Thread Number: 84378  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Deciding on a KDS-?? KA dishwasher...can't decide
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Post# 1087678   9/2/2020 at 15:28 (930 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Hello folks,

My first post here after reading quite a bit for the last week or so. I've decided to hunt for a KA dishwasher in the kds-12 to 21 vintage, leading more towards the 15-18 range so far. BUT i'm just not sure. I have read several things that @stevet has written about the 21-22 series units as well, but have read so much about how the 18 series is overall best when adding the larger top arm. I am also in love with the look of the earlier models (kds-12). I need help deciding what to look for, basically a nudge in the right direction as I find myself being very indecisive.

As a precursory note, I am in the process of restoring a 1946 Chambers gas range model 15B if anyone is intrigued at looking at cool vintage ranges, I can share a photo or two of that as well. That being said, i'm not afraid of disassembly and repairing these older appliances :)

I look forward to discussion with you guys!


Post# 1087707 , Reply# 1   9/2/2020 at 19:16 (930 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Hi Matt, Welcome To The Site

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The answer to which one you should go after will depend on several things, such as


If you want the older look that might have been in the kitchen with your range.


Do you want a DW that actually does a great job washing dishes, how much will you actually use this DW ?


How much money and time do you want to spend, the older 12-14s are much harder to get and keep working.


Parts for KA DWs KD15 and later are much more common.


You are also better off finding [ or buying ] an almost unused DW, restoring a tired KA DW is not usually worth it when you consider how many good ones are out there.


John L.

Post# 1087726 , Reply# 2   9/2/2020 at 21:51 (930 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

John thanks for the reply. I've read a lot of what you've posted as well on the WP du8000xr (i think thats right).. and i've been scoping those out. I did find a pretty much unused kds-15 that might be a good candidate if I decide to go to KA. I just cant get over some photos i've seen of how well that WP can clean..

Post# 1087739 , Reply# 3   9/3/2020 at 00:54 (929 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
There must be some way to get this GE and KA

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It's in an abandoned ski resort in New York, on an urban explorer channel.


Post# 1087740 , Reply# 4   9/3/2020 at 01:23 (929 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Link above doesn't work.

Kitchen of note starts at 16:12

Post# 1087758 , Reply# 5   9/3/2020 at 07:11 (929 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Nevele Sky Resort

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Thats a great 1966 40" GE P7 range and KDS-15 DW someone should drive up there and grab.


John L.

Post# 1087772 , Reply# 6   9/3/2020 at 10:02 (929 days old) by ken (NYS)        

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Nevele is 15 minutes from me. My father worked on the tower building when it was being constructed. Sad to see how dilapidated the place is. Gone the same way as 99% of all the once beautiful resorts in this area. The old Fallsview, next door, now under the name Honor's Haven is still in business. Not many left. Most all owned by Hasidic communities now.

What year did GE Self-cleaning ranges first have a window in the oven door?

This post was last edited 09/03/2020 at 10:25
Post# 1087776 , Reply# 7   9/3/2020 at 10:17 (929 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Hi and Welcome, pictures are always cool!

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It's quite true that parts for KDS15 and later are easier to get. We restored a portable 15 with no parts problems, at all.

However - and I know this will upset some members of the KA Ladies Auxiliary, but, what the hey:

KA dishwashers aren't the easiest machines to set up to be among the best cleaners on earth.

They demand precise placement.

They require pre-rinsing.

They do not like high-foaming modern detergents.

They don't like many dry modern rinse-aides.*


They have major problems with dishware and pots and pans and glasses which do not fit their accepted size and shape range.

Based on the seven we have restored, the Hobart KA are beautiful pieces of machinery and, despite their many, many, many limitations, well worth having as daily drivers. The Whirlpool stuff is trash. Don't waste your time on it.

Personally, if I were tackling this, I'd go up from the 15 as the top rack placement problems (not issues, PROBLEMS) are too severe. Basically, I have used it for the last 14 years exclusively for it's bottom rack force de frappe approach to cleaning really dirty pots and pans.

*Now, remember, ladies, before screaming, we have had several and use one for every party overflow, so throwing in the standard 'nobody else has ever experienced this, not ever, all KA are perfect, absolutely without flaw' is not going to help Matt get the best results from his KA.


Post# 1087782 , Reply# 8   9/3/2020 at 11:12 (929 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Well that seems like very good advice there, almost to the point of suggesting I should not get a vintage KA lol.

I did find a kds-15 that was pulled from an office kitchen. It has all the stickers on the inside face of the door, no rust stains or signs of ever being used. BUT I also have a wife who would despise a dishwasher that won't clean well, as we have been handwashing for years.

So I'm torn. $2000 on a modern TOL house brand or cool vintage machine to show our support for old quality built american housewares.

Post# 1087786 , Reply# 9   9/3/2020 at 11:36 (929 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Keep in mind that any model below the 18 is a one arm wonder, no wash arm under the top rack. That alone should deter you from those older models as everyday drivers but they do exceptionally well at washing large items by removing the upper rack.

The KD-18-20 use the same motor/pump design (different upper wash arm support and wash arm) as the SR24 that Hobart produced until several years ago (forget exactly when now) making for parts easily obtainable. Timers and switch banks have long since been obsoleted but they still pop up on ebay.

KDS-18 requires 150F at the tap for good results. The 19 and 20 machines will preheat water to 150F, so use those (or later models) if you refuse to kick up the temps on your water heater.

The 21+ series are good and filter better than any of the previous series, but only have a quick purge and one final rinse. It's claimed the racks in those machines deteriorate fast due to inferior rinsing. The fine mesh filter for those models deteriorate over time and are NLA. They're quickly becoming very hard to find now.

KDS-18 is the only true 3 level wash design of the entire Hobart series and is best at keep yibbles off of the tops of dishes on the upper rack. It's the last residential dishwasher Hobart made with a 180F final rinse sani cycle. It uses more water per fill than the 19+ models.

I installed a 19 upper rack and an SR24 wash arm setup on my KDS-18 for the ultimate setup. Also installed a fine mesh filter in the sump which works exceptionally well. On top of that, I installed an external push button switch that cuts power to the timer motor, allowing me to manipulate cycles and water fills. You think 12 hours is a long cycle time in some modern dishwashers, I can make my machine wash for 12 days.

Post# 1087793 , Reply# 10   9/3/2020 at 12:51 (929 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I would go with a KA 18 or a Potscrubber I or III

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If you want a vintage dishwasher that actually cleans without pre-rinsing, pre-washing and major attention to how you load it.

There is a gigantic split in the vintage dishwasher community between the KA people and the rest of us, so you have to take my feelings with a grain of salt if KA is what you really want. I refuse to pre-rinse, pre-scrape only bones and olive pits and demand perfection, regardless of how I load the machine.

That makes KA a no-go for me. But, a pristine KA15 might just be worth the minor annoyances to you, especially if you like a dishwasher which will basically put an end to exchanging family colds.

Post# 1087822 , Reply# 11   9/3/2020 at 17:50 (929 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Haha too funny. IDK what I want.. i got on the hunt for KA probably because of old posts I've read of people praising them like the second coming. I want vintage, that will do a good job. I can be plenty cognizant of proper loading technique without a problem. Not trying to bargain for gold with my lead. I do have a scope out on a kds-58 which I believe to be the portable version of the kds-18, trying to get some all around photos from the seller.. $50... the two photos I have appear to be great shape. Right now a portable would be ok as we have not started to rearrange our kitchen and build out space for it yet. I also believe I read that the kds-58 can be converted to built in without issues. At any rate, @panthera what would be your idealistic choice if in my shoes?

