Thread Number: 15000
Help/Avdice with 1980's Maytag Dishwasher
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Post# 253812   12/13/2007 at 11:03 (4,120 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I recently moved into a house with this Maytag dishwasher installed in the kitchen. It looks like a late 1980's model and I think is pretty near to a TOL model. I cannot find a model number on it anywhere, unfortunately.
I've run it a couple of times and it just doesn't seem to clean the dishes all that well. I checked my hot water tank (it is brand new) and upped the heat to 150 degrees from 130. I noticed that the pump inlet (I can post a photo of that if it would help) had evil black slimy gunk clogging some of the inlet holes, so I took off the lower wash arm and the pump cover and poked out as much of the gunk as I could. I noticed that there was a lot of mineral scale in the lower wash arm, so I scraped out whatever I could. I reassembled the wash arm and pump and ran a Rinse and Hold cycle - it may have been my imagination, but it sounded like there was a lot more water action.
Any other suggestions what I could do to clean out this machine? There is a product called CLR available here in Canada that is supposed to dissolve mineral build-up and in the TV ads, they show it being used in a dishwasher. Anyone out there ever use this product or something similar??

Post# 253813 , Reply# 1   12/13/2007 at 11:13 (4,120 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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You can also try putting some vinegar in the water and run it through a cycle.


Post# 253822 , Reply# 2   12/13/2007 at 11:38 (4,120 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Thanks for the advice - I have used vinegar in drip coffeemakers to clean out the scale too.

I am thinking that I am going to need to invest some water treatment equipment soon...

Post# 253939 , Reply# 3   12/13/2007 at 17:54 (4,119 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Can you find either Lemi-Shine or JetDry dishwasher cleaner near where your dishwasher detergents are in the store? I suggest you use one of those products to thoroughly descale your machine. We still want to se pictures!!

Post# 253946 , Reply# 4   12/13/2007 at 18:20 (4,119 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Here's What You Need To Do

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Get yourself two quarts of white vinegar (two bottles or half one gallon jug), and a few fresh boxes of baking soda,not baking powder (store brand is fine).

Set the dishwasher for a wash cycle that uses heat and has at least one rinse. Start the machine and wait for any water purge part of the cycle to end and the machine to start filling. As the machine begins filling, open the door and pour one in one box of baking soda, and the two quarts of white vinegar. Close door and let the machine finish filling and run through it's cycles.

*Note* You want a two to one ratio of vinegar to baking soda, so if you decide to use one bottle of white vinegar, use half box of baking soda.

You will notice that when the vinegar comes into contact with the baking soda, things begin to foam,that is what you want as the foaming action is what will clean out the muck, gunk, grime,and what ever else is growing in your dishwasher. White vinegar is a mild acid, just like all dishwasher/washing machine cleaners, and as such will remove scale, lime and other mineral build up from the machine, pump,sump and so forth.

If after cleaning the unit, the wash arm(s) are still full of muck, take it apart and soak overnight in a tub with enough white vinegar to cover. While your at it, chuck the float (if it is removable) in there as well for the same treatment. Next day rinse both and replace in the dishwasher.

Post# 254684 , Reply# 5   12/17/2007 at 11:48 (4,116 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Thanks for the advice!

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Thanks, I will have to try that this weekend! In the meantime, I dragged my 1958 Mobile-Maid out of storage to help out!

I have to reformat the pictures that I took of this; they wound up being too big to upload to the site. Stand by - should have 'em in a day or two!


Post# 254720 , Reply# 6   12/17/2007 at 14:01 (4,115 days old) by peterh770 (Marietta, GA)        

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Examine the holes in the wash arms and tower (if there is one) very carefully. Maytags have relatively small holes in their wash arms. While the pumping mechanism does take care of food particles, the holes can end up clogged over time.

Post# 254747 , Reply# 7   12/17/2007 at 15:39 (4,115 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

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Be careful,

Not sure of what the tub in question is constructed but acids such as vinegar and lemon can eat a porcelain tub.

Post# 254764 , Reply# 8   12/17/2007 at 17:15 (4,115 days old) by coldspot66 (Plymouth, Mass)        

The micro mesh round filter and flush arm are located below the pump cover. If they get clogged and allowed to dry, there is very little water pumping through.

Post# 254976 , Reply# 9   12/18/2007 at 10:11 (4,115 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Picture of the pump housing

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I hope this picture of the pump housing will be of use. I did have some success cleaing out the spray arms and the wash tower - those openings are a lot smaller than I am used to! The tub interior is porcelain and as the photo shows, there's some staining and damage due to the iron-rich water supply. I'll post a photo of the control panel, too.

Post# 254977 , Reply# 10   12/18/2007 at 10:14 (4,115 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Photo of the door and control panel

turquoisedude's profile picture
As mentioned earlier. I still haven't found a model number on this one, but I am guessing this was near TOL model from the mid to late 1980's. Interestingly, the plumbing connections I have under the sink make me think this was a portable unit that got built-in at some point (hot water supply looks like a regular washing machine hose).

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