Thread Number: 63762  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
New toy: KD-4P
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Post# 863387   1/21/2016 at 20:22 (491 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I found this locally (within Connecticut) and it demonstrated a side-benefit of collecting these things: sometimes your travel takes you to interesting and very pretty places, in this case Barkhamstead CT and a small house within a state forest next to a gorgeous river and an even more spectacular reservoir. The seller was selling items from an estate sale and told me this belonged to a LOL. It's easy to believe because this machine has seen very little use. Most likely, she was given this dishwasher in 1963, used it a couple of times and decided, like so many women I have known, that it was just easier to wash the dishes by hand.

It looks like a typical KA top-loading portable from the Sixties and early Seventies, but it has some of the parts of the KD-2's. That pretty blue cast iron wash arm could be used as a murder weapon in an Alfred Hitchcock teleplay. It's also unusual in that the vinyl on the racks is off-white with blue speckling; I don't think that happened in subsequent model years.


I do love my top-loading portables. I promised myself that if this was in working condition I wasn't going to take it apart and render it useless; I ran the machine empty when I got it home and, unfortunately, like my Maytag WP-600, it went through the normal cycle filling itself over and over again without draining, until it overflowed. I don't know if that overflow switch is supposed to shut off the fill solenoid or active the drain solenoid, but it looks like it is most definitely the latter. Anyway, I bailed out most of the water, disconnected the fill and let it continue another whole cycle. While I was in the bedroom suddenly I heard the unmistakable SNAP of a solenoid and then the happy gushing sound of water draining into the sink. I guess the drain solenoid was a little sticky and benefited from some heat, vibration and some time. It works!

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size

Post# 863401 , Reply# 1   1/21/2016 at 22:24 (491 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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 That's beautiful, Ken.  Have fun getting the dishes done with a quick cycle and wall of water spray that no soil can hide from.  It would fun to see the results if you'd join in the AW Peanut Butter Test thread, the one-arm-wonder KitchenAids aren't faring well so far.  


One of the reasons my grandmother always used for not using her Mobile Maid was that she hated the thought of dirty dishes sitting inside it while waiting for a full load to accumulate.   It must have driven her (and others) crazy that the kitchen wasn't technically cleaned up if dirty dishes were still lingering about.  How times have changed, nobody much gives that a second thought now.  Even letting a "full load" accumulate in the sink (or the coffee table!) isn't even beyond the norm for many.


Post# 863426 , Reply# 2   1/22/2016 at 04:47 (490 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Hi Ken.

I have the exact and I mean the Exact model. Mine has draining issues as well. It was "fixed" but it went into the storage and I never got a chance to play with it.

I will say this... There is no Drain Solenoid Valve. Maybe there is on yours as I have seen a few strange things on the same design Hobart models. There is however a separate Drain Pump. The name of the manufacturer escapes me at the moment, but I sent the pump out for repair to a company up around Fitchburg Mass.

When I did run it, it was much quieter than the HydroSweep models. As soon as I finish the KDS-58 Portables, that will be the next project.

I'm just having too much fun putting the JennAir RR through it's nightly Torture Tests.

Post# 863432 , Reply# 3   1/22/2016 at 05:21 (490 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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 Even letting a "full load" accumulate in the sink (or the coffee table!) isn't even beyond the norm for many.


That sounds just like my house right now lol!!!  The load of clean dishes hasn't been unloaded yet

Post# 863447 , Reply# 4   1/22/2016 at 07:27 (490 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
How'd I miss that thread?

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Good Lord! I'm ashamed to report how many times my own hand washing fails the AW peanut butter test!


Thanks for the information, Eddie; now I'm going to lift and look under her skirt to see this drain pump. I would swear in court that I heard a snap, but maybe it was the pump kicking in after 50 years. I don't expect this machine to be a stellar cleaner like a Whirlpool/Kenmore or a Maytag. One Arm Wonder is a good description of what we got there; there's no power shower or constant rinse even, but I use these dishwashers to clean refrigerator shelves, wastebaskets, the nasty tools of the bathroom and appliance parts that don't want to fit in a front-loader and other things that I don't want in the same machine as the tableware I eat off of.


But now I'm all hot to waste 4 dollars and do an AW peanut-butter test!!!!! Has to be one of the most hydrophobic food things out there.


