Thread Number: 78061  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
I beat the Bosch!
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Post# 1020711   1/10/2019 at 02:13 (1,877 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Bosch dishwasher, that is.


Problem: it's been slow draining for some years now. In the past year I started having to run a cancel/drain cycle at the beginning and end of cycles. I cleaned the filter and impeller housing, but still slow draining. It got so bad I had to run two or more cancel drains. Finally I pulled the damn thing out of the counter this evening. Not an easy task, since the previous home owner put in a raised floor (particle board, natch, under sheet vinyl) that means the dishwasher is a very tight fit vertically, Anyway finally got it out.

Inspected the drain hose, no kinks. Some slight kinking of the supply hose, but no biggie. Finally found a youtube video and it mentioned pulling the rubber check valve under the impeller housing. Aha!. The valve is soft black rubber that had deteriorated to the point where it fell apart when I tried to remove it. Took me a lot of teasing tweezing and needle nose pliering in order to get it out. Ran the washer again w/o the check valve: drains like a champ!

Put in an order online for a replacement valve ($5 plus shipping). Tomorrow I'll check with a local appliance parts distributor to see if they have one in stock, as well.

Right now the Bosch is sitting in the middle of the kitchen until tomorrow after work when I work up enough energy to shoehorn it back under the counter.

Oh, I forgot to mention. The darn thing would slowly fill up with water after a cycle was completed and the drain manually activated. Not a lot, but enough to indicate that the check valve was, by that time, toast. Yes, there's a functional air gap on the sink that the DW was attached to, so it probably wasn't siphoning from the disposer.

I was actually contemplating running to Costco and picking up a new stainless Whirlpool DW... also I have a couple of vintage KA DW's in the carport that probably would work great, as well. I'm just used to the Bosch by now and it does a good job outside of the drain issue. We'll see!

(I also have a couple of vintage KA stand alone DW's ... but this kitchen isn't set up for them... yet...

Post# 1020741 , Reply# 1   1/10/2019 at 16:12 (1,877 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
Order an inlet valve

If it was slowly filling up with dirty water, likely from the drain. If the water is clean, you have a leaking inlet valve which is a very common failure on those dws. Its one of the very few Bosch parts I keep in the service van.

Post# 1020787 , Reply# 2   1/11/2019 at 01:54 (1,876 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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I was figuring the check valve was slowly allowing drain water in the hose to enter the sump. Of course it's possible the inlet valve is hinky, too.

Currently waiting for the replacement backflow preventer to arrive. Probably within a week. Nobody local seems to have them. The replacement in the illustrations seems to be silicone rubber, which should last a lot longer than the black rubber original.

Once the backflow preventer is replaced, I'll see if the sump continues to fill on its own, which would indicate an inlet valve problem.

Post# 1020923 , Reply# 3   1/12/2019 at 11:43 (1,875 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Thanks, Eugene, for bringing the inlet valve issue to my attention. It appears that both the check valve and the inlet valve have failed.

I was able to observe the sump slowly filling up after a full drain, even with the DW sitting outside the countertop but still hooked up. So I'm getting a new inlet valve for this sucker. It's available locally. More than twice the price than online, but the advantage of getting it today is that I can install in in the dishwasher today, put the thing back under the counter, hook it all up, and then install the check valve when it arrives later next week. The check valve can be installed without pulling the dishwasher out of position.

Meanwhile I'm gonna be looking at a modern replacement for the thing going forward. The LG's look good... internal water heaters... and if this repair doesn't work I could always install one of the vintage units I have standing by.

Meanwhile the dishes are piling up. LOL.

Post# 1021026 , Reply# 4   1/13/2019 at 13:49 (1,874 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Update: While the washer was out of its cubby, I pulled the water inlet valve and took it apart. The filter screen was nearly fully clogged with rust from the old steel pipe that runs to the kitchen. I pulled the screen cleaned it thoroughly. Then I went to the local parts distributor and picked up a new valve for $50 just in case. I made sure I could return the $50 inlet valve if cleaning out the old one worked. I had also ordered one on-line for all of $14 free shipping.

Back home, I put the DW back together and in its cubby. Ran a test wash with a full load... Came through it well, albeit with some residual water in the sump due to the backflow preventer/check valve being missing. But the water looked clear. The dishes came out clean although with residual spotting, Probably in part due to the Costco gel pods I've been using. I have a nearly full bucket of Finish which I'll try next. Earlier I had noticed that when I removed the racks and wash arms, the water being expelled by the wash pump was cloudy. Probably that white residue previously noted as characteristic of the Costco gel packs.

One thing I noticed is that the detergent dispenser was full of water mid-way through the cycle before the detergent door opened. Since there are openings in the upper side of the dispenser door, I'm guessing this may be on purpose to help dissolve the detergent quicker. But I never noticed this before... Another Bosch mystery.

