Thread Number: 81154  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
KDI-18 no water or spray
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Post# 1051712   11/20/2019 at 09:39 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        

Hi, My KDI-18 Hobart Kitchenaid dishwasher suddenly stopped working yesterday. It's making all the normal sounds and the timer is moving through the cycles, but there is no water coming into the basin and the arms aren't turning. Based on previous posts here I am thinking that the inlet valve could be bad. If the pump was bad I guess it would be very quiet, right?

Is there any way to test this to see if the valve is faulty? It seems like an inexpensive part to replace and I found one on amazon for less than 20 dollars. Is this the right part number: wp4171000 ?

If the fill valve is bad, could I manually fill the washer with a bucket of hot water at the beginning of each cycle (prewash/wash/rinse) to get the dirty dishes loaded in there cleaned?

Post# 1051714 , Reply# 1   11/20/2019 at 10:27 (1,111 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Non Filling KDI-18

combo52's profile picture
Ck the float first to make sure something is not caught under it, it should move freely up&down, after that the inlet is next most likely.

Yes you can poor 2 gallons of hot water in the bottom for each phase of the cycle, you will have to sit there and after each time it drains add another 2 gallons of hot water.

John L.

Post# 1051716 , Reply# 2   11/20/2019 at 11:02 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        

Thanks for the feedback. Sorry for the dumb question - but where can I find the float? Is it visible once I remove the bottom access panel?

Post# 1051718 , Reply# 3   11/20/2019 at 11:17 (1,111 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The float is the blue semi-flying saucer with a steeple-shaped thing under the bottom rack.

Post# 1051723 , Reply# 4   11/20/2019 at 12:39 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        

Is it possible that my particular model doesn't have this component? I don't remember seeing it, but I'll check later when I'm home. I suppose if I don't have a float then it can't malfunction :)

If the inlet valve is bad, is there any place that I should source one or is the inexpensive part I found on Amazon as good as what I'd find anywhere else?

Post# 1051758 , Reply# 5   11/20/2019 at 17:32 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        
Stuck Drain Valve

FWIW - my model does not have a float valve. I was pleasantly surprised that the inlet valve is working. I feel the hot water come into the valve and feel it go up the rubber hose and I put a bowl to collect it inside the washer basin, so it is definitely getting water.

It seems the water is going straight out the drain. I couldn't tell if the motor was working so I got a bucket and introduced a few gallons to the bottom of the machine and the wash arms were definitely spinning - so was happy that the motor is OK.

It seems that my problem is that the drain valve is stuck in the open position. Is this a common problem? Seems like an easy fix if it needs to be replaced. Thanks for your help.

Post# 1051759 , Reply# 6   11/20/2019 at 17:40 (1,111 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Non Filling KDI-18

combo52's profile picture
Hi your model does have a float, but indeed it sounds like a bad drain valve or more likely something stuck in it holding it open.

Take the lower panel off and toe plate to gain access, then remove the hoses from the drain valve remove it from the DW and see if it looks like something is caught in it.


John L.

Post# 1051775 , Reply# 7   11/20/2019 at 18:38 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        
SORRY!! - It's a KDI-16

Thanks a lot, John. Sorry for my stupidity and for giving you wrong information - the model I have is KDI-16 (not KDI-18) so that might explain the lack of a float valve.

I'm showing a picture of the inside of the washer. I'm also showing a picture of what I believe to be the drain valve. After shutting off the power you recommend removing the hose(s) to look for something obstructing the valve?

That makes a lot of sense to me, thanks a lot. If I don't find anything - what's next - a new valve?

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Post# 1051791 , Reply# 8   11/20/2019 at 20:02 (1,111 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        
Clogged drain valve - THANKS JOHN L

I disconnected power and removed the drain valve and THERE WAS GLASS keeping the valve from closing! Totally fixed. Huge Thanks to John and to this website!

Glad I can keep the Kitchenaid KDI-16 going for (hopefully) many more years. It's only flaw is that the internal geometry makes it way too easy to break wine glasses.

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Post# 1051800 , Reply# 9   11/20/2019 at 22:08 (1,111 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Good Save Chris, I must have removed broken glass and tooth picks etc from KA drain valves at least a 100 times, it used to be a common service call when about one in four DWs in this area were KAs.


John L.

Post# 1051811 , Reply# 10   11/21/2019 at 03:04 (1,110 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
" It's only flaw is that the internal geometry makes it way too easy to break wine glasses. "

I have washed Reidel Wine Glasses and still do in the lower rack of any KitchenAid and my Kenmore Machine.

If you angle them on a 45 degrees and do not have plates or anything that can strike them, they will wash just fine.

I have broken them taking them out of the machine being the klutz I am but they never have broken during the wash cycle.

The upper rack is where they will break most as you always have to finagle them in contorted positions and generally will break sliding the rack in or out.

Nice old Machine.

Post# 1051860 , Reply# 11   11/21/2019 at 12:32 (1,110 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        

Yes, the glasses wash nicely but all the angling makes it easy to break them. It's more of an issue if I'm washing oversize red wine glasses vs. white or "universal" wine glasses with a shortish stem.

Post# 1051863 , Reply# 12   11/21/2019 at 13:21 (1,110 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
This is how I wash my Wine Glasses.

Never broke one yet. Probably just gave myself the Kiss of Death on saying that.

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Post# 1051883 , Reply# 13   11/21/2019 at 21:04 (1,110 days old) by Leon88 (connecticut)        
I'm a bad plumber

Just when I thought I was an OK amateur plumber I do something really dumb. The washer did a nice load of dishes but then it stopped working the same as before. I figured there was probably another rogue piece of glass that I missed during the first clean out that made its way into the drain valve holding it open as before. I knew how to pull the valve and was happy to find another couple shards of glass inside.

Reinstalled the valve to the water hoses and restarted a load of dishes. Oh NO!!!

I'm in the basement and there's a mini waterfall coming down by the washing machine. Seems that I reinstalled the drain valve to the hoses but forgot to hook up the two ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS so the valve wouldn't open and the basin overflowed. Funny it's the opposite issue I was having with the valve re: staying closed vs. staying open.

Took me an hour to clean up the mess with lots of towels and shopvac but no real harm done except to my ego. Fortunately my wife is out of town so I don't look too dumb.

Post# 1159730 , Reply# 14   9/17/2022 at 16:24 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

It was a difficult decision but have decided to replace this dishwasher and it's currently in my garage. Please get in touch if you're interested in the unit. I'm located in Connecticut. Send an email and we can correspond that way or exchange phone numbers:

The reason why I replaced the unit is that the fill valve failed and I purchased a new one, but my spouse thought it would be nice to have a newer machine.

So, the washer comes with a brand new fill valve (uninstalled). I would be happy to sell for $200 including the valve, for which I paid $50. However, open to other offers if you want to pay less for this amazing machine.

Post# 1159732 , Reply# 15   9/17/2022 at 16:31 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

KDI 16 stainless steel panels. Internal racks are good with no rusty metal.

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