Thread Number: 74349  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Damsel in Dish-tress [ KDS-21 ]
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Post# 981342   2/5/2018 at 08:21 (1,194 days old) by PamK (Lenox)        

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Oh happy day. Oh woah is me.

I had my Kitchenaid KDS-21 installed on Friday. But, it wouldn't start. The plumber replaced the original hard-wire with a cord. Could that be the issue?

Any super expert near me who might be able to help me troubleshoot? I live in Western Massachusetts.

I write a midcentury homes on my blog, more info in my story today.

Many thanks, automaticwasherites!


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Post# 981343 , Reply# 1   2/5/2018 at 08:31 (1,194 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Glad you're enjoying the site. It sounds like there could be a power issue between the cord or the outlet.

It could be the micro switch on the top right of the door. When you gently close it do you here a click ? And also, is there a little rubber pointy thing on the top right where the activation (safety) switch is ?

Where did you get the machine from ?

There are quite a few experts here that will be chiming in shortly.

I hope you get this sorted out soon. Last of the Good KitchenAids.

Post# 981344 , Reply# 2   2/5/2018 at 08:32 (1,194 days old) by ken (NYS)        

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I would think the electrician would have turned the circuit breaker off, or removed the fuse if older service, when he performed his work. Did you check to see he turned the breaker back on or reinstalled fuse?

Post# 981347 , Reply# 3   2/5/2018 at 08:54 (1,194 days old) by PamK (Lenox)        
@toploader re: a little rubber pointy thing on the top right

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@toploader aka lifesaver (I hope),

Indeed, a little rubber pointy thing had BROKEN OFF from somewhere when my plumber friend got going.

We didn't know what it was. But howdy hudee, I kept it, and I actually found it easily. I see where you say it goes. What do I do now? Glue it back on? What kind of glue should I use?

Thank you!!!!

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Post# 981349 , Reply# 4   2/5/2018 at 09:15 (1,194 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I'm glad it's an easy fix

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You'll need a new one, ultimately - but for now, some glue will get you going. If a bit of super glue doesn't do it, try the 1 minute epoxy they have at Walmart or The Home Depot.

An expert will, no doubt, be along in a minute to tell you the exact part number and where to get it cheapest. Whirlpool (who now own KitchenAid) lists it as: Whirlpool OEM Part #4172040.

These were the last of the really good KitchenAid dishwashers, you will love it.


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Post# 981368 , Reply# 5   2/5/2018 at 11:51 (1,194 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Ah-HA !!!

That would be the reason why it won't start. As panthera said...

I'll bet the ranch it should fire right up once you glue it on.

Attached are pics of my KDS 20.

1st pic is the Rubber activator. (I think the rubber is better as they don't snap off that easily.

2nd pic is the door. That little silver circle (at the top right of the door) is the switch that the "pin" pushes to start the machine. This is the safety if you open the door while the machine is on will stop the action.

You could latch the door (open) select let's say Normal wash, then gently push a screwdriver in and the machine should activate.

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Post# 981372 , Reply# 6   2/5/2018 at 12:15 (1,194 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Looks like a happy day!

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I think some JB Weld would be worth using to glue this piece back together.  That stuff dries and hardens like metal.


And yes, you did your homework and got a good machine.

Post# 981534 , Reply# 7   2/6/2018 at 08:44 (1,193 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Has a good point - JBWeld could even be used to cast an entire new piece.

I always try to fix these things in a particular order - super glue, 1 minute epoxy for the simple reason that they can be removed very easily if they fail or the part is replaced. Given the clean break in your pictures, you might want to go for a much more solid connection like JBWeld.

Post# 981553 , Reply# 8   2/6/2018 at 09:13 (1,193 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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"Sitting on a Cornflake".

Did the machine start ? The suspense is getting too much !!!

Post# 981624 , Reply# 9   2/6/2018 at 11:39 (1,193 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Welcome Pam!

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from a regular reader and occasional commenter, who loves what you do!

SteveT in FL is our resident Hobart/KA expert, and there's little he can't solve when it comes to our wonderful d/washers. We have a KD 17 Series ('71 to 76 ish) in storage for our retirement house. Enjoy your "Hurricane in a Box" and welcome!

Post# 981632 , Reply# 10   2/6/2018 at 11:56 (1,193 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
another strategy for the long term...

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which is important in a vintage machine of any kind (some even do it with cars!), is to find a parts machine, they're out there and usually very cheap or free. Many important parts such as motors are shared by all models within the same Series (20) but some, like timers, are unique. We had 3 different models in storage at one time, down to just one now, plus a box of spare parts!

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Post# 981638 , Reply# 11   2/6/2018 at 13:16 (1,193 days old) by PamK (Lenox)        

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Hi @toploader and other new BFFs:

YES: I found the white rubber pointed pin thingy and super glued it. The glue held. Meanwhile, I bought a spare on ebay -- thanks, @panthera!

YES: It turned on! Dancing the kitchen time! I just finished reading the use booklet. For once in my whole life, I read the darned book.

YES: I'm running it. I'm running the normal cycle. So far it's made it through load water and heat water and right now it's running the first wash. Fingers crossed!

I am making a video to put on the blog. Wish me luck.

I also have a few more technical questions, which I will come back with.

Oh and that's a great tip @firedome -- I'll start looking for a parts machine right away. DH will be thrilled *not* to have that in the garage with all my other *projects*


Post# 981642 , Reply# 12   2/6/2018 at 13:45 (1,193 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Keep asking those questions - lots of experts here. I'm not a KA expert - ours is 62 years old and worked right from the get-go.

(That was not a complaint).

Post# 981650 , Reply# 13   2/6/2018 at 14:58 (1,192 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Soooooooooooo glad it's running.

Just imagine how many machines were tossed to the curb if/when that part got broken or fell off.

I actually have a small cache of parts for the 18-20 machines. If you need anything please never hesitate to ask me or anyone here.

Yay !!! another Hobart saved.

Post# 981745 , Reply# 14   2/7/2018 at 13:07 (1,192 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
You can keep it going for a very long time...

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and you'll love it every time you use it! Congrats!

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