Dishwasher KO - water won't enter

My KitchenAid dishwasher, about 13 years old, quit on me yesterday.
Food kept coming out dirty after 3 tries. I got out the manual, ruled out obvious items (float valve, e.g.) then checked the water input since there wasn't any in the bottom. I felt around the hole's exterior, scraped a little calcium? off, re-started dishwasher. Nada.
There is NO discussion of this problem in the manual. I called the help line; got somebody who said he had no idea.
No, I cannot afford a new one. (I washed dishes by hand before and can do it again!). The price of a service call plus parts would easily -- depending on cost of parts -- come to 1/3 the cost of a good though not fancy dishwasher (per Consumer Reports Aug 2008). Which argues for replacing a 13-year-old dishwasher, which I would do if I could.
So, does anybody have suggestions for diagnosing why no water comes in? And is it repairable by unhandy moi or nabe handyman?
TIA
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The water valve is electrically operatored. The solenois may be bad or the control that sends the power to the valve may be bad. Do you hear a click? The valve is in the front behind the lower panel. check to see if power is going toit as step one.
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But, the float switch, used to shut off the incoming water when the level is high enough, is also in the circuit, so you must check the float switch as well. If the switch is stuck, due to debris, for example, in the up position, water will not come in because the machine thinks it is already filled with water.
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wrote:

Thanks, but I made a point of mentioning that I HAD checked the float switch (per manual recommendation) and it WAS free.
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Ed wrote:

If my friend doesn't use his dishwasher for a time, the water valve will stick and rapping on it frees it up. I take off the front cover at the bottom and it's right there.
TDD
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wrote:

Thanks to you as well, but I use the dishwasher at least 3-4x a week (per recommendation to run only full loads to save water & energy).
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Don't let the Quarks get you.
TDD
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Hah! I will try to check on my own; timid about removing panels, but... I will check on "click". I think I did hear one.
Question: Power IS going to the dishwasher; the water-heating coil is hot, as I found out to my sorrow.
Are you saying that the water valve electricity can be bad, while other electricity is still OK? Excuse amateurish formulation. TIA
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Question: Power IS going to the dishwasher; the water-heating coil is hot, as I found out to my sorrow.
Are you saying that the water valve electricity can be bad, while other electricity is still OK? Excuse amateurish formulation. TIA
************************** Yes, the valve is activated by the timer. What you can dois ckec that the valve is getting power when it is supposed to. If yes, the vlave (or the magnetic solenoid that operates it) is bad. If no power, the timer control is probably bad. The simplest of testers can check that for you safely.
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