Thread Number: 74025  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Australian Kitchenaid KDS-17 Problems
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Post# 978075   1/13/2018 at 03:54 by mit634 (Sydney)        

Hi All,
I recently bought an Australian sold Kitchenaid KDS-17, manufactured in former West Germany. I have connected it up to use in my kitchen and I put it through its first run today. All seemed to work except for the following. Hope someone can help !

1. Small water leak from the lower left corner of the door. The door seal looks OK. The service manual also mentions a baffle which it says needs to be sealed in the corners. Not sure if it could be this baffle or the seal.

2. Another very small water leak around where the forced air duct locates in the bottom of the tank.

3. The forced air heating element cycles on and off (presumably the overheat switch going open circuit). Also there doesn't seem to be much air coming out of the front lower edge of the door, so wondering if the overheat problem is due to insufficient air flow.

Pics attached. Thanks ever so much !

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Post# 978095 , Reply# 1   1/13/2018 at 08:55 by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
forced air drying

the fans on these tend to gum up over the years and I've had luck reviving them with a little lubrication on the motor shaft. I bet that's why it keeps cycling off. The fan assy is fairly easy to remove in one piece so you can inspect it on a benchtop - 2 screws.
This will also give you a chance to inspect the opening where you are seeing a small leak. There might be some rust from the duct assy.

Post# 978106 , Reply# 2   1/13/2018 at 10:27 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Maiden voyage..

Did you run your tests without the lower rack in the machine? If so, water can find its way past the door seal and cause a small leak. Also, there should be small plastic clips in the front corners of the racks which will deflect the water away from the lower corners of the gasket to prevent the same leak. Also, check the area in the tank where the door would lip over the front of the tub. Often, dirt, grease and scale will build up there and create a possibility of water leaking especially if you open the door and then restart the machine right up. (It is a good practice to clean that area out occasionally).There is no place for the displaced air to go except out the door and even sometimes out of the dryer outlet.

As steved mentioned, those blower motors will seize up and or slow down due to age and lack of lubrication. Do as he says and you should be able to buy time with the blower you have. I have a few new, more commercial style motors but they are 120 volt motors and probably won't help you. If I find a 220v replacement, I will let you know.

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Post# 978112 , Reply# 3   1/13/2018 at 11:34 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Leaks At The Dryer Unit On A KDS-17

combo52's profile picture
When you open the door you should hear a little rattle from the vent disk under the SS cap in the back of the DW each time the door is opened, If not it might be stuck down, if this is the case it will block air circulation during dry.

If it is stuck up [ or missing altogether ] it might allow some water to splashed down through the drying unit while washing and create a leak.

Slight leaks at the lower corners can be caused by many things, in addition to the things Steve suggested be sure the DW is not tilted forward at all, also after it is used a while the door gasket may soften and seal better, the DW is also much less likely leak with a lot of dishes loaded in it as the dishes break up the water splash near the door.

Good Luck with your new DW, we have boxes of good new and used parts for this once very popular DW. In the early 70s this model was the best selling model DW in the States, it even outsold the basic builder GE DWs.

John L.

Post# 978240 , Reply# 4   1/14/2018 at 04:58 by mit634 (Sydney)        

Hi SteveT, SteveD and John L,

Thank you so much for your insightful replies. The knowledge you guys have is incredible.

I did actually put the dishwasher through its maiden run without the lower rack inside. I ran it again today with the rack inside and no door leak ! Although interestingly my lower basket does not have those clips in the corners. Not sure if it never had them or they have gone missing at some point.

I also took out the forced air drier unit and inspected the air inlet in the back of the tank. It seems to be just a mushroom shaped cap with no check valve. I ran the dishwasher with the blower removed and a few dribbles of water came down from the tank. I took a photo looking up into the air inlet and you can see a few beads of water on the underside of the cap. I assume that cap is just not a completely perfect solution for keeping the water inside while allowing air through from the outside.

The blower duct is not an airtight fit in the air inlet in the bottom of the tank - it just sort of locates there with no seal - is this how it's meant to be ?

I also lubricated the fan motor. It seems to spin nicely and keeps spinning for a short while after the power is disconnected. I put it back in the dishwasher but it's still overheating. The heating element glows really bright orange. Is it supposed to be this hot ? I have attached a photo of this too.

Thanks so much. It's much appreciated. I'm excited to bring back to life such an amazing well-built appliance.


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