dishwasher repair

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I have an GE GSD500P-45AW dishwasher that stopped working in the middle of the wash cycle. It made a loud beep (more of honk) and then stopped. Then, a few seconds later, it sounded like it was trying to restart itself, would turn on a half a second, honk and stop again. I turned the knob back to the beginning of the cycle to see if that would help, but I get the same situation - tries to start, honks and stops.
I don't know if this means I need a new motor and pump like here: http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID ‚0985 but I don't know if its worth the cost of parts and installation (dishwasher is from the 80's). No recalls on this model as far as I found.
Any ideas of what it would the problem might be and the cost to repair?
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From what I have seen ,the cost of the parts and especially if you have to pay to have them installed it is usually not worth it to have things repaired if they are very old. The repair people are making a big markup on the parts plus the labor to install them. I do not blame the repair people as to make a service call plus stock the parts costs them a bunch. They have to charge a lot just to stay in business.
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Hmmm. Well, if it's beep, honk, clang, whowwee chigga chigga, that could be a different sypmtom than beep honk honk, scrape, grid, winga winga chiga.
I'm sorry, we can't make a diagnosis until we are more certain of the symptoms your unit has been presenting.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Well its more like the sound of a motor unsucessfully trying to start - its a very low hum that lasts about a second and then stops. The sound is accompanied by the sound of water starting to flow out.
The rinse cycle is slightly different as the rinse cycle starts for a second before you hear the same low hum.
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Alan Greenspam wrote:

Check the obvious. Assure there is not a spoon or something stuck in the impeller at the bottom of the washer. Steve 41N
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Alan Greenspam wrote:

Hi,
Possible the cooling fan blade has broken on the old motor and pump assembly, something may be inside ( that is not suppose to be inside ) making the noise.

If everything else looks good, it is worth the repair...that part is a bit cheaper here... http://www.pcappliancerepair.com/cgi-bin/promote-detail.cgi?affiliate_id=AppAid&item=WD26X10013&brand=GEH
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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My first thought would be that something is blocking the impeller. There should be a screen in the sump (plastic bottom) of the machine interior. Water drains through this and goes to the pump. Sometimes small items can work their way past this screen and obstruct the impeller. The screen is plastic and bits of it can break over time, making some of the small openings larger.
An impeller is the turbine-shaped part of the pump that moves the water. Examine the plastic screen and look for damage which can allow objects to get past it. On some models, you may need a mirror to examine the portions of the screen facing away from you. Or remove the plastic screen and investigate for small items which may have slipped through. Sometimes long thin items can get past a screen which shows little or no damage.
FYI - this can also happen with a cloths washing machine. Sometimes if you have large loads and you use extremely high water levels for washing, then objects can get to the water pump. This is somewhat common if there is something in the laundry which floats (such as bits of wood or mulch). Then the item can splash over the top of the tub and get into the water heading to the pump. An impeller moving at full speed can easily grind up most of the objects which will thwart it when the motor is attempting to start.
On a washing machine, the pump is easy to access. Take the pump apart, remove the obstruction, put it back together and you are good for another 7 years or 70,000 miles. :) The impeller on my dish- washer is easy to access, but I'm not certain about all models.
Good luck, Gideon
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I checked the screen and do not see anything stuck in there. The screen is in tact (no visible damage). I don't know if I should remove the screen anyway to check -- could food particles clog it enough to keep the motor from kick starting?
Gideon wrote:

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I admit, I've never worked on a dish washer. But, it sounds likely that you may have a bad motor run capacitor. Or somethign mechanically blocking whatever it is that moves. Yes, on this one, I'm clueless.
If memory serves, I think I've seen a book or two available for dishwasher repair.
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Well I have checked the spray arm and found no silverware stuck anywhere. Not sure what the impeller is though.
I found the following parts breakdown for the washing machine but nothing listed as an impeller
http://www.partselect.com/ModelFrames.aspx?ModelIDv5415&ModelNum=GSD500P-45AW&mfgModelNum=&ManufactureID=2&Selected 003643i03&Position=1&mfg=GE&Type=Dishwasher&Mark=2
Any chance you can tell me what it is on the diagram you are referring to?
Thanks Steve IA wrote:

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The impeller is the part of the pump that goes round and round to pump the water. Sort of think of it as the fan blades. There may be a pump to put the water in the washer and another to pump the water out. Something could have lodged in the pump that pumps the water out.
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I checked the two fan blades - the three holes on either blade (where the water must come out) have nothing lodged there.
Thanks Jeff for the link to the lower priced part - anyway for me to narrow down if its the cooling blade?
My conclusion on whether to repair is leaning in the opposite direction. This is a dishwasher that is nearly 20 years old, and the part requires a handyman installation (I've yet to find one in neighborhood). I'm afraid if I do replace the pump/motor approx. $200-250 and it breaks again (given its age, a possibility), I would have been better off buying a new one.
I'm considering Whirlpool 24-Inch Built-In Dishwasher (Color: White on White) ENERGY STAR® Item #: 75888 Model: DU1050XTP
Approx with installation cost is $540 Ralph Mowery wrote:

