Thread Number: 68606  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
So, let's have a look at the Frigidaire DWCDTR dishwasher...
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Post# 913626   1/2/2017 at 12:39 (293 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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This is one of two dishwashers that I  recently hauled into Canada from Boston.  I always liked the style of these flip-top Frigidaires so when I had the chance to nab one, I didn't hesitate!

It's in good shape overall.  Bonus that I actually like Avocado Green... LOL 

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Post# 913627 , Reply# 1   1/2/2017 at 12:41 (293 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I tried it out and noticed right away that the motor seemed to be stuck. So, a little exploratory surgery was in order...

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Post# 913630 , Reply# 2   1/2/2017 at 12:51 (293 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Miraculously, I managed to loosen the shaft upon which the spray arm sits. Better still when I tried powering the dishwasher up, the motor ran in both directions!  I also quickly observed that the timer advances and the heating element works! Wahoo!

However, I want to open up and inspect the pump in case there is any schmutz in there and clean it out.  I noticed a kind of sump cover but I could not remove it.

I also noticed that the wash arm support can be rotated and I wondered if it can be removed so that the sump cover can then be removed.  I noticed a gap in the base of the bracket but I did not try to force it open in any way ('cause we all know my track record for busting obsolete & NLA appliance parts...)

Can this in fact be removed??

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This post was last edited 01/02/2017 at 14:11
Post# 913808 , Reply# 3   1/3/2017 at 16:59 (291 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
GM built Frigidaire dishwasher

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Hi Paul, don't take it apart if it works, these pumps usually didn't come apart willingly and you off and ended up destroying parts if you take them apart.

Usually in the field if we had problems with one you replace the whole thing including the motor.

Post# 913827 , Reply# 4   1/3/2017 at 18:52 (291 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Thanks, John!  At least I asked the question BEFORE breaking the part this time... LOL


Guess I'll be trying a water test this weekend... 

Post# 913828 , Reply# 5   1/3/2017 at 18:59 (291 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Funny, I talked to Paul this afternoon and I guessed that John would say something very similar! I guessed it right! ;-)

Post# 913829 , Reply# 6   1/3/2017 at 19:00 (291 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Nice find, Paul! I was wondering what the second one looked like. Great find! Cant wait to see more.

Post# 914808 , Reply# 7   1/9/2017 at 17:27 (285 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I planned to leave myself some play time for the 'new' Frigidaire top-loader this past weekend... And I did!


I figured it would be wise to check the water inlet hose connection (washers do dry up on you...) before hooking it up.  


Surprise!  I found a wiring diagram!


When I first took off that front access panel, I noticed two things right away - the solenoid for the rinse agent dispenser seemed to have been disconnected and there was spare but cut wire on the timer.   Being paranoid, I tested the rinse agent solenoid - it seemed fine.  But that spare wire was a mystery to me...  I checked the wiring diagram and the other side of the terminal feeds the timer motor.  Conclusion? I believe the timer may have been replaced at some point.  Not that I mind - it still works!

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Post# 914809 , Reply# 8   1/9/2017 at 17:29 (285 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I didn't like the look of this, though. 


That hose has a really nasty kink in it and I was worried it bursting when water pressure was applied.


Nope!  So on to the wash test...

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Post# 914810 , Reply# 9   1/9/2017 at 17:34 (285 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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So back in with the racks!   They are in amazing condition - nice and soft and not a touch of 'rack-rot'.  


For the test load, I didn't do anything to really challenge the machine - just my newly-acquired set of turquoise-accented Snow White dinnerware that my neighbour bought me for Christmas (hubby got me socks....)


Not exactly a Bob-Load, is it?  I don't think I like the way cups DON'T fit in the upper rack; I remember Jon saying when we checked the machine out at his place back in December that you probably couldn't fit good big wine glasses in there either.  I concur... 

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Post# 914811 , Reply# 10   1/9/2017 at 17:36 (285 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I did a short wash cycle - no smoke, no flames, and no leaks!    The sound of water moving around in the machine was impressive and the sides of the cabinet got convincingly warm during the cycle.


Post# 914812 , Reply# 11   1/9/2017 at 17:46 (285 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I chose not to say 'BUT' - New Year's Resolution.... LOL


However, I noticed a couple of things about this machine that I am not sure about. 


First - that detergent cup...  It seems to trip fine but it looks like it's missing a cover, no?


Second - the timer dial. It's pretty messed up from over-zealous cleaning I guess.  Would this dishwasher have dial selections for a Regular Wash, Short or Utility Wash, Rinse and Dry (or Rinse and Hold), and Plate Warmer?  I thought I could make out at least Regular Wash and Short Wash, but my eyes got sore trying to read the dial....   What does that Rinse and Hold rocker switch do exactly?  Would it shut off the heater unit so that a cycle started at the Rinse spot on the timer dial and then just let dishes drip?


