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Drano "ruined" an already broken drain pump?

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I'm wondering if someone might be able to help me sort this out. We have a kenmore Ultraquiet, unknown model#

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Old 09-22-2008, 11:24 AM
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Angry Drano "ruined" an already broken drain pump?
Brand: Kenmore   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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I'm wondering if someone might be able to help me sort this out. We have a kenmore Ultraquiet, unknown model# in our rental home. We've lived here for four years and the previous tenants used the same dishwasher for an approximate two years before us. We'd had trouble with it leaving dusty grit in the rinse cycle for some time- and they sent a handy man to look at it. He replaced the chopper and our problem was dealt with for a time. One day last week I did a load and the water would not drain. I took it apart thinking it might have a clog. Nothing was on the internal side. We took apart the drain line - nothing. We checked the check ball... Nothing we could tell was blocking, but the drain was not engaging.

As a last ditch effort before calling the landlord, I put Drano Max Gel in the line hoping it would help. The man at wal mart said it was fine and safe to use in dishwashers. Nothing was listed on the label as contradictory, so I used it. No such luck. I went ahead and called the landlord and the handyman came out and said it sounded like the pump itself went out and he'd have an actual service man come do the official diagnosis. This particular model has the pump and motor attached so you have to essentially replace both- and in some cases its cheaper to get a new dishwasher.

My landlord told me today that the service man told her (he has not been out to see it yet) that because I used drano- I've ruined the pump and there is no way to know if it was broken before hand. I'm claming 'foul' because I already knew the pump was not engaging. It was not even turning on to TRY to drain. My question is--- would the use of drano gel really ruin a pump? Can it be determined that it was broken before drano was used?

Thanks in advance,
M

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:02 PM
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In a word YES, and, now the pump and the sump of the dishwasher is FILLED with DRANO!!!!!!!! NO serviceman that I know, would work on it now, Would you work on it with the DANGER of getting that stuff on your skin or worse, in YOUR EYES???? VERY BAD decision to use Drano!!!!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:03 PM
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Thank you, that was harsh. Let me ask you, would it be any different if a service man had to come unclog a sink drain that had Drano in it? NO!!!! Still a risk of getting it in the eyes, etc- I would think they would be SMART enough to use goggles. Would it be any different with rancid food particulates and mold infested over days and days of being let to sit there unattended because the service man took his time getting there? NO..

I appreciate the reply but I would like to know HOW the drano would ruin the pump. Does it (remember its gel form, not crystals) erode the plastic pieces? Couldnt it be determined that the thing didnt work before the drano was put in?

I really dont care if I have to replace the dishwasher--- but I dont want to be blamed for something that was ALREADY BROKE. Fyi- it says no where on the Drano Max Gel label that it is not safe to use in dishwashers. In fact it says safe to use in ALL pipes, drains and garbage disposals...

Thanks anyway.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:17 PM
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Mystic-B
As far I am aware of Drano should not hurt the pump. Although I will admit I've never tried it. And a true technician has had their hands in all kinds of stuff, so a little drano isn't going to hurt them either. Besides a true technician should always be careful handling what they handle anyway.
Nat

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Old 09-22-2008, 03:46 PM
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A little HARSH, Maybe, If I was to harsh, I'm SORRY!!!! And Nat, Please don't 2nd guess My answers until YOU have been out in the Field doing service calls for nearly 30 years, Unfortunately, alot of the time, a service man would NOT get the full story from the customer(for whatever reason) and pull the drain hose off and pour water and Drano onto the floor and himself!!!! I have only ever worn safety glasses while doing "SEALED SYSTEM WORK". ANYWAY!!!! The drano will, given a little time destroy the seal. And Mystic-B, again, I'm SORRY!!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:58 PM
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Drags,
I may not have been in the field 30+ years, but our family has and a technician should wear safety glasses on more than sealed systems. And being in the field for a length of time one should have learn how to speak resectfully to others.
Besides out of respect for the customer and their property a technician should have a pan or something as to not get water on the floor if at all possible.
Not to mention if you ask enough questions you can get the information needed from a customer, without being rude or crass.
And no matter how long you may or may not been in the business, doesn't mean you are always correct, if I'm wrong and Gene, Sublimemaster, rich or anyone has a better answer or the correct answer I don't question their expertise.
But I can, will and do express my input were it may help others, and try to do it with respect to whom ever I am conversing with.
Nat
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:40 AM
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...I understand that technicians might not get the true complete story from the customer, and unfortunately, I'd believe it. I'd never do that to someone, even if it means I have to replace the entire dishwasher for my "neglegence?"... but in my case the use of Drano is pretty obvious, you'd smell it when you opened the door to the machine. At least I can say the water isnt stagnant and moldy.

The initial response I got did seem a little harsh and it didnt help answer the question- but I imagine thats how the landlord reacted. I asked her to be better informed before placing the blame entirely on me, as she was on the phone with the tech as she was typing to me in an online messenger- saying "well if it wasnt ruined before, it is now, BECAUSE you used Drano"... Even my untrained intelligence says there is no way he OR she would know that unless they came out here and pulled it apart. I just dont see how one use of the chemical could "ruin" an appliance. If it rotted away the parts it wouldnt be safe for less than industrial use and pulled from the market. I simply can not accept that "no tech will work on it now" --- and what, leave it sit there in my kitchen for years until it eventually evaporates? I'll make it easier.. I'll take the entire hosing off and suction out the bottom so that as much as possible comes out. I can accept that Drano isnt good for the system, but I can not admit complete fault when I know it was broken before hand... and that not only does the bottle not give warnings on dishwasher use.. the service person at the store said as far as he knew it was safe as well.


I need to know what to look for when they dismantle the thing, that would be tell-tale signs of Drano damage-- if anyone knows specifics. Is the pump something they could hook a gage up to , to see if its producing the amps or power to start, etc? (like an alternator) or is it obvious when they attempt to run the cycle through and do not hear the pump engage?


Thank you for the "interesting" discussion.. oh, and Libertyappl---- I'm right under you in North Central Arkansas..

Last edited by Mystic-B : 09-23-2008 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:01 PM
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Mystic-B,

In order to provide most accurate advice I would like to have the complete model number of the dishwasher. You can find it on the door frame.

Gene.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:04 PM
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I lived in Salem for a while!!
The only thing drano could possible do as drags said in his last post is maybe mess up some seals, as they are not plastic, they are usually rubber.
Drano was not the best choice, but it's there. Next time, just call the landord and don't worry about saving them money!!
If you can remove the kick plate, if you have one... locate the drain pump and disconnect the hose, into a pan or bowl to catch any water & drano. And wait for the tech to get there.
worst case senerio is replace the pump....
Nat
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:07 PM
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Kenmore QuietClean Ultrawash is what the front says, and the "part number" on the sticker on the inside of the frame says #3380957 again, it is about 5 years old or older and its used every day. I've always heard not to expect the newer models of appliances to live more than 5-6 years these days, especially with that amount of use. I can assure the landlord I do not "abuse" it.. afterall I dont wash garden tools in it or anything...but they are pretty bad about finding loopholes for getting out of paying for repairs. I'd like to have MY resources in the event it comes to shove.

Thank you
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