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Initial symptom on Frigidaire Model gld2250rdq0 dishwasher: any food particles not rinsed off are splattered all over, and soap is

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Old 11-29-2010, 01:08 PM
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Default Frigidaire Dishwasher - Checkball/Water Diverter Not Functioning
Model Number: gld2250rdq0   Brand: Frigidaire   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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Initial symptom on Frigidaire Model gld2250rdq0 dishwasher: any food particles not rinsed off are splattered all over, and soap is also splattered all over undissolved.

Observations:
1 - Top spray arm doesn't appear to be getting sufficient water to rotate it - it does rotate by hand freely and holes are free/unclogged. Even put it on the 'top rack only' setting - bottom rack only sprays - nothing out of the top..
2 - Found out that this dishwasher is supposed to alternate water supply between the upper and lower spray arms (vs both spraying simultaneously) by way of a check ball in the housing at the bottom below the filters/screens. It appears that this almighty checkball is not changing positions and allowing water to flow to the upper spray arm (explained below..)

Steps taken so far:
- A local repairman replaced the following parts: water valve, upper and lower spray arms, motor, recirculation tube (runs water up to the top spray arm), heating element. No change in symptoms - repairman out of options.
- verified the drain tube is free/unclogged and draining as expected
- verified water temp from faucet is sufficient (140+)
- verified water is sufficiently soft
- I removed housing that covers checkball - appeared to be clean and moving freely. Re-assembled and tested - no difference. Dissembled again and forced the checkball to stay in the position blocking the bottom spray arm and reassembled to see if the top spray arm was getting water and would spray - it did. Disassembled, returned checkball to 'normal' state, and re-assembled - no improvement in symptoms.
- Added an addional couple quarts of water to see if water volume was the issue – no improvement in symptoms.

Questions:
1 - How can I verify if the water valve replaced was bad (rare, but can happen I'm sure..) and/or if the dishwasher is getting enough water to do it's thing? When done filling (fills for 87 seconds, as I'm told is what it's programmed to do), the water level is just above the filter/screen - not even close to the heating element as many sources are indicating it should be..
2 - Is it possible that the pump and/or checkball are somehow malfunctioning? How could I verify? Do the sypmptoms/observations stated above point more to a bad pump (about the only thing not replaced yet..) or a bad water valve (already replaced once..)?

Any insight/advise would be MUCH appreciated!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paavo007 View Post
Initial symptom on Frigidaire Model gld2250rdq0 dishwasher: any food particles not rinsed off are splattered all over, and soap is also splattered all over undissolved.

Observations:
1 - Top spray arm doesn't appear to be getting sufficient water to rotate it - it does rotate by hand freely and holes are free/unclogged. Even put it on the 'top rack only' setting - bottom rack only sprays - nothing out of the top..
2 - Found out that this dishwasher is supposed to alternate water supply between the upper and lower spray arms (vs both spraying simultaneously) by way of a check ball in the housing at the bottom below the filters/screens. It appears that this almighty checkball is not changing positions and allowing water to flow to the upper spray arm (explained below..)

Steps taken so far:
- A local repairman replaced the following parts: water valve, upper and lower spray arms, motor, recirculation tube (runs water up to the top spray arm), heating element. No change in symptoms - repairman out of options.
- verified the drain tube is free/unclogged and draining as expected
- verified water temp from faucet is sufficient (140+)
- verified water is sufficiently soft
- I removed housing that covers checkball - appeared to be clean and moving freely. Re-assembled and tested - no difference. Dissembled again and forced the checkball to stay in the position blocking the bottom spray arm and reassembled to see if the top spray arm was getting water and would spray - it did. Disassembled, returned checkball to 'normal' state, and re-assembled - no improvement in symptoms.
- Added an addional couple quarts of water to see if water volume was the issue – no improvement in symptoms.

Questions:
1 - How can I verify if the water valve replaced was bad (rare, but can happen I'm sure..) and/or if the dishwasher is getting enough water to do it's thing? When done filling (fills for 87 seconds, as I'm told is what it's programmed to do), the water level is just above the filter/screen - not even close to the heating element as many sources are indicating it should be..
2 - Is it possible that the pump and/or checkball are somehow malfunctioning? How could I verify? Do the sypmptoms/observations stated above point more to a bad pump (about the only thing not replaced yet..) or a bad water valve (already replaced once..)?

