Thread Number: 95156  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
KitchenAid Electra KDE-5
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Post# 1198071   1/27/2024 at 12:51 by michaelh (Illinois, USA)        

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I recently purchased a 1967 KitchenAid Electra portable dishwasher for $20.

Took it home did a little look over and light cleaning on it. It appears in amazing condition. The chamber has some rusting from iron in the water but nothing that canít be cleaned. One chip on the inside and outside porcelain. Racks are in excellent shape. No missing tines and minimal rusting. The utensil basket has paint or nail polish on it and is broken in a few spots on the bottom. Ran a test cycle and it seems everything works as designed, however I am fairly certain that the spray arm doesnít rotate when operating. There might be a very minor leak, but Iím not certain about that yet.

If I need a new spray arm support, what supports can I use? (Does it specifically need to be from an Electra?)
Are their any recommendations of anything on this machine that should be cleaned, repaired, or modified to ensure lifespan?

I am willling to take any photos or videos requested.

I am so grateful for the knowledge on this site. It really seems to be the best place for information on appliances old and new!

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Post# 1198083 , Reply# 1   1/27/2024 at 17:34 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
KitchenAid top load, portable dishwasher

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Hi, the spray arm support fits a lot of different models should not be hard to find what is wrong with your spray arm support? The lower washer should turn easily by hand post pictures of the wash arm support. If you think thereís a problem and I can tell you which one you need.

These are kind of fun dishwashers they work pretty well, I have one like that with the copper cabinet.

Your course strainer is upside down it needs to be flipped over otherwise, when you take it out to clean it, crap will fall off of it and get down into the sump.


Post# 1198183 , Reply# 2   1/28/2024 at 20:52 by michaelh (Illinois, USA)        

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Thanks for the reply, John.

I am only making an assumption there may be an issue with the support.

When I got the washer home, the spray arm was very tight and made a very high pitched squeak when turned. But after I pushed it around a bit it seemed to loosen a little and the squeak stopped. I ran two full cycles that night. I didnít hear any water rotation on either run through except toward the end of the first run. A little high pitched squeak and then I heard the water spray move slightly. It made maybe a quarter turn but that was it. I put a metal mixing bowl inside to use to listen for rotation and I didnít hear any movement of water.

The machine has plenty of water. Neither the spray arm nor the post wobble. They are secure. Even opening the door and spinning it didnít seem to help. I can push the spray arm and it will rotate freely for about four rotations. I donít know if there was dirt on the post. But both parts (spray arm and support) are being thoroughly cleaned as much as I can by myself.

Both parts appear to be in good condition. Maybe I was jumping the gun. I will attach photos below. The machine is partially disassembled right now to clean up what I can and make small repairs. Thatís about all she needs, it seems.

In addition, as I mentioned above. There is a small leak from under the machine. On closer inspection today, the motor and pump area donít appear to have ever leaked. No water marks or rust. But the pressure switch appears to have some minor corrosion and rust. I assume the water is leaking from there. The interior sump is pitted and rusting. Iíd like to clean this up, but Iím nervous about removing a seemingly non-leaking pump and seal.

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Post# 1198185 , Reply# 3   1/28/2024 at 21:18 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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The wash arm support looks to be an excellent shape, You can lubricate the post and the metal parts with some cooking oil, is the pump producing a lot of water pressure. If you open the lid quickly, water should try to spray out of the machine, if youíre getting good water pressure, but the arm isnít turning look at the wash arm, and one of the outer jets that helps propel the arm. You can take a pliers and twist the arm to give the jet a little bit more angle, and that will usually get it, turning on its own.


Post# 1198258 , Reply# 4   1/29/2024 at 21:11 by michaelh (Illinois, USA)        

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Perfect! I will try that.

I have two items that I potentially want to fix/replace.

1. The connection to the power (see attached pic)
And 2. The door handle.

I took the lid apart and the plastic door handle was very dry and cracked around the screw. I was curious if I could replace this with a standard 1960/70s KA dishwasher handle with the single screw or would it not fit or look weird.


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Post# 1198269 , Reply# 5   1/30/2024 at 06:18 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Power connections to cord

Thatís normal for that plastic to turn dark as it ages. I donít think that connection is burning. If you want to redo it it wonít hurt anything as long as itís done properly.

I canít visualize what putting that handle on the dishwasher would look like.


Post# 1198359 , Reply# 6   1/31/2024 at 19:12 by michaelh (Illinois, USA)        
Pressure switch

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A few things with the pressure switch.

Mentioned above, I think this is where the leak is from. I get maybe 10 drops of water into a very small puddle on the floor. Nothing more that can be cleaned with a paper towel.

The switch has a small hole in the rubber and a crack running down the device. The hole in the rubber and the crack are above/below each other.

Is there anything I can do save this?

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Post# 1198456 , Reply# 7   2/2/2024 at 19:14 by michaelh (Illinois, USA)        

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After a little reading here, it seems RTV sealant is best perhaps?

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