Dishwasher problems

Hi,
We have a GE Profile stainless steel dishwasher that is only 2 years old.
I had a service call maybe 6 months ago because it wasn't draining. The guy pulled a piece of glass from the pump and it was working fine after that. Our daughter had broken a glass in the dishwasher and I must not have gotten it all.
The repair guy told me the machine had really bad mineral deposits. He said it was the worst he had ever seen. He recommended I put some vinegar in a glass and just let it run it's cycle.
So I did that a few times but I wasn't getting the bulk of the deposits off, especially on the bottom of the machine. So I let it fill up with water and stopped it mid cycle and put like a quart of vinegar in there and let it sit and I finally got all those deposits off of the bottom but I had to really work at it.
It was working pretty well after that but recently it started having problems draining and I see a bunch of the calcium deposits on the bottom but they are very small pieces now. It's like it can't drain everything properly. Sometimes I see small pieces of food that is not draining. The dishes don't look so clean either. Not bad, but they seem to have a film on them. I started using a rinse aid now, but something just isn't right with the machine.
It does empty out and there isn't any flooding or anything. I think it must be clogged up somewhere with the mineral deposits.
I am thinking of replacing it with a Miele dishwasher that has a hardwater filter. I've read some good reviews on those.
I was also thinking of just getting a hard water filtration system for the entire house but that is a lot more expensive. Many people in my area have done that.
I would appreciate any advice on what to do here.
I have several options.
1. Keep existing machine and call repair guy to fix it. $180 (That's what he charged last time and he told me any time they have to pull the machine out it is a $175 minimum)
2. Buy the Miele dishwasher that has the hardwater filter. $1600 installed
3. Water softener for entire house - I think someone told me this costs around $2000. Of course I would still have to fix the machine we have now.
I would appreciate any advice on this.
Thanks in advance, Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

pulled a piece of glass from the pump and it was working fine after that. Our daughter had broken a glass in the dishwasher and I must not have gotten it all.

it was the worst he had ever seen. He recommended I put some vinegar in a glass and just let it run it's cycle.

especially on the bottom of the machine. So I let it fill up with water and stopped it mid cycle and put like a quart of vinegar in there and let it sit and I finally got all those deposits off of the bottom but I had to really work at it.

draining and I see a bunch of the calcium deposits on the bottom but they are very small pieces now. It's like it can't drain everything properly. Sometimes I see small pieces of food that is not draining. The dishes don't look so clean either. Not bad, but they seem to have a film on them. I started using a rinse aid now, but something just isn't right with the machine.

entire house but that is a lot more expensive. Many people in my area have done that.

Do you have hard water? Then have water softene? You can use CLR to do better than vinegar.
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If it's mineral deposits, vinegar is the right idea. Acid containing drain cleaner might help, or as Tony mentioned, try CLR (which is acid).
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Do you have hard water? Then have water softene? You can use CLR to do better than vinegar.
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On Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:16:45 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Also did the CLR treatment. Strangely I think my problems might have started after that. Perhaps it kicked up to many deposists and they clogged something. It seems to me that the pump is grinding stuff up and kicking it back out. I see theses little white flakes on the bottom.
Steve
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Hard to tell, from here. I think exploratory surgery is indicated. Do you concur, doctor?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Also did the CLR treatment. Strangely I think my problems might have started after that. Perhaps it kicked up to many deposists and they clogged something. It seems to me that the pump is grinding stuff up and kicking it back out. I see theses little white flakes on the bottom.
Steve
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Before deciding, get #3 estimates from at least two rival firms and inspect in detail the guarantees they offer. (Water softeners were normal in London, UK, when I was a boy. Discerning householders kept one faucet on hard water for making tea.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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On Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:51:51 AM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I had 'dirty looking machine' problem with mine. Asked a tech to look at it while he was hear for a washing machine problem. "hard water, use this stuff as directed on the box"
Lemi Shine - Wal Mart has it in the cleaning supply area. One dose in my machine and it was show room clean. At least try it before tossing a good machine. Box says to use it regularly. Doesn't cost much.
Forget the "vinegar", "TSP" etc suggestions. Use what was designed for the problem. I tried TSP and it didn't even touch the deposits.
As for the slow drain, probably cruded up drain hose that will have to be either replaced or cleaned - service call.
Harry K
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Some here recommend adding phosphate, as it was banned from dishwashing detergent a few years ago. The very same TSP used for washing walls prior to painting is cheap and plentiful, but be sure to get the stuff with phosphate! They also make it without, which is odd, considering the acronym.
Try adding that daily for a few weeks and see whether the problem clears up, pun intended.
Google "why your dishwasher doesn't work anymore" and you'll get further info.
As long as you're politely asking for advice, bag "google groups" and try a newsreader. This group has nothing to do with google, they just pirate the content.
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Smitty Two wrote:

Specifically, add TSP to powdered dishwashing detergent at a rate of 10-15% by weight or volume.
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On 8/16/2012 8:12 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

