Thread Number: 78104  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Meet the "New" Whirlpool SKU-70-0 dishwasher!
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Post# 1021162   1/14/2019 at 14:23 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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On Friday I left for Cincinnati to pick up this lovely turquoise Whirlpool dishwasher. I picked it up on Saturday after surviving a brutal drive through a wicked storm system. Drove back to Canada on Sunday, then unloaded my new toy today.

I am over the moon!

Did I mention this is one of the 'telephone dial' timer models?

Overall, this dishwasher appears to be in terrific shape - it sure looks low-mileage to me. Racks look nice and solid and mercifully, I don't think there are any major issues with the plastisol tub. That rusty gunk on the edge of the filter strainer worries me a bit, but I will have to get water in the tub before I panic too much.

So far, no testing has been done, but don't despair, I'll let y'all know!

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This post was last edited 01/14/2019 at 23:55

Post# 1021164 , Reply# 1   1/14/2019 at 14:25 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Model and serial decoding

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When this machine was found, it seemed to be a coming up as a 1963 model. But here's the serial number if that might help better identify when it was made:
PR 358497.

If anyone can decode the date, I'm all ears!

What is throwing me is the fact that there is just 1 wash arm....

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Post# 1021179 , Reply# 2   1/14/2019 at 16:09 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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That Spray Arm looks like one from a commercial machine called a ADS. Judging by the spray nozzles, I bet that baby can flip things over in the top rack.

Congratulations Ernestine ; ). Will you be you be selecting cycles saying "One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingys " ?

Post# 1021181 , Reply# 3   1/14/2019 at 16:20 by christfr (st louis mo)        

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very nice very pretty, you lucky boy you

Post# 1021183 , Reply# 4   1/14/2019 at 16:36 by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Eddie: I was just thinking that

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Or Jackson. But the jets look more Hobart-ish. I would bet that thing will blast off any food.

Post# 1021189 , Reply# 5   1/14/2019 at 17:03 by peteski50 (New York)        
whirlpool phone dial!

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Hi Paul - thanks for the great pictures. What a great catch! Best Of Luck with it!

Post# 1021191 , Reply# 6   1/14/2019 at 17:31 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        
Dial D for dirty!

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Congrats! What an incredible save - and in such great shape! Canít help you on a date of MFG, but it is your color!


Post# 1021192 , Reply# 7   1/14/2019 at 17:36 by appnut (TX)        

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Just rewards Paul!!  Congratulations.  You've always been such an operator cool


I anxiously await every step of the process and information!!

Post# 1021194 , Reply# 8   1/14/2019 at 17:56 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
According to John....

And Consumer reports of the era, these were number one!

Post# 1021195 , Reply# 9   1/14/2019 at 18:32 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Of course they were/are... It's a Whirlpool ; )

Post# 1021196 , Reply# 10   1/14/2019 at 18:33 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Glad you got this one home!  It appears to have quite a bodacious top rack.



Post# 1021205 , Reply# 11   1/14/2019 at 20:02 by lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        
Wheres Ernestine when you need her?

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I wish appliances companies, had intelligent people that you could speak to about old/older models. then all you had to find out is if, "this was the party, to whom you were speaking". Beautiful find, and of course perfect color! congratulations Buddy.

Post# 1021209 , Reply# 12   1/14/2019 at 20:23 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
WP SKU-70 Dishwasher

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WOW Paul, I am so glad you rescued this machine, it has been a long time since I have seen one of these great DWs.

{ only one wash arm ?] There really weren't any great number of DWs that had more than one at this time, and there was no other DW that had a wash arm this large and powerful with a full 1/3 HP motor in 1958 or even in 1963.

This would probably been the last year of this DW, WP went to a porcelain tub and door and a unified pump and motor in 1964, they also added the upper wash arm on these newer machine.

Can't wait to see this NEW DW some time soon, Its funny I have been cleaning out my basement the last few months and going through more than 50 years worth of collecting appliance parts and found a timer dial for this DW you just got.

John L.

Post# 1021211 , Reply# 13   1/14/2019 at 20:31 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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Very cool find there turquoisedude!
I see that dial and songs start popping up in my mind:
CALL ME by Sky
OPERATOR by Atlantic Star
OPERATOR by Jim Croce
TALK TO ME BABY by Chico DeBarge.
The list goes on & on...

CONGRATULATIONS on such a unique and interesting dishwasher find! Looking forward to reading your progress report.

Post# 1021217 , Reply# 14   1/14/2019 at 22:22 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I'm amazed at your collecting talent, Neme. I'm also amazed at this machine and wondering if Ma Bell didn't sue them for copying their phone dial so well.

Post# 1021222 , Reply# 15   1/14/2019 at 23:24 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That's a really beautiful find, congrats. Thanks for the close-up shots, I've never seen a WP this old.

