Thread Number: 94227  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Westinghouse Continental 500 Dishwasher Part II
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Post# 1189214   9/3/2023 at 13:07 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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For those who missed my previous post in Shopper's Square, a 1975 Westinghouse dishwasher was listed for sale. This was the last year Westinghouse produced appliance before selling their appliance division to White Consolidated Industries in December, 1975.

The dishwasher did not sell, so the seller, Lori, kindly gave it to me. She indicated it "smoked" when she turned it on and turned it off immediately to prevent further damage.

The dishwasher shows no rust whatsoever, on neither the tub nor the racks. (By the way, he pictures turned out with a yellowish cast, in the close up of the rack. that is not their actual color, which is white.)
The design was a new one for Westinghouse, sporting a horizontal motor with pump and fan in a combo unit.

The fan provides forced air to dry the dishes, meaning the main pump motor runs for the entire duration of the dry cycle. You can see the flat ventilation tube, in picture number 10, running from the motor unit to the side of the tub. It draws hot. moist air off the top of the tub through a vent on the inside.
In picture 3, you see the air exhaust from the drying fan, with a funky looking foam rubber boot, which is the orange oddly shaped object you see. It acts as a plenum and extends to the vent under the underside of lower access panel, to expel the moist air from the tub during the drying cycle.

In pictures 7 and 8, you can see the drain solenoid with the heat sink surrounding the coil. Another unusual feature is this coil is energized at all times, EXCEPT
during the drain component of the cycle.

As you can see, Westinghouse is using a tower wash system. The tower (photo 6) is installed in the middle of the tube/sleeve (photo 5) which is mounted on the center of the rack.

You can see the bottom of the tower has a rubber seal surrounded by little plastic protrusions. On the lower wash arm (no pictures, sorry) a little tiny white plastic tube, I call it a nub, with a beveled edge, rises up about and inch and a half. The nub is guided to the center hole in the seal by the protrusions, making a sealed delivery system of water from the lower wash arm to the tower's spray head (Westinghouse calls this spray head the "distributor.")

Notice, the tower has a threaded end where the sprayer/head is supposed to be. As it is, with the head missing, water would just shoot straight up without being distributed evenly to the upper rack.

Sadly, even if the dishwasher is repaired, I cannot use it without a distributor on the spray delivery tube.

Questions for everyone: Does anyone have a spare wash tube with spray head attached or the just head/distributor itself? I will gladly purchase it from you.

Secondly, the drain solenoid's plunger is in the out position, which would indicate that it is currently in the drain position, as it is un-energized. It is attached, by a spring, to the drain valve actuator (the actuator looks similar to GE's).
The problem, this valve will not rotate in the direction toward the solenoid. That means the solenoid cannot pull the actuator toward it, to stop the draining, when it is energized. Oddly, the plastic actuator will rotate easily in the other direction. This does not make any sense.

I may be looking at it wrongly but can see no way the plunger can make any movement on the actuator when it is pulled in. The plunger moves into the coil easily when I push it in with my finger, but only stretches the spring out that connects it to the plastic actuator. HELP!!

Thirdly, does anyone have the repair manual for the 1975 model (SU500) year? I will you pay for a copy of yours. Ephemera has a 1974 manual, but I threw away $13.00 downloading it, as it is for the vertical pump Westinghouse dishwashers. Evidently, Westinghouse had just gone to this design for the 1975 year.

Any help is appreciated!


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This post was last edited 09/03/2023 at 18:58

Post# 1189217 , Reply# 1   9/3/2023 at 15:43 by peteski50 (New York)        

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Barry thats a real nice dishwasher - Best of Luck - can you post pictures of the console - thanks

Post# 1189218 , Reply# 2   9/3/2023 at 16:07 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
console pics

reactor's profile picture
Here Peter:

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Post# 1189219 , Reply# 3   9/3/2023 at 16:10 by peteski50 (New York)        

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Thanks its beautiful!

Post# 1189222 , Reply# 4   9/3/2023 at 16:53 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
A big thank you to SteveD!!

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Many, many thanks to Steve who sent me copy of the repair manual! You are lifesaver, Steve!!

This post was last edited 09/03/2023 at 18:31
Post# 1189246 , Reply# 5   9/3/2023 at 23:14 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
door panel removed-a look inside

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Removed outer door panel. No rust inside. Has a thermoelectric release for detergent cup and solenoid controlled rinse agent dispenser.

On the inside of the door panel is the schematic and timer diagram. This Westinghouse has only five water changes.. wash, rinse, wash, rinse, rinse. The first wash is the longer, at 18 minutes.

Will post more pictures when I remove the control panel and also when the pump is removed.