Third - How much water should remain in the tub at the end of the cycle?  I will admit that I manually advanced the timer during the dry cycle and that I did seem to engage a pump-out near the end of the cycle but there was still a considerable amount of water when the timer clicked off.   I started a new cycle and the pump-out phase at the beginning of the cycle drained the tub a lot more!


And would anyone happen to have a cycle chart and operating instructions for a machine of this vintage??


In the meantime I am sure Hubby is going LOVE having a dishwasher in his bar area of the Ogden basement... LOL  

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Post# 914815 , Reply# 12   1/9/2017 at 18:06 (285 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Paul, that's what the cycles would be.  It's been 45 years since I opened the user manual in the store for an undercounter Custom Deluxe version of this.  My suggestion is to set the rocker for R&H and start the machine on regular and slowly advance and see if it stops "running" the cycle at the beginning of short wash.  If it doesn't then you R&H by setting the timer dial at Rinse & Dry and it should turn off the heater. 

Post# 914831 , Reply# 13   1/9/2017 at 20:15 (285 days old) by Laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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Super Surge washing !!!!

Post# 917079 , Reply# 14   1/23/2017 at 08:22 (272 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I was still curious about the way this 'new' toy of mine works and especially how the Rinse & Hold option worked so I had to experiment and see if it would behave as Bob described above. 


I clicked the Rinse & Hold rocker switch to ON and started the machine.  It ran normally during the pre-rinse, first wash, and into the second wash (the SHORT WASH position on the dial).  Here's the puzzler...  The heating element was off during the pre-rinse and first wash but it cut back in during the second (SHORT) wash.  The heater seemed warm during the rinses but it was most definitely off as the machine advanced into dry.   I'll have to try another test starting the machine at the RINSE & DRY start point but with the Rinse & Hold option ON.


So now I am confused about the Rinse & Hold cycle on this beastie... I'd have to guess that it was intended to be started at the RINSE & DRY spot on the dial, which seems logical, but in the second rinse, the rinse agent dispenser tripped.  Now that's fine for a regular cycle, but it didn't really make sense to me to treat your pre-rinsed dishes to a "special spots-away rinse"....  


Does this sound correct for this type of Frigidaire dishwasher?  If so, then I think I now know why that rinse agent dispenser was disconnected!   


I have a sneaky feeling this dishwasher is going to find its way up to the kitchen for at least a couple of real loads of dishes soon....  Heee Heee Heee

Post# 917096 , Reply# 15   1/23/2017 at 10:23 (272 days old) by miele_ge (Danbury, Connecticut)        
Detergent cup

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We had the Custom Imperial (with the rapid advance timer) version of this when I was a little kid. I remember a white cup that was hinged and sat on top of the detergent cups. You filled the two that are there and then measured out he amount for the prewash and "dumped" into the tub. It used that soap for the prewash and the other two cups dispensed during the main wash. My memories may be fuzzy on this as I was only 6-8 years old when we had that machine and its well over 40 years ago! I also remember it breaking off shortly before we redid the kitchen and replaced the machine with a built in Roper TOL.

I remember a post about another slant top Custom Imperial last fall that had the cup mentioned here is a photo from that thread. note the white cup on top of the dispenser in the lower left of the photo. Do you see where a hinge might have been. Then too, this may have only been on the Imperial

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Post# 917131 , Reply# 16   1/23/2017 at 15:14 (271 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Thats odd

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You have two positions you can start a R&H at ?




Post# 917216 , Reply# 17   1/23/2017 at 20:40 (271 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
cycle chart

Rinse & Hold (switch to "yes") is Rinse & Dry with no heat

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Post# 917218 , Reply# 18   1/23/2017 at 20:42 (271 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
detergent dispenser

is missing the white cover & spring (figure 50)

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Post# 917280 , Reply# 19   1/24/2017 at 07:46 (271 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Thanks for the YouTube video, Paul. It sounds like it could strip anything off of those dishes!

Post# 917286 , Reply# 20   1/24/2017 at 08:16 (271 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Kevin - thanks!  I think I should make a video of it washing with a plexiglass top cover at some point.  Maybe I should wait until summer though... *chuckle*  If I was any good at metal work, a peek-in window where the top slants would be an interesting addition.  


Steve - thank you for the cycle chart and detergent cup information.  My instincts are starting to improve on figuring out how these things work... LOL  


But I'm still troubled by the rinse agent dispenser trip during a Rinse and Hold...  I just don't get that.

