A sign that the dishwasher is malfunctioning and should be replaced?

Hi. This is regarding my 11 year old Whirlpool dishwasher. Please see the se photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/42245531@N05/11813322735/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/42245531@N05/11813333655/
So the question is, does whatever this is imply that the dishwasher has som e critical problem? It does a great job cleaning the dishes- there is no i ssue with that aspect of it at all. But my husband is thinking that this m ay indicate that it is leaking, somehow (although we're not finding any wat er on the kitchen floor coinciding with its operation... but he's afraid th at it may be seeping in areas that we can't see from the outside, and doing all sorts of scary internal damage to the house). So if anyone could poss ibly shed some light on this, it would be greatly appreciated- thanks.
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On 01/30/2014 01:54 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Re the dishwasher, pull the toe-kick off and check for leaks/water damage underneath.
Re the vacation pics, for the love of God, get your husband a new hat. It borders on child abuse to make that cute little daughter of yours be seen in public when her dad is wearing a hat like that. Sheeesh! ;-)
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On 1/30/2014 5:09 AM, Bubba wrote:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42245531@N05/8104783605/in/photostream/
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On Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:54:30 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No.

Isn't the thick black line to the left of the rust the rubber gasket that marks the boundary between the inside and outside of the DW?
And the rust is on the outside, right?

When I was in HS, we had just moved into a house with a garbage disposal and a dishwasher, things we hadn't had before. The garbage disposal made such a racket no one wanted to use it. Since it was the first one I'd seen, I didn't realize it was worn out and a new one would be quiet. But also we had a septic tank and iiuc for that reason alone, using a garbage disposal isn't good. We had a gas incinerator too, but my mother was a widow and to save money she let the stuff she might have burned with the gas dry out for days until it burned with just newspaper.
The dishwasher worked but filled the room with steam when it ran. Again, I thought that was normal, and everyone thought it was reason not to use the DW. What it needed was a new gasket but at 11, I didnt' know they sold new gaskets. But at one point I had some plan to fix the thing, I guess. I turned off the valve under it and disonnected it from the water line, and then after a while, I got stymied. (How turning the water off would help get a new gasket, I don't know.)
Six months later, we noticed the non-ceramic floor tiles about 6 feet away were coming loose from the floor, only 2 or 3 of them,, and it might have taken me another 3 months to figure out why. The water valve under the DW was dripping. I guess those loose tiles were downhill. I reconnected things and everything dried out and the tiles stopped moving. Then were right next to the cabinet base didnt' normally get stepped on.
Similar thing in my powder room here. I was only out for 2 hours but when I got back the pipe just below the toilet was spraying water, a lot of it. Water sat on the powder room floor, the hall floor and the kitchen floor and dripped through the floor to rain on the things in the basement.
I've been through about 12 leaks for one reason or another, and I knew by then that nothing in the basement would be damaged except the cardboard cartons I store things in, often hard to find the size I want, so now I just let them dry in place. Nothing damaged in the kitchen, which has a one-piece vinyl-linoleum floor, but the vinyl tiles in part of the little hall and in front of and to one side of the toilet were loose. I didn't know if I could just glue them back with the proper tile adhesive or if some would break and I'd have to do the whole hall and powder room. What a pain that was going to be, finding a design I liked and trimming around edges. But after a week or two everything dried out and the floor tiles no longer moved. I had been careful to put them back where they belonged when they had moved.
That was 3 years ago and now, like the kitchen in my mother's house 50 years ago, you can't even tell the floor was wet.