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Post# 1189247 , Reply# 6   9/3/2023 at 23:51 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

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Did they keep this design when they turned into White-Westinghouse?

Another thing to know from living in the area was that 1975 was about the time things started to go south for Westinghouse as a company and all the layoffs started, in many of the different products they had back then.

Post# 1189248 , Reply# 7   9/3/2023 at 23:54 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

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Did they keep this design when they turned into White-Westinghouse?

Another thing to know from living in the area was that 1975 was about the time things started to go south for Westinghouse as a company and all the layoffs started, in many of the different products they had back then.

Post# 1189250 , Reply# 8   9/4/2023 at 00:20 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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In checking, as near as I can tell Bob, White Consolidated kept the same basic design, for the 1976 model year, but made a few changes. They modified the pump assembly somewhat and put wheels on the lower rack. The upper and lower rack design remained virtually identical, but they cosmetically changed the control panel a bit.

Post# 1189281 , Reply# 9   9/4/2023 at 13:05 by peteski50 (New York)        

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I am surprised they didnt have a light or as westy would call it a single wash cycle
was this considered to be the TOL - I think the sanitizer boosted up to 145 degrees in the main wash and final rinse.

Post# 1189283 , Reply# 10   9/4/2023 at 14:07 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
SU 700

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Hi Peter, this dishwasher was their middle model. The TOL was the SU 700. It had two additional buttons, one for "Gentle Wash" and one for "Single Wash," which, as you say, was their equivalent to a light wash. The SU700 also had a white porcelain tub as opposed to the blue porcelain of the SU400 and the SU500.

Post# 1189284 , Reply# 11   9/4/2023 at 14:14 by peteski50 (New York)        

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Thanks for the additional info!

Post# 1189405 , Reply# 12   9/5/2023 at 21:50 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Spray tower nozzle

Hi Barry, is this the part your looking for?

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Post# 1189409 , Reply# 13   9/5/2023 at 22:53 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Yes, Alan. That sure is!!

Post# 1189417 , Reply# 14   9/6/2023 at 00:38 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        

Great! Send me your address & I'll get it out to you next week (I'm going out of town tomorrow for the weekend).

I actually have the SC700 (portable version of the SU). When I got it everything worked, but it had a bad leak. Interestingly the leak would stop as the unit was running! I could not figure that out, but it ended up having two issues: the shaft seal was going/had gone and the drain valve stem had a leak. When I tried to repair the seal I discovered the motor shaft was rusted almost through; the fan was seized to the shaft and the set screw was frozen. I tried everything to get that fan off, but the motor shaft was so badly damaged that it new shaft seal would not stop the leaking.

When I started looking for a replacement motor & pump I landed on one from a much later series (once they were White-Westinghouse). Through use of a timed "off-delay" relay I was able to adapt it for use in this machine. I also had to change the wash arm & support from the original to a later style (shaped more like GE's). The bearing/locking ring of the original wash arm has two broken tabs; it will not lock onto the support. Also, I think my timer might be operating erratically; it doesn't follow the sequence (Esterline) chart exactly (minor differences, but they're there). In any case I was able to clean it up and had the cabinet powder coated in Racetrack Yellow! The machine works OK; loading is a kind of rigid, but mine has the adjustable upper rack which makes it able to take tall things in either rack. It's also very noisy! :)

I actually saw your post and was thinking of contacting the seller, but you beat me to it! No worries, I hope you can get it going.

Here are the "before" pics:

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Post# 1189418 , Reply# 15   9/6/2023 at 00:39 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        

The "after" pics:

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Post# 1189419 , Reply# 16   9/6/2023 at 00:53 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        

While it may not be the best performing dishwasher it really turned out well! It's a very stylish machine. I love the moniker "Continental". So MCM! I'm working on a cutting board for the top.

The pics show the original wash arm & support; I had to change it because it kept popping off the support (even with the wash tower over it). I used a wash arm & support from the next series (just after they became part of WCI). I think it was model SC650 (?). It works ok, but I'd like to find the original support.

Also, the third pic in the "after" series shows the motor & pump I adapted. In order to keep the drain valve from opening it is tied to a relay which holds the switch open. When the timer calls for the drain solenoid to de-energize, the relay opens and completes the circuit to the drain valve. Since the pump action will keep the valve open, the delay off relay in series with the drain valve opens the circuit to the drain valve after about 5 seconds. This prevents the solenoid from overheating. It also keeps it off during the dry cycle.

I'm working on a way to get the motor to turn off during the dry cycle and incorporate a fan to pull air through utilizing the existing air duct; I haven't figured that out just yet!

Please keep us posted on how your repairs are going.

