Thread Number: 78348  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
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Post# 1023815   2/6/2019 at 20:35 by Forrest (Sacramento, CA)        

Hello, all. I need some help. I am the proud owner of a line of turquoise Frigidaire Custom Imperial appliances that I've scored far and wide. The painful kitchen remodel is finally over and these babies have come out of storage. All have been coaxed back into working order - except my little gem of a dishwasher.

According to the only old-timey repair tech I can locate in Sacramento, it may need the motor rebuilt (it's grinding), it doesn't fill with water and when water is placed into the interior, it is leaking from the bottom.

I pulled the manual offline and have the schematics, etc., but after diligent searching in all the usual places (OAC, CL, eBay, etc.), I've hit a wall with trying to find replacement parts to get her running.

Any words of wisdom? I refuse to give up .... friends don't let friends buy new appliances ....

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Post# 1023818 , Reply# 1   2/6/2019 at 20:59 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wow! Congratulations on finding a turquoise Custom Imperial!! Satan told me he'd call me when he got one in stock and claim my soul, but it's been a few years... LOL

Seriously, the grinding noise you are describing is most probably the impeller bearing in the circulation pump that has worn out. This is a common problem with Frigidaire dishwashers, unfortunately. You may be in luck, though - a longtime member here, combo52 (John) may have a pump and motor assembly that will fit your dishwasher.

The fill valve solenoid has very likely failed which would cause the machine not to fill with water. This can be replaced with a new dishwasher water fill valve, but a little creative plumbing may be involved. I had to do this with a '58 Frigidaire Spin-Tube I restored a few years ago; not pretty, but it worked!

As for the leaks, the gaskets between the tub sump and pump inlet may have dried up. Try pouring a couple of buckets of very hot water into the machine, let it sit for a while, then set the machine to pump the water out. Try adding another bucket or two of hot water to see if the leak is still present. That may just soften up the old gaskets. If not, you'll have to remove the pump and motor assembly to replace or reinforce the gasket. It's not difficult, but, and this may sound crazy, I'd recommended that you remove the dishwasher completely and turn it upside down to remove the pump. I tried doing this right side up and managed to ruin an already slightly-damaged pump housing (again on my '58).

There are lots of folks here who will chime in with other suggestions, too, but just to let you know, yours can be fixed!!

Post# 1023828 , Reply# 2   2/6/2019 at 21:51 by Forrest (Sacramento, CA)        

Thank you so much for your response! I saw the posting about your new turquoise beauty and was feeling a bit jealous myself ... too funny.

I'm glad you suggested flipping it upside down - my repairman today wanted to turn it on its back and he must have seen the horror on my face - then moved onto fixing / not fixing my Custom Imperial Fridge (may have questions on that later) and left. I did try pouring warm water into the machine and it promptly ran out of the bottom so sounds like it needs a gasket fix as you suggested - and pump - and motor - oh, boy. I will undoubtedly have lots of stupid questions.

I will reach out to John on those parts - what luck if he has anything I could use for sale. I found out about this site on Retro Renovation - Pam said she had an issue with her dishwasher and she had a response in 10 minutes - about the same for me - so appreciative of your expertise and help!

Post# 1023850 , Reply# 3   2/7/2019 at 07:19 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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If you need them, I have some threads in the archives about that '58 Spin-Tube of mine that contain some pictures of what I did to restore it. Let me know if you would like me to post the links. A picture can be worth more than a thousand words sometimes; appliance restorations are one of them... LOL

Post# 1023853 , Reply# 4   2/7/2019 at 08:18 by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
'63 DW-IUF

I have the portable version of this machine. The pump is fairly easy to disassemble, and the cork gasket always dries up and leaks after standing awhile.
I used a closed foam gasket that hasn't leaked since. I might have a copy of the service manual to spare.
Good luck and enjoy! Not the best dishwasher going, but certainly one of the better looking machines of the 1960"s!

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Post# 1023880 , Reply# 5   2/7/2019 at 12:06 by Forrest (Sacramento, CA)        

Thank you so much for your responses, turquoisedude and steved - really appreciate the pictures and expert advice. Would absolutely love to see any additional photos or links you may have. Worst case, I was thinking about using this DW as dish storage, etc., and will hunt down another model if I can't locate replacement parts - it will be turquoise, of course ;-)

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