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Alan Greenspam wrote:

Hi,
http://tinyurl.com/53wt6 Spin the fan blade by hand as sometimes it breaks free from the motor shaft and can make a terrible/odd noise.
If the blade is ok and nothing jamming up the motor and mpump assembly from running properly ( see sump inlet behind the lower spray arm )...if the motor is receving 110-120 volts AC but not running or just hummmmming = new motor and pump assembly time.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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I'd take a look a good look at Maytag. I've been looking at dishwashers a bit and one feature they have that I like is the adjustable upper rack. It amazes me that only Maytag seems to have gotten this right. There are several brands that allow you two positions for the upper rack, so you can lower it when you want to use it for larger items. However, if you look at how you adjust them, it seems only Maytag has it right on their newer models. They have just two easy handles/releases on either side of the tray so you can just grab it and lower/raise it. All the other ones I've seen were kludges, like with 4 releases. Now, who has four hands? Especially if the rack is half full when you decide to raise/lower it, you have to somehow try to support the rack, fiddle with 4 releases, etc. Amazing that companies have been building these things for half a century and can't figure out simple stuff like this.
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Appliance Repair Aid wrote:

Jeff, if you are still there... I removed the sump entrance screen and removed some gookus. Tried the dishwasher again and same result. Honk with the sound of water and stop - pauses for about 5 second and then tries again with the same result (until I turn the dial back to off).
Any chance this is worth replacing the drain solenoid or the back flush valve before giving up on this machine?
I don't think itll be worth a new motor and pump assembly because of the machine age/ installation labor. (also because I may be able to replace the first two but trust myself less on installing a new motor and pump assembly)
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Any chance the loud honk or buzz I hear after the turning the dishwasher on is the solenoid plunger activating and then failing?
I'm not sure when the solenoid plunger activates normally so I'm wildly guessing and I do have this problem throughout all cycles..
Alan Greenspam wrote:

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The Maytag models I'm talking about only have one release per side, though that wasn't clear from the way I worded it. And I can't say if it was better than the KA's way of doing it with two releases, because I didn't see any KA's that were built that way in any of the stores I visited. I did check the KA site, and from a quick look, it appears the adjustable upper rack feature is in their units that list at $920 and up, which may be why I didn't see them. Maytag offers this feature in units that list at $580.
My main point is that doing this with two easy and convenient releases is so obvious, that the manufacturers that offer an unjustable upper rack with four releases or two half assed ones must be pretty stupid, as it's an easy thing to desing and do right.
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"I agree with your point, but like all generalizations, there is always an exception. You pointed all ONLY Maytag. Others exist. "
I never said ONLY Maytag had done it right with two easy handles to move the upper rack, only that from the searching I have done it seemed that way because I hadn't seen it anywhere else. And if you look at the price points most people are likely to buy, eg store prices of $600 or less, I think it still is likely true.
"As for having two per side, that is not really a bit problem because you just adjust one side at a time. Most times we adjust one side only and
leave the other where it is. No need to have four hands in any case. "
How is it possible to to only adjust one side and leave the upper rack lopsided? The models I've seen that have an adjustable upper rack also had 3 spray arms, as most of the better units do, with one of those being on the bottom of the upper rack. To move the upper rack, it has to be all the way up or down, so that the pipe connection for the arm connects into the appropriate one of two receptacles in the back of the dishwasher. Does your model only have two arms?
As for how big of a problem it is, that's something we'll have to disagree on. Having seen i done the right way, and valuing the abitlity to easily move the rack, I wouldn't even consider the models with the half assed 4 releases. It's just stupid, poor, design and IMO, inexcusable.
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" I guess it is cheaper. I don't know, I never looked at how they were made. Of course, one handle is better than two, but there is no reason to have both sides on the same plane. Check yours further and it may work that way. "
The reason they have to have both sides even is because they have 3 spray arms. The 3rd one is on the bottom of the upper tray and it has a water supply pipe that fits into a receptacle in the back of the dishwasher. There are two mating holes in the back, when the rack slides in, it plugs the pipe for the spray arm into either the upper or the lower second hole depending on whether it's in the full up or down position. If it's half and half, it's not going to mate up with either hole. If you don't have 3 arms, then that problem doesn't exist.
Another idea, the permanent half and half kind of solution, seemed to be in a lot of one manufacturer's line, think it was whirlpool. They didn't have an adjustable upper rack, just a permanent one that was a lot deeper on one side than the other.
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Alan Greenspam wrote:

Probably not...the drain solenoid is for drainign and not the washign mode.

The solenoid and plunger engage whe nthe d/w wants to drain out.

Probably neither will help :(

Replacing the pump assembly is fairly easy and it comes with some directions :) But if the d/w is not worth spending $105.00 it is time ot go shopping.
http://tinyurl.com/6r5vz Motor and pump assy ( comes with new drain solenoid as well )
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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