Post# 1189427 , Reply# 17   9/6/2023 at 06:53 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
Many Thanks!

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Thank you so much, Alan!! I'll send you a message on this site. Your Continental looks beautiful! You have put much time and effort into it, and it shows.

Post# 1189431 , Reply# 18   9/6/2023 at 09:04 by peteski50 (New York)        

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Alan thats a beautiful dishwasher!

Post# 1189503 , Reply# 19   9/6/2023 at 22:14 by rpms (ontario canada)        

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A very handsome looking dishwasher. Is that a filter the white thing at the back? Did these dishwashers clean well?

Post# 1189507 , Reply# 20   9/6/2023 at 23:20 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Brian, Alan could tell you more about how the Westinghouse cleans, as I have not got mine up and running, yet. Consumer Reports rated it at washing, "slightly below average.". Of course, using the "power soak" cycle should increase the performance.

If you are referring to the white object at the back of the tub bottom, that is the grate that prevents large objects from entering the pump. There is no filter, as such, on this machine, just the soft food waster disposer.

Post# 1189738 , Reply# 21   9/10/2023 at 10:38 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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The previous owner had indicated the dishwasher "smoked." Before energizing the whole dishwasher , I powered up the drain solenoid, the fill solenoid and the main motor independently to make sure none of them were the smoking culprit. Each worked fine, no smoke. The motor is surprisingly quiet. The drain solenoid is strong, and loud, when it clicks in. Almost made me jump.

(Loud solenoids seem to be a Westinghouse trademark.😊 For those who have/had the Westinghouse front loading washer with the solenoid that clamped the pulley on the spin belt, know what I mean. It could be heard throughout the house when it kicked in.)

Powered up the entire dishwasher. It ran fine for about five seconds and I heard a small electrical arc, then white smoke poured out of the control panel. Pulled the plug as quickly as possible. Almost no odor. Most insulation burns, I have experienced, usually smell and give darker smoke.

Nevertheless, I took the control panel off and checked for burned wiring and arc points.
None. Thought maybe some organic material had gotten between two conducting points, but found no evidence of it. No burn or overheating marks on any of the wiring. The dark area you see on the control panel may have been caused by smoke, but the connectors above it showed no signs of carbon or arcing, but did have some dirt/corrosion, as you can see.

Blew out the switches and lubricated the timer motors and put panel back.

Removed endcap of motor and lubricated. Put all back together and started it up. Motor purred and and the rapid advance timer did it's job and moved the timer through it's paces.

No smoke this time.

Next step is to put water in and check for leakage. Alan is kindly sending me the tower and distributor. When that arrives, I will be able to run a test load and will post pics.

We'll see how well a Westinghouse can handle a Bobload!

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This post was last edited 09/10/2023 at 15:03
Post# 1189788 , Reply# 22   9/11/2023 at 00:00 by appnut (TX)        

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Barrry, if you cab do a couple of BobLoad tests, I"d love it. One with Double Wash with maybe santizer and the other rwith Power Soak & Sanitizer option. Does this happen ot have a tiple detergent dispenser or just 2 for ordinary prewash and main wash. A friend of mine had bought a condo in Houston in about 1975 or 1976 and it had the ability to havr 2 detergent added prewashes as well as the main wash. This was also about the same time D&M got rid of the rotorac Kenmores and their LK or Sears Best model had the "exclusive triple detergent dispenser.

Post# 1189795 , Reply# 23   9/11/2023 at 07:40 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Hey Bob! It has two open dispensers for prewash and one covered dispenser for the main wash. I'll try both combinations that you have mentioned to test washability.
My biggest concern is the carryover water from fill to fill, and having only two final rinses.

As you can see from the size of the sump (Westinghouse calls it the trap) it holds a lot of water that remains in there, as do the GE's with the horizontal pumps. With only two final rinses there is likely going to be a small amount of detergent residue remaining on the dishes. GE of the same era looks to have had about the same carryover, but they had three final rinses to compensate.

If I install and use this as a daily driver, likely I will put the detergent packet in the first prewash and then let it have four final rinses.

Oddly, the first wash is 18 minutes. The main wash is only ten. Have no clue what the power soak will do as far as time extension. I assume it will lengthen the second/main wash. Unknown if the sanitizer heats the second wash or the final rinse. How the options affect the main cycle is not indicated on the timer diagram.

Testing requires carrying two days of dirty dishes in a laundry basket, from the main floor of the house, to the lower level laundry room where I have to use the washer outlet to supply and drain the dishwasher.

This post was last edited 09/11/2023 at 09:56
Post# 1189796 , Reply# 24   9/11/2023 at 08:06 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Post# 1189798 , Reply# 25   9/11/2023 at 11:22 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Dispenser photo rotated for readability.

