Dishwasher water-level too low: possibilities? Solenoid/valve?


Subject: Dishwasher water-level too low: possibilities? Solenoid/valve?
Wife says that it will wash things only on the bottom level -- not enough water (level too low) to make it into spray at the top level.
And it worked just fine until about two weeks ago, when it started acting this (bad) way -- washing only the bottom-level dishes.
About the solenoid:
I put my ohm-meter across where the power goes into it, and it was NOT shorted out; was maybe 2k ohms.
(power off, obviously)
That was a test suggested by a web site my wife found.
A question: if *any* water is coming into the dishwasher when you turn it on, that means that the solenoid is OK?
Or, if the solenoid is kaput, then NO water would come in, I'd guess. (Is that correct or not?)
(I didn't actually *test* the solenoid, ie didn't apply a voltage to it to see if it made a click (or whatever) noise, nor did I try to see opened and closed a stream of water.)
What seems to be a "float" (upside-down cup attached to a thin pole that extends down into a hole -- where somehow that pole going up or down with the water level controls the solenoid, shutting it off when the water has gotten to the proper level) seems to be pretty free to go up and down.
About the exit hose: for the first several years of owning the machine, two of the three of us here would put dishes, etc, in, DIRTY -- no rinsing, no nuthing, straight off the table. (The more I complained (with explanation), the more -- well, you know the story, right?)
So, maybe some of that crud from a few years ago ended up in that hose. Any easy wat to test it?
What else might be the problem?
Thanks!
David
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On my dishwasher, there is a setting for China dishes, which makes the water-level low in the dishwasher. Check to see if there are any setting on yours that would make it act similiarly.
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David Combs wrote:

Hi,
D/W make, model#?

Fill valve can fail electrically or mechanically.

Yup, some may work once or twice and then fail open.

The float normally doesn't control the fill level, it is there to prevent over filling or flooding.

Take it off and flush it out.

Drain hose too low, drain solenoid stuck open and weeping out some water, incomming water pressure is too low, fill valve not opening fully, clogged fill valve screen, not enough fill time ( rare )....

Or weak pump, clogged filter/spray arms on the pump, etc.
http://www.applianceaid.com/dish.html#filling
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Appliance Repair Aid wrote:

I always thought the float was what determined the fill level. If the float doesn't determine the fill level, then what does?
Also, to the OP, it seems you are assuming that because the top rack of dishes doesn't get washed properly that it's a fill level problem. But, I don't see it stated that you actually checked the fill level. As I understand it, in most dishwashers the water should come up close to, but not over the heating element. I would definitely make sure it is a fill problem and not something else, before proceeding.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The fills are timed by the timer or electronic control....the float will not compensate for low pressure fills but will stop the water flow under high pressure fills to prevent over filling. The float is more of an safety to prevent over filling or floods and not for the normal operating water level.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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On my KitchenAId, there is a screen filter at the point where the water line goes into the solenoid. It used to get plugged up often and do just what you are observing. If this is what you have, take the solenoid loose (after turning off the water), find the screen, carefully remove it and clean it out. --Phil
David Combs wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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