Thread Number: 83140  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Maytag WU404 dishwasher flooding
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Post# 1074429   5/26/2020 at 19:00 (1,457 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Because I don't ever have enough on my plate, the Maytag WU404 at the house in St-Lib tried to flood the kitchen tonight....

It did this a few weeks ago, but I did not observe anything unusual when testing it. I used it once with no issues but tonight water was flowing out of the bottom of the tub area over the motor access panel.

My first thought was the inlet solenoid but no water flows when the machine is off.  I managed to get the tub to drain by manually advancing the timer to a drain phase of the cycle.  Pump sounds strong and water whooshes out when it is draining.

I'm kinda stumped... could it be a bad float switch or might I have a timer issue??

Luckily I have the KDS54 as backup...

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Post# 1074436 , Reply# 1   5/26/2020 at 19:45 (1,457 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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I had this happen on my 204 many years ago and found the bottom portion of the door seal caked with grunge. Nasty stuff accumulates there after years of loading dirty dishes into the racks. Breakout your favorite cleaner, a Scotch-Brite pad, and scrub both the seal and opposing surface.

Post# 1074441 , Reply# 2   5/26/2020 at 20:25 (1,457 days old) by nmassman44 (Brooksville Florida)        

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Have you checked the overcharge float in the front of the dishwasher? I would make sure its moving freely and check the micro switch that its connected to. I would think that if there was a timer issue that the float should prevent an overflow. Also check your lower arm and make sure its not split. I had that happen once where the lower arm had split near the seams and water was on the floor, plus there was no pressure in the system after that.

Post# 1074476 , Reply# 3   5/27/2020 at 05:25 (1,457 days old) by marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

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I would start by checking that the float switch moves up and down easily and freely and check that there is no build-up of gunk under/inside it.  


I think that other machines often have a timed fill and the float is purely to detect overfilling, so the float should never rise under normal circumstances and should never shut off the water if things are working correctly.


Whereas in your machine, I think that the float is indeed supposed to rise and shut off the water during every fill once the correct level has been reached.  I think the timer allows something like 100 seconds for filling, the idea being that the correct level will be reached within this time and the float will shut off the water before the time has elapsed.


Hope that makes sense!  I guess the water valve could be sticky too.  But I would check the float first.  Hopefully one of the resident experts will chime in laughing

Post# 1074485 , Reply# 4   5/27/2020 at 07:49 (1,457 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Flooding MT DW

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Hi Paul, you just have to watch it and see what is happening when it starts leaking.


Usually a big leak like you described is a stuck inlet valve, if it starts flooding open the door and see if water is still coming from the inlet to the tank, it should stop instantly without any hesitation of more than 1 second also try opening the door repeatedly while the DW is filling to test.


Is the DW fuller than usual ? [ of water ] Is the lower wash arm blocked and not turning ? Is it split along the seem ? Are there suds on the water when you open the door ?


John L.

Post# 1074492 , Reply# 5   5/27/2020 at 08:37 (1,457 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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John, thanks!  So far I've determined that the water valve does shut off when the door is opened and that I can manually trip the float valve.  It may still be sticking and not tripping with an overflow of water, though.  The metal brackets on the lower wash arm look loose but if they've been swimming in water, that could have done it.  More testing to follow...  

Post# 1074521 , Reply# 6   5/27/2020 at 12:05 (1,457 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
More tests and they're inconclusive....

turquoisedude's profile picture

Just like a car that stops making a funny noise when you take to a garage, the 'Tag JetClean just went through a complete cycle with no flooding...  I am wondering if I had a chain-reaction here:  a sticky water valve that was letting in too much water and was normally cut off by the overflow switch, but the overflow switch was also sticking and caused the flood.  It's my best theory for now, but given the trouble I've had with fill valves I would not be surprised that it is failing. 


Hubby is on my case about keeping this dishwasher running... he likes it and it's keeping me from sliding in a turquoise built-in from the collection... LOL 

Post# 1074559 , Reply# 7   5/27/2020 at 17:08 (1,456 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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THIS is what would fit best AND match the Flair and Cycla-Matic... LOL  

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Post# 1074570 , Reply# 8   5/27/2020 at 18:50 (1,456 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

It would match, but it's not much of a dishwasher.

Post# 1074607 , Reply# 9   5/27/2020 at 22:28 (1,456 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Maytag used a dual water valve in these dishwashers which is double the protection of possible valve failures and leakage problems from seating issues. Having both a dual water valve and float switch sporadically fail at the same time is mathematically along the lines of winning the lottery (from hell).

Post# 1074710 , Reply# 10   5/28/2020 at 14:22 (1,455 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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I didn't point this out earlier, but the water valve in this dishwasher is not the original dual-solenoid Maytag one.  That one probably failed due to the very hard water in this house - the dishwasher is original to the house construction which was 1989.   And we put in a water conditioning system in fall of 2015 as soon as we moved in.


I'm not using the machine again until I know I have a spare valve on hand.  Maybe it's time to test-drive the Frigidaire DWM44B portable!! 

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Post# 1075659 , Reply# 11   6/4/2020 at 08:31 (1,449 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
Problem found

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It bugs me when a problem is not immediately obvious...  And I tried several different things to resolve it. 


First off, I went back to Dan's first suggestion and cleaned the tub bottom and gaskets.  The test after this showed no leaks.   However, my sounding board in Louiseville, PhilR, suggested I try a test with detergent in case there was a foaming issue.  I did so, no leaks. 


I tried a second full cycle test, double dose of detergent - no leaks.


I felt brave so this morning, I gave it a run with a decent load of dishes (almost a Bob-Load...LOL) and ran it on the Pots and Pans cycle (wash, rinse, wash, rinse, rinse) and sat in front of the machine.   It happened in the main wash (Short wash on the timer dial).  At the end of the fill for this wash, I could still hear water running into the machine as the wash pump kicked in.  Water continued to run as opened the door.  I manually dialled the machine to drain and water kept on flowing...  I dialled the timer to the OFF position and water still kept running...  Naturally, I shut off the water valve on the hot water supply to the dishwasher at this point.


So, looks like the replacement water valve (lord knows how old that actually is...) is bad.  An easy enough fix.  And I'm going to take that float valve assembly apart and give it a better cleaning.  It may not be tripping at the right water level. 


Hubby is pleased that I will be able to save "his" dishwasher... LOL  

Post# 1075666 , Reply# 12   6/4/2020 at 09:54 (1,449 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Flooding MT DW

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Yay Paul Glad it acted up for you.

I have several brand new dual inlet valves for these MT DWs if you want one.

The dual valves seemed to fail at about twice the rate of single ones when it comes to not filling, but were less likely to cause a flood by not shutting off.

John L.

Post# 1075712 , Reply# 13   6/4/2020 at 16:02 (1,448 days old) by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Thatís great you found the issue and can save it. I loved using Jons, although Michael struggled to get his head around reverse loading.

Interestingly (maybe only to me?) the Dishlex dishwashers in Au from the late 70s till the mid 90s had overfill detection.

The pressure switch had a high water level point, if that triggered, and as long as the machine had power, it would start draining and keep cycling the drain pump on and off until you turned the inlet tap off.

I only found this out, because we had one that the pressure switch failed on, and all it would do is drain, even when it was off. It was a nifty idea for that early

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