The instructions engraved into Cup 3 state:

† Single Wash ó Fill Cup 1

† Double Wash ó Fill Cups 1 + 2

† Power Soak ó Fill Cups 1 + 3

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Post# 1189802 , Reply# 26   9/11/2023 at 12:30 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

In the impeller machines that did not have a detergent dispenser and therefore no prewash in the cycle, the cycle began with a warm up spray/purge before the wash. The water heating period on the timer dial was called the Power Soak where the motor ran along with the heating element to raise the water temperature to 140F.

Post# 1189826 , Reply# 27   9/11/2023 at 19:59 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Last Westinghouse, Dishwashers, 1971 through 74

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Thank you Barry for documenting this unusual and very ill fated dishwasher. Itís been interesting to see that they actually made a fancier version of this. Iím sure 80 or 90% of these dishwashers were the most basic model as nobody who took a serious look at Dishwashers would ever have purchased this machine if they were looking for a quality dishwasher, can you imagine selecting this over a Kitchenaid whirlpool Maytag, or even a GE from this period.

And thank you Alan for your insight and all the work you did restoring the one you have.

Here are some pictures of the one we saved for the museum. Ours is a 1971 model this dishwasher. What is the popular very basic version which was the bulk of their sales to builders, etc.,

The basic version at six water changes, and only a measuring cup for detergent as it goes immediately into the first wash.

These used a Westinghouse built motor that actually used more electricity than the awful GE motors that they used for decades.

As you showed Alan, the motor shaft would rust so badly on these motors at the shaft would literally get down to about 1/2 of its normal half inch diameter. However, we were always able to clean up the end of the shaft and use them in spite of the horrible looking shaft when we rebuilt the pumps on these machines.

This design pump and motor and the machine overall disappeared immediately as soon as the ink was dry on the paper when WCI took over Westinghouse appliances.

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Post# 1189837 , Reply# 28   9/12/2023 at 00:04 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
heat sink

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Why is there no heat sink on your drain solenoid, as mine has, John? That would certainly shorten its life with it's being energized for the majority of the cycle.

Tom (turbo), if the Westinghouse impeller machine did not have a detergent dispenser, then what kept the detergent from being dissolved and flushed down the drain during the initial warm up spray/purge?

Post# 1189838 , Reply# 29   9/12/2023 at 00:27 by appnut (TX)        

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Barry, on the Westinghouse impeller dishwahers, there was a fine-mesh dispenser that held detergent in that mesh basket until the dishwasher did its usual charge of water for the fill. Neighbors across the street had the 1960/1961 roll-out Westinghoouse model just as Tom described. Not only was there a thermal hold for the Power Soak wash but also during the final rinse to raise the water temperatturre berfore the dry cycle began. And if I remember correctly, the impeller ran during th3e dry cycle. I was routinely exposed to this dishwasher from about the age of 7 or 8 in fall of 1961 until it was replaaced with a KDS16, which was in that house until it was sold inn like 2013 or 2014.

The 1960 Westinghouse Dishwasher brochure in Ephemera has the exact model that our neighbor had in seafoam green color.

Post# 1189841 , Reply# 30   9/12/2023 at 07:19 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Solenoid heat sink

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Hi Barry, the heat sink did not come with the initial models and you’re right they had a lot of trouble with the solenoids burning out. The heat sink was an add-on kit on the original models. We used to put them on durning repairs and there was a paste you put between the heat sink in the body of the solenoid to keep the solenoid cooler.


Another change I didn’t mention is the original cooling fan was plastic and it would distort from the heat of the motor and eventually it would flare outward and start hitting the housing and start to disintegrate, I had one customer tell me she was standing in front of the dishwasher when it was operating a little bit of hot plastic was being thrown out on her toes.  


At some point they changed to a metal fan which would become rusted onto the motor shaft an became impossible to remove.


It’s too bad they couldn’t take all the waist heat from the motor and blow it through the tub that would have dried the dishes without even using a heating element.


I am anxious to see what you think of this machine when you install it in your house, I do think you’re a brave person to install this in your kitchen however, I intend to keep the one we have in the museum where it could be used occasionally at best, I still think we have some of the seal and impeller kits and fans, solenoids and heat sinks to repair these machines. 



This post was last edited 09/12/2023 at 07:40
Post# 1189848 , Reply# 31   9/12/2023 at 08:03 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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John, I didn't check the fan on this one to see if it was metal, or not. I hope it's metal.

I will install it as a daily driver if it passes my initial performance testing. I am very anxious to get it up and running! Thanks to Alan's kindness in sending me the tower and distributor, I should be able to give her her trial run as soon as it arrives.