Post# 1087863 , Reply# 12   9/3/2020 at 21:30 (929 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

qsd-dan that is interesting about swapping the parts into the kds-18.. Id love to hear your thoughts on your DW. The pros & cons.

Post# 1087872 , Reply# 13   9/3/2020 at 22:16 (928 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I'd go for the ka

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Because I think that's what you truly want. Personally, I prefer the potscrubberIÍI with the multi orbital arm, I truly believe, though, you should go with what you

Post# 1087873 , Reply# 14   9/3/2020 at 22:28 (928 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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The SR24 wash arm, wash arm support, and strainer are very expensive to piece together but it does perform very well. The upper wash arm support and wash arm design are built much sturdier than the hydrosweep and more powerful to boot. In residential use, they'll never wear out. The SR24 strainer is ridiculously coarse.....a rhinoceros could squeeze through it, so I modified and installed a fine meshed anti splatter screen that sits perfectly in the sump. It filters much better than the original screen or the finer 19/20 filter screens.

This is not recommended upgrade for the lukewarm collector. It's very expensive to piece together and requires adjustments using special tools that have been long gone for decades.

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Post# 1087888 , Reply# 15   9/4/2020 at 01:24 (928 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

What do you consider expensive?

Honestly I'm torn now, I came in here thinking I wanted a KA... But now not so sure. I don't want to waste my time with something I'll resent... Lol

Post# 1087892 , Reply# 16   9/4/2020 at 04:08 (928 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
An opinion a little more in the middle :)......

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I've had both the Potscrubber and multiple KA machines 15-21.  I happen to prefer the KA machines.  I never found the filtration to be bad at all.  Here are a few pictures of my 15 machine before and after the load.  This load has the potential to have a lot of leftover nibbles given the food soil.  I think this was Risotto but I can't remember.  If you go with a 17 series you'll have the upper rinse as well.  When you get to the 18 series you'll get the additional wash arm but it starts to look a little more modern than you may want for your kitchen which I think is true with the 17 as well. There is a link to the 15 Series running.  I am trying to add pictures of my Potsrubber loaded but for some reason they won't upload.  If I can work it out I'll add those too.


In my opinion, the bottom line is if you want a vintage machine you're gonna have to pay a little more attention to loading techniques, and likely make repairs.  The Potscrubber machine gives you a little more flexibility in loading because it has a separate wash system under the upper rack.  The KA washarm will take the paint off of a bumper.  I have had items in the upper rack flip over with a fully loaded lower rack.  The last pictures is the 17 series with the upper rinse.


As far as parts availability you'll need to hunt eBay and rely on the generosity of members here to keep either one of them going.  I've worked on both of them and they are both pretty easy to work on.  Neither are going to be terribly expensive to buy compared to newer machines.  


This is what I would do if your budget allows.  Hunt for both.  If you find a nice machine in both models you can switch them around occasionally.  A dishwasher install is fairly easy.  If I were making the decision I'd wonder which one will go better with your decor.  You're gonna have gotchas either way you go.  How important is the look?  How tolerant are you to the quirks of an older machine?


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Post# 1087926 , Reply# 17   9/4/2020 at 10:20 (928 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

so here is the original KDS-15 I was scoping out. what can be determined by these two pictures?

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Post# 1087927 , Reply# 18   9/4/2020 at 10:46 (928 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Is it this one?

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If it is, and it was me I would grab it.  Those buttons show no use and all and given the paper is still on the door I'd say it didn't get much use.  That is if you want a Kitchen Aid but that's just me.

Post# 1087929 , Reply# 19   9/4/2020 at 11:03 (928 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Yea thats the one I was talking to the seller about. I think ill try to nab it. couple hours away from me, but a days trip can have it home.

Post# 1087930 , Reply# 20   9/4/2020 at 11:57 (928 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Unused KDS-15

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Yes I would vote for this DW since you want something fairly vintage, If you wanted to move into the 80s then I would get a WP built power clean style DW, well used KDS-18-KD 23 DWs just have too many problems not the least of which is so-so cleaning and rinsing.


This KD-15 series DW was top rated for cleaning in CRs in 1966, it is a great performer if loaded properly and does boost water temperature slightly.


I you insulate the tank somewhat and use modern detergents you can get great results with incoming water temperatures in the 120-130F range.


John L.

Post# 1087931 , Reply# 21   9/4/2020 at 12:33 (928 days old) by SurfDuzDaz (Ohio)        

I recently got a KDS-58, and made a video about it. I've wanted a vintage model for a long time. I'm still learning about the machine (not a dishwasher expert by any means), but so far I can safely say it's one of my favorite purchases ever.

Post# 1087938 , Reply# 22   9/4/2020 at 13:34 (928 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Go for it!

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The condition is too good to pass up.

Post# 1087939 , Reply# 23   9/4/2020 at 13:40 (928 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Dang that kds-58 looks amazing. I found one a few hours away but the seller is jerking me around when I ask for pictures. I've seen one half janky picture of the front/top edge and then one picture of the tag... If I nabbed that kds-15 from eBay I feel like maybe I'll be lacking that upper wash arm And constant rinse at the top. However against that, I've read the rubber boot for the upper wash arm is impossible to find and if failed or cracked, then I'm rendered figuring out my own solution. I do think I love the look of the KA...

Post# 1087942 , Reply# 24   9/4/2020 at 14:01 (928 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Best of luck..

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Well whichever one you settle on, the best of luck.  I wouldn't mind a peek at the stove you are working on if you want to share.

Post# 1087943 , Reply# 25   9/4/2020 at 14:17 (928 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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I have an NOS rubber boot for the upper rack of KA-18 dishwashers and thought about sending it out and having a few custom made ones that could handle at least 200F temps, harsh environmental conditions, and be food safe (probably made out of silicone). The problem I've seen on this site many times is that everybody is Gung Ho about purchasing a part when a poll is taken and almost nobody actually follows through. Having a low production run on a custom item is not cheap, either.

Post# 1087945 , Reply# 26   9/4/2020 at 14:30 (928 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I might try to get both of them, would be a whole day traveling round trip for both. @qsd-dan One of my companies does polyurethane parts but nothing with silicone. It cost us about $1000 to have some simple molds made for small parts, and around that same cost for injection molds. Feel free to post a picture of the part and ill see if I can help.

heres a picture of the chambers range im restoring. First 3 photos are the original sale ad. I paid $550 for it. Picked it up a month ago. Its currently 98% stripped down and about half cleaned. Model 15B 1946 or 47.. cant remember what the tag showed and its bagged away on the shelves.

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Post# 1088007 , Reply# 27   9/5/2020 at 08:35 (927 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KA DW Parts

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We have more parts than we will ever use for KD15 and later KA DWs including a good supply of those rubber boots for the upper wash arm feed for KDS-18 DWs.


Parts for these machines are out there, during the beginning of the pandemic we finally got a chance to sort a lot of the parts we have.


I anyone needs a part get in touch, I will try and find what you need, I will not entertain people that say they want 2 or 3 of a certain part because they want to stach extras thus keeping others from getting a part they need.


John L.

Post# 1088083 , Reply# 28   9/5/2020 at 22:24 (926 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Well I think someone from here for that eBay kds-15. Soon as the link was posted the watch count shot up and it sold for over what I was willing to pay for it. $200+.

