Thread Number: 81631  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Whirlpool PowerClean Dishwashers -- Model Differences?
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1056500   1/4/2020 at 18:53 (1,178 days old) by marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Hi all.  I am wondering what changes Whirlpool PowerClean dishwashers underwent during their run from 1984 through around 2012.  Do they all work just as well as each other, assuming you choose an equivalent cycle (as programming varied and the later ones had an Energy Star makeover with fewer fills and soil sensors)?


How do the models in the following photos compare?  Was performance equal across the models, including tall tub models?


First photo: an older PowerClean with the central water feed tube in the lower rack

Second photo: electronic model without feed tube

Third photo: Kenmore version without in-the-door basket

Forth photo: is this a Whirlpool Gold tall tub with the PowerClean module?

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size

Post# 1056505 , Reply# 1   1/4/2020 at 19:36 (1,178 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

The Tall Tub (#4) doesn't compare with the real PowerCleans.  

Post# 1056507 , Reply# 2   1/4/2020 at 20:13 (1,178 days old) by cam2s (Nebraska)        
Power Clean

This is by no means a comprehensive history but a few notes to share...

Early versions had porcelain tubs, later went to plastic. KitchenAid badged machines had SS tanks, and maybe the very upper end Kenmore UltraWash ones did as well.

They pretty much used the same thunderbolt lower wash arm in all models except for the KitchenAid models that got a Hydro-Sweep. The tower fed models had the same thunderbolt middle arm, the direct feed models had a straight non-offset arm. This arm was similar to the one used in the later point voyager tall tubs. The tower fed models had a deflector on the roof that was fed by the middle arm, where the direct feed models had a little sprinkler that was feed from the tube that ran up the back of the tub.

The actual filtration system did receive a makeover at some point in time through its run. The bottom half of the system is the same. The water is pulled through the coarse strainer to the bottom of the pump, then it is pulled through a food disposer, then it is pulled through the impeller. The impeller is situated in the bottom of a column, the water goes up the column and at the top it goes over a wall. The soil laden water is heavier and falls over the wall into a trough, the clean water continues upwards and goes into the spray arms. Where the water travels into after the trough was the difference. Early versions had some kind of a soil separating device, where the soil stayed inside of it and clean water returned to the sump. I'm not sure how it worked because it was a closed device and you couldn't see into it. However the later version was simple enough, it had a screen on top to keep the soil in. The 2nd version had holes on the bottom of the spray arm to keep that screen clean.

I believe all power clean models used the same amount of water per fill, which was just over 2 gallons. Later energy star models just would have to had to settle with less fills and sump purges instead of full rinses.

The last machine depicted is a point voyager based tall tub machine. The power clean was never offered as a tall tub. What made the tall tub possible was using a smaller motor that was mounted sideways. The bottom of the tub then could be moved lower, since the pump module was not as deep.

All power cleans are capable machines. The cycle logic stayed fairly similar, of course older ones tended to have more changes and new ones less changes, though one could change that easily by selecting a heavier cycle should that be what you want to do.


Post# 1056574 , Reply# 3   1/5/2020 at 08:44 (1,178 days old) by Marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Thank you very much for the excellent info, Bob and Cam! I really appreciate the insight smile

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy