supposed to add to all of your experiences and become our experiences, not subtract, detract or invalidate what people are saying here. Also, it serves to alert you to the fact that if you move your exact same machine to a place with soft/softened water, don't think the machine is broken, it may be just behaving as designed.

But I still hope that the people who design and/or test household appliances start doing a better job. When people think along the lines of "what's the worst possible situation?" and test just for that one thing, failing to realize/test for some other similar worst case scenario (in this case the actual other end of the spectrum, soft/softened water is a bad case that needs to be accounted for too!), we consumers lose big time. And, over time, the manufacturers lose too -- guess if I bought from that same manufacturer when I moved? Also, guess if my friends and/or relatives who also had soft water and had similar problems with designs like that bought what I bought or went back to the design we're discussing here?

I don't wish any manufacturer any ill -- quite the contrary, we *all* win when manufacturers improve. And you can bet I'm way more careful now when I'm out buying dishwashers, any mention of "purge" makes me double my attention and wonder if that's a cycle I intent to use. Notice also, that purges per se are not terrible, there are machines that use them quite effectively, I had friends with KitchenAid dishwashers that used the technique and rinsed quite well.

-- Paulo.

Post# 355217 , Reply# 26   6/7/2009 at 08:23 (2,993 days old) by jakeseacrest (Massachusetts)        

My 2001 Kenmore Ultra Wash had identical racks and wash arms to this Whirlpool and it was the best dishwasher that I've ever owned! My sister has it now and it is still in use. To avoid the purge and get a full 2 rinses, we always used the Hi Temp Wash button. For the Pots/Pans, Normal, and Water Miser cycles the sequence was W/W/R/R with varying times for each cycle. Never a dirty pot or dish came out of this machine.

Post# 355347 , Reply# 27   6/7/2009 at 17:44 (2,993 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
One man's trash...

Isn't it funny how two people can have the same machines and yet have such different results from them?
I can see why Earthling would despise his machine and agree 100% with the piss poor design of the silverware rack in the door, and look at the included pics here and note the additional one on the top of the door as well. Every Whirlpool machine I have had thru my garage here or used at one time or another(short time, thankfully) did a poor job on the silverware.
Want a quick and easy solution, install a rack from a Kenmore which has the detergent dispenser in the same place. It has an elongated rack to fit in the recess that the silverware basket took up and gives you space to put the silverware rack in thye dishrack.
It is ridiculous to have to actually "rack" your silver to get it clean. Yes, no nesting allowed but still, how much water really gets to hit that stuff in that location? And block it with a bowl and you will have to wash the silverware by hand!

Now on to those who have gone out and bought the Tall Tub machines and can't get clean dishes out of one of them!!

In all honesty, what can you expect to get from a machine that has a 1/5 hp pump as opposed to one with a 1/3 or 1/2 hp pump?
The tall tubs have small pumps and redesigned water channels to deliver the water to the dishes.
Take a look at the underside of your Hydrosweep on a tall tub vs. one on a pre tall tub model! The water passageways are miniscule and the water outlets are small too. If you cannot deliver the water volume in a given time frame, then you have to extend the time frame for the cycle to do its work. Way around it is the soil sensor technology. If the water seems clean, then the dishes must be too.But thankfully it does also monitor temps so the new detergents can do their job better.

The power module delivered gallons more volume than these new small pumps and will probably outlast them 2-3 to 1. How many people here have had to replace their tall tub pumps before 5 years? I have taken in 3 machines like that already and 2 of them had pumps diagnosed by Sears as needing replacement. All of them were built in 2004.

Now here's the catch for those with tall tubs that don't clean:
If you assume the machine is a garbage disposer because the salesperson and literature tells you about the soft food disposer blade that the machine has, think again and look at the picture of it on the door!
Does it look as big and powerful as the disposer in your sink?
I don't think so and neither will you. It is a SOFT food disposer. Pasta, bread, veggies, some meats.. not bones and such.

The point is this, these tall tubs all have smaller pumps with much smaller pump intakes and smaller channels to funnel that water into the pump.
If you have not been kind to them, I will strongly suggest that you take the top of the pump housing off and look inside the sump where the water goes into the pump, right in front of that "hard working" pretend knife blade and see what has accumulated there. In one of those machines I mentioned,I took out 12 lollipop sticks, 20 orange or grapefruit pits, 3 screws, 2 washers, saran wrap and paper and about a half dozen toothpicks. Did I mention a few pieces of broken glass?
The diagnosis on this machine was that it needed a new pump and motor. Sure it didn't pump any water and made noise.. no water could get to the intake because the crap blocked it all and the noises were from the screws getting thrown around by the blade.
I sold the person who had this machine a GU950 Whirpool with the powermodule and he and his wife said they love it and that they cannot remember when their dishes came out so clean!
I currently use that very same Kenmore they condemned as my overflow machine in the garage and the pump is just fine and the machine DOES do a great job on anything I throw in it. Yes it takes a long time to do the dishes but No big deal.

So if your tall tub cleans poorly, get in there and clean it out or have one of us come by to do it!
If you have a machine with picky racking requirements, see if you can change the racks and get better results. I have sold Kenmore racks to Whirlpool users and they are all much happier now.
Boy did I ramble or what?

Post# 356358 , Reply# 28   6/11/2009 at 21:06 (2,989 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I have the kenmore version at my mothers, a little different, Ultra Wash series, the silverware rack goes on the left hand side, but so is my dispenser there too...mine shoots water up thu the middle to the second shower arm and then to the roof...what a great machine, had it since 1988, never a single problem with it,,,,have seen these models taken apart, so freakin easy, 4 twisting clips underneath, unscrew the drain nozzle, pull the wiring plug off, open the door and grab the wash arm and pull up and out, the complete ultra wash module,in seconds...reverse to install the new one, I was amazed!

Post# 356446 , Reply# 29   6/12/2009 at 02:51 (2,988 days old) by lebron (MN)        

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glad i'm stilling rocking this machine

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