Post# 1088110 , Reply# 29   9/6/2020 at 08:38 (926 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
that's eBay for ya...

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just keep looking for the KA of your dreams, imo no other machine was built as well. My folks had a KDS-15, and several GE Potscrubbers. We've had the KA, Maytag,,and several newer GE and Hotpoints. Nothing approached the KA for build quality and longevity. And I've never understood the reluctance to do a quick pre-rinse. why start out with a lot of crud in your machine, and personally I dislike cleaning filters, so we'e always pre-rinsed. By paying even the slightest attention to loading we always had great results from the KDC-17 that we used for 15 yrs, and with 3 kids we did a helluva lot of dishes. Hobart made those 1 arm wonders for decades, including for commercial use, so they must have worked pretty darn well! Still have a real nice one out in the shed awaiting installation, along with Paul's '60s GE awaiting pickup, if the border ever re-opens that is! LOL Vintage rules...
go for it - that's my $.02!

Post# 1088112 , Reply# 30   9/6/2020 at 09:05 (926 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
It happens, unfortunately.

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The local Habitat Restore does that to collectors all the time, too. It sucks. And, yes, we've seen this situation around here before. More experienced collectors will sometimes post an urgent request that nobody 'look' for the appliance they've found online, please.


The potential good news - most of the people who jack up prices on 'our' collectibles end up selling them later for much less. So, keep an eye out.


As to pre-rinsing, that's just one of those things where everybody is different. I refuse, flat out refuse and that's that. My brother and my father WASH and SCRUB the dishes before they go into the dishwasher and that was one of the tattle-tail fights my brother and I had throughout the 1960's and early 1970's...Panthera isn't scrubbing everything before it goes into the dishwasher! 


I could not care less what other people do, but refuse, absolutely refuse to be one of those aging queens who thinks there are bonus points for unnecessary work.


KA dishwashers of that era do need a reasonable pre-scrape. Not hysterical, just reasonable. Potscrubbers, between their outstanding filters and soft-food 'grinders' (I know, darlings, I know) actually only needed bones and olive pits removed. They cleaned better than the KA and that's been something very, very disconcerting to many, even here. Here's why:

KA dishwashers are works of art. They're super well made, very pretty, run well and sound great when they're running. Sort of like a DeSoto or a Cadillac, back when they actually weren't gussied up Chevys.

GE Potscrubbers were made of 'plastic'. They used shaded pole motors (the horror of it all). They looked as if they'd been designed by the same committee who made the elephant and then the final design was handed over to a band of dyspeptic bean-counters. Who then turned them over to a bunch of hipies on bad acid trips who threw in faux wood and chrome-plated plastic. They sounded like someone left a few screws in the sump (which explained the mysterious rattles) and, worst of all, normal earners could afford them.

Rather like my grandfather who could have afforded a Cadillac limousine and driver for each day of the week but drove a Buick because nobody else in the neighbourhood drove one and he didn't want to offend the neighbours. 

Post# 1088169 , Reply# 31   9/6/2020 at 16:37 (926 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Lol enjoyable story to read :) thanks.

Post# 1088218 , Reply# 32   9/6/2020 at 23:33 (925 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

ok, so while i search for a vintage KA, because i find them beautiful, would an ISE classic 400 thats barely used be a decent buy?

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Post# 1088242 , Reply# 33   9/7/2020 at 08:07 (925 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
ISE 400 DW

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Is a good choice and this one looks good so it should give few problems for at least a number of years.


If you are going to go this new you would get much better performance out of a WP-KM power-clean or ultra-wash DW from 1985-1998, but this ISE will do a decent job if you work with it. Do you have soft water ?


John L.

Post# 1088243 , Reply# 34   9/7/2020 at 08:17 (925 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        


I haven't been able to find a WP of that age range anywhere remotely close. Managed to find that ISE fairly close for $50. Just looking for a daily worker until I can find the KA I want. Lol, worried that I'll like a WP PC so much, I won't want the vintage KA :P

We have well water that is not necessarily soft but has very very little mineral deposits. Take a while before you start seeing water spots on things. Idk how that will work in. DW.

Post# 1088245 , Reply# 35   9/7/2020 at 08:45 (925 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Good Point Matthew, I pulled one of my 1987 WP DU8000XR DWs out around 2001 and after trying several newer DWs a KA TT, A GE TT, A GE standard tub, and a new WP TT, all TOL, I put in a KDSS-20 and it was so cool looking I kept it nearly 10 years but finally got another DU8000XR and moved the KDSS-20 to the museum where it can live out. its life.


The KA I had was the equivalent to a KDS-18 in performance, it had several good features but when I had the WP just 15 feet away the KA just never measured up to the WPs performance. 


The KAs problems were poor cleaning in the top rack, you had to sort out the dirty dishes when unloading usually about 1 in 10 items rejected,  It often smelled bad because of food left in the sump and filter, it did not dry nearly as well as the WP [ both DWs always used on Air-Dry to preserve the racks and save energy ], and it did not get really dirty pots and pans, baking dishes nearly as clean. And most of all the silverware basket was no where as convenient to use as the WPs in-door SWB.


All in All the KA was a very good DW and if I had not had one 15 feet away that worked so much better I may have been more of a fan of it.


In this business I always really valued the opinions of our few customers that had two different DWs or washing machines hooked up SXS where you can really see the advantages and disadvantages of each.


John L.

Post# 1088250 , Reply# 36   9/7/2020 at 09:11 (925 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Go for it!

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You clearly have a hankering for that classic Hobart design and engineering and quality.

As to the idiosyncrasies - every dishwasher has it's merry little ways. You either figure out a way around them (wash the damn filters on these KAs, don't let them get bogged down). Or not.

Personally, I do like our KA15 and am willing to put up with the KA limitations for the hard work and beauty she has. But, she's not our daily driver. If you're OK with the stuff John mentioned above (John is one of the two smartest collectors here) then go for it!


But do clean the damn filter.


Post# 1088274 , Reply# 37   9/7/2020 at 10:22 (925 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Haha, I've managed to take heed of alot of john's writings that I've come across on here. I was massively impressed by a post he made showing pictures of the very dirty load up of dishes into his WP, and especially some baking dishes with heavily baked on crust... Sparkling clean.. I was in shock. I have not been successful finding that particular model WP. Any pointers on how to scope them out better when hunting online?

i came across this but its 6hours away lol, and slightly rough, appears to be the proper vintage of WP PC...

also found this very nice outer appearance potscrubber, awaiting interior pics... same distance.

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Post# 1088282 , Reply# 38   9/7/2020 at 11:31 (925 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

AND i've been a busy boy.. here is the KDS-58 I was scoping out, and am awaiting interior pictures which the seller says is very clean.. What I have spotted from the exterior.. crack on the upper left panel, possibly pitting in the chrome above the buttons maybe its dust from storage, overall dirty, bottom chrome rail where the casters are appears to be surface rust?

Also a KDS-15, seller says water leaks out the front... so some seal is bad, but its free. The photos below show the KDS-15 and three interior shots, mixed with the harvest gold KDS-58 outside pics. sorry for the confusion.

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Post# 1088298 , Reply# 39   9/7/2020 at 13:26 (925 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Best Used DW

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That KDS-15 looks good, the leak under the door is probably not hard to correct. This KDS-15 is a later build version that the one you missed.


The WP may be in ok shape can't really tell from the pictures, The GE is one of the good GEs, but like the KA there is really no upper wash arm so you must load carefully for best results.


John L.

