Thread Number: 82840  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
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Post# 1070363   5/1/2020 at 22:04 (1,448 days old) by newvista58 (Northern NJ)        

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Hi Gang,

I ran this KDP-18 today, as I'm finally unpacking my dishware. It ran perfectly fine. A little while later, I started another load. Some where in the wash cycle, close to opening the 2nd dispenser it Tripped the GFI. I reset the GFI and started the Wash cycle again. It ran about 10-15 Seconds, then tripped the GFI again. I looked inside and there was standing water. I reset the GFI, but this time I pushed the "Cancel Drain", button. DEAD Short - GFI Instantaneously tripped. Am I correct in Thinking the Drain Solenoid is Bad? Am I on the right track.

If so, Does anyone know the Part # for a new one? I'm also thinking I should get Fill Solenoid, as well, to keep as a spare. Anyone know that part #,as well.

Also, should I consider keeping spare timers, or pump/motor parts in stock. Thank you everyone,
Any help would be Greatly Appreciated.

Best Always,


Post# 1070445 , Reply# 1   5/2/2020 at 09:55 (1,448 days old) by STEVET (West Melbourne, FL)        

There are any numbers of reason why a GFCI may trip. The first thing you should do is take off the front door panel and make sure that the detergent dispenser is not leaking and getting the bi-metal heaters wet. That was a common problem with Kitchenaid dispensers as they got older. The small rubber o-ring inside on the shaft would dry out and leak. Then it would drip on to the bi-metals and short them out.

As John L always suggests, remove the dispenser and install it "upside" down so that should the O-rings leak, the water would run down into the door channel and evaporate. You may have to loosen the the wires from the harness to allow you to rotate the dispenser.

The drain solenoids were pretty robust on those machines so it is not likely that that is the culprit.

Also you may want to remove the bottom panel and kick plate to be sure that the shaft seal has not started leaking which could cause the GFCI to trip as well. Or that there are no other leaks that may be dripping on wires or components.

Electrical codes are changing all over the country requiring many more appliances to be connected to a GFCI outlet or breaker. Most of the machines of that era were usually hard wired and the ground wire usually took care of any errant current that might cause a GFCI to trip. Also, GFCI's of different brands can react differently in any application. Sometimes changing it out will solve the problem. Of course DO start by making sure there are no apparent leaks or loose wires.
I hope this helps.

Post# 1070521 , Reply# 2   5/2/2020 at 18:44 (1,447 days old) by newvista58 (Northern NJ)        

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It was a fact of the KA being plugged into a GFI, when it shouldn't be, as explained to me by my electrician.

A lot of appliances develop a Current Leakage of over 5ma, which is the threshold where Cardiac Arrest could be triggered, and where a GFI is set to withstand, no more. As some appliances age the insulating ability of the chassis/wiring lessens. The machine still operates normally and risk of shock is greatly eliminated as long as polarity of plug is maintained. Since these DW's were originally hard wired, this situation never presented itself.

I found the explanation interesting, so I thought, I would share it. Thank You for pointing me in the right direction. The DW works fine when plugged into a standard outlet. It ran a complete cycle perfectly.

Thanks again.


Post# 1070523 , Reply# 3   5/2/2020 at 19:05 (1,447 days old) by STEVET (West Melbourne, FL)        

Hopefully, NOT! If you are not hard wiring it and plugging it directly in to a wall outlet, even if provided by the builder in the area of the machine itself, you MUST observe the correct polarity on the wires. That is, the white wire on the machine must be connected to the neutral side of the outlet, and the black wire to the hot side of the outlet. Needless to say, the ground lug on the machine must be connected to the ground wire of the cord. Also, you should be using a cord that is rated for at least 15-20 amps so you never have to worry about the cord overheating. I am OCD about this so some may disagree about how heavy a cord should be used.

If you are using a flat appliance cord, the ribbed conductor is connected to the neutral prong and the unribbed side is the hot wire.