So here's my recipe for Chinese Peanut Sauce for noodles:


1/2 cup of Trader Joe's Natural Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (if you're even thinking of using bottled juice (egad!), just omit this)

2 tablespoons cup light soy sauce (Kikkoman)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Chinese red chili oil, if you like some heat

1 tablespoon toasted Sesame Oil , the dark stuff, not the light stuff


Hot water for thinning (about 1/4 cup)


Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Fresh scallions, cut into coins, for garnish

Freshly toasted and chopped peanuts, also for garnish


Combine all ingredients, in order given, in a small food processor or blender, or if you want to be Asian-ghetto, use a mortar and pestle. Thin with hot water to a creamy consistency. Pour over noodles and garnish with the nuts and the green things. Wash plates in dishwasher of choice after eating to see if you bought the right appliance.

Post# 863454 , Reply# 5   1/22/2016 at 07:52 (490 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wow, Ken, nice find!  I love the mix of styling - the Big Blue wash arm with the racks that lift up when the lid is opened.  I love my KD-2P but I find loading can be a challenge, even for me... LOL 


I hope the drain issues are now resolved - congratulations!!

Post# 863566 , Reply# 6   1/22/2016 at 20:42 (490 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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You'll be amazed with proper loading, that Big Blue will scrub the rust off a trailer hitch.

Post# 863573 , Reply# 7   1/22/2016 at 21:01 (490 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Drain issue

Remind me.. this machine had that weird adapter that went to the drain pump and no drain valve, right? If so, was there a rubber hose going from the adapter to the pump? If so, then it should be possible to adapt another drain pump to the machine if the original one goes bad. The drain pump on the Hobart LXI series should be a rather easy fit if it is needed and can be mounted just about anywhere and can be ordered with a mounting bracket as well at a decent price.

Post# 863612 , Reply# 8   1/23/2016 at 03:15 (489 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I don't have any pics but there is a Drain Hose from the sump to the Drain Pump.

It looks like another Hobart Infamous part like the Bakelite Trap on the KS2-P.

The hose is like approx. 4' diameter at one end and goes down to like 3/4 at the other that attaches to the pump. I'll dig the machine out in the Spring.

Post# 863618 , Reply# 9   1/23/2016 at 06:55 (489 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Ok, I'm going to have to upend this girl and really take a good look up her dress, now I'm curious about this. Is this like the drain pump on the original Maytag top-loader that was discontinued a couple of years into production?


The other thing I'd like to know is if there's a way to remove the upper part of the top rack. It seems to be held on to the lid metal armature with a couple of nylon friction clips which, at this age, love to shatter if you mess with them. On the Mobile Maids, they pop out of the same kind of armature very easily. There's absolutely nothing in the KD-4 manual or the Service manual about removing the racks from the machine. The back top rack half just lifts out but without removing the top half it's very difficult to remove the bottom rack to get at the filter and the wash arm. There's a kind of lame handle on the bottom rack that you're supposed to use to flip the rack up against the back of the tank and balance it there while you do maintenance. And it is, for lack of any insulation, a fairly quiet machine for its vintage.

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Post# 863619 , Reply# 10   1/23/2016 at 07:06 (489 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Hi Ken.

All I can tell you is this...

During the Drain Portion of the Cycle, The Drain Pump runs while the Wash/ Circulation Pump runs as well. Just like the earlier KAs. The 15-18 series ran continuously except for a Heat Pause on the Sani Cycle.

I have nothing on removal of the Top Rack. My Machine is in the Secret Storage Unit at U-Haul in Hyannis off Bearse's Way. I do have to drop off some "stuff" in a few. I can't remember if the machine is buried, has something stacked on top, or has access. I'll let you know if I can get to it.

Enjoy the Delightful New England Weather today.