Post# 1088307 , Reply# 40   9/7/2020 at 13:56 (925 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

im heading out to kansas city today to pick up the harvest gold KDS-58. Looks very clean on the inside. says very little use. There are a couple pictures of the outside above, and then here are the inside photos of the KDS-58

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This post was last edited 09/07/2020 at 14:33
Post# 1088309 , Reply# 41   9/7/2020 at 14:16 (925 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        

The ISE 400 you noted above is basically the same as a Kitchenaid 21/22 Custom or Imperial model machine and will give good results and be less prone to being affected by poor scraping habits. The actual disposer assembly in the pump will chew up small pits and bits of small bones better than anything else out there. Make sure that the fine mesh screen is intact and not broken. Lift up the wash arm and remove it from the support to be sure.

The heating element in the bottom of the tub acts to heat the water while washing as well as to heat the air in the chamber when drying. The drying process is supplemented by the fan in the right hand rear corner. The element pulses on and off at intervals to provide the heat.

Post# 1088312 , Reply# 42   9/7/2020 at 14:31 (925 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Thanks steve for that valuable tidbit!

So I am going to pick up the KDS-58 portable unit, I kind of mixed and matched my photos above in a very confusing way, sorry about that!...

Also I feel like for $50, the ISE 400 is a very good buy as well and may end up picking that unit up too.

I believe this week im going to go pick up that Brown KDS-15 with the leak, since its in very nice shape and free to me. just a 6hr drive. lol.. I have space to store these, so not a problem there.

THOUGHTS on that plan? haha.

Post# 1088325 , Reply# 43   9/7/2020 at 15:19 (925 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
DW Plan

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Sounds like a good plan, The nice thing about the KDS-58 is being a HEAVY portable it probably was not used much.


Hi Steve, while the KD 21 & 22s do have a very good grinder the food can't  get to it, when you load these DWs with dishes covered with chunks of food like we do with the WP PC DWs there will be a mess of food chunks to fish out of the sump, been the and done it, they do work a little better at disposing of food if you throw away the removable trap.


John L.

Post# 1088326 , Reply# 44   9/7/2020 at 15:24 (925 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        
KDS15 with labels

I would surely pick up the unused KDS15. It was a fantastic machine and like most have said, load it right and it will never fail you.

Definitely do like John L said. Insulate the tank with dynamat or some other thick product you can find. They are notoriously noisy and lose whatever heat the tank heater supplies while washing. When I was younger, I used to sit on the counter above our 15 when it was running and it was the warmest place in the kitchen. After the dynamat, insulate the tank with fiberglass and inside the door as well. Plain fiberglass in the door no foil or kraft paper on it and make sure that the soap dispenser doesn't catch on it.

And even if you are not the most careful pre-scraper around, the fine filter will do a good job of keeping the water clean. But DO clean it often if you are not.

Post# 1088329 , Reply# 45   9/7/2020 at 15:44 (925 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Basically speaking,

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It behooves all of us to pick up any KA or Postscrubber III we come across, if only for parts - to use ourselves or to share with others.

I've been helped here through the decades by so many members, I can't name they all - the generousity is enormous and made possible by our tendencies to 'hoard' vintage machines.


We are currently down to two fully working, daily driver Potscrubber IIIs and a TOL in storage in perfect working condition. Two Maytags in storage, of course as they are magnificent. My GE 2800 went to one of our members who needed a new board and wash arm sensor (and mine was the third revision, sigh. GE certainly could have done better). The Hotpoints and lower GEs are all gone. For the moment.....


Oh, and in case nobody has mentioned it to you in the last five seconds - be sure to clean the filter!

Post# 1088337 , Reply# 46   9/7/2020 at 16:46 (925 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Someone else won the auction for that unused kds-15 unfortunately!! I was bidding it up to the last second and I hesitated to go above $218, then time ran out...

Post# 1088428 , Reply# 47   9/8/2020 at 08:27 (924 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Well you guys will probably think I'm crazy, but I drove 6hrs each way to Kansas City, Mo yesterday for that kds-58. I had been conversing with a gentleman who was brokering this sale for a non internet guy. After a week of asking for pictures of the interior they finally sent some and told me no rust... Of course I get there and open the door.. rust.. around the temp sensor. I tipped the unit up and saw no signs of water leaking at that stop so I'm sure it can be taken care of. Just frustrating that they knew I was driving from afar and blatantly admitted they knew the rust was there. At any rate, the machine is very very clean on the outside and everything looks really good inside other than that spot. It's still in the back of the vehicle as we didn't get home till almost 3am and my wife had to work at 7. Here are the two pics I snapped. Paid $70 for it.

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Post# 1088430 , Reply# 48   9/8/2020 at 08:35 (924 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Good for you!

All porcelain tubs of that era have rust. 

There are some excellent threads on dealing with it from Laundress and several others around here.

Hotpoint dishwashers had exactly the same problems as KA and the solutions are exactly the same.

Have fun! You're going to like these projects.

Post# 1088436 , Reply# 49   9/8/2020 at 09:37 (924 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Oh, probably silly, but

panthera's profile picture

I always hook my vintage appliances up to the power through a GFCI when I'm testing them or working on them.

It's incredible how often there are minor flaws which could lead to me getting hurt or delicate electronics (and the electronics in vintage appliances were delicate when new, never mind today) blowing up.


Post# 1088437 , Reply# 50   9/8/2020 at 09:41 (924 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I figured remove the temp sensor, grind the rust out and seal with a marine sealant or silicone washers. The filter basket has zero evidence of food or water scale so idk what that means. Of course when I got there the story had changed from older gentleman selling his stuff, to, the seller go it in trade for work 4 years ago and it's been in his kitchen unused since.

What would be the best procedure here with testing it out? I have read about tossing in a few gallons of hot water and letting it soak.

ALSO, since I'm a dishwasher noob, are the faucet fittings for the hoses standardized or will there be a special end I'll need to procure other than what the hardware store carries for dishwashers.

Thanks in advance!!

Post# 1088482 , Reply# 51   9/8/2020 at 14:42 (924 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Ok here are the photos I took today when I got it unloaded onto the deck. I did notice mouse poop had shook loose from somewhere, ill have to check for a nest.

I'd surely love some guidance base on these photos since i've never been involved in vintage dishwashers :)

So i have a sneaking suspicion the detergent dispenser might be leaking due to what appears to be rust coming from the inside out below the DD.

The rust down in the sump, shows zero notice of it from the bottom side as far as I can tell, my quick visual saw no signs of leaking.

Picture that supposed to be there, that little plastic deal. Looks like it breaks the seal, maybe allows air in and out, I can see that steam has affected the wood top right above it.

Is the silicone on the wash arm, factory? Or is this a sign someone has had issues and tried fixing it.

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Post# 1088483 , Reply# 52   9/8/2020 at 14:46 (924 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

AND a couple more.

I was a little bummed to see the rusting there at the wheel attachments. Also when I first saw this fiber around the filter basket I thought mice.. but no other signs of a mouse nest inside, unless PO cleaned it out. The fibers actually look like maybe some type of material was originally attached there?

The boot connection in the 6th photo, is very hard and doesnt feel like it would become pliable.

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Post# 1088498 , Reply# 53   9/8/2020 at 16:12 (924 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        
A roll of the dice!

Anytime you buy something from any classified source and even Ebay and such, you run the risk of seeing the things you have shown us. Porcelain is durable but can be delicate at times. The spot on the edge of the door is easily repairable and since it is where the gasket contacts the door, anything you may use will not come in contact with your dishes.