I have heard that new DW's have a life of 5 (or 10?) years. I heard it here. I find it incredible. Mine is 34 years old and works fine. Got clogged by a thin chicken bone once but that was the only problem. (Actually it wasn't the DW that got clogged, it was the vacuum break that's next to the sink faucet in some installations.) If this new shorter life is even partially true, I would try to save the old DW.
Do you see this rust when the DW door is shut? EVen if you don't, you might want to scrape off the rusty metal and fill any holes with Bondo, normally used for filling dents in auto-bodies. Or a similar product. Get one that is white when it dries. Practice a little with it before using it on the DW so that you can put it on smooth and level (or whatever level is called when a surface goes up and down.) All those products can be sanded when dry.
Somehow my clothes washer in the basement got a bit rusty too. I think from letting clothes not fully dried hang from the top of the washer.
They make E-POX-EE spray paint for appliances, mostly in white, that is incredible. After it dries, it seems like the baked on enamel that I think appliances are painted with in the first place. (Baked on?????)
I did a clothes washer top 38 years ago and it looked like new and never chipped in the 5 years I had it. (Didn't use it enough and the main basket bearing rusted and wouldn't move.)
The problem I have is that I'm reluctant, even with a clear celu-something balloon around me, to paint in the basement. The paint will get everywhere. You could actually take the DW outside, but I don't think it's worth it. If the Bondo isn't white enough or glossy enough, just brush on some glossy paint, thinly, so it doesn't run.
What kind of paint? Paint for metal I guess. Like Rustoleum. A 4 oz. can is probably enough.
Maybe it's solid underneath and you can just sand paper the rust off and paint with the glossy paint. Maybe no need for Bondo.
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On Thursday, January 30, 2014 5:46:07 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:

I guess it depends on how you define critical problem. It sure is seriously rusted, looks like hell and it's probably not too much longer before the rust which is right at the rubber seal affects the seal and causes a leak. And at 11 years, it's probably at the typical life expectancy these days.

I don't see how a leak would cause that. That area is always going to have some moisture present, no matter what you do. If it was leaking, you should see water on the floor. I'd pull the bottom plate off and take a look underneath. But it looks more like this was caused by some kind of manufacturing defect in the metal and/or finish application. I usually leave my DW door slightly ajar when it's empty. If she did that, it might have lessened the ability for moisture to remain in that area.
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On Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:54:30 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

issue with that aspect of it at all. But my husband is thinking that this may indicate that it is leaking, somehow (although we're not finding any w ater on the kitchen floor coinciding with its operation... but he's afraid that it may be seeping in areas that we can't see from the outside, and doi ng all sorts of scary internal damage to the house). So if anyone could po ssibly shed some light on this, it would be greatly appreciated- thanks.
You obviously don't clean your appliances and now they are rotting away fro m harsh detergent and steam released from the washer. It is must as matter of time before it starts leaking.
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Daring Dufas: Hypocrite TeaBillie on welfare wrote:

That rust is a sign of leak, most likely from the gasket seal lining. Not much but enough to cause rust. I am replacing our DW today. It still works but preemptive strike B4 it quits together. Right now it is washing it's last load. As soon as it finishes, I am pulling it out. Thanks GE washer for 20 years good service. Here comes Bosch I hope you will do as good as GE you are replacing.
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It's a good thing you're replacing it now. If you wait until it actually breaks, you might actually have to wash some dishes by hand. The horror!!
Or you might have to use paper plates for a couple days. How tacky!

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On Thursday, January 30, 2014 1:54:30 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

