Dishwasher Just Stopped Working

I have a KitchenAid Built-In, model KUDM220T. The owners manual is dated 1989 and since I bought this house two years ago, I'm not sure exactly when it was installed. Anyway, it just stopped in the middle of a cycle and now does nothing...completely dead. I've verified that the electrical outlet is good. I called a local appliance repair shop today and was quoted $40 to make the service call, plus a flat $40 for labor + parts. Over the phone, they think it's the switch, about $20.
I took the top panel off and the door latch seems to function normally. Does this problem sound like the switch or could it be a motor or other electrical components?
Is a unit this old even worth repairing? I would probably spend $450 to $700 plus installation for a new one. Lowes wants $140 to deliver and install.
-Mike
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On 11/30/2004 4:28 PM US(ET), Michael Anderson took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

shuts off the machine when the door is opened. This was an Australian built machine, so I called the appliance store where I bought it, and they wanted something like $25 for the switch, which looked like it cost less than a dollar to make. Besides, they didn't have any in stock and they had to order it. After I made the phone call, I took the small plastic housed switch apart and found that the switch contacts were welded to each other. I separated them, cleaned the contacts with sandpaper, and put the switch back in the door. The machine then worked as good as before. I canceled the switch order.
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For what its worth and don't forget its free. (FWIW-DFIF) If you are even thinking of repairing the one you have- you are likely capable of installing a new one. The new install is much easier IMHO than troubleshooting and repairing old one. So you might save the install fee, which seems a little high from Lowes. Do you have a friend with a pickup? Even if one rents a truck and dolly (some home supplies rent by the hour fairly reasonable) you can do better than store delivery price most of the time. Fifteen years is probably past its useful life anyway. I have spent hours fixing up old appliances that ran fine for a short while before something else goes. Not a very rewarding exercise. That said, which switch does the repair shop refer? Since you checked the door switch, I assume you thought that was the problem, but is that what the shop thought? $20 has to be one of the simpler switches I think. There are other switches- and other problems that could cause shut down. -Dan
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Our well used not quite as old as yours dishwasher did similar thing except that the timer switch worked but washer did not fill water. As a guess only, yours 'might' be a similar problem? Namely worn electrical contacts on the timer switch. If you are electrically competent and can find the circuit diagram and sequence or timing chart you may be able to analyze and repair it yourself. A new timer switch, if indeed that is the problem, may set you back around $70 plus labour, cost of visiting your home etc. Or doing it yourself you have to know what you are doing and have the right tools. Analyze don't jump to a conclusion! We also had a similar problem with a clothes washer timer switch where the little timer/clock motor that drives the timer switch around through the various stages of the wash cycle went open. Fixed that by using a compatible clock motor from a scrapped washer. Your mileage/model etc. will vary. Also if you are not 'into' electrical repairs of a fairly detailed nature get someone expert and with the tools and knowledge to do it. An expert will make it look easy. Could be waste of money to jump to a conclusion without testing and analyzing the problem. It might, after all, be something simple? Only you can decide whether the cost of a paid repair is worthwhile; an older machine more likely to break down again etc. versus first cost of a new one. Personally we just keep fixing things, but while it saves considerable cost it takes time. Our heavily used Kenmore dryer (we ran a small catering business for 33 years!) for example is 42+ years old and has been minor and major repaired by ourselves seven times during that period for a total cost of no more than $100. Right now it needs a new motor, the stator has one open winding! Spare motors I have are a different size to the 1962 model! So instead am temporarily using a dryer that cost me one dozen beer and the effort of moving it! It works fine but sounds as though it may need a new belt. Good luck with your dishwasher.
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Forty+ years old drier- now that is what I'd call frugal~! -Dan
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For $20 it may be worth a chance. OTOH, a new macine is going to wash better, have a new warranty, etc. I'd not waste a service call and parts onit.
Check the price at Lowes, but then go to your local dealer. You may be surprised how competitive the smaller dealers are as they usually belong to buyers co-ops and sell at a very competitive price. My dealer delivered and intalled a new DW for $85. My old machine was about the age of yours and while it did clean the dishes, did give many years of good service, the new one is far superior and VERY quiet. We went with Kitchen Aid again. Ed
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I just replaced a 1991 Kenmore with a 2004 Kenmore. It cost less than $300 on sale and I picked it up in my truck. A dishwasher as old as yours, IMO, is not worth fixing when new ones can be had for less than $300. Check the Sears adds.
Eric
Michael Anderson ( snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net) wrote: : I have a KitchenAid Built-In, model KUDM220T. The owners manual is dated : 1989 and since I bought this house two years ago, I'm not sure exactly when : it was installed. Anyway, it just stopped in the middle of a cycle and now : does nothing...completely dead. I've verified that the electrical outlet is : good. I called a local appliance repair shop today and was quoted $40 to : make the service call, plus a flat $40 for labor + parts. Over the phone, : they think it's the switch, about $20.
: I took the top panel off and the door latch seems to function normally. : Does this problem sound like the switch or could it be a motor or other : electrical components?
: Is a unit this old even worth repairing? I would probably spend $450 to : $700 plus installation for a new one. Lowes wants $140 to deliver and : install.
: -Mike
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