Post# 863707 , Reply# 11   1/23/2016 at 16:36 (489 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Thank you Eddie. I ran it through a complete cycle today and it performed well; every drain portion of the cycle occurred. I like machines with this kind of timer control: it runs continuously with no pauses between periods. A wash/rinse goes for about 1 3/4 minutes and then it goes right into drain, which seems to last anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds and almost before the drain pump stops, the inlet solenoid opens and there's a time fill that lasts until the next timer-turn interval. The problem I'm seeing is that there doesn't seem to be enough drainage and as the cycle progresses, the dishwasher overfills. There was one single period of leakage (about a quart) again during the latter portion of the cycle but I can't tell where or how. When I opened the lid to look, the water level was up to the bottom of the spray arm and at the end of the cycle, before the drying period, the tank had a little bit of water and suds at the bottom. I can most likely control this from the faucet but I shouldn't have to.  I am beginning to believe that the overflow switch isn't working properly and whatever job it's supposed to do it ain't doin' it. We'll see after I run another cycle.


Does anyone know how that round black rubber pad overflow switch that's on the bottom of the tub works? Does it stop the incoming water, does it activate the drain, both???

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Post# 863712 , Reply# 12   1/23/2016 at 17:22 (489 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Hi Ken.


I'm sure stevet will being here soon.     Yes, I have found the exact same problem with this machine and the KD2-P.


The drain period doesn't seem long enough. Which leads me to think that there is too much water pressure and there should be a restrictor somewhere.


That Black Round Rubber thing is the Overflow Protection. ( Pressure Switch ) It works on the weight of the water in the tank. If you press it ever so gently, you will hear it click. It may need adjusting.  And now that I wrote that, if it were adjusted, I think it would limit the water hence the drain cycle would then be proper.


But stevet or John L should know.

Post# 863713 , Reply# 13   1/23/2016 at 17:32 (489 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

That round rubber disc might have hardened over the decades and is not giving a true reading to the switch under it. If it were working properly, the machine should not have overfilled the first time.

Post# 863730 , Reply# 14   1/23/2016 at 20:02 (489 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
I agree with Ed and Tom

on that pressure switch and needless to say, it will not be something you will find available least of which would be Hobart. They never used anything like that in any of their dishwashers here in the states and did have a variation of it in the European models which controlled water level and would also trigger the heating of the sump water. There may be manufacturers out there who still make them so this may be a challenge. Also, the flow restrictor built into the fill valve may have hardened up as well and can no longer restrict the flow so for now, I would try to control the water at the faucet and see if it drains out fast enough. You can also try another drain pump and see if that eliminates the immediate problem.

Maybe Eddie has the OEM part number for the pressure switch and we can do some leg work on getting you a new one.

Post# 863770 , Reply# 15   1/24/2016 at 06:23 (488 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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@ Tom...


"That round rubber disc might have hardened over the decades and is not giving a true reading to the switch under it. If it were working properly, the machine should not have overfilled the first time. "

Did you have to remind us that we are "Decades" Old ? LOL


When I get back from my trip, I will make a decision on the fate of my KD4-P.


It may share a place in the Mausoleum along side of LaRegina.   So, parts may be available.  I also just acquired a spare Big Blue if anyone needs one. 




Post# 863805 , Reply# 16   1/24/2016 at 10:49 (488 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

But we are, Blanche, we are! I would not want to be one second younger. If we were not the age that we are, we would have missed all of the wonderful appliances we love.

Post# 863845 , Reply# 17   1/24/2016 at 15:37 (488 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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What I want to know is what is that overflow switch connected to; the drain-pump, the inlet solenoid, or possibly both?


and, btw, the new direction of this thread deserves one of these:

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Post# 863847 , Reply# 18   1/24/2016 at 15:52 (488 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Wiring diagram

will tell the story but most likely just the fill valve.Would be nice if they built in the intelligence to turn on the drain pump if needed but I doubt it. If anyone has a diagram, maybe they can post it here. I do not have one. Maybe John L. Tom or Eddie?

Post# 863893 , Reply# 19   1/24/2016 at 20:05 (488 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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@ Tom...


As Lauren Hutton said on her show back in the mid 90s during a interview when asked if she would like to go back and be in her 20s again replied "Oh No. Only if I could take my 53 year old brain with me. I wouldn't trade all that wisdom ever".


Another quote of her's is "We have to be able to grow up. Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be. I don't think I will ever cut my face, because once I cut it, I'll never know where I've been."


@ Ken... Great Pic


@ Steve... Here ya go.  Well, for everyone...


I can't believe I had that diagram within reach. Miracles do happen... LOL

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