Dishwasher not cleaning well... then leaking

ApplianceKitchenAid Dishwasher


Level of DifficultyA Bit Difficult

Time to do repair1- 2 hours

Age of Appliance5 - 10 years

Tools Screw drivers

Wesley From Lake Elmo, MN

Dec 29, 2009

13 out of 16 people found this instruction helpful

This gets a little lengthy... but it explains where Cascade Dishwashing Powder came up with its brand name - it's been a cascade project.
I started by replacing the Middle Wash Arm Tube as the old tube developed leaks. As others have stated this is a new design but directly replaceable and easy to do.
This didn't solve the cleaning issue so reading the experiences of others on this site realized I also had broken parts in the Upper Spray Arm Assembly and the Upper Wash assembly. I replaced these and the dishes were suddenly much, much cleaner. These were very easily replaced.
I did find that I did not need the Mount for the upper spray arm (PS402277) as a redesign of the Upper Spray Arm Mounting bracket no longer required it - the bracket simply clipped in -the diagram was out of date.
Everything seemed to go well for about 3 loads when the dishwasher started leaking heavily out of the bottom of the door. I then noticed that the lower Wash Arm Bearing Ring and the Seal, Lower Spray Arm had disintegrated so I replaced those but this didn't affect the leaking. Someone had stated that if the lower wash arm assembly had too much 'wobble' that it cause 'waves' that would leak out the front door... mine had some wobble so I added a nylon washer from Ace Hardware that reduced wobble but still leaked.
I then replaced the Door Seal Kit - this was by far the most difficult part as the door needed to be removed and it was somewhat difficult - and it seemed apparent after we had removed the door that these parts weren't the problem but we replaced them anyway.
Also, someone else had noted that they had to attach the door seal (this is NOT the gasket that goes around the door opening) with a sealant - I had the same problem; the original seal fit tightly with friction but the new replacement required an adhesive - I used silicone. Still leaked.
From here on I can't guaratee any useful information: I took the strainer screen out of the bottom of the dishwasher and found one slightly loose screw holding what I believe is the 'pump outlet' according to the diagram. I had also read that the water fill is controlled not by the float at the bottom of the washer but by the electronics and it was suggested that I disconnect the DW from the power to 'reset' the timer, this I did and hit the 'Cancel' cycle a couple of times to make sure that all programs were cancelled. Whether any of this made a difference I have no idea - except that the dishwasher suddenly stopped leaking and hasn't leaked a drop for at least 20 washes. So I don't know, for sure, why it leaked or how I fixed it, but it's working and washing great now - except the tines on the lower rack are beginning to rust out and breaking off. The rack is pretty expensive but so far I've saved a lot of money and my family thinks I'm a dishwasher genius.

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability

Spray Arm Seal

Part Number: PS343923

In Stock

Upper Wash Assembly

Part Number: PS344087

In Stock

Middle Spray Arm Kit

Part Number: PS382824

In Stock

Upper Spray Arm Mount (Now subbed to Upper Spray Arm Mount)

Part Number: PS393037

In Stock

Wash Arm Retainer Nut

Part Number: PS402230

In Stock

Wash Arm Bearing Ring

Part Number: PS402231

In Stock

Upper Spray Arm Mount

Part Number: PS734018

In Stock