Broken dishwasher or just hard water?


I bought a new condo and my water is very hard. Whenever I use the dishwasher I get white flaky residue on everything. I read to try vinegar. I let the vinegar sit for several hours with the bottom full of vinegar. Then I ran it a little to circulate the vinegar and let it sit again. I then ran it through a complete cycle with no dishes or detergent so as to rinse the vinegar out. I still get chunks of stuff on all the dishes. The silverware especially looks horrible - caked on white film with small bits of white flaky substance and food particles.
Do you think I need a new dishwasher or is there some 'smoking gun' you see?
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it may take a few applications if it's been operated normally for a long time without cleaning out the mineral deposits.
try getting some stronger acids. you can buy zep products in home depot, for instance, that will remove more deposits. follow directions on the container, and do a couple of applications. come back with the results.
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wrote:

Thanks, I will try that. It is actually a rental property. Can I cycle through the zep product in an hour? Or is zep something I need to have sit around overnight?
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you don't let it sit. you run a normal or extended pot cycle (without the drying phase, if possible). you might also look to see if the arm holes are clogged up. poking them open with toothpicks or opening them up, if possible, to remove gunk that may be affecting things is useful.
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On Wed 10 Sep 2008 12:15:57p, told us...

Start using a product called Lemi-Shine with every load of dishes you wash. It will clear up the problem you now have and prevent problems in the future. It will also prevent hard water etching of china and glassware. It comes in a cannister and is usually found where the dishwasher detergents are sold. It's usually available at Wal-Mart.
To use Lemi-Shine, fill the closed cup with Lemi-Shine and the open cup with regular granular dishwasher detergent (do use the gels).
We live in a very hard water area and this is the only way we can effectivelly use our dishwasher. We use it with every load and everything sparkles. The dishwasher itself it totally free of deposits on the inside.
HTH
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Wayne Boatwright

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what's in it? i found that putting a cup of vinegar in the bottom for each load does the same thing for us. we're in a very hard water area too.
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On Wed 10 Sep 2008 01:39:23p, charlie told us...

The container states "real fruit acids, natural citrus oils, fragrance". I would assume citric acid.
At what point in the cycle do you add the cup of vinegar? I've tried using vinegar, first adding it before starting the cycle, but that did not prevent clouding of glassware. It seemed to work reasonably well if added to either of the final rinse cycles, but waiting around to do that was a PITA.
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i just pour it in when i load the dishwasher. our dishes and glasses used to come out cloudy, and since i started using vinegar, they look like new. i don't need to use any rinse aid (jet-dri) now either.
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On Wed 10 Sep 2008 02:54:43p, charlie told us...

I assume you're using regular 5% white vinegar. I may have to give this another try.
Thanks...
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snipped-for-privacy@mynonsense.net wrote:

Dishwashers are energy wasters. Throw it on the dump and wash dishes by hand.
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Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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Blattus Slafaly wrote:

Troll <plonked>.
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snipped-for-privacy@mynonsense.net wrote:

Did you check the bottom of the dishwasher for debris? Hard to guide you without knowing what brand model/you have, but the food particles can't be the effect of hard water. Also I would check if the hot and cold water pipes are not switched. Finally, make sure that the drain is not obstructed in any way.
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snipped-for-privacy@mynonsense.net wrote:

Repeat the vinegar cycle a few times.
Find out if your dishwasher has a built in water softener and if so, make sure it has the appropriate amount of salt in it (there's salt sold specifically for water softeners--that's what you should use, not table salt).
If vinegar doesn't clean it you can either tear it down and clean it by hand or toss it and get a new one, depending on your tastes and inclinations.
Note--run it through a full cycle with the vinegar--just letting it sit in the bottom won't run the vinegar through the jets, which you need to do in order to clear them.
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Speaking from experience, I'd say you need a water softener and then a new dishwasher.
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h wrote:

Probably good advice, but have you cleaned the filter(s) in your dishwasher? "Bits" of anything doesn't seem like just hard water.
Another thing to look at is the DiFi. At $50 it's a whole lot less expensive than a water softener. http://www.dishwasherfilter.com/main.sc
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Au contraire. Before we got a softener we had white chunks (likely calcium deposits) in the pipes. They'd build up in the faucet screens and block water flow. We'd have to unscrew the heads and clean the screens at least twice a week to maintain water flow. Once we got the softener we never saw the chunks again.
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 08:45:57 -0400, h wrote:

I had the same problem. White build up coming from somewhere we couldnt figure out. Then I drained the water heater. Well, I tried. It was so gummed up with calcium that I couldnt get it drained. Ended up replacing it and then at the same time installed a water softner.
Check your water heater for buildup.
coffee
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On Sep 10, 3:15�pm, snipped-for-privacy@mynonsense.net wrote:

try turning up water heater temperature, the deposits may be detergent thats not entirely disolved
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