Post# 1021244 , Reply# 16   1/15/2019 at 09:19 by whitetub (Montreal, Canada)        

Great find. That wash arm looks very commercial dishwasher style. I am sure it can spray all the way up to the top of the tub.

Post# 1021291 , Reply# 17   1/15/2019 at 18:41 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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Great find and such a beauty!

Post# 1021324 , Reply# 18   1/16/2019 at 03:23 by dishwasherfan (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Congrats on this rare dishwasher, I believe this is the 1st time I've seen this model that anyone has on this web sight. Please keep us informed & photos/videos of your progress. Thanks.....

Post# 1021427 , Reply# 19   1/16/2019 at 15:25 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Upon further inspection....

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I only got around to inspecting the Whirlpool dishwasher more closely today.   First inspection of the tub and sump area was encouraging but there are a couple of potential  trouble spots...

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Post# 1021428 , Reply# 20   1/16/2019 at 15:30 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I gave the main components a gentle cleaning.  Bonus - when I tried to spin the motors for the wash and drain pumps, both moved smoothly.

I think we have proof that this is a 63 model!

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Post# 1021429 , Reply# 21   1/16/2019 at 15:32 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Neatest dishwasher junction box ever! Love the hex nut connectors. So, I hooked up a cord, latched the door and 'dialled' a Normal Cycle. Nothing happened... Then I jiggled the door handle and I heard the water solenoid start to buzz. At first, I held down the door handle and let the machine run; it did eventually 'fill' and the wash pump motor started! The door was not closing properly due to a bent mounting bracket blocking the door. Once bent back, the machine continued to run. And run. And run.... So it did eventually get to the 'dry' portion of the cycle (I selected the energy saver option...LOL) and the machine did cycle off. However, I never not once heard the drain pump kick in... After the timer shut off, I tried pressing the pressure pad switch in the tub sump and, even with the door open, the drain pump started! Now, I don't have a schematic for this machine, but I've got a feeling that pressure pad switch in conjunction with the timer will complete or break the circuit to the drain pump. I guess I've gotta get some water in there to know for sure... LOL Or take the front panel off to see if there's a wiring diagram or schematic in there. Perhaps later this week. But bottom line - this machine is not going to need a lot of immediate work other than cleaning that door switch. Wahoo!!

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Post# 1021460 , Reply# 22   1/16/2019 at 21:41 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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WOW Paul it looks to be in great condition, I don't see anything much to be concerned about.


K model WP machines are 1963, you should also see a letter stamped on the Delco main wash motor followed by 63.


One thing I would do is skip the dry cycle, that is an 800 watt heater and its close to 55 YO plastic coated steel interior, if you are going to run it when you are not around turn off the dry just add a relay so the heater can only run when the main pump motor is energized.


I bet you are really getting excited about finally having clean dishes.


John L.

Post# 1021475 , Reply# 23   1/17/2019 at 00:23 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        

Congratulations Paul! That is such a cool dishwasher. I actually had the 1962 version (SJU-70) a long time ago when I was still living at home on Long Island; I actually found it in my neighborhood! Since I was still in high school I was not allowed to install it for daily use (darn!), but it worked really well and is a very powerful dishwasher.

The basic model is the FU-70 introduced in 1959/60. When you examine the wash system it's really a very early version of Whirlpools Point Voyager system (separate wash & drain pumps, wash pump horizontally mounted, filter system designed to direct all debris to drain pump), albeit not nearly as sophisticated. The wash pump was actually sourced from two different manufacturers (Gorman-Rupp & Stayright). Your's probably has the Stayright pump as those were phased in to production in the latter years of this model.

Regarding the single wash arm, only the top loading portables with a spray arm system had two wash arms. Not sure why, but with some ingenuity your's could be adapted to a two wash arm system.

I have service literature for this I will send you under separate cover, but I've included a couple of pics showing the model specs and an illustration of the wash system.

I am super happy for you!! Enjoy the machine, and definitely heed John's advice; install a relay for the heater so it only works when the main pump runs.

Have fun!!

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Post# 1021498 , Reply# 24   1/17/2019 at 12:51 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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I am so happy for you that this lil whirlpool isn't going to need much work to be put into service.

I'm doing the HAPPY DANCE for you on this side of the computer...


Post# 1022023 , Reply# 25   1/22/2019 at 10:56 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Some further exploration and cleaning.... There was a good amount of gunk from 55+ years in service however the trim and paint on this dishwasher are exceptional!

I took the front panel apart to resolve the door switch issue; dusted it, and more or less managed to reassemble everything.

However, I managed to chip the timer dial when removing it. It's a small chip and I've already repaired it.