Whether I use it, or not, on a daily basis is not the important issue, it just has meaning to me to have one of the last true Westinghouse manufactured units and to make sure it is preserved in operating condition. One more piece of history saved from the scrap metal pile.

I know you feel the same way and that is why you created your wonderful appliance museum. Hope to see it one day.

This post was last edited 09/12/2023 at 14:09
Post# 1190075 , Reply# 32   9/16/2023 at 00:09 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Cycling sequence

On these models the first wash segment is about 14 min long, but for the Double Wash & Soft Wash cycles the time rapid advances after about 5 min of wash. It then provides a rinse, a main wash (10 min), two final rinses, and then dry.

The Single Wash cycle (which mine has) is PW, W, R, R, D

The Power Soak cycle is the same sequence as Double Wash, except it utilizes the whole 14 min period in the first wash.

There is no heating extension in any cycle unless you select the Sanitizer option. When this is selected the main wash & final rinse is delayed until the water temp reaches about 145 F. This takes forever due to a design flaw in the machine operation. Since the dryer fan is always running it continuously pulls cool room air into the machine while it's washing/rinsing. This means it's pulling heat out of the machine while it's trying to heat the water! Not a well though out set up.

In any case it is a unique design, and a very stylish console! I'm still working on adjusting the drying operation to eliminate the main motor from staying on. Stay tuned...

Post# 1190078 , Reply# 33   9/16/2023 at 04:09 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Thank you, Alan for the wash tower!! Now I can begin the wet tests.

One advantage of the dry fan extending the sani-cycle, due to removing heat from the tub, is a greater extension of the main wash and final rinse which should increase washability. If the extension is too long, I'll just remove the tub exhaust tube at the pump. Regular convection drying should be fine. If the tube is removed at the fan port under the tub, whenever the pump motor is operating, it will draw air from the service access area and keep the pump motor and drain solenoid a little cooler anyway.

Can't wait to begin testing! Will post results.

This post was last edited 09/16/2023 at 04:46
Post# 1190079 , Reply# 34   9/16/2023 at 06:33 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Last Westinghouse Dishwashers

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Did you guys, Barry and Alan look at the cycle chart I posted of our basic model? I was always under the impression that the heater ran in the first wash. Apparently the heater is not used at all during the wash and rinse cycles on the basic model.

I repaired many of these machines but I never used one. Itíll be interesting to see what you guys find in testing your machines although it looks like the deluxe models would clean, much better using some wash and rinse heat in the model we have that has barely a 10 minute wash and then thatís it. No detergent dispenser, so I guess the basic model would not have cleaned very well thatís for sure.

One interesting thing about the basic model is essentially used to clothes dryer timer and you could turn it in either direction which was kind of neat.

I had the impression that there was a bit of a water trap on the tank that would keep the fan from drawing the heat out of the tub while there was water splashing around on the inside of the tank to reduce the problem of it removing heat during wash and rinse periods.

Alan did you ever put an amp meter on that motor? Does it really draw 800 watts?

Post# 1190087 , Reply# 35   9/16/2023 at 07:52 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
water heating

reactor's profile picture
Hi John.

The cycle chart for this specific model indicates a timer hold called for by the thermostat in both the main wash and final rinse, consistent with Alan's experiences.

The exhaust tube connects to a vent in the top right of the inside of the tub, and draws off the hot air. Make-up air flows under the bottom of the door and over the water in the bottom, and through the circulating water, until it is drawn upward to the exhaust vent. I think this is what Alan is referring to as providing the cooling effect to the circulating water.

Westinghouse indicates the heater increases the water temp at approximately a 1 degree rise per minute. Based on my water heater settings, this means an extra 12 to fifteen minutes should incur for water heating for each the main wash and last rinse. If it is much more than this, then it can be attributed the the cold air flow though the tub while the water is circulating.

This is the first Westinghouse dishwasher (or any Westinghouse major appliance, other than a disposal) that I have ever had contact with. There is a big learning curve. The cycle charts are strange compared to GE and Whirlpool's, the pump/drying fan combination is like nothing I have ever encountered, and the drain valve that requires the drain solenoid to be continually energized is unique, to say the least.

Many thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions for navigating through vigin territory. Thanks again, Alan for the wash tower, I would be dead in the water without it!

Hopefully, I'll get some water in it today and test for leaks.

This post was last edited 09/16/2023 at 09:46
Post# 1190160 , Reply# 36   9/17/2023 at 17:27 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
maiden run

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Pulled the dishwasher into the laundry room and hooked it up for it's first wet test.

The GOOD News: It filled properly, drained properly, timer and rapid-advance worked perfectly, as far as tested. It was not allowed to run through an entire cycle.

