Thread Number: 84055  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Whirlpool Imperial 540 Super Scrub 2 speed
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Post# 1084105   8/6/2020 at 10:07 (957 days old) by Pippen1985 (Texarkana, Texas)        

Hey everyone, hope things are going well during this odd times! I have a question about the dishwasher in my grandparents house. It is a whirlpool imperial 540 super scrub 2 speed motor. It had set up a very long time, they did not like to use it other than to sterilize jars for canning, and it comes on, fills with water and runs. The only problem it has is the pump/motor seal leaks and it will not drain. I can not figure out for the life of me how to pull the pump apart to clean it out. I can take the drain hose off and it will drain like that, so I do not think there is a blockage yet something stopping something from switching the pump over to drain. This dishwasher will preform almost as good as a Kitchen Aid of the same time and I would love to get this beauty back up and going. Any information on how to fix the leak and the draining issue would be awesome. I was only able to get pictures of the outside of it and not under it. I will be back there this weekend and can get those pictures then. Again, thanks for any help or information! Stay safe everyone!!!

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Post# 1084130 , Reply# 1   8/6/2020 at 14:00 (957 days old) by Awooff (Peoria, Illinois)        
drain inlet

awooff's profile picture
Betting "grease n grime" from sink usage has formed a plug in the dw drain pipe inlet of the sink - not letting the dw drain. -as i acquired a free dishwasher from this very scenerio.

As far as the leak goes, the seals on the dishwasher may reseal with some usage or can u see where the leak is coming from?

Post# 1084134 , Reply# 2   8/6/2020 at 15:15 (957 days old) by Cam2s (Nebraska)        

I am not familiar with the pump setup on these old school whirlpools. General the drain system is a reversing motor or a drain Solenoid setup. During the drain segment what exactly happens? Does the motor pause then come back on, or does the motor run continuously from wash to drain. If the motor is running during the drain segment there is more than likely a kink or a blockage somewhere. As noted with the leak it may fix itself after the seal has had time to rehydrate. Try pouring a pan of boiling water in the sump and letting it set. You should for sure be aware of where the leak is, you donít want it getting on any electrical components. It looks like this machine could use some CLR or dishwasher magic as well.

Post# 1084137 , Reply# 3   8/6/2020 at 15:40 (957 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
Whirlpool dishwashers of yore had the pause and reverse motor for both water washing the dishes as well as stopping and reversing for draining.

Post# 1084201 , Reply# 4   8/7/2020 at 08:06 (956 days old) by Pippen1985 (Texarkana, Texas)        

It will stop to drain, when it does start to drain water comes up threw the lower wash arm. I put a brand new drain hose on it, so it has to be something in the pump. There was broken glass in the bottom of it. I think I found a way to pull it apart to clean it out and see what happens. Thanks for all the comments and advice!

Post# 1084253 , Reply# 5   8/7/2020 at 15:09 (956 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
That is normal for water to spray some out of the lower wash arm during drain until a certain amount of water is drained.

Post# 1084266 , Reply# 6   8/7/2020 at 17:53 (956 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Whirlpool SAU540 Dishwasher

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With Draining problems, If broken glass got in the drain pump it can break the fins off the drain impeller, also if the shaft seal is leaking above the motor you will have to pull the pump and motor and replace it.


You can try removing the drain hose and unscrewing the drain fitting from the pump and see if there is a clog in this drain check valve, but if the pump is leaking you need another complete pump and motor.


In theory these P&Ms can be rebuilt but in practice they were almost always replaced as a complete unit, new ones are NLA but good used ones are around, we sell a good used one for $100 + shipping if you can not find one near you. WP used the same pump from 1972-1990.


John L.

Post# 1084469 , Reply# 7   8/9/2020 at 13:03 (954 days old) by Pippen1985 (Texarkana, Texas)        

Hey everyone, I was able, finally, to get a picture of the motor and where the drain line goes so hopefully this can offer some information on how-to get this beauty up and running again. I gave wrong information. It doe not stop to drain. The timer advances and ot switches to drain without stopping. It does stop to fill once it finishes the drain portion. I really hope someone can help me with this because I want to get this old but goodie up and going. Thanks for all the help and information!

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Post# 1084486 , Reply# 8   8/9/2020 at 16:01 (954 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Whirlpool SAU540 Dishwasher

combo52's profile picture

Hi, It MUST stop to go from wash-rinse to draining, if the timer is not stopping you may have a timer problem.


The timer should pause the main motor to reverse around 10 seconds.


John L.

Post# 1084820 , Reply# 9   8/12/2020 at 10:45 (951 days old) by Pippen1985 (Texarkana, Texas)        

Thanks for tbat John L. I honestly can't remember if it does. I dont want to run it right now as I have no way to drain it, I took my shop vac home. Im going to take what i can come up withpump out today and see what I can come up with. I hope it's just something stopping up something. If it is a timer issue, would that be hard to find? Thanks for the help and support

Post# 1085171 , Reply# 10   8/15/2020 at 14:07 (948 days old) by Pippen1985 (Texarkana, Texas)        

Well, if officially died and couldn't be saved. A mouse got into the motor and burned it up and ate the wiring. Its now on yhe back of the junk trailer.

Post# 1085176 , Reply# 11   8/15/2020 at 15:33 (948 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

All you have to do is drop in a new or good used motor and pump, takes 1/2 hour if you never did it before and 15 minutes if you have done it before.


John L.

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