I gave the tub a wipe down and the rust spots that I noted when I first got this machine are bad enough to warrant some preventative action before I start using this. I'll do some sanding and sealing next week, I think. I am still itching to try this machine out; I have resisted the urge to remove the Maytag WU400 in the kitchen...for now.

But it's looking good...

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This post was last edited 01/22/2019 at 17:40
Post# 1022029 , Reply# 26   1/22/2019 at 11:22 by estesguy (kansas)        
Vinyl on steel...

I wasn't aware of others doing vinyl on steel tub and door dishwashers but GE back then. Not one of the best examples of American engineering. Nice machine though

This post was last edited 01/22/2019 at 19:39
Post# 1022038 , Reply# 27   1/22/2019 at 12:25 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Ugh what a cool find Paul, I'm really glad you saved this beautiful dishwasher. My favorite part is the Whirlpool swirl logo on the dial! I have a '69 version of this machine installed in my basement workshop.

Post# 1023294 , Reply# 28   2/1/2019 at 12:08 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Progress report on the SKU-70 dishwasher

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Unlike me, I stepped back from the excitement of finding out the 63 Whirlpool dishwasher still works and thought for a moment (OK, maybe a fraction of one...) about what MIGHT need to tweaked/fixed/adjusted to prevent future disasters and moans and wails and howls of protest (from Hubby, not Canyon). The door switch was already resolved, so I thought the water valve would be the next component to check.

Although the solenoid coil works well, the valve just pees water when connected to a water supply. Not a big surprise that the diaphragm inside the valve is hard as a rock. I tried in vain to find a replacement diaphragm, but no luck. I'm going to dig around in my parts stash in Ogden this weekend because I think I have a working valve from a Mobile Maid; the 3/4 inch threads are stripped to hell on this so I couldn't use it as-is but perhaps the diaphragm may fit the original FSP valve. It's a gamble and plan B is to sub a more modern dishwasher solenoid valve.

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Post# 1023295 , Reply# 29   2/1/2019 at 12:11 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I spotted a few areas in the tub, in the filter/drain sump area in particular, where there has been some bubbling due to water infiltration under the plastisol. No comment...

Step 1 - clear off the damaged areas

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Post# 1023296 , Reply# 30   2/1/2019 at 12:12 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Step 2 - coat with POR-15. It was cold as hell with the basement windows open... LOL

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Post# 1023297 , Reply# 31   2/1/2019 at 12:16 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Step 3 - seal the repaired areas.

I got pure-dumb lucky here - I found a bottle of touch-up enamel for sinks and appliances called 'fawn beige'. It's not a perfect match, but it's very close!

Note to self - go back to the store in St-Hyacinthe where these were found and buy the rest. This beige would be a good match to the Mobile Maid plastisol interiors too.

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Post# 1023298 , Reply# 32   2/1/2019 at 12:20 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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And while the tub was getting beautified, I decided to take out ALL the hoses as well as the circulating pump and drain pump. Yeah, I know - ME thinking of doing this... I recalled at how ticked off I was with the 61 Whirlpool that dripped where the rubber hoses to and from the pumps met up with the tub outlets. On reassembly, each joint was treated to a coat of high-heat RTV silicone.
I also gave the main motor a cleaning, just in case.
Better still, I got it all back together again! So with any luck, a first water test should be on the cards next week. After that, look out Maytag in St-Lib... LOL

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Post# 1023317 , Reply# 33   2/1/2019 at 17:48 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1963 WP DW

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Looks like great progress Paul, that inlet valve just uses a standard fast close valve diaphragm seal, you should keep these in stock, they fit most inlet valves from the mid 50s through the mid 70s when almost everything switched over to slow-close inlet valves [ this is why water hammer is never a problem any longer ]


John L.

Post# 1023673 , Reply# 34   2/5/2019 at 15:21 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Test time!

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It's been killing me to try a water test with my latest toy - today was the day!

I figured the washer 'leak tray' that I bought when I got to a US Home Depot the weekend I got the dishwasher was appropriate.

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Post# 1023674 , Reply# 35   2/5/2019 at 15:25 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I installed a new water valve and had to replace (unfortunately) the original copper supply line.  However, I used a bucket to fill the machine because I don't have a water line handy in the basement in St-Lib.

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Post# 1023675 , Reply# 36   2/5/2019 at 15:27 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
The good news...

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The circulating pump started up and ran beautifully.  You can really hear the water being moved around!

That foam is due to rinse agent leakage... honest!!

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Post# 1023676 , Reply# 37   2/5/2019 at 15:31 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
The not-so-good news....

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There was a wee accumulation of water in the drip pan.† However, I found the source quickly - the drip was coming from the drain pump housing.† I figured I may not have tightened the cover screws enough when I dismantled it and put it back together last week.† †This seemed to help but more testing will required.† Hope to get back to this on Thursday!