You can still buy dishwasher detergent with phosphates, <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>, but Cascade recently dropped their commercial product with phosphates.
Mixing in TSP is now the way to go.
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It either is draining completely or you have a drain problem. When it's done running, is all the water gone or not? If it's not, then it would suggest that it's a problem with the pump or the drain hose. Have you inspected the drain hose to make sure it's not kinked? Is it correctly connected to a drain? If it does drain completely then it's not a drain problem.
Also, with most dishwashers you can easily remove the lower arm, the metal screen at the bottom, etc to get at areas that are normally not accessible. I would do that and clean out any crap you find.
It seems very odd to me that hard water would lead to the water not being pumped out. Water spots, deposits inside the unit, yes. I suppose maybe it could build up on the pump itself, but if you hear it running I would think it would be pumping. Also, knowing you have hard water I would be using one of the dishwasher specific cleaning products that you use and put the dishwasher through a cycle while it's empty. They are typically citric acid based.
And have you checked the water temp? Should be like 130F at the dishwasher. If the water isn't hot enough, it can help grease accumulate. If the unit has an extra heat cycle, I think selecting that at least a couple times a month is a good idea.
The dishes don't look so clean either. Not bad, but they seem to have a film on them. I started using a rinse aid now, but something just isn't right with the machine.

That's a hell of a lot of money for a dishwasher. I haven't looked, but if there is a filter in that, how about a similar standalone filter for just the dishwasher. A filter you could put under the sink, or near it in the basement?


I guess that depend on if you're having other hard water related problems or not. And exactly how hard the water really is.
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On Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:51:51 AM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

You need to take it apart down to the impeller and clean it and no you dont need to pull the machine out thats BS. In fact the repair guy should have done that when he took out the glass. How long did he spend on the job? Was it less than thirty minutes?
I never heard of a hard water filter on a dishwasher. Im guessing that its some kind of gimmick. Please provide more information as to which model and where you heard about it.
Im guessing that when you say hard water filtration system for the entire house you really mean a water softener, am I right? A hard water filter for the whole house would cost as much as a new car.
I assume that you know that by using a water softener you will be adding salt or other chemicals into your water, am I right?
Smitty Two has a good idea.
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I think he was here about an hour. He defintely had to pull it because the glass was lodged in the pump. He had to take the pump apart. I watched him do it.

It's a water softener built into the dishwasher. You add salt to it.
The Miele Diamond G 5915 SCi has a water softener built in.


Yes, that's what I meant - water softener.

Yes. I thought it was just salt. Are there health concerns? We don't drink the tap water but I do use it for ice.
Thanks for the feedback! Steve
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On Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:23:24 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

It is just salt, very small amounts though. Keep a tap for drinking water in the kitchen if you are concerned about it.
A softener would be my first choice. The DW is giving you problems, but your washer, water heater and even your clothes are feeling the effects too.
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Some dishwashers have a consumer accessible filter to prevent lumps from going down the drain hose. This is what caught the piece of broken glass last time. Often when you delime an object, the lime comes off the surface in flakes and can be carried down to the filter where the flakes can build up and block it. Check your manual for instructions on clearing the filter. If you don't have a manual try Googling the model number for an on-line manual.
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Just taking a shot here...
If the dishwasher drains through a garbage disposal, you should always run the disposal before you run the dishwasher.
If the disposal is full of food waste, the dishwasher may not drain properly due to back pressure.
The same thing can happen with washing machines if you let those end- of-discharge-hose lint filters get too full. My new machine tends to blow them off when they get full, but my old machine used to stop draining and just sit there.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Bear in mind that excessive sodium does not CAUSE hypertension, it merely aggravates an already-existing condition. For people diagnosed with hypertension, the minuscule amount of sodium introduced via water-softening should present no problem. The amount of sodium introduced by a water softener does, however, depend on the original hardness of the water supply. For VERY hard water, the amount of sodium may actually reach detectable levels.
Note that the FDA recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for healthy people. Digging into the details, we find that this recommendation is based on not one single scientific study.
Conversely, other studies on volunteers who consumed up to 25 GRAMS (25,000 mg) of salt per day over an extended period showed no signs of incipient hypertension. The excess salt was simply excreted.
Bottom line: If you're otherwise healthy, enjoy your salt (or softened water).
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As another post suggested....Lemi-Shine (citric acid).
Try it every load for a week or two & then one load per week .... once "problem" is solved. Faster & more effective than vinegar Lemi-shine will remove some glass & coffee cup designs.
My $50 temporary craigslist dishwasher was working fine to start but began to produce cloudy glasses. Lemi-Shine fixed the problem.
Dishwasher performance is related to: 1) water quality (hardness) 2) water temp 3) dishwasher soap (I like Finish)
I'd hold off on the whole house water softener unless your showering experience needs improvement.
Dishwasher issues can typically be solved at the dishwasher.
If you choose to do the "whole house water softener" thing, I recommend hot water only unless you like the slippery post shower feel.
cheers Bob
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