Post# 918564 , Reply# 21   2/1/2017 at 08:02 (263 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
glad to see you got the motor running again

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and i'm glad i was able to find it a good home with you! i got that one originally in 2009 when i took that trip to grand rapids and brought back a truckload of dishwashers and my first rollermatic.

i did rebuild that pump at that time, new seal and i think maybe a new motor too!

it worked fine for 4 years or so then when i pulled it out after a year of storage the motor would not turn.

it's a very unique dishwasher with that slant top style and i hope you have fun with it!

i am also ready to get rid of my 1962 frigidaire flair stove and if you would like it please let me know before i put it on craigslist.


Post# 918567 , Reply# 22   2/1/2017 at 08:28 (263 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That's a pretty cool dishwasher, Paul. That rinse and hold cycle is puzzling, it doesn't make sense to dispense rinse-aid but then I suspect it was mostly for marketing and cycle-count purposes. Given the time/water/energy resources it uses for R&H or R&D, you could just use that as a light soil cycle. Funny how things have changed so drastically in dishwashers, that amount water for just rinsing would be extravagant for a full cycle. :-)

Post# 918583 , Reply# 23   2/1/2017 at 09:43 (263 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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In fact the rinse hand hold switch was mostly a no-heat drying switch as you could run a full cycle on the rinse and hold setting.

Post# 918801 , Reply# 24   2/2/2017 at 18:17 (261 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Well, isn't that a bite in the butt!

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I was stunned at the 1.35 gallon water changes because the two Whirlpools here throw out a flood at each drain; however I am a only first grader when it comes to dishwasher knowledge, so I'll get the buckets out and measure, but I'm betting mine throw out two to three gallons per pump out. Won't it be so exciting, thrilling, and hilarious if I measure only 1.35 gallons, and am dead wronggguuueee?

Got to play with that DW at the museum, and was stunned to watch John use a washing machine hose to by-pass the quick-connect which he did not want to compromise, so he ran a washing machine fill hose from the fill valve to the supply line, telling me that all dishwashers' inlet valves--inside the machine-- are standard washing machine threaded valves. Love it when life is that easy and simple!

Here's the guzzling gal from Big Al with a new cutting board to honor his generosity.

Post# 920731 , Reply# 25   2/11/2017 at 13:09 (253 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Maiden wash time!

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Finally got the 'new' Frigidaire top-loader into the kitchen for a test-drive.  Hubby hasn't been kvetching too much but has not been remiss in reminding mr that 3 dishwashers in the Ogden kitchen is not his ideal number.  I suggested 5 and got a really dirty look...


And speaking of dirty, here's the test load.  Not huge; I don't think I like the upper rack design so much. Mugs and big glasses don't seem to fit well.  

Now, to make this a 'turquoisedude torture test', I threw in the upper part of a double boiler I used to cook custard in.

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Post# 920732 , Reply# 26   2/11/2017 at 13:12 (252 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wash time!!


I used the Regular Wash with the Rinse & Hold option off. I  figured I would neef the water to be heated!  


I had to add the second dose of detergent manually since I am missing the cover for the detergent cup.  I'll have to figure out a way to build a replacement... LOL 

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Post# 920734 , Reply# 27   2/11/2017 at 13:18 (252 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
The results...

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Overall pretty good.  The double boiler did not get 100% clean; a longer cycle mighta done it or if I had washed it immediately instead of waiting for a full load.  The Revere Ware pan had been used for cream of carrot soup and it was clean as a whistle.  The cutlery was also cleaned nicely.


So maybe 'Maidee' may be going on vacation for a spell... I will try at least one wash test before I decide though!

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Post# 920745 , Reply# 28   2/11/2017 at 14:40 (252 days old) by rpms (ontario canada)        

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Glad to see the the gas station Canadian Club glasses are still in use.

Post# 920786 , Reply# 29   2/11/2017 at 19:06 (252 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Seems a full fill is 2.7 gals.  The cycle chart just details the two fill increments separately with the respective water intake for each.

Rinse aid dispenses in the final rinse, which the designated rinse/hold includes.  Is the rinse aid mechanism electric or a mechanical linkage from the timer?

Post# 920918 , Reply# 30   2/12/2017 at 10:28 (252 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Rinse aid

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The mechanism is electric - a solenoid is tripped by timer in the 2nd rinse.

Wasn't it just GE who had the mechanically operated rinse aid dispenser? I  have a mid 60s Canadian Mobile Maid with the 'Rinse-Glo' selector but I've never played with that machine to find out for sure... Shame on me... LOL 

Post# 920946 , Reply# 31   2/12/2017 at 13:15 (251 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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"Hubby....reminded me that 3 dishwashers in the Ogden kitchen is not his ideal number. I suggested 5 and got a really dirty look..."

You are a real riot, Paul.

Thanks, Glenn; knew something wasn't right.

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