The next morning the residual water level in the sump hadn't changed, so I conclude that cleaning the rust out of the inlet valve succeeded in getting it to work properly again. I think I can continue to use the DW w/o the back flow preventer for a week or so, and will install the new check valve as soon as it arrives. This can be done with the DW installed, no problem. Just a little awkward.

It's nice to have the DW working again, even if it's slightly impaired. And I'll be returning the $50 inlet valve for a refund (packaging unopened).

Post# 1021224 , Reply# 5   1/14/2019 at 23:53 (1,872 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Woo woo!

The $14 inlet water valve arrived unexpectedly early today, in Amazon Prime packaging. Which is a bit strange, since I never signed up for Prime. But what the heck. It doesn't look like Amazon charged anything extra.

Still waiting for the check valve, which might be here on Friday.

I am noticing slightly higher water level in the sump, starting to overcome the large fine filter, so I think the inlet valve will have to be replaced anyway.

Post# 1021368 , Reply# 6   1/16/2019 at 10:19 (1,871 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Seeping Inlet Valve

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Hi Rich, yes cleaning the inlet screen of an inlet valve will never solve water seeping through it.

Its always fun to take thing apart and try solving problems, but I mention this for the next guy that has the same problem.

In 45 years of fixing DWs I don't think I have ever seen an inlet valve clogged badly enough to affect performance of the DW. On a hot water line most heavy particles settle to the bottom of the WH, and a DW uses far less hot water than showers, kitchen sinks etc so if a DW valve is clogged the rest of the hot water system probably has lots of other clogging long before the DW has any performance issues.

John L.

Post# 1021386 , Reply# 7   1/16/2019 at 13:02 (1,871 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Clogged dishwasher inlet valve ... has happened twice at one of RJ's rental properties to the point that the fill level is impaired (I disassembled & cleaned it both times, no resultant leaks occurred). The house is 100+ years old, hugely refurbed so it's a very nice rental, 4BR with 2-car garage and attached MIL-type apartment but has not been fully replumbed. City water in that neighborhood is noticeably hard and the lines are also aged. Sediment loosens each time the water is turned off/on or if the city repairs a leak somewhere in the system.

Post# 1021473 , Reply# 8   1/16/2019 at 23:33 (1,870 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Well the good news today is that the replacement check valve arrived in the post. It's an easy install, just remove the cover over the drain pump impeller, and insert the new rubber flapper. I'll try to post a photo of it. After that, got excited to test it out, so I ran a quick wash (40 min) and sure enough at the end of the cycle, the water had been pumped out down to the level of the impeller. Even better, the glassware in the test wash is basically spot free.

I am putting off installing the new inlet valve until Thurs or Friday. I'm hoping I can do it with the DW in place; but it will be uncomfortable and it's right down at floor level and the inlet hose doesn't have a lot of slack. Worst case is I have to pull the DW. Been there, done that. At least next time I'll remember to retract the front leveling feet to make it a bit easier (LOL). I didn't last weekend because they didn't look extended. But they were.


Same thing here. Water supply to the house is copper from the meter (used to be steel, but was replaced shortly after I bought the house because the line under the front yard had started to crumble. When I went to turn off the water main valve at the front of the house to work on something inside the house, the pipe for the shutoff valve moved like it was made of putty. Well, that was about 20 years ago. It got replaced with nice copper, under the front lawn, but the line to the water heater is still steel, There is copper under there, mainly to go to newer (prior to my ownership) connections like the laundry closet off the kitchen, and the master bath at the rear of the house.

Along the way I accumulated enough copper to replace the steel piping under the house. I just haven't got around to it. It may be a retirement project... if I ever retire. I do get tired of having to clean rust particles out of faucet screens etc, though. I could always hire a plumber, though ;-).

Post# 1021863 , Reply# 9   1/20/2019 at 16:36 (1,867 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        
Final update (I hope)

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Decided to forego Sunday veggie shopping and install the new inlet valve today.

I didn't have to pull the DW to do this. Which was nice. I also found that partially opening the door gave me more room to access the wiring and plumbing.

It's running a full power scrub cycle now so I'll be seeing if the check valve and inlet valve works as expected. So far, so good.

Oh, and I was able to return the $50 inlet fill valve to the local parts distributor for a full refund. Before I returned it, I compared it closely with the $14 version. They are virtually identical, down to the model number and logo stamp on the steel. I let the parts distributor counter guy know this, and he didn't seem surprised. So I figure $14 is their wholesale cost for a valve they sell for $46.

Also received a second check valve ($10) just in case this one ever fails. Hopefully, that will be never.

Post# 1022125 , Reply# 10   1/23/2019 at 00:40 (1,864 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Post mortem:

Repairs are holding well. No rise in sump water level after some days. Yay. Dishes coming out squeaky clean, good.

