Thread Number: 79171  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
KDS-18 fire
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Post# 1030903   4/26/2019 at 18:14 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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One of my friends got a scary surprise with his KItchen Aid dishwasher. He went to look at what smelled bad and it started throwing fire through a hole in the door just over my friend's head while my he was bent to smell underneath!

It looks like the detergent dispenser or the wire that goes to it failed badly!

I guess I'll have a parts donor that I'll exchange him with a used Bosch that's now just old enough to be posted in this forum (it's from 1998!).

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Post# 1030908 , Reply# 1   4/26/2019 at 18:51 by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

He might need to also check his wiring is ok, the ground is intact and the circuit breaker works.

If his wiring was working correctly an arc that bad shouldve tripped a circuit breaker when it shorted to the door panel.

Post# 1030911 , Reply# 2   4/26/2019 at 19:43 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Burned Detergent Dispenser On A KA DW

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We have seen this many times on KD17-21 DWs, the shaft can leak and the detergent laden water is conductive and since a live bi-metal is below the leaking dispenser shaft it can short and start burning.


The owner of this DW may have a bad circuit breaker or not, You can easily get enough heat out of a 20 amp circuit to cause this type of damage, I even saw one that actually caught fire and burned the entire dispenser up, that DW was totaled.


When WP bought KA they looked over the history of their new product line and saw how many of these DWs had this problem and immediately turned the dispenser upside-down so if the dispenser leaked it would not leak on live parts.


John L.

Post# 1030927 , Reply# 3   4/26/2019 at 22:04 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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I expected this kind of detailed answer from you John!

Post# 1030952 , Reply# 4   4/27/2019 at 09:19 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Have heard of this problem before...

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I've also wondered if you could just put a rubber shield over the wiring to protect it? Also recall something about the KDC-17 not having the problem due to a design or feature difference?

Post# 1030959 , Reply# 5   4/27/2019 at 09:58 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Roger, You can turn the detergent dispenser up-side-down on any of these machines to prevent this problem,

The KDC-17 can have this problem as well.

John L.

Post# 1031037 , Reply# 6   4/27/2019 at 21:02 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Water has significant electrical impedance (resistance). Things like salt, minerals, detergents, ect lower that resistance- but often not enough to cause a breaker trip a breaker.

Here is a good demonstration:

You get heat but no breaker tripping.

Post# 1031038 , Reply# 7   4/27/2019 at 21:06 by chetlaham (United States)        

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* The resistance is not low enough to cause enough current to flow to open a breaker.

Breakers are just there to prevent the wires in your wall from becoming hot enough to set building material ablaze. Outside of that they offer very little protection.

Post# 1031051 , Reply# 8   4/28/2019 at 00:14 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

At the transmitter plant-water is used to cool tubes,vacuum capacitors and coils-BUT the water has to be distilled or deionized.If you used water from the tap in these components you would trip the water OL circuit immedaitly.The station has 3 water stills that feed to an 800gal water tank.If the water stays in the transmitter system--no problems-HOWEVER-if the water leaks and spills out on HV components its containminated and causes arcs!!So--lots of work!!!!In 5 of our transmitters there is a water conductance monitors-if this gets to low the Tx is tripped off right away and you have to change the water.Usually about 50 gallons of distilled to fill the Tx tank.

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