Any insight/advise would be MUCH appreciated!

Jerry,

It sure sounds like you have a water supply problem, the new fill valve should have solved that.
You may have to check or replace the water supply line and shut off.

You need to supply 1 gallon of water per minute at 20 psi to the fill valve itself, (the Higher psi and GPM, the better) with a 3/8 inch (inside diameter) pipe or fill tube.

Another quick check is: Is there a pause between the end of the fill cycle and the motor start. There should be. you have approximately 90 seconds to get 1.2 (1 gal.&1.5 quarts) of water into the tub,to produce the proper pressure inside the pump, if the unit is still filling when the motor starts, then you have a slow fill, and the unit wont wash proper.

You should also check the float and float shaft, to make sure it is moving proper and is not partially sticking in the "up" position causing a "short" fill cycle(time).

Based on your description of the condition of the internal components in the pump, I doubt if that is your problem, I wouldn't rebuild the pump at this point.

I've attached a description of how the pump check ball, and wash arm operation occurs, so you'll have a better idea, and you can see how a poor water fill could affect the operation and washability of the unit.


WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
The water distribution system consists of an upper and
lower spray arm, upper (spray) arm delivery tube, filter,
soil director, pump, sump, and check ball. The system
is designed to operate only one spray arm at a time.
During the first wash and first and second rinses, only
the lower spray arm operates. In the second wash, third
and fourth rinses the spray arms alternate about every
90 seconds.
This alternating of the spray arms is achieved with a
check ball located on a ramp between two outlets of the
pump. There is an outlet to the bottom spray arm and an
outlet to the upper arm delivery tube. In the normal
position the ball is at the bottom of the ramp, in front of
the opening to the upper arm delivery
When the pump starts, the force of the water pushes the
ball to block the opening to the upper arm delivery tube.
Not all of the water is blocked however. The opening is
constructed to allow a small amount of water to bypass
the ball and enter the tube, and fills the tube at a rate of
approximately four inches a second. At the same time,
the outlet to the lower spray arm is open, so the lower
spray arm operates. When the pump stops, the pressure
is removed from the ball and the water flows down the
tube, forcing the ball up the ramp and against the outlet
to the lower spray arm. If the pump remains off for more
than 3 seconds, all the water in the tube escapes and
the ball returns to the bottom of the ramp. But, if the
pump is started in less than .6 seconds, the water from
the upper arm delivery tube is still forcing the ball up the
ramp against the outlet to the lower spray arm. The
force of the water from the pump continues to hold the
ball against the outlet to the lower spray arm which
leaves the outlet to the upper arm delivery tube open.
When the ball is in this position only the upper spray arm
operates. This momentary stopping of the pump is
controlled by the control board.
Another unique feature of the water distribution system
is the two cavities of the sump. One cavity provides
filtered water to the pump for recirculation through the
spray arms. The other, called a quiet water cavity,
allows soil to collect in the area of the macerator blade,
where it is held until the drain pump removes it.


Good Luck,

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Old 11-29-2010, 09:56 PM
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Joe,

Thanks! I appreciate the water dist system description. That info is starting to put some of this into perspective.. I just now re-checked the shut-off valve – moves very freely. Also started the dishwasher and manually added ~1.5 gallons of water from a pitcher – when I did that, the fill cycle stops it and there is the pause you described while it waits for the ~90 sec timer to finish out and the next cycle starts. What doesn’t occur, though, is any silent pause between the fill cycle and motor starting on the next cycle when I do not manually add water – just slams right into the next cycle.

Looks like investigating the plumbing between the water line off the sink to the tub is the next step here. At least now I know which tree to start climbing – thanks!


- Paul
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paavo007 View Post
Joe,

Thanks! I appreciate the water dist system description. That info is starting to put some of this into perspective.. I just now re-checked the shut-off valve – moves very freely. Also started the dishwasher and manually added ~1.5 gallons of water from a pitcher – when I did that, the fill cycle stops it and there is the pause you described while it waits for the ~90 sec timer to finish out and the next cycle starts. What doesn’t occur, though, is any silent pause between the fill cycle and motor starting on the next cycle when I do not manually add water – just slams right into the next cycle.