The pump is powerful and did its job, the wash-arm, wash tower, and shower wash arm all rotated and did their job. The drain solenoid is strong.

The BAD news: "water, water everywhere..." If it could leak, it did.

I had expected on a few minor drops and was going leave hot water in the tub, overnight, with a towel under the machine, to let the seals swell.

But, these were not drops, water streamed out of the top of the pump housing, the bottom of the pump housing and the drain valve assembly. The worst, the drying fan was spraying water out everywhere. It was literally flinging water out from under the machine...with a very nice velocity.

Obviously, I could not leave water in the tub as it would have drained out all over the floor. I will leave it as it is and hope the residual moisture from the hot water swells some of the seals overnight. However, with the amount of water that came out, I am not overly optimistic.

I am not sure if the dishwasher had ever been used. There was no rust, not dirt, nor residue, etc. If it was ever used, at all, it must have been only once or twice. The seals may have been sitting for close to fifty years, being dry.

If they don't swell and seal, I guess I'll have an interesting, and rather large, paperweight.

Any suggestions?

This post was last edited 09/17/2023 at 20:00
Post# 1190177 , Reply# 37   9/17/2023 at 20:27 by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        

Hi Barry, glad to hear the machine is running. Sorry to hear about the leaks. Mine leaked as well when I first tried it, but it was from the shaft seal. Oddly, the leak would disappear about 10 minutes or so into any cycle. I cannot explain this, but it did this each time. That wasn't going to do which is why I tore into the pump. Hopefully you are correct and some time "wet" will help all the connectors resume their original dimensions and seat properly.

The drain valve stem seal is another story, however. They rubber surrounding the drain valve shaft can tear, which will cause water to leak into the fan housing and spray water out the vent in the front toe kick. If the unit sat unused for as long as you think it may have turned brittle. The service manual I sent you details the issue and how to repair it. You may be able to find the stem seal kit on ebay.

If you need any connector parts let me know; I have spares of some items. Good luck and keep us posted!

Post# 1190181 , Reply# 38   9/17/2023 at 21:12 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

reactor's profile picture
Thank you, Alan. You are much appreciated and have been a wealth of information and support! Hopefully, things will seal up. If I have to, yes, I will replace the drain actuator seal.

Some hope though. I threw in a bucket of hot water, since I posted the above update, and there was no leakage at all the drain actuator this time, and the pump housing leaks have slowed down to occasional drips. Albeit, the pump is not running, so it is not under pressure. I think you are right, Alan, the seaks likely have gone brittle.

Thanks for the offer of parts!!

We'll see what happens.

This post was last edited 09/17/2023 at 22:01
Post# 1190190 , Reply# 39   9/17/2023 at 23:29 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Leaking early 70s Westinghouse dishwasher

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Sorry, it leaks so much but Iím not surprised in the least bit, we used to get calls on these machines and also the ones WCI built right after him he would literally find 5 to 10 places the machine was leaking like Barry said if it could leak, it would leak.

Thereís very little likelihood that seals will swell up and start working. Itís only true to very limited degree. Modern neoprene rubber seals do not dry out with time. And they do not improve with water.

Youíll either have to take things apart and reseal them or replace shaft seals, etc..


Post# 1190198 , Reply# 40   9/18/2023 at 01:25 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

reactor's profile picture
I am sure you are right, John. Any improvement by hydrating the seals, no doubt will be limited at best. Westinghouse's literature states water stays in the pump and trap to lubricate the seals. These seals likely have been dry for forty plus years.

I think I can an use Form-a-gasket on the main seal, I have had good results with it in the past. But, the drain valve and the main pump seal behind the fan will need a seal kit.

I can see why the fan/motor shaft was so prone to rust on these units. Not only is any pump shaft seal leakage sprayed around by the fan, but the fan is running during 100 percent of the time the dishwasher is on. During washing/rinsing, as well as during drying, hot moisture laden air is continually being exhausted from the tub and circulated through the fan, making contact with the shaft. Any time the dishwasher is on that shaft is literally being innundated with moisture.

Post# 1190202 , Reply# 41   9/18/2023 at 07:40 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Of course the shart shouldíve been stainless steel, but only a handful of dishwashers ever went to the extra expense of the stainless steel motor shaft.

Hobart built KitchenAids always had a Stainless Steel shaft that was the main company that went to the extra expense, which is why their pumps are so repairable, because you can always take them apart and rebuild them without fighting with a rusted shaft.

Every other US built dishwasher suffered with problems with rusted motor shafts, so you often need it to replace the motor when doing a pump rebuild.


