Thread Number: 85609  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
1964 GE dishwasher
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Post# 1101621   12/22/2020 at 09:22 (819 days old) by 63kenmore (Burlington, North Carolina)        

Iím hoping for advice on my 1964 GE SD-400 dishwasher. I bought a full set of the canary yellow kitchen appliances from someone who was remodeling his kitchen. Weíve checked out everything but the dishwasher which we canít really do until the house is finished enough that we have electricity and water. The appliances are in excellent condition, but we are having doubts about the old hoses and connections on the dishwasher being that the house will be new. Iím not liking the idea of replacing brand new carpet because the dishwasher leaked or an electrical fire. My husband is very handy so he can do any of the work, but are there certain things we should replace or be aware of to prevent problems before we install it?

Post# 1101769 , Reply# 1   12/23/2020 at 20:39 (817 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Hello Jackie,

Sorry no one has given you an answer on this yet. I was waiting for someone to answer but it appears as if your question may have gotten overlooked.

You have a valid concern to make sure your vintage dishwasher doesn't leak before installing it.

Most likely, GE used a rubber hose for a drain line back then. I would check it for cracking and brittleness. A new plastic/vinyl drain hose is relatively inexpensive and they are available at Lowes, Home Depot and Ace as well as many other home stores. It might not hurt to just replace yours with a new corrugated hose.

There is also a hose going from the water inlet solenoid valve, under the machine, to the fill opening on the side of the machine. Machines in the recent decades have used a flexible rubber or polymer tube. GE most likely used a rubber tube back then but there is some possibility it could be a copper line.

Look on the outside of the tub of your machine, you should see a tube running from an opening in the side of the tub and going under the machine. Once again, if this is a flexible tube check it for brittleness and cracks. To play it safe you might wish to go to Lowes, etc. and get a tube (capable of handling hot water) of the same diameter.

If your machine has the "Power Shower" that sprays down from the top of the tub onto the upper rack, you will also find a hose running from the pump, under the tub to the top of the tub on the outside.

So you have the potential of three external hoses that you may wish to check/replace.

If you can, I would replace these and then put your machine in a garage or basement, where no damage will be done if it leaks. First pour some warm water into the bottom of the tub and let it stand for several hours or even better, overnight. Hopefully this will remoisten and swell the seals. Look for leaks.

If none, and you have the capability to hook up the drain and water inlet, see if the inlet valve or inlet hose leaks as the machine fills. Check for leaks when it drains. When the machines is running check for leaks in the tube to the power shower and check for leaks around the door.

If all is dry under the machine, then I would say go ahead and install it under your cabinet and ENJOY!!

Post# 1101776 , Reply# 2   12/23/2020 at 22:41 (817 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I would also suggest that if you have a power source handy, in a garage, on a patio or level driveway, fill the machine with water, either from a garden hose or preferably with buckets or pitchers of tap hot water, and run it through a wash sequence.  Be sure not to introduce the water until after the initial purge sequence completes.    This would be the best way to check for leaks prior to installation.


It may also help to dump a bucket or two of the hottest possible water into the machine and let it sit for an extended period in order to soften up any rubber seals at the bottom of the tub the day before you perform the leak test.


Good luck!

Post# 1101784 , Reply# 3   12/23/2020 at 23:26 (817 days old) by Marky_mark (From Liverpool. Now living in Palm Springs and Dublin)        

marky_mark's profile picture

Hi Jackie


Congratulations on your new home!  You must be really excited and I can certainly understand your concern about protecting your new place. 

You can buy automatic leak detectors that will shut off the water and/or sound an alarm.  I have used them.  They range from the simple and inexpensive to the more elaborate devices that will also send an message via WiFi.  Whole-house systems are available that will shut off the main water valve into the house if any of the sensors around the home detect a leak. 


I have one very similar to the one below.  You can place it under/near the dishwasher and connect the dishwasher’s water line via a device such as this.  If any water leaks, it will shut off the valve.  In which case, the worst that could happen is that the water that’s already in the dishwasher may leak out (a couple of gallons, not likely to do any damage, knocking over a mop bucket would spill more) but no more water will enter. 

As for fire, that’s far less likely compared to a leak.  Your new house should have the dishwasher connected via a GFI and AFI.  That will provide protection against certain fires and faults.  I don’t think a vintage dishwasher is more likely to cause a fire compared to a modern one.  In fact, modern Bosch and Maytag machines have been recalled due to fire risks. 

Hope you enjoy your new home,


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Post# 1101807 , Reply# 4   12/24/2020 at 10:04 (817 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
I use .....

a leak detector that makes a loud noise when it detects water. I have one under my dishwasher. You can find them for like $10 on ebay and they use a single 9 volt battery.

Post# 1102350 , Reply# 5   12/28/2020 at 23:13 (812 days old) by 63kenmore (Burlington, North Carolina)        

Thanks to all for the information. Reactor, you covered pretty much everything we were looking for, Kudos!

Post# 1102403 , Reply# 6   12/29/2020 at 13:17 (812 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
you are most welcome

reactor's profile picture
Hope you get many good years of use from it, Jackie!

Post# 1106302 , Reply# 7   1/30/2021 at 21:24 (779 days old) by 63kenmore (Burlington, North Carolina)        

We put some warm water inside and were getting some dripping. We havenít been able to isolate the source yet, but it is in the general area of the motor/pump unit. Weíd like to have a service manual to help, but the one in the manuals section starts in 1967 yet ours is a 1964. How likely is it that the 1967 service manual will be applicable to a 1964 SD-400 dishwasher?

By the way, the rubber hoses all seem pliable with no obvious cracking or deterioration. We plan to do a functional test once the control panel comes back from having the paint touched up.

Thanks for any information provided!

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