Thread Number: 82503  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Kitchen Aid Imperial by Hobart Dial does not crank - machine does not start
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Post# 1065634   4/2/2020 at 15:06 (1,477 days old) by RMoline (Moline, IL)        

Hi all! I'm so grateful to have found this group. I just bought a 1950's ranch house in great shape. It has a Kitchen Aid Imperial by Hobart dishwasher that I've been able to succesfully run a couple of times but sometime it would start and not wash thoroughly - or not even use the soap in the dispenser. Sometimes it smelled a bit 'hot' but it not always and it wasn't too bad.

I thought I had it figured out - I needed to turn the dial more. But now the dial doesn't 'crank' at all. No noise. And it doesn't turn on.

With the Covid virus I'm not sure I can get any repair man out to the house, but even if I could I'm afraid they'd say to replace it and I really like this vintage model - especially since I found all the love on this forum.

Any suggestions on where I could start?

Post# 1065661 , Reply# 1   4/2/2020 at 18:33 (1,477 days old) by vacman1961 (North Babylon, New York)        

When you lived the handle does the push buttons pop out to reset the cycle? What model is it a KDI17?

Post# 1065888 , Reply# 2   4/4/2020 at 14:16 (1,475 days old) by RMoline (Moline, IL)        

Thanks for the response. I'm not sure what model it is or how to tell? I've attached some photos.

Yes. When I lift the handle, the buttons do pop out!

I've read other posts where the responses ask for pictures of the inside panel. I'm not even sure how to remove it. I appreciate your help.

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Post# 1065892 , Reply# 3   4/4/2020 at 14:36 (1,475 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I'm not 100% certain but the machine appears to be a KDI-18.  There should be a sticker on the side of the inner door panel with model information.


I'm more familiar with model series 20 and later.  Those have a couple of screws on each side that hold the control panel in place.  If you see a similar configuration on your machine, remove those screws and the timer & button assemblies should be made accessible to take photos and/or make repairs.

Post# 1065894 , Reply# 4   4/4/2020 at 14:46 (1,475 days old) by RMoline (Moline, IL)        

Thanks for that - It is a KD-18. I had looked earlier and didn't notice it.

Post# 1065964 , Reply# 5   4/4/2020 at 20:46 (1,475 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

there's a former member who is a KithcenAid expert that lives in your town.  I'll see if he's willing to reach out.  

Post# 1065972 , Reply# 6   4/4/2020 at 21:51 (1,475 days old) by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Malfunctioning Timer

Hi, your machine is a KDI-18 Imperial model. The timer on these models is re-set for a new cycle when the door handle is raised. There is a spring which is activated by the door handle that pushes the shaft slightly out. This causes the switches in the timer to set up for the next cycle.

If the timer is not moving during the cycle it is most likely a worn out timer motor or escapement. If it is the motor you may be able to find a replacement depending on the make of your timer (I believe two companies were sourced, Singer & Eaton). If it is the escapement you will have to replace the timer.

If your timer spring did not re-set the timer and you forced it through the cycles you may have damaged the shaft &/or timer cam. It is made ofa fairly strong, but not indestructible, plastic. If this is the case, again the timer would have to be replaced.

The only way to tell what is going on is to take off the control panel & visibly check the timer. There is a service manual in our Ephemera library that is fairly detailed. If you are handy with tools go ahead and purchase the download; you should have no problem handling this procedure. Just be sure to turn off the electricity before removing any panels. Just as an fyi here is a description of the cycles for your model and a picture of what the timer looks like and the spring. Hope this helps. Good luck and keep us posted!

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Post# 1066005 , Reply# 7   4/5/2020 at 07:10 (1,475 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KDI-18 DW That Does Not Start

combo52's profile picture

Hi, To start this DW you just latch the door and push a cycle button, you do not have to move the timer knob. The DW will start in a few minutes if it is working properly.


It sounds like if you can not get it to start you may have a timer or door interlock switch problem or even a push-button switch problem.


These things are easy to fix for a tech that is familiar with KA DWs, find a tech that has been in business for at least 30 years and has gray [ or no ] hair. Even though parts are not available  from WP-KA any longer these machines were so popular that parts can be fond on eBay etc.


John L.

Post# 1066481 , Reply# 8   4/8/2020 at 13:45 (1,471 days old) by RMoline (Moline, IL)        

Thanks all! I've found an appliance repair man that I'm hopeful will be able to fix it next Monday. I appreciate so much assistance and help. This group is full of fantastic people!

Post# 1067525 , Reply# 9   4/15/2020 at 16:47 (1,464 days old) by varicyclevoice (Davenport, Iowa)        
Imperial model repair

varicyclevoice's profile picture

I live in Moline, Illinois and have an interest in KitchenAid dishwashers. I am interested to know if the repairman that you spoke to was able to repair the machine or not. I did send you an email and hope that you received it as I would like to speak to you about it more.


Post# 1067540 , Reply# 10   4/15/2020 at 18:26 (1,464 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

Rachelle, Todd is the individual I was referring to in my post above.  When talking with him the other night, I'd mentioned there was someone that lived in Moline that was having problems with her KitchenAid dishwasher.  

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