Post# 1190218 , Reply# 42   9/18/2023 at 12:44 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

neptunebob's profile picture
I guess Westinghouse did not want the dishwasher to last long, knowing they would be out of the appliance business. I think even White-Westinghouse started to get D&M machines when the stock of these dishwashers ran out.

Post# 1190229 , Reply# 43   9/18/2023 at 16:27 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
sell of Westinghouse major appliance division

reactor's profile picture

As odd as it seems, Westinghouse did not intend to sell its major appliance division. It was an eleventh hour decision. The New York Times quoted that Westinghouse invested $73 million dollars to modernize their major appliance division as late as June 1974. At this time, the Westinghouse Chairman, Donald Burnham publicly stated that their major appliance division, "...will definitely not be closed out."

However, Wall Street and Westinghouse investors seemed to bristle at this expenditure by Westinghouse and stock prices dropped with their announcement of continuing their non-highly profitable appliance division. It had only produced a measly $50 million profit in the last year, much less than the $73 million just invested into it.

Under pressure from Wall Street, Westinghouse decided in December 1974, with it being announced on December 29th, that it would sell it appliance division to White Consolidated.

In only six months Westinghouse went from trying to improve their appliance division to divesting itself of it. This is what happens when a corporation goes from pleasing the consumer to pleasing the stockholder.

Of course, this is speculation on my part, but I think that the administrators from
above told Westinghouse Appliances to cut corners wherever they could to reduce production costs and thus increase per unit profitability. Hence doing little things such as removing wheels from the lower rack on their dishwashers, etc.

The engineers at the appliance division, I am sure, did their best to work around the mindless demands of upper administration and I am sure they were not happy about reducing the quality of their appliances to please the administration. NO engineer likes their designs tampered with by the bean counters.

The bean counters don't always have enough intellect to realize that consumers aren't totally stupid, and sales will drop when the quality of a machine is reduced to the point where it affects its performance. Word of mouth, Consumer Reports and astute salesmen, who steer their customers away from under performing products, can definitely affect sales of products that have been tampered with by the bean counters in administration.

"You Can Be Sure" George Westinghouse was turning over in his grave in knowing that the bean counters and stockholders who were now the ones effectively running his beloved business.

This post was last edited 09/18/2023 at 17:08
Post# 1190231 , Reply# 44   9/18/2023 at 16:56 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Some dishwashers of the 1970 were shabby...

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When we first moved into a newer house in 1975 it had a Tappan DW that was so cheap that some plastic bits came off and the metal cut my hand. I remember White Westinghouse was cheaply made too and even GE was kind of tinny. Me and my sisters had to buy dishwashers for our parents because they were too cheap to buy a new one and to be truthful, a D&M Kenmore seemed pretty solid compared to some others. Being young and not knowing, we could not afford KitchenAid.

Post# 1190289 , Reply# 45   9/19/2023 at 18:09 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Bean counters versus engineers in Appliance design

combo52's profile picture
Every manufacturer has been counters itís the only way a company could survive, you have to have a product that you can afford to make it. A customer can afford to buy.

Westinghouse downfall came for many things, but the most obvious is the poor quality even in the late 50s their appliances were not as good as General Electric, whirlpool, Maytag and others

When Levitt stopped using Westinghouse appliances in 1963 that was typical of the blues that Westinghouse suffered because it was becoming obvious that it was harder to sell a new house if it had Westinghouse appliances compared to GE whirlpool or Frigidaire.

The other factor was they were just simply too many companies making appliances in the herd was going to get then doubt unfortunately Westinghouse Was weak from years of building poor quality appliances.

All that said I have always had a soft spot for Westinghouse engineering styling etc. which is why I have many Westinghouse appliances in our collections.


Post# 1190290 , Reply# 46   9/19/2023 at 18:24 by appnut (TX)        

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Now, I have to admit, I did not manage to get into every house on our street within the first couple of years, putting me at age 7-10. There were 2 houses that had Westinnghouse kitchens, the same appliances, but two different colors and threre was a house between the two, which was predomantly gas kitchen. Otherwise, the houses that had electric kitchens were GE. Two houses had gas kitchens that had O & M cooking with one having RCA WP impeller and the other the O&M dual-drench. A couple of other houses had gas kitchens with RCA WP impeller dw. There were several all gas with RCA WP appliances. One house had a KDS12, but I don't remember what the other apppliances were because I was mesmerized by the Norge Combo. At least two houses had Frigidaire kitchens. But probably 5 other houses I never got to go into.

Post# 1190304 , Reply# 47   9/19/2023 at 22:45 by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
bean counters

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John, well of course, we have to have "bean counters!", ha. That goes without saying. At least we need them, to a degree. Oftentimes, they wrestle more control than need be and do more harm them good... when pleasing the stockholder is their number one priority. If we didn't have them then every engineer would build their appliances like a metal armored tank with every conceivable option.