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Post# 1023708 , Reply# 38   2/5/2019 at 19:35 by Jetaction (Minneapolis)        
So glad I dialed in.......

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What a fun thread Paul, nice work and congratulations!

Post# 1023789 , Reply# 39   2/6/2019 at 16:42 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Paul, when you get a chance will you show how the dial works? I'm not clear on how the 'finger stop' works with the cycle selections. Thanks.

Post# 1023791 , Reply# 40   2/6/2019 at 16:54 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I will! I've taken some poor-quality cell phone videos of it, but haven't gotten to upload to YouTube yet. But I promise I will...

Post# 1023798 , Reply# 41   2/6/2019 at 17:31 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Great progress Paul!

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I just love that dial...

Post# 1023808 , Reply# 42   2/6/2019 at 18:53 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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WP Telephone Dial DW


Hi Louie, it is really quite simple in fact it is as simple as dialing a phone.


John L.

Post# 1023827 , Reply# 43   2/6/2019 at 21:51 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Excellent work on the repairs, I'm shocked at how large that sump is. Do we know how much water it uses for a full cycle? Can't wait to hear it running.

Post# 1023861 , Reply# 44   2/7/2019 at 09:28 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Video proof!

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I'm still getting used to a new camera, so I shall apologize in advance for the focus and exposure...

Here's a short video of starting up the "Telephone Dial" dishwasher! Note how the timer dial recoils slightly, just like an old-fashioned phone dial would.

The dishwasher already had water in it, hence why it starts up washing immediately. I'm still tinkering to check for and control any leaks before I dare move it into the kitchen!

Post# 1023862 , Reply# 45   2/7/2019 at 09:47 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Per the "arrow" position at starting, the labeled first Rinse is not part of the full Normal cycle sequence?

Post# 1023864 , Reply# 46   2/7/2019 at 09:57 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I'm not sure about that myself... I may have mis-aligned something when I removed the timer dial and replaced it after cleaning. I'll need to do a full cycle test with water fills to be 100% sure.

Post# 1023868 , Reply# 47   2/7/2019 at 10:39 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
great dishwasher

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great dishwasher is it a portable or a built in model?

Post# 1023869 , Reply# 48   2/7/2019 at 10:44 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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It's a built-in. It may be replacing a certain Reverse-Rack soon...

Post# 1024298 , Reply# 49   2/11/2019 at 10:39 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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The thing about testing an appliance like a dishwasher before putting it into use is that you are supposed to find issues before installing it. Well, y'all know how I love to jump to conclusions about what I observe during testing - the "new" Whirlpool dishwasher has just thrown one in my face.

I had been doing some water testing last week, during which I observed some drips coming from the drain pump. I tried the simple stuff first, like tightening the hose clamps, but there was still a drip. It looked like it was coming from the bottom of the pump housing cover - not something unexpected with a 56-year old pump. I sealed it up with high-heat RTV silicone and thought this would do the trick. It did, in a way. I saw no drips while there was water in the machine and it was washing. When the drain pump kicked on, there was a lovely patterned circular spray coming from the rear of the pump housing!

I can only guess that the pump shaft seal is toast. I'll be trying to find a replacement, if possible; if not, I am hoping I could swap in a newer dishwasher drain pump.

Damn... I really want to get this dishwasher operational!!

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Post# 1024363 , Reply# 50   2/12/2019 at 07:51 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Pumped... or not....

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I spent the day yesterday down a rabbit hole searching for pumps, information on pumps, parts for pumps... It didn't really get me anywhere though! Although the manufacturer of the original drain pump used in the Whirlpool dishwasher, Gorman-Rupp, still exists, I got nowhere fast trying to find parts. I fear that even if I could figure out which model number pump it is, the parts have long been discontinued. Bummer, because this exact style of pump seems to have been very popular (there are ones like this in the '55 and '56 GE dishwashers, the '57 GE washer suds-saver assembly, both Kenmore Roto-Racks, etc, etc, etc) I tried looking for potential replacements - eBay seems to be the best place to look as there are pictures and one can search with generic terms like 'pump', unlike on many appliance parts sites. I think I found something, though... This GE pump looks like it could be adapted - I just wish I knew what the diameter of the pump inlet port was. The drain chamber in the Whirlpool dishwasher is still good but I sure as heck don't want to wreck it with one of my ham-handed attempts to adapt it. The drain chamber opening is just under 1 inch. Would anyone happen to know what the 'modern' pump inlet opening measures?

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Post# 1024367 , Reply# 51   2/12/2019 at 08:33 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Replacement drain Pump for A 1963 WP DW

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Hi Paul, in cleaning up the basement I found a whole box of these older pumps, we also have lots of modern pumps that you could try out.

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