Don't start taking sensors and elements out of the sump just yet. The rust could well be just surface rust and will come off with soft scrub or Ajax or that type of non abrasive cleanser. You may want to try using ZUD as it contains oxalic acid which helps dissolve rust stains. Gently rub the area and rinse it away to see what is happening. Sometimes, chemicals in local water supplies react with the metals inside the dishwasher and there was likely some standing water in the machine for a while before it all evaporated leaving trace minerals behind.

Do pour in some water first to help "swell" the seals and gaskets, and you will also find any leaks before bringing the machine into the house.

You can do a test run of the motor by plugging it in latching the door closed and simply hitting the cancel/drain button and the timer will start the pump and run thru to the end and "drain" the machine out. That way you will hear the pump run, the drain solenoid snap open and closed and the dryer blower fan come on and know it is working.

The fuzz you have on the filter is very common and the best I have ever figured out is that it is nothing more than cellulose from paper, vegetables and meat that has been continuously washed by the detergents and has broken down as far as it can go, You will see that stuff in every dishwasher be it domestic or commercial. That is my main reason for not expecting a dishwasher to be a garbage disposer and food should be scraped off before loading. Not until Hobart put an actual disposer(though on a small scale)in their 21 and 22 series machines, did any machine have anything better than a soft food grinder. Yes, other manufacturers came up with soil separation technologies of their own but now could actually grind up hard objects.

Now that is not to say Hobart wasn't stubborn and thick headed in not having multiple rinses after their main washes on the 21 and 22's and it wasn't until Whirlpool came along and finally added a water heat delay for the wash cycles on the Hobart based dishwashers that you really had some stellar results. For the life of me, I will never figure out why Hobart resisted the market trend like that. I guess, if I ever started accumulating machines again, I would go for a KDS23 and install the electrical workings in a 21 or 22 tank and keep the Hobart pump but gain the heat delay features of the 23's that WP so wisely changed.

As far as the rust under the detergent cup goes. I will bet it is from the bottom of the dishrack. Pick up the front of the rack and look for rust and wear under the rack, in the middle and even the left and right sides in the front area. If you close the door with the rack still outside the tub, it will rub on the door and eventually wear away the coating on the rack and cause rust stains. You can see if the dispenser is leaking by removing the door panel and it will reveal all. As John L always says, take the dispenser out and turn it 180 degrees so the water if it gets by the small o-rings on the door shafts, should leak, it will fall harmlessly into the door cavity and not on to the wires for the bi-metal heaters that release the doors when the timer calls for detergent.

The water delivery tube under the top rack to the washarm will get a little softer with use. So don't worry about it now. Most of the time, they got squishy and deteriorated as the machines aged and was a common part that needed to be replaced. Look on the underside of it. There is a small hole in it to drain any residual water left in the tube. If it is looking like it is starting to crumble, then look for a replacement tube. Many of us still have some around with some life left in them. I have even seen people use the clear vinyl reinforced tubing you can get at Lowes or HD for a replacement. I don't know how long they may last but hey, it can work.

Not much you can do about the rust on the bottom rack where the hardware goes. Another fail spot after many years of wear. The previous owners may have loaded the rack with really heavy dishware and the metal is going to flex and the coating is going to give up sooner or later. Again. it's your choice to find something to use on it.

It would do you well, to try to find a donor machine to have a stock of spare parts for your machine. Racks are nearly impossible to find. But they are out there. A newer top rack will give you a wider washarm that gets the corners of the rack much better than the one you currently have. You will need to change the whit manifold in the back but it is an easy change to do. Does that cover it all? If not, we are all following this thread and will likely chime in for you if we need to.

Post# 1088499 , Reply# 54   9/8/2020 at 16:41 (924 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

STEVE!! Excellent advice and instruction my friend, I greatly appreciate it!

My plan was to hit those rust areas with some scour pads that I have used to take rust and other stains off the porcelain on my chambers stove, to see the extent of the damage.

I will pull the door panel off and see whats up there, and had read just today about flipping the DD 180 degrees!

I did have a couple questions yet:
1: will a KDS-17 bottom rack be the same as this one? (as well as the pump and timer assembly)
2: The selection buttons feel really spongy and don't click previously pushed buttons out when clicking new buttons. Is this normal and they will reset when plugged into power? OR Should I do as another owner has done and use electrical contact cleaner on that button assembly?

Again thank you to everyone who has contributed here to help me!
I plan to keep adding info and photos as I go along with prepping this DW for daily use, and hopefully it can help another noob like me.

This post was last edited 09/08/2020 at 17:38
Post# 1088509 , Reply# 55   9/8/2020 at 18:07 (924 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
No to the scrub pads

panthera's profile picture
The porcelain used on this dishwasher is quite different to the porcelain used on a gas stove.
It is designed to deal with completely different environmental variables.
It can be badly damaged by Scotch Brite or other scrub pads except for the ones suitable for teflon.
I would suggest you try cleaning it with a cleaner that has oxalic acid in it if it is surface rust problem solved if it goes deeper well there are various ways of dealing with it that will hold up and hold up well laundress investigated several solutions, I have had JB weld high strength hold up in a dishwasher for almost 12 years now in daily use.

Post# 1088512 , Reply# 56   9/8/2020 at 18:09 (924 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

I had a KDS-20 in a house I once lived in about 15 years ago.  I thought it was a great DW.  In fact, it was probably the best I'd ever had up to that time.  The cycle times were short and rarely did I ever have to re-wash an item. We got rid of it when we remodeled and went with black appliances.  I could kick myself because I didn't know at the time that I could have simply changed the panels. 


I will admit that there are many brands made today that do a much better job of cleaning; however, for its day, the KDS-20 was top of the line in my book.  But my experience was limited to various Whirlpool and Maytag models up to that time.

Post# 1088519 , Reply# 57   9/8/2020 at 18:37 (924 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        
Easy does it!

All lower racks from the 15 thru the 23 series will fit your machine but the 18 started the rack set up with the plates facing forward on the left side and all the rest going on the right side facing left.
The 15 thru 17 had a section in the middle facing forward and then there were spaces on the left and the right to face into the center of the rack. There should be plenty of pictures out there for you to reference.
Both will work fine but then you have to learn a different method of loading with the older racks. The machine should clean just as well with either set.

One other think to observe, thru the different years and models, the racks had varying amounts of tines and different spacing between them so some racks could hold more than others when strictly using the spacing provided by the tines. Just a little idiosyncrasy thanks to Hobart! Then there were the 22 and 23 racks that had a completely removable left hand section so you could load larger items on the left and use the right side for dishes and bowls. This was before fold down tines were used.

Regarding the selector switches. Don't use contact cleaner on them. That will wash out any lubricant that may still be inside the switch. Time dries out the lubricant so the action of the switch buttons changes. I would pull the knobs off and use some dielectric grease on the button shafts and work them in and out and on the left side of the selector assembly, there are flat fiber shafts that also slide in and out of the housing. Do the same there but be careful not to break them. Some slide only so far and others go in further into the housing. If you were to disassemble the switch housing, you would see grease inside but don't take that on. If you mess up the switch in any way you may have to go searching for another one.

Be very careful with your scouring pads. Absolutely nothing metallic as it will leave residue on the parts you cannot see and use nothing harsher than you would use on your face! Use a rag with some cleanser first and see what happens.

