Dishwasher Rack Longevity

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I have a question or two about dishwasher racks. We installed an inexpensive ($400) Maytag into an apt kitchen 3.5 years ago. The tenant just moved out and a dozen tines are either gone or split with rust. They are vinyl covered steel. Also, the new racks are $300/pr and a new, whole dishwasher isn't much more!
1. Is this typical after such a short time nowadays? 2. What could have caused this (premature?) failure? 3. I see that some dishwashers now have nylon racks. They sound rust-free but are they cheesy and weak?
Thanks, Larry
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On 8/10/2010 10:57 PM, Larry B wrote:

I haven't used this stuff but some folks swear by it. I would cut the vinyl from the rusted part, sand off the rust and re-coat.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId (90818
TDD
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Thanks TDD, but I am missing a bunch of tines. No product repair can fix that!! LOL
Any thoughts on my questions?
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On 8/11/2010 12:18 AM, Larry B wrote:

I do a lot of brazing of copper mostly but I have used my torch set to braze steel. If you're handy with an oxygen/acetylene torch, you could make new tines, braze them on and re-coat the rack. You could cruse the local pawn shops to find a refrigeration torch set that HVAC and refrigeration techs use or buy one new from Harbor Freight. It could be an excuse to obtain a very useful set of tools depending on how much you're willing to spend on a learning experience. I'm always coming across various broken things that require simple repairs that I happen to have thousands of dollars worth of tools I can use to repair them with. I've spent many years building a tool collection and am always looking for an excuse to pick up another one. 8-)
There used to be a sheet metal shop in town run by a crusty old crazy man I was great friends with and I could go in and come out with all sorts of metal parts made out of stuff he tossed in the scrap bin, I sure do miss that place.
TDD
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On Aug 11, 12:51am, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-

Why not just silver solder a new set of racks from stainless rod? No recoating necessary and they would outlast the next few tenants. MAPP gas with a good propane torch could do the job if oxyacetylene isn't available.
Joe
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Why not just silver solder a new set of racks from stainless rod? No recoating necessary and they would outlast the next few tenants. MAPP gas with a good propane torch could do the job if oxyacetylene isn't available.
Joe
Thanks for the welding tips but I am not able to go that route. I am sure that you are right, though. Stainless would practically be forever.
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if you have a welder, nothing is impossible :)
Nobody makes stainless steel dishwasher racks? (I don't know, I have never picked out a dishwasher, always just used the one that came with the place. Sometimes happily, sometimes not.)
nate
nate
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Magic word: TENANT
Tenants rarely care for appliances as if they owned them. I would bank on your former tenant having done every abusive thing imaginable to that dishwasher. If it even works, it would be a minor miracle.
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Larry B wrote:

from the car they rebuilt. Many landlords regard DWs, like the WW carpet, as an expendable, and just count on replacing between tenants. I'd add it to the move-in/move-out inspection list for the next tenant, so you can deduct from deposit as being more than 'normal wear and tear' for anybody there less than 5-7 years.
If the DW is otherwise intact, I'd surf CraigsList, FreeCycle, and the local Habitat ReStore for one with matching or 'close enough' racks. Perhaps the local Ma'n'Pa appliance store keeps a pile of ripouts out back. Also, most large apartment complexes treat DWs like light bulbs, so the the week after 1st of month move-out day often has many sitting in or beside the dumpsters. There are only a few actual DW makers left, no matter the brand name on the front, so it shouldn't be too hard to come up with ones that will fit.
--
aem sends...

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My Maytag is at least 12 yrs old and the racks are in mint condition.
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I looked at my racks again VERY closely and I found two very small spots that are starting to rust. Looks like the ends of both of them weren't coated.
Here's a pic of one spot...crappy picture but the "problem" area is circled in red.
http://i37.tinypic.com/2z7ero8.png
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wrote:

I looked at my racks again VERY closely and I found two very small spots that are starting to rust. Looks like the ends of both of them weren't coated.
Here's a pic of one spot...crappy picture but the "problem" area is circled in red.
http://i37.tinypic.com/2z7ero8.png
Hi Ron, that happens. Sometimes the end of the tines or other pieces get banged and the tips pop off. That is a perfect candidate for touch up coating. On my home racks. I have gone through the entire rack system and touched up every crack or exposed metal that I could find. Helps a lot. I usually first treat the open spot with some Rust Destroyer to stop the rusting process before touching it up.
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I've had the racks last over 20 years. The ones in my KA are still perfect after five. My guess is your tenants are slobs and abused the machine. Maybe they were cleaning bricks in it, or degreasing car parts.
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Um, I've run car parts through the DW before, and haven't ruined a rack yet.
nate
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re: "I've run car parts through the DW before, and haven't ruined a rack yet."
Same here.
The small block V8 from my 92 Mustang bent a couple of tines, but nothing actually broke off.
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On 08/11/2010 03:48 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

heh. I really have, nothing gets old greasy hubcaps clean like a dishwasher. I think the heaviest thing I have run through there was a water manifold from an old Packard V-8 though. I do have *some* amount of common sense and desire not to get in bad with female cohabitants.
nate
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My 2003 Whirlpool racks are cherry. The dishwasher gets used once or twice a day. I paid $6-700 for the dishwasher.
Jim
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Larry B wrote:

Not in my experience

Steel won't rust if protected from water and air. My guess is that the vinyl covering was incomplete or poorly done originally.

Dunno, but no reason they should be.
You didn't ask but $300 for a pair of racks is highway robbery IMO.
--

dadiOH
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It is highway robbery!! But such is the state of affairs with buying parts from most of corporate America these days.
I had an idea on those racks. A year ago or so, they called saying that they had an awful burning smell in the apt. Before I could get over there, they called to say that they found a piece of plastic in the dishwasher that had melted in the dishwasher (on the heater element). My guess is that the plastic fumes from the burning plastic weakened the vinyl coating on the racks. It is the only semi-rational reason that I can come up with for this premature failure.
Now the search for racks or maybe a new DW.
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I doubt that would cause the problem, but it does show they are careless slobs. Makes my cleaning car parts theory more plausible.
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