What now remains is to remove the white film inside the DW. I'm not sure what caused it, but there's been mention that the Costco laundry detergent is a suspect. Last load I used some vintage Cascade (phosphated) and that seemed to help a bit. I might also try adding some STPP along with whatever else, like Finish tabs. I figure it will take a bit for the precipitate to dissolve.

Post# 1022142 , Reply# 11   1/23/2019 at 06:48 (1,864 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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Have you tried vinegar/citric acid?

Post# 1022409 , Reply# 12   1/25/2019 at 08:50 (1,862 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Not yet. I found some foil packets of "vintage" Cascade in the garage. Powder not clumped, tried a run last night and the white film is significantly reduced. I figure the two packets have enough for four loads. After that, I'll start adding a little STPP to Finish tabs.

Post# 1022664 , Reply# 13   1/27/2019 at 12:00 (1,860 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Update: the white hard water mineral deposit is virtually gone after running the DW with vintage phosphated detergent three times. Once with some clumped boxed stuff, another two times with free flowing Cascade stored in foil packets.

The inlet valve is holding steady, and the check valve is working well to ensure complete drainage of waste wash water.

Ordered and received extra inlet and check valves... just in case... who knows if they will be available in 10 years!

Post# 1022765 , Reply# 14   1/28/2019 at 08:46 (1,859 days old) by Rolls_rapide (.)        

"One thing I noticed is that the detergent dispenser was full of water mid-way through the cycle before the detergent door opened."

It's the same with my 2003/2004 Bosch... the sliding lid rubberised seal is 'U'-shaped, with plastic-to-plastic mating on the fourth (upper) side. I personally preferred the almost totally dry sealing of other manufacturers' models - the ones with the spring-flap lids.

Post# 1022769 , Reply# 15   1/28/2019 at 09:02 (1,859 days old) by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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IIRC Bosch called those dispensers something like "pre-activating the detergent"

Mine has it too and I think the idea was to soften those rock hard tabs we had back then a little up before the main wash starts.
Surprisingly it even works well with powders and gels too, just a little seems to get lost into the prewash.
But have to agree I`d prefer a dry chamber too, it just feels better this way.

Post# 1022788 , Reply# 16   1/28/2019 at 12:21 (1,859 days old) by henene4 (Heidenheim a.d. Brenz (Germany))        

I think by now they have gone back to closed chambers.

Thing was that prewashes by then either were rather short or didn't even happen.
Further, with the comeup of tablets, dosing in prewashes wasn't really possible. So that might be compensation for that.

Post# 1022800 , Reply# 17   1/28/2019 at 15:34 (1,859 days old) by Rolls_rapide (.)        
"they have gone back to closed chambers..."

I wonder if that is because of the newer dissolvable wrappers possibly turning into a gluey mess within the dispenser, sticking the dispenser lid shut?

Post# 1022909 , Reply# 18   1/29/2019 at 14:00 (1,858 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Thanks for the info that water seepage into the dispenser is normal for a Bosch of that vintage (about 2002).

Meanwhile, the vintage Cascade powder has removed the white residue inside the washer. Plus, old mineral residue on plastic items has cleared up as well.

I might go back to Finish tabs... but the Kirkland gel packs are not going back into this washer, at least not without some STPP added (as much as will fit in the dispenser with the gel pack).

Post# 1022911 , Reply# 19   1/29/2019 at 14:09 (1,858 days old) by henene4 (Heidenheim a.d. Brenz (Germany))        

Have to say that with a water softener I have yet to see a difference in cleaning ability after the phosphate ban here in the EU. But without one phosphates seem to make a huge difference apparently.

Don't think self dissolving packs could get sticky enough to keep the sliding mechanism glued shut. That thing has decent force even after decades of use on ours, and those shells are designed to dissolve after all.

More likely the switch was done in conjunction with the new more sensitive sensing system and the new tablet dissolve thingy.

Post# 1024057 , Reply# 20   2/9/2019 at 00:09 (1,847 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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I don't think I've ever seen a dishwasher here in the states with a built-in water softener. Anybody know of one?

In any case, boosting Finish tabs with STPP works just fine at keeping the mineral deposits at bay. It would probably also work with those Costco gel packs. Also working well are vintage phosphated detergents from Cascade and Costco. It's so nice to have the Bosch working to spec again. I'd forgotten how well it works!

Post# 1024066 , Reply# 21   2/9/2019 at 00:57 (1,847 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Some models of Bosch dishwashers have built-in softeners (even the ones made in US, I'm told). I think only the most TOL models are made in Germany now.

Fisher&Paykel, oddly enough, seems to sell models with built-in softeners here in US, but not in AU or NZ. Dunno why. Dunno if it counts, as some people will see them as an imported product anyway.

Miele has always sold machines with built-in softeners, but I don't know if that "counts" given that most people will see that as an import.