Post# 1088531 , Reply# 58   9/8/2020 at 21:00 (924 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Sounds good!! thank you for warning me about the difference in porcelain enamels, I just assumed they were all the same. I've been talked to about oxalic acid recently to remove rust stains on chrome as well. I guess I should get some lol.

Post# 1088536 , Reply# 59   9/8/2020 at 21:28 (924 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
"1: will a KDS-17 bottom rack be the same as this one? (as well as the pump and timer assembly)"

Different rack although it'll probably fit and work. The tine arrangement is an inferior design compared to the 18-20 models. A KD-17 motor, pump, and timer will not jive with an 18.

"2: The selection buttons feel really spongy and don't click previously pushed buttons out when clicking new buttons. Is this normal and they will reset when plugged into power? OR Should I do as another owner has done and use electrical contact cleaner on that button assembly?"

These switch banks don't have snappy/clicky feel to them. I'm sure you already noticed the buttons pop out by cycling the door latch. The drain/cancel button must be selected anytime a different cycle is chosen mid-stream to reset the rapid advance timer. The wafers in the switch don't shift around much if the same cycle is repeated, making the button softly reengage.

Post# 1088545 , Reply# 60   9/8/2020 at 22:47 (923 days old) by surfduzdaz (Ohio)        
Congrats on the KDS-58!

Dishwasher twins! It's a great machine. I hope yours is able to provide the same joy that mine has brought me. You're definitely in the right place, with help from experts to get yours back to work.

Post# 1088563 , Reply# 61   9/8/2020 at 23:59 (923 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Thanks!! I'm super excited to have this unit.

Ok so to show how much of a noob I am, I was not locking the door when attempting to push the buttons...once locked they all have nice clicking action and reset fairly well when unlocking the door.

I did pull the front panel off and snapped some pictures. I'm not sure what to think. There is a strong smelling oily substance, smells like a really strong chemical old school oil type smell. It has a slightly lubricity but it kind of sticky. Definitely doesn't smell like any type of animal urine. You can sort of see it in streaks down the wiring diagram and over the detergent cup. What's weird is where ever that substance is, it's rusted things. It's most on both hinges, idk if it was someone's attempt to make it smooth. It's weird, as if it ran from the top down, but I see nowhere it could have gotten in from the top while trying to see trails of it. Could be detergent, but how would it get upwards behind some items but not sprayed on others.. I don't know.

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Post# 1088582 , Reply# 62   9/9/2020 at 07:00 (923 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KDS-18-58 DW

combo52's profile picture

Looks pretty good


The silicon sealant on the wash-arm hub is from the factory.


The stiff buttons [ I figured you were pushing them without having the door latched [ don't do that ], LOL

Spray a little silicone lubricant in the PB switch and also spray the plastic cam in the timer, this really makes these old parts work much better and hopefully longer.


You can use any acceptable gleaner on the rusty porcelain tank, Porcelain  coating is glass same as you Chambers range, bathtub etc.


I don't know what the oily stuff inside the door is, might be spilled wetting agent from the dispenser, I would clean it up as well as possible with damp hot rags.


John L.

Post# 1088597 , Reply# 63   9/9/2020 at 12:03 (923 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

John thanks for the info!!

Quick photo, what looked like pitted chrome in the original sale photos was dust.. this ole Betsy polishes up nice. When I get home later I plan to add some hot water, check for leaks, and then power it on. We have been letting dishes pile up in anticipation!

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Post# 1088671 , Reply# 64   9/9/2020 at 19:38 (923 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

We have first launch. Soaked the tub with a half gallon of hot water (measured 120degrees at the tap.....) After finding no drips I decided to hook it up to the faucet. Plugged it in. Hit the cancel drain and latched the door. The unit roared to life and drained my water which stunk real real bad BUT, it was sudsy as heck..... That nasty strong oily residue is old detergent. My dispenser cup shafts must be leaking. I ran it through a partial normal wash then drained. Then hit short wash and that's where we are at. The solenoid snaps loud and crisp that's for sure.

I do have a question about the button operation. Scenario: I push cancel drain, it goes through it's ordeal and finally comes to a stop. Open door, close door and even though the cancel drain button is out, the unit goes back through the cycle. I push short wash to stop the cancel drain, open the door and buttons reset, close door and short wash starts back up, push short wash again and it's like already set in so the button just slides in with my finger.... Is this not resetting correctly or is this normal?

That's probably horribly confusing to read, I'm sorry.

Enjoy the photo.

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Post# 1088676 , Reply# 65   9/9/2020 at 20:00 (923 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Cancel operation

combo52's profile picture

If you use the cancel function let it go through the complete cancel 4-6 minutes, when the machine shuts down open the door and you will hear the timer reset, just a few seconds and then you are free to latch the door and start another cycle if you wish.

Post# 1088680 , Reply# 66   9/9/2020 at 20:52 (923 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Excitement trumps patience sometimes haha.

Here's my first load up!

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Post# 1088685 , Reply# 67   9/9/2020 at 21:25 (923 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

I'm so glad you got it!  I know you'll really enjoy it!

Post# 1088697 , Reply# 68   9/9/2020 at 22:49 (922 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I knew better than to use cascade gel we had hanging around. Left white powder on everything.. also a couple plastic bowls that previously were nice, have blistered.. hmmm.. silverware has white particles on some of it. Easily wipes off by hand. The pyrex bowls have scum left behind where food was dried on. And stuff didn't get real dry. The blower was going though and it was hot.

So I'm guessing I need to turn my water heater up to 140 for starters?

Post# 1088698 , Reply# 69   9/9/2020 at 23:00 (922 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        
So I'm guessing I need to turn my water heater up to 140

qsd-dan's profile picture
Kitchenaid recommended 140-160F and that's at the tap, not the water heater. I find 150F at the tap works best.

Post# 1088702 , Reply# 70   9/9/2020 at 23:21 (922 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Well my water heater is about 6 feet from the tap.. through pex, id think it wouldnt lose too much heat through that short travel. I'll turn it up to 160 tomorrow and see what I get at that tap. I also ordered some bubble bandit on amz monday, will be here next week. In the mean time I might go grab some cascade powder? We have finish tablets but I remember hating them, its been 3 years since we had a dishwasher though, hard to remember.

Post# 1088705 , Reply# 71   9/9/2020 at 23:49 (922 days old) by surfduzdaz (Ohio)        

When I first got mine, to clean it out before I tested it with dishes, I wiped down the inside and the seals, then ran three cycles:

The first cycle I ran with Bubble Bandit. After this cycle, the dishwasher looked new inside.

The second cycle I ran with just a large cup of white vinegar sitting upright in the upper rack. When it was done, the cup was just filled with water.

The third cycle I sprinkled about a cup of baking soda over the racks and into the bottom.

After those 3 "cleaning cycles," I started running dishes through it, and the results have been consistently excellent.

I find the dry cycle is very effective, but not 100%. I would make sure the "energy saver" option is off, for the best drying results.

I hope the Bubble Bandit works out for you. I hear that if the dishwasher is really bad inside, the first couple runs may leave residue behind, as it's "cleaning" the built-up scum out of the inside of the wash chamber.

Post# 1088718 , Reply# 72   9/10/2020 at 00:51 (922 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
If you have Amazon, give Cascade Fryer Boilout a try. This is the magic dust engineers designed these dishwashers to hurricane around the box in back in the day.....well, the older stuff had about 20% phosphates rather than 7. I find it does a better job than bubble bandit but different water sources will provide different results. The sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate ingredient (basically chlorine bleach) will greatly whiten plastic materials that have become yellowed or stained.