Looks like investigating the plumbing between the water line off the sink to the tub is the next step here. At least now I know which tree to start climbing – thanks!


- Paul

Paul,

Hopefully it doesn't turn into something major, in repairing the plumbing.

Yes, you're on the right track, now.

You'll be fine, soon.

Good Luck,

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:17 AM
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Joe--

I've got a similar problem with my Frigidaire dishwasher, (model pld2850rdc1) * -- the water diverter isn't functioning. However, the "crack the door for a half second" trick DOES make the water diverter switch to the top rack.

Based on your post above, I manually added 2 gallons of water** after the fill cycle and waited for the pause that should activate the diverter. The short pause happened, but did not switch to the top rack. The 'crack the door trick' did switch to the top rack***.

Is it even possible for the pause-duration to be incorrect? When I ran the self-test cycle, the diverter-pause did shift to the upper spray arms.

Any idea what's wrong?

Thank you,

Tim


* I'd already replaced the pump motor, purchased here, as that fixed the problem on the KitchenAid in my last residence.
** I know it was enough water, because I initially added too much water. I took 1/2 a gallon back out, because the machine was now overfull and leaking.
*** By now it's easy to tell when the top rack is running.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:11 PM
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Joe..

On your previous advise above, I examined the plumbing closer. The water supply at the point where it connects to the valve appears to be very adequate - measured just over 2 gallons per min. The tube going from the other end of the valve to the tub area appears to be free/clear also - I disconnected it from the valve was able to easily blow air and watch water flow freely through it.

That all being said, would you suspect that the water valve that was initially replaced is bad, or is it possible that the control board could be bad, telling the valve to open only paritally? Any furhter insight/tips on how to verify either of these? In the 'for what it's worth' dept, I would consider myself a moderately skilled DIY'r - comfortable with nuts/bolts, some carpenter type work, and general plumbing, but weak in the area of diagnosing electrical issues.

Once again, thanks for any insight/tips you may have.


- Paul
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paavo007 View Post
Joe..

On your previous advise above, I examined the plumbing closer. The water supply at the point where it connects to the valve appears to be very adequate - measured just over 2 gallons per min. The tube going from the other end of the valve to the tub area appears to be free/clear also - I disconnected it from the valve was able to easily blow air and watch water flow freely through it.

That all being said, would you suspect that the water valve that was initially replaced is bad, or is it possible that the control board could be bad, telling the valve to open only paritally? Any furhter insight/tips on how to verify either of these? In the 'for what it's worth' dept, I would consider myself a moderately skilled DIY'r - comfortable with nuts/bolts, some carpenter type work, and general plumbing, but weak in the area of diagnosing electrical issues.

Once again, thanks for any insight/tips you may have.


- Paul
Paul,

You're doing fine, Elecrical circuits and issues, are tricky, even after all these years.

Check and make sure your water supply line, from the shut off valve to the fill valve, has a 3/8 inch, inside diameter, a smaller diameter will increase the pressure but reduce the water flow / supply.
(especially when you try to force it through a fill valve diaphram).

If everything to the valve is OK, replace it (again).

At this point, like I said before, the problem is not likely to be in the pump assembly (you've pretty much proven that).

There is only a 1/2 to 1 second pause, when the pump check ball switches from the lower arm to the upper arm, and vice versa.

If the motor does not "ramp" down to off, in that amount of time the check ball will not move.

We need to get the proper amount of water in the tub, on all the fill cycles for the unit to run and operate proper.

After that, we can consider the control.

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe / APP Team View Post
Paul,

You're doing fine, Elecrical circuits and issues, are tricky, even after all these years.

Check and make sure your water supply line, from the shut off valve to the fill valve, has a 3/8 inch, inside diameter, a smaller diameter will increase the pressure but reduce the water flow / supply.
(especially when you try to force it through a fill valve diaphram).

If everything to the valve is OK, replace it (again).

At this point, like I said before, the problem is not likely to be in the pump assembly (you've pretty much proven that).