issue with that aspect of it at all. But my husband is thinking that this may indicate that it is leaking, somehow (although we're not finding any w ater on the kitchen floor coinciding with its operation... but he's afraid that it may be seeping in areas that we can't see from the outside, and doi ng all sorts of scary internal damage to the house). So if anyone could po ssibly shed some light on this, it would be greatly appreciated- thanks.
Honestly, unless you're real handy and are willing to disassemble the DW, m edia blast it, and have it powdercoated, it's replacement time. That rust ain't gonna fix itself. It may or may not be leaking now, but it *will*.
Just don't cheap out on the new one. You'll have it for a decade or so, so get one that doesn't piss you off. The new phosphate-free detergents make the DW work less well than they did decades ago, so having multiple spray arms (I like ones with three; one top, one bottom, and one underneath the t op rack) and good quality glides for the top rack (the ones GE has been usi ng on their less expensive models are particularly awful - I've "inherited" three of them and they all stick in an irritating manner) will make your l ife much better.
good luck
nate
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On 01/30/2014 12:54 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That it disgusting and unsanitary. Even if you could get it fixed, how are you going to get it disinfected?
It will of course have to be replaced as well as the surrounding area.
Also: When posting photos do not use a link where your personal photos will be displayed. As you can see, this has now created quite a circus.
Also< don't use your real email address or you will probably get spammed.
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Thanks everyone for your replies to my post. Well first, to answer the que stions:
Bubba- I'm not sure what you mean by the "toe-kick"... there is a plate at the bottom, below the dishwasher door, held in by screws, so perhaps that's what you're referring to?
micky- yes, that vertical black strip in the photos is the rubber seal, and yes all the gunk (everyone seems to think that's rust- I honestly wasn't e ven sure what the heck it was) is only on the outside. And no rust is visi ble when the dishwasher door is shut. Also in addition to there being no p uddles on the floor during/after the dishwasher runs, there also isn't any steam coming out from it when it runs either.
philo- lesson learned, about my personal photos being accessible from those links to the dishwasher photos... (and as for my e-mail address- the full address of the Gmail account I'm using to post, isn't visible on this page. And even if it does get spam, it's not my primary e-mail account- this Gm ail account is just the address I use for things like this, so that my "rea l" e-mail stays spam-free.) :)
But anyway, as to the hats... I don't consider myself or my husband to have expert knowledge regarding appliances, so I posted in the hopes of getting more informed opinions that could help us with our decision, but now unfor tunately all this dissin' on his hat will undermine your credibility with h im because he really happens to love that Tilley hat. :) (And Oren- the ha t my daughter is wearing in those photos is actually from the new span of t he SF Bay Bridge- a massive project that was just completed this past Septe mber. A friend of ours was very involved with this, and gave us a whole bu nch of schwag from it.) :)
O.K., now back to the dishwasher: it seems the consensus (although not comp letely unanimous) is that it actually should be replaced. As far as how it looks, yes I'll admit that it doesn't look so great, but I should say that I really don't care how it looks, because as I said all that is not visibl e when the dishwasher door is closed, which it usually is. So just for the sake of appearance, I'm not terribly motivated to do anything about it. So unless it signals a real problem that is more than just appearance, I'm reluctant to replace it because (a) it does clean the dishes very well, as I've said, and (b) 11 years doesn't really seem like all that long to me, for the dis hwasher to already be failing (but that opinion may just be more of my igno rance of these matters...) and (c) a new dishwasher is a rather significant expen se (which as everyone has now seen, I'd much rather spend on things like fu n vacations). :) But if it is necessary and not just a cosmetic problem, then I guess I may have no choice... Well thanks again, all.
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On 01/30/2014 03:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If it works and you do not plan to replace it,,,at least,,get the leak fixed and clean up the "gunk".
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On Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:56:35 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I only thought it was rust because of the color. That doesn't mean it is rust. If it's just scummy dirt/gunk, wash it off and you're good to go.

Yes, the toe-kick means t he panel on the bottom. Definitely you can take that off and look for puddles. You could even look underneath while the DW is running. But actually, I don't see why or how a drip underneath would make theose rust-colored things in the front, so there's no reason to think it's dripping underneath.
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On Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:05:50 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:

It sure looks like rust to me. You can even see where the metal is gone and there are depressions.

Which is why I said it looked like a manufacturing defect to me, where the coating was not applied correctly to the metal.
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On Fri, 31 Jan 2014 04:53:55 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Well it's up to her and her hubby to decide.
If it is rust, I should have recoomended that rust converter, sold in rather small plastic bottles at auto parts stores, that goes on right over the rust and turns it into some sort of plastic.. I used it once and it seemed to do a good job. It can be painted white afterwards. Maybe it can be sanded too. Better than Bondo alone.

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That dishwasher should be replaced within a year or less. That rust is rally bad, never seen anything close to that bad in 50+years of seeing dishwashers.
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