You can experiment with both detergents like using BB in the precup and Boilout in the main cup. I always got great results with that combo.


Post# 1088728 , Reply# 73   9/10/2020 at 01:52 (922 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

99% sure the cloudiness was the gel... same thing the last time I ran our old dishwasher (modern unit).. im gonna give the jug away to someone else lol..

I just ordered the cascade boil out. frankly 5lbs for 20$ doesnt seem bad to me.

i ended up running two short washes and a normal wash, all without detergent, and then the dishes.. i couldnt help myself haha, too excited. I did run the whole load through a sani cycle too, and the unit was considerably hotter and ultimately drier at the end.

im still having an issue with the cancel drain button.... I push it, it runs all the way through and the lights go off, i unlatch the door and the timer does its thing.. the moment I close the latch no matter how long Ive waited, the cycle starts over again. I think the button is sticking down. I need to pickup some silicone spray like I was told to earlier as well.

SO far I like it, and so does Millie!

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Post# 1088742 , Reply# 74   9/10/2020 at 06:37 (922 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KDS-18-58 DW

combo52's profile picture

Progress , Hi Matthew, First Question what is your water hardness, This makes a big difference in how well any DWs works.


2nd question, is the DW getting enough water ?, test by putting a few glasses in the top rack with peanut butter smeared inside, if it is not removed the DW may have mechanical issues.


Incoming water temps over 140F should be avoided, temps this high play hell on your plumbing and also destroy cool older DWs like this one, Detergent with phosphates also greatly increasing the etching effect of using a DW and destroyed the DW and your dishes, so you have to figure out a balance that works.


Back when this great DW was built and when used daily with 140F water and phosphated detergents even great machines were lucky to last 20 years with several repairs, cheaper brands GE, HP, D&M WH etc were often very lucky to last 10 years. DWs are the most often replaced major appliance then and now.


John L.

Post# 1088762 , Reply# 75   9/10/2020 at 09:13 (922 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        


I do not know my water hardness level, we run on a well and have never tested it. It does take a while for our faucets to get water spots on them though. Is there a test I can do? EDIT: I did a crude soap test and my jar filled with suds from 3 drops of soap to 12oz water like the test I watched. im guessing my water is not extremely hard :) lol (we live in a very loamy soil area and our well is 143ft deep from the surface our house is on and the water table starts about 10ft below that on average. I dont have precise measurements of this. Our basement has drain tile around and under it which runs into a sump and is pumped out. Due to this water table level our basement is somewhat shallow. 6ft ceilings unfortunately.)

Water availability: the dishwasher adapter I got for my faucet has an aerator in it and is listed at 2.2gpm, BUT seems to flow less than the oem 1.8gpm aerator. I was going to ask if I should remove that bit from it.

My plumbing is a mix of original galvanized, some copper that was updated in 1980.. and some pex that was updated in the last 6 years.

Well shoot, on the detergents, everyone seems to recommend the two I bought lol...
In your opinion, what should I be using?

EDIT: I wasnt getting the typical white cloudy film on everything. THAT i am familiar with as where we previously lived a few years back had really really hard water, the type that would leave calcium on the faucets overnight, and scale on the tubs and shower curtains unless religiously scrubbed daily.... What I am getting now is white stains where food was dried on. with the remainder of the item being clean, I really think its a combo of not high enough temps and using the cascade gel, AND potentially not enough water in the tank. I removed the flow limiter from the faucet adapter and its a massive improvement in flow. Ill run the DW again this evening like that and see if it gets better. The help i'm receiving here is just flat out awesome!!! THANKS!!!

This post was last edited 09/10/2020 at 09:47
Post# 1088774 , Reply# 76   9/10/2020 at 11:01 (922 days old) by marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Hi Matt


I've been following this interesting thread and sharing your excitement and frustration along the way!


To test your water hardness, you can use test strips such as these on Amazon:


Post# 1088806 , Reply# 77   9/10/2020 at 15:09 (922 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Water level:

On your next load, wait until the machine reaches and main wash cycle and quits filling. Stop the machine and let the water drip down for about a minute. Remove the bottom rack and take a close up picture of the water level surrounding the removable filter. We'll be able to judge if the water level is correct.

On the Normal/Sani cycles, the first 2 fills are 2 gallons each. The pre-wash, main wash, first purge, and second rinse are 3 gallon fills. The final rinse/sani rinse (if chosen) is a 2 gallon fill. Easiest way to gauge water use on these machines is every 30 seconds = 1 gallon fill.

Post# 1088807 , Reply# 78   9/10/2020 at 15:23 (922 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I'll do that water level check tonight. I have a good feeling that stupid limiter in the faucet adapter was not allowing enough water in, because it sure didnt seem to be draining that much water each time.

Post# 1088824 , Reply# 79   9/10/2020 at 17:36 (922 days old) by marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

When you next try it, it would be great if you could do what Dan suggested and take a photo of the water level of the main wash.


Are the detergent dispenser cups opening correctly?  You should be able to hear them pop open during the prewash and main wash.


It will be good to see how it performs next time you use it, without that flow restrictor.  


Detergent choice is another important factor.  I saw that you first mentioned that everything was covered in white powder, which sounds like possible hard water residue.  But then I also noticed that you said that there were white stains where food had dried on -- that sounds more like food/starch residue.  Let's see what happens once we know it's filling with enough water.  It's also a good idea to clean it out with critic acid, such as Lemi Shine etc.  You can fill both cups full and also add a good dose straight into the machine.  Then select the soak n scrub cycle.


If your water is soft, Cascade Complete powder should do a good job and can be added to both of the dispenser's closed cups and also the dispenser's open "indentation" or just on the back of the door when necessary.  It contains enzymes and should clean away starchy residues and leave dishes "virtually spotless." A rinse aid could also help and would assist drying, should you wish to use it.  If your water is hard, you may find a detergent such as Cascade Platinum pacs works best for you.  Cascade Fryer Boil Out and Bubble Bandit both contain phosphate and will help to alleviate the effects of hard water, but they don't contain enzymes and are unlikely to work as well as premium pacs on residues left by rice, pasta etc.  The Cascade gel you were using will not contain phosphate (unless it is 10 years old) and won't contain enzymes (unless it is Cascade Complete gel) so you are likely to see starchy residues and hard water deposits, if your water is hard.  It does contain chlorine bleach, as does the Boil out, so at least you won't have tea stains!  You really have to see what works best with your water, your water temperature, your machine, your cycles, your food soils etc.


Good luck!



Post# 1088825 , Reply# 80   9/10/2020 at 17:43 (922 days old) by voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        


I jumped the gun by saying everything was covered in white powder, because when I first opened the door I could see the items that had the white residue and it brought back flashes of past times haha. A closer inspection later on revealed it was only on dishes that had food dried on, same with silverware. Such as my pyrex dishes were clean and clear except when food had been, where white deposits were left. Ill get some photos to show what I mean. And I will do the water level check and take photos! :) Thanks my friend!

Post# 1088868 , Reply# 81   9/10/2020 at 21:11 (922 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Ok guys!! Here what's I've collected since last night's run...

1: I removed the gpm limiter from the faucet aerator adapter. Which resulted in massive flow improvements
2: I turned the water heater to just shy of its max (150F), from approx 135ish. I now measure 130F at the tap after 10seconds of hot water being on.
3: I purchased some lemi shine crystals and cascade complete powder.
4: I took a photo of the water level once the tub was filled on the main wash.