I am told (but am very out of the loop when it comes to dishwashers, so did not check) that some models from GE, KitchenAid and Maytag have it too. Dunno if any Whirlpool models do. Also not current if LG, Samsung etc currently sell any, it seems they keep changing their lineup every year.

And yes, that era for Bosch the detergent dispensers had holes on top to "pre-activate" the detergent. I used to have a machine bought in 1999 that had that. Great machine, lasted about 8 or 9 years with no trouble, until it broke and it was more expensive to fix than I'd like to spend. I had originally bought it on sale for around 800 bucks, and when I heard it would cost a couple of hundred for the technician to visit and then upwards of 300 for parts and labor, I bailed. I was going to buy another Bosch, but when I noticed they changed the racks, I brought my dishes to the showroom, and wouldn't you know it, they didn't fit as well as the older rack could accommodate them. Got a different brand, which has been working for over 10 years now, still going great -- also can accommodate even more dishes, cleans really well. Only fly on the ointment is that the racks are beginning to rust, very very slowly. One of these days, it will become a problem, and I expect that it will be very expensive to fix too, so I might get a new dishwasher. On the other hand, this has been the *first* dishwasher in my life that has lasted this long, except for the Bosch that made it to 8 or 9, all the others lasted 2 to 5 years, and that's depending on what and how you count, given that most of them broke during the warranty. Granted, they were fixed for free, but kept breaking at regular intervals anyway, and I've spent way more in cheaper dishwashers that didn't last long than buying good machines that clean well and last a long time with no problems and then die and gets discarded.

Post# 1024152 , Reply# 22   2/9/2019 at 23:44 (1,846 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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This Bosch is actually a sort of survivor.

I originally bought it from the "customer return" area of the local Sears. I think it was about $350. It was in perfect shape until the kids manning the loading dock dropped it off the fork lift (I heard the crash, one of them came out and asked me "Do you still want it?" without telling me what had happened. I said "Yes, of course!". When I got it home I noticed the upper rack wouldn't close all the way. Looking inside I noticed an inward dent at the upper right corner, at the upper rack. I took my fist and pounded it back into shape. No problems related to that since (and I didn't want to go back to the Sears clown show to return it).

Now with the recent DIY repairs it seems to be running perfectly.

When it comes time to replace it, I'll look for a model with an internal water softener. Does anyone have a model number that has the WS?

Post# 1024154 , Reply# 23   2/9/2019 at 23:47 (1,846 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Post# 1024170 , Reply# 24   2/10/2019 at 03:31 (1,846 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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Bosch has 35 dishwashers with water softener on its website. Just select "water softener" under the "highlights" filter.

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Post# 1024173 , Reply# 25   2/10/2019 at 04:32 (1,846 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Yes, but the trick is to find one in the USA...

Post# 1024175 , Reply# 26   2/10/2019 at 04:55 (1,846 days old) by henene4 (Heidenheim a.d. Brenz (Germany))        


Do you mean made in the USA?

Post# 1024208 , Reply# 27   2/10/2019 at 13:30 (1,846 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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I already posted a link to a water softener equipped Bosch DW for SALE in the USA.

However i notice that the Bosch DW's with water softeners all seem to be rather pricey, over $1000 list price.

I've looked for an LG with water softener, but they do not seem to exist. Supposedly there are Whirlpools with water softeners but I haven't located one yet. And, my other criterion would be no exposed heating element. And price of around $500!

Post# 1024212 , Reply# 28   2/10/2019 at 14:18 (1,846 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Well, for just a bit more...


Post# 1024216 , Reply# 29   2/10/2019 at 14:47 (1,846 days old) by henene4 (Heidenheim a.d. Brenz (Germany))        

Forgot those came to the USA...

These Arcrelik machines have become a stable and good choice in the budget sector of the market.
Whike far from perfect, these machines usually perform relativley decent for their price.
Washers and dishwashers both have quick options for full loads that perform astoudingly well and that appeals to many.

Post# 1024230 , Reply# 30   2/10/2019 at 16:39 (1,846 days old) by SudsMaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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Most of us would not buy a new dishwasher sight unseen, and I've never seen a Bloomberg, or an Arecelik dishwasher. If I can see it in a local showroom, then I might consider ordering one on-line. But even Bosch DW's with water softeners are hard to find locally, in person.

I've also noted that none of these websites allow one to filter search results by water softener status. So you have to wade through a lot of choices and then drill down to the specs, and if you're lucky they'll list whether or not the DW has a built in water softener.

Perhaps it's because the USA generally has softer water than Europe, apparently.

Here in California, the water hardness seems to vary seasonally. Our four year drought has also seemed to result in harder water. After a month of heavy rains, I suspect the water here is softer than it was before New Year's. Part of the fun of living in the Golden State.

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