Engineers go into the field of engineering because they like to design, and create. In school we were drilled in parameters such redundancy, safety factor, quality and accountability. Descriptors you aren't likely to encounter on the business card of a "bean counter."

When administration interferes and tells the engineer not to over-design, but to under-design, and when an engineer's design is tampered with, it does not go over well.

Engineers vs. management is a historic battleground. Engineers are possesive of their design. that is their baby. When administration interferes, you can guess who wins, the ones who hold the purse strings.

In the casse of Westinghouse, they had some fine engineers and some very creative innovations. The entire Westinghouse Corporation ran into financial woes in the early seventies when Westinghouse's Nuclear Division defaulted on supplying Uranium fuel to it's customers at the contractual price that was promised.

Basically, Westinghouse said if you buy one of our reactors, we will promise to deliver Uranium fuel for the plant at this given price for X many years. the price is locked in and you will never see an increase. Naturally, many utilities jumped at this. General Electric was not offering such a customer friendly perk.

When the raw Uranium prices went up, Westinghouse defaulted on their promises and no longer would supply fuel at the contractual price. Lawsuits hit Westinghouse from right and left and the financial losses from the Nuclear Division put the company in a desperate situation. Cuts were made in virtually all divisions, and many divisions were sold off in turn for readily available cash.

The Appliance Division had become an unwanted stepchild to Westinghouse and it, perhaps, was make to suffer more from the transgressions of its sibling Nuclear Division, than it should have been. At least they kept it.

Product quality, in many cases was compromised, to a degree, by cost cuttings savings.

To add to their problems, Westinghouse was sued by the U.S. Government for price gouging for military electrical supplies.

As mentioned before, Westinghouse was still not wanting to eliminate their appliance division, At the bequest of the Appliance Division's management $73 million was appropriated to the appliance division. Westinghouse told upper management this was necessary to modernize, and in return the Appliance Division would become more competitive and a greater supplier of profit to the ailing corporation.

Wall Street had not liked Westinghouse Appliance Division's meager additions to the overall profit of the company. Just two years earlier, Westinghouse had sold it's underperforming small appliance division, in 1972, to Scovill. Now Wall Street was clamoring Westinghouse to rid itself of its Major Appliance Division to infuse money into the corporation.

Finally, in December they did just that because of the sharp drop in corporate share prices, when Westinghouse announced the investment in their Major Appliance Division, in the previous July.

Westinghouse Appliances did see cost cutting measures in the early seventies when the Corporation was bleeding money. Trust me, the engineers did not dummy down their appliances willingly. You do what is told of you, because you have to feed your family. I am sure their engineers had choice words of anger about management when they began handing down mandates for cost cutting of designs.

They did what they were told to do. Even so, their appliances were not junk, by any means. But they were designed, per administrations mandate, that every available cost-cutting measure be taken.

It's a moot point now, of course. Westinghouse has gone, fading away in the shadow of GE's disappearing tail lights. In my opinion, they didn't use the marketing expertise nor the fined tuned distribution system that GE had at the time.

Their advertising and sponsoring of appropriate television shows, in the fities and sixties was certainly good. They were a primary sponsor of shows of the like of "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" and the "Nannette Fabray Show." Their chosen spokesperson,Betty Furness, was a believable and could sell snow-cones to an Eskimo.

I think they went south when they replaced Betty with Frank Gifford. Yes, Frank was a well known name in the sports world, but I was watching some of his Westinghouse ads on You-Tube a while back, and he just didn't quite cut it as an appliannce sales man.

You believed Betty and her presentation of Westinghouse's appliance virtues. I was watching Frank trying to sell a dishwasher. He looked like he would rather not be there and was reading a script because he was forced to.

Yes, he read the words and went through the motions the director told him, but you can't lie to a camera, and he still looked like a football player being forced to talk about something that he had no clue on how it worked, and he had not even the slightest interest in.

I am sure the ladies watching the ad were delighted by his looks, but I don't think he convinced them to go out and buy a Westinghouse appliance, ha. That wasn't what they were thinking when they watched him, no doubt.

I have a soft-spot for Westinghouse, as well. At one time they were innovative, stylish and had good quality and some of the most creative engineers in the business. Westinghouse is gone with the Wind, as is most of General Electric, GM's Frigidaire, Ford's Philco and Nash's Kelvinator and a host of others.

At least we can collect what remains of these appliances, preserve them and look to them as a reminder of the days when the world was a little bit different place.

This post was last edited 09/19/2023 at 23:16

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