Here's what I've found.

The system is definitely draining ALOT of water compared to before, actually appears to be several gallons. Last night I never saw water levels being barely above the sump, that aerator limiter was barely moving any water.

I've noticed that the unit sounds way more forceful than it did last night, actually sounds like high pressure where as last night I was getting convinced the arms were barely sweeping. When I opened the door to snap a photo, heavy steam billowed out whereas last night wasn't getting a whole lot.

I thought there was some other things I wanted to mention but cannot recall now.

Here's the water level. It appears to be just at the edge where the basket angles in to the smallest circumference in the center. Two photos in case one is easier to see.

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Post# 1088883 , Reply# 82   9/11/2020 at 00:25 (921 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
That's the correct fill level.

Fills are timed.  The inlet valve has a restrictor to moderate the flow rate ... the supply source shouldn't be directly restricted.

Post# 1089120 , Reply# 83   9/12/2020 at 11:36 (920 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        
Getting somewhere!

Here is my 2nd load after correcting those water flow issues. This is with the heated dry as well. This was a smaller load but had some grungy pots and pans from beef stew I made yesterday as well as a muffin pan which had cornbread baked on it. Everything appears to be clean! The pyrex dishes look pretty dang clean too.

The rust in the tub, appears to mostly be from the retaining nut on the temp sensor deal, as most of the rust on the tub around it seems to be superficial. It does feel like there might be some silicone around the rust on the heating element, unless the factory sealed those areas?

I forgot to take pics of the dishes dirty.

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Post# 1089136 , Reply# 84   9/12/2020 at 12:42 (920 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Looking good. When used correctly, these are speedy workhorses that provide excellent results.

Post# 1089138 , Reply# 85   9/12/2020 at 12:57 (920 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        
Let's get it fixed

Ok so I would like to tackle the rust on the racks. I have seen several liquid products sold for repairing dishwasher racks. Is this the preferred method?

I figured I would use a razor to cut the edges of the bad vinyl away, wire wheel the rust with a dremel, and cost the metal.with some type of liquid product.

Or what's the proper way?

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Post# 1089152 , Reply# 86   9/12/2020 at 16:04 (920 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
That's how I do it

panthera's profile picture
Although I use JB weld because I have not had good luck with the specialized compounds for dishwashers. I do think that's more than surface rust you may have to pay attention to sooner rather than later around the sensor. Looks good, congratulations!

Post# 1089153 , Reply# 87   9/12/2020 at 16:10 (920 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

You just use regular jbweld? It holds up to the water?

Post# 1089188 , Reply# 88   9/12/2020 at 21:03 (920 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
It has.

panthera's profile picture
I do prepare the surfaces really well.

Post# 1089266 , Reply# 89   9/13/2020 at 13:22 (919 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

This is not the prettiest looking fix but it works and does not bother me.

I used a small wire wheel on a dremel and cleaned all the rust off as well as stripped the coating back to bare metal. I then treated the surface and coated with liquid tape. This stuff has stood the test of time on wiring in and around engines, hydraulics, and exhaust systems for me on my farm. Hoping it stands up fine to hot water and soap. I let it cure over night and ran a sani load today, held up for one. Wash. I may do additional coats to build it up.

One thing I'm learned About this DW, top rack placement is very key. Anything really scummy needs to avoid the litter edges. :) Other than that, working good.

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Post# 1089267 , Reply# 90   9/13/2020 at 13:26 (919 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        
Anything really scummy needs to avoid the litter edges

qsd-dan's profile picture
The larger wash arm in 19/20 upper rack models eliminates this problem. Be on the lookout.

Post# 1089269 , Reply# 91   9/13/2020 at 13:49 (919 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Am I to be looking for the whole rack or is that arm all I need?

Post# 1089279 , Reply# 92   9/13/2020 at 14:23 (919 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
The whole rack. The larger arm won't transfer over to your existing rack. It has been attempted by other members.

Post# 1089298 , Reply# 93   9/13/2020 at 16:47 (919 days old) by marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Great to see the progress!  It looks like the dishes are being washed clean and clear.  I have had excellent results from Cascade Complete powder in softened water.  However I did once use it in hard water and I found calcium deposits were being left on items.  Black plastic utensils started turning white with hard water residue.


Wonderful machine.  Hope you enjoy it!


Post# 1089312 , Reply# 94   9/13/2020 at 17:46 (919 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I will get some test strips and check our water. I'm going to have a "collection" of dishwasher powders here shortly. Lol

Post# 1089318 , Reply# 95   9/13/2020 at 18:37 (919 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Larger Top Wash Arm For A KDS-18

combo52's profile picture

You only need the WA and the plastic China Guard that goes under it, have done this many times.


John L.

Post# 1089343 , Reply# 96   9/13/2020 at 22:35 (918 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Good for you!

panthera's profile picture
I like your solution, be interested to see how it holds up.

Post# 1089559 , Reply# 97   9/15/2020 at 19:32 (917 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        
Wrong tint

So I decided to mix up a tinted coat to try and color match. I thought I had it just about right, slightly lighter... AND then decided I needed one more tiny droplet of vegetable dye... And it looked good. But after drying for 5 minutes I think it's gonna be too dark.

It's hard to judge lol. Seems to match the plastic better than the faded racks. Also if I had nice brushes than these cheap acid brushes, it might look nicer.

What do ya all think?

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Post# 1089561 , Reply# 98   9/15/2020 at 19:47 (917 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Repaired racks, I Like It

combo52's profile picture

You can tell it has been repaired if you look closely, but it doesn't look jury-rigged.



Post# 1089565 , Reply# 99   9/15/2020 at 20:09 (917 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

Thanks John!

This stuff smooths out quite a bit before hardening fully. I may clean it up with a red oxide pad chunk on a dremel to smooth the repaired areas a bit, and coat them with a finer brush. (the metal was badly pitted and looked like swiss cheese once I peeled off the coating).

This material has a good working time. A couple minutes after it's set, you can peel and rub areas away like rubber. After about 20minutes it starts getting hard. After 24hours it's hard but can flex, such as if you brushed it on wiring. Been good stuff for me. Get it in bottles at any electrical supply place or section.

Post# 1089566 , Reply# 100   9/15/2020 at 20:11 (917 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Looks good and should hold you over until a nicer rack with a larger wash arm comes your way.

Post# 1089570 , Reply# 101   9/15/2020 at 20:50 (917 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I did just find a kds-20 upper and lower rack for sale. I can see the larger china guard and arm, but looks like the water supply tube is shorter and the unit is mounted further back on the rack. If I'm swapping a whole rack, non-issue. IF the rack is crap and I have to swap parts, I need the water tube as well correct?

Post# 1089604 , Reply# 102   9/16/2020 at 07:42 (916 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Top Rack From A KDS-20

combo52's profile picture

You can either use the entire rack or parts of it to convert your nicely repaired rack to the larger wash arm, it will work either way.



Post# 1089858 , Reply# 103   9/19/2020 at 00:15 (913 days old) by Voodoochikin04 (Eastern Nebraska)        

I have maybe 8 loads of dishes through the Dw now, and have been using cascade complete powder as well as lemi-shine in the prewash cup. All has been good. No issues with water spots.

I ran a load today using the new bubble bandit I ordered, and some rubber items like these pet food bowl rims, were left with a white powder on them, other rubber items weren't. Some glasses had water spots and others didn't.

Not sure what to make of it.

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