Now you may ask why I am a stickler for this? Well, year ago, Kitchenaid wired up their machines in such a way that there were always terminals that were considered hot and some of the switching was done on the neutral side of some components. That means some of the connections on the bottom of the machine were always live and sometimes the you could get shocked by touching the bimetal strips for the detergent dispenser when the machine is off. My cousin had a KDC18 that his contractor hooked up with an appliance cord and connected the neutral line to the hot side of the circuit and vice versa a few days before. It was not very long after that his wife smelled something burning around midnight and she came into the a smoke filled kitchen. Smoke was pouring out of the dishwasher door, The bimetal was very much alive and had overheated and burned thru the dispenser and took out the dispenser and the lower rack. Luckily they turned off the circuit breaker and hit it with a fire extinguisher and there was no further damage.
Kitchenaid was more than willing to replace both of the racks and the dispenser. A

I checked the wiring and found his error in less than a minute. Imagine if there was nobody home or it had progressed further before she found it!

Always be careful and have a qualified person hook up your apppliances if you have any doubt as to how it should be done.

Post# 1070541 , Reply# 4   5/2/2020 at 21:43 (1,447 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KDP-18 Tripping A GFI

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Hi Louis, As Steve suggested you probably have a slight leak at the detergent dispenser.


This DW should be hard wired and not on a GFI, there is zero chance of getting a shock from this DW in normal use if properly grounded.


No major appliance with a grounded cord should ever bee on a GFI in a house especially a refrigerator or freezer, we see people coming home to a thawed out freezer all the time because someone had it plugged into a GFI.


John L.


We have about any part you might need for this [ or about any ] KA DW, Jason and I have been using this down time to sort all the parts at the warehouse and we have tons of KA parts, so many in fact that I recycled nearly 1/2 of what we have.

Post# 1070547 , Reply# 5   5/2/2020 at 23:26 (1,447 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> It was a fact of the KA being plugged into a GFI, when it shouldn't be, as explained to me by my electrician.

>> No major appliance with a grounded cord should ever bee on a GFI in a house

As STEVET mentioned, electrical codes are going to come into play on this.
For example, here is a clipping from the 2017 NEC, where it states that GFCI protection is required for dishwashers.

  View Full Size
Post# 1070548 , Reply# 6   5/2/2020 at 23:34 (1,447 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Agree with the no major appliances connecting to a GFI. 


When I built my second home I wanted everything in the garage on GFI.  No said the electrician as they don't do well with LARGE sudden draws of electricity such as from a garage door opener kicking on.


If you're going to use a GFI, make sure it's a 20 AMP rated outlet on a 20 amp circuit, not 15.  You'll have fewer chances of it blowing.

Post# 1070569 , Reply# 7   5/3/2020 at 05:57 (1,447 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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John, I've seen posts on other discussion boards from homeowners having trouble with various types of appliances tripping GFCI outlets.  Refrigerators in garages or basements or storage rooms or kitchens, dishwashers in kitchens, washers in laundry rooms.  Electricians and contractors replying to the posts always argue that GFCI protection is required per updated electrical codes and the appliances are always causing the problem due to having a problem or being of bad design.

Post# 1071101 , Reply# 8   5/6/2020 at 11:22 (1,443 days old) by newvista58 (Northern NJ)        

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For all the extra info and tips. The GFI was initially installed because of code. Code also requires an appliance grade grounded pigtail be installed on the dishwasher to be plugged in. Hardwiring, at least here in NJ, is not allowed. I will definitely be replacing the GFI with a single round 20 amp outlet. That way it is dedicated to only the dishwasher. I did test run the dishwasher on an appliance grade extension cord, plugged into a conventional duplex, and it works without a problem. Extraneous to the electrical issue I did find the new fill hose leaking at the machine Inlet, between its collar and crimp, creating no issue was machine operation, but I did replace it. So I guess it's a good thing the GFI popped otherwise I would have no reason to look under the machine and check everything, and would not have found the dripping till something else happened. I do not see any water leaking between the outside and inside panel of the door, so I am going to leave it alone. I just know that in my life if it's not broken, and I try to fix it, the end result = Migraine 😳/ LOL.

Code was followed, because Elec Inspections can be tough here. Now that it has passed, I will make changes, when I need to.

John, what parts do you recommend I keep in stock, as spares for the future? I'm hoping to have this machine a long time.

Thanks again, y'all.

Louis 😎

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