There is only a 1/2 to 1 second pause, when the pump check ball switches from the lower arm to the upper arm, and vice versa.

If the motor does not "ramp" down to off, in that amount of time the check ball will not move.

We need to get the proper amount of water in the tub, on all the fill cycles for the unit to run and operate proper.

After that, we can consider the control.




Here's what's wrong with your frigidaire dishwasher-
the check ball/diverter to top spray arms is an example of poor engineering.

if you replace EVERY single part inside your dishwasher, motor, control board, etc, that nylon ball check valve might operate properly 10% of the time. The real problem is not with the pump or the ball itself or the switches, or ANY of that. The problem is with the microcontroller (the computer) running the program for the wash cycle. its not pausing the motor long enough for gravity to make the ball fall into the other position and block the lower arm ports and divert the water upstairs. thats how it works. a brief STOP of the motor causes gravity to make the ball drop back and the spray of water forces it to close off the ports to the bottom spray arm. then--- a longer pause causes the ball to fall all the way back to the place where it closes off the top spray arm. but after watching this thing run about 300 times, its obvious the program is just incorrect. and there is no feedback from the dishwasher motor assembly to the computer to tell it whether or not the close of this check valve successfully took place. so it runs thinking it is cleaning top rack, but it sure isnt.

the solution is to get frigidaire (electrolux, whatever) to admit this flaw and offer a replacement control board with corrected pause timing, but as far I know they have not. the same control board that has the bad program is still the only one they offer for this unit.

so take the lower spray arm out, clean it while you are at it, remove the 3 screws that hold in the venturi cover over the check ball.
take out the check ball. throw it away in the trash. some kid might choke on it. put it back together. now your dishwasher has one cycle called "ON", ... and both arms (all 3 in some models) will spin and clean dishes.

if your pump is clean and strong enough it should do just fine.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:14 AM
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‘ItsAllBroke’: considering the likelihood of Frigidaire retroactively resolving a design issue on a 5 yr old dishwasher, pursuing other options seem more worthwhile.

Interesting idea you suggest. A couple gaps come to mind that I’m not able to bridge though..
(1) It worked great until a defined point in time several months ago, and has not worked successfully since. Not an occasional/periodical issue, and the design of it obviously didn’t change during that time. Doesn’t seem to fit the scenario your described (sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t).
(2) I would expect that the water pressure would be cut in half if the checkball were removed/discarded, which would seem to limit the ability of it to spray/clean effectively. Curious if this is a theory of yours or how many times you’ve successfully done this before. For perspective, would you be willing to briefly share the experience that this suggestion comes from?

Joe/APP Team – your thoughts/input on this theory?

Thanks for the ideas/suggestions!
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paavo007 View Post
‘ItsAllBroke’: considering the likelihood of Frigidaire retroactively resolving a design issue on a 5 yr old dishwasher, pursuing other options seem more worthwhile.

Interesting idea you suggest. A couple gaps come to mind that I’m not able to bridge though..
(1) It worked great until a defined point in time several months ago, and has not worked successfully since. Not an occasional/periodical issue, and the design of it obviously didn’t change during that time. Doesn’t seem to fit the scenario your described (sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t).
(2) I would expect that the water pressure would be cut in half if the checkball were removed/discarded, which would seem to limit the ability of it to spray/clean effectively. Curious if this is a theory of yours or how many times you’ve successfully done this before. For perspective, would you be willing to briefly share the experience that this suggestion comes from?

Joe/APP Team – your thoughts/input on this theory?

Thanks for the ideas/suggestions!

Paavo,

I have to agree with you.

I did review as much service information as I have.

I can't find anything, other than the checks and repairs, I've already reccomended.

I can understand the idea of removing the check ball, I think you should order and replace them, myself, but if you go with the removal, there will be some pressure loss, but I would not believe, it will be that adverse, it wouldn't hurt that much.

I'm adding the basic trouble shooting information from the service manual,

We've, already coverred it, but it'll come in handy for others.

Dishes Are Not Clean
Possible component failure:
1. Low water level (see flow chart "Low Water Level")
2. Spray arms not alternating (Run diagnostic test)
3. Low water temperature
4. Blocked spray arm
5. Bad detergent
6. Hard water


Good Luck,


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