Thread Number: 72336  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Kitchenaid Custom 21 not running
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Post# 956058   9/4/2017 at 09:45 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Went to runner the dishwasher this morning and I heard maybe a click then nothing. I've turned the dial around, opened and closed it, switched the breaker. Nothing. My next attempts are to clean out underneath around the motor, check the electrical outlet, and then maybe take apart under the filter. Any suggestions what it might be and what I should try? THanks, Melissa

Post# 956137 , Reply# 1   9/4/2017 at 17:02 by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

Does the door switch click? Is the pin missing?

Post# 956179 , Reply# 2   9/4/2017 at 21:48 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Custom 21 is what mine is

It might be a door alignment problem..

Post# 956182 , Reply# 3   9/4/2017 at 22:21 by cuffs054 (GA)        

Have you checked that heater coil yet?

Post# 956185 , Reply# 4   9/4/2017 at 22:27 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Thanks for the suggestions. Mine has a handle in the middle that goes up and down. I took things a part around the handle and opened that top panel up couldn't see anything broken though I don't really know what I'm looking for. The handle is working like it had before. Where would I find the pin you mentioned eronie? How would I check door alignment? The thing that makes me suspect possibly a motor issue is it stopped during a cycle. How do you check if a motor is still good? I cleaned things out underneath and I could make it turn. The electric outlet is good. I checked below the filter as far as I could go from inside and didn't see anything. I'm getting a good idea how to take things a part and put them back together but haven't found the problem. I have a spare machine that I should be able to swap most parts from but want to see if I can narrow the problem before I go to that effort.
Good to hear someone close has a Custom, Norgeway. Maybe we can swap parts if needed sometime.

Post# 956191 , Reply# 5   9/4/2017 at 22:58 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Thanks cuffs 54. I was able to clean up the heating element and it seems solid and it does seem to be heating the water properly (aside from today when I can't get it to run at all). I use the no heat dry option. But in the future if we decide to disconnect it, that's all helpful advice.

(Melissa, this is just a WAG, but if the heating element is bad the timer would drag on because the water never gets hotter. Do you use "air dry or no heat dry"? You probably would not notice the lack of drying heat. If the element is bad you might want to disconnect it (under the dw) and be SURE to tape the loose wires to stop shorts. I don't think it's hard to replace an element (never did one). If the element is just dirty 'never mind'!

I wouldn't think that 160+ water would damage anything in a dw but again just a WAG.)

Post# 956207 , Reply# 6   9/5/2017 at 04:38 by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

The pin and switch are on the upper right hand of the door and tub. Pin upper right corner of tub, switch hole is upper right hand corner of door. Does switch click? Sometimes pin breaks off some were plastic.

Post# 956229 , Reply# 7   9/5/2017 at 09:46 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Eronie, I found the pin you were talking about. Glad to know more about this machine. But the seems to be working fine, pin intact and making a clicking sound. Thanks for the suggestion.

Post# 956343 , Reply# 8   9/5/2017 at 22:48 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Does this dishwasher have a thermal fuse? Is this a possibility for why it's not working? Any other ideas on what could be going on?

Post# 956367 , Reply# 9   9/6/2017 at 05:54 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I wonder if there is a broken wire in the bend area beneath the door where the wires are constantly flexed when the door is opened and closed.

Post# 956475 , Reply# 10   9/6/2017 at 22:57 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

I think I might have found the problem when I went to change out this machine with an ISE I found recently. Not a great picture but the wire nut on one connection to the power source is totally melted. The other wire nut is fine. What could have caused this? They were both well taped with electrical tape and it was installed by a professional plumber who is a friend.

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Post# 956515 , Reply# 11   9/7/2017 at 11:06 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
You Found It, YAY

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Whenever something goes dead you always start at the source, and often the problem is related to the installation.

The reason the wire connection burned was plain and simple, the installer did not get a good connection between the two wires when he connected them, most common reasons for poor connections are not exposing enough wire for the wire nuts, using too large a wire nut and of course not tightening it enough.

Taping the wire nut in place does nothing toward improving the electrical bond, it is a nice touch however.

John L.

Post# 956523 , Reply# 12   9/7/2017 at 11:53 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Humbled, learning and determined. Is it safe to give it another try paying careful attention to a better connection or is it likely I also burned something up in the dishwasher? Thanks John L.

Post# 956532 , Reply# 13   9/7/2017 at 13:13 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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You should be good to go after correcting the wire nut problem.

Post# 957909 , Reply# 14   9/17/2017 at 19:31 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

Thanks! Back to doing its job. One more question: since I got it and more so now the cycles don't seem to be working quite right. Sometimes it fills then right away without churning drains. I don't see the heat light coming on any more. I think enough is working and the thing powerful enough I'm getting clean dishes but am wondering if maybe the timer isn't right. That is the one part I can't replace from the ISEs since they are buttons instead of the dial on this one. Thanks!

Post# 957956 , Reply# 15   9/18/2017 at 01:47 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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It's normal for the machine to do a partial fill and run for maybe 30 seconds, then drain.  This happens after the main wash, and is how the machine self-cleans its filter (that is what the hole in the bottom of one of the hydrosweep's the wash arms is for).  It doesn't make the usual churning sound when this happens.


As for the heat light, maybe your water heater is set hot enough that the machine doesn't need to heat the water further.

Post# 958211 , Reply# 16   9/19/2017 at 21:55 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

That sounds like what is going on. Thanks! Sure appreciate everyone's help!

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