GE dishwasher misbehaving (xposted)

I have a 6 year old GE dishwasher. The past couple of days we noticed that the dishwasher detergent powder is not being used up. We thought we've put too much detergent or it didn't get dissolved properly etc.. Today we ran it during the day to observe. Looks like there's not much water injecting/circulating inside. Previously during rinse cycle a whole lot of water used to channel its way into the sink drain like it's supposed to. Now there's hardly any. I'm thinking there's a block in the water source to the dishwasher.
We've also had another issue with this unit. The dishwasher racks are corroded and we've repaired some corroded parts with plastic caps / resin paint. There's still some more corrosion. DH thinks the rusty bits fell off and blocked the water pipe.
Please offer suggestions on what to look for. Is there anything we can check before we call the plumber? We do lot of fixing up of basic plumbing issues at our house.
Thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi, Is your water hard/acidic? If water level is low when filled, you can adjust the float switch to increase the water level. Also we use only liquid detergent. Haven't used power detergent long time.
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Our water is not hard. Nobody around here uses water softener. We'll switch to liquid detergent if that's the only reason. We've used powder all these years without any issue.
Thanks for your reply.
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On 22 Aug, 11:43, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If the powered detergent has been being used up for 6 years, do you really think that suddenly there is a need to switch to a liquid? If you haven't changed powders or the amount you use (and the manufacturer hasn't changed the formula) then I doubt the powder is the cause of the problem. Switching to a liquid would be treating the symptom, not the disease. I might as well throw in the fact that if the powder got damp and lumpy, then maybe that is causing problems, but I think you would have noticed that when you tried to fill the cups.
If you really think there is less water entering the unit, then you could try disconnecting the supply hose and checking to see if it has a screen that could be clogged. Maybe there is a way to blow out the supply lines inside the DW.
While not related to the actual water level, some other things to check are to make sure nothing is blocking either of the arms from spinning and/or if something is preventing the detergent cup door from opening fully. I once had a dishwasher where you had to make sure the lower rack was pushed back as far as it would go or the detergent cup door would catch on it and not open fully. The main dishwasher door did not push the rack back own its own.
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I have a GE unit, about 2 years old, and this happens with the *upper* rack.
If the rack is not pushed all the way back when closing the door, the flap on the detergent cup will open only about 1/3 of the way, leaving a lump of detergent at the end of the cycle.
Tipoff here is when you open the DW door after running, you can hear a "click" as the flap on the detergent cup snaps open.
Eric Law

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Go to repair clinic.com and check out dishwashers nice site

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Verify the water level is really low. After it finishes filling and right before it starts to wash or rinse, open the door and visually check the level. If low, chances are it is a bad or clogged solenoid. Take that off and clean it out and make sure it is opening fully.
It is doubtful that rust clogged the fill line. If anything, rust bits can clog the pump.
On Aug 22, 4:17 pm, "Larry and a Cat named Dub" <hdyman58

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On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 07:30:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I had a GE that was doing that. There is a valve on the pump body that controls where the water from the pump goes - either it pumps the water out or it pumps it to the inside. What happened was the valve was sticking so while the machine was filling it was at the same time pumping the water out!! It would stick different amounts at different times so sometimes it worked right, sometimes it didn't work at all and sometimes it seemed like it was working but the soap didn't get "dispensed" to a greater or lessor degree because there wasn't enough water squirting around.
That the bottom front cover off and you should be able to see the valve, it will have the hose that goes to the drain pipe connected to it. If it's the same design mine was the valve is controlled by an external solenoid that is connected to the valve lever. You should be able to move it by hand and feel if it's sticking or not. Mine was also leaking. It was the last GE I will ever buy. One of the worst DWs I ever owned, and it was near their top of the line and a Consumer Reports "best buy".
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One thing if you do what's described below... make sure the power to the DW is off first!
There are exposed terminals underneath that may be live, accidentally touching them could ruin your day.
Eric Law

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On Aug 22, 9:30 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

OP here. We did some more checking over the weekend. We cleaned the drain filter, it seemed to be ok. We looked at the float mechanism from inside the dishwasher. It doesn't seem to be sticking. We opened the front bottom panel of the dishwasher to check the supply line copper tube. There's no problem there either. But when we turned on the dishwasher and let it run some time and opened the door, we could clearly see that the water was very low.
Would it help if we replace the float and float switch?
Looks like Home Depot or similar stores don't carry appliance spare parts. Is the GE website the only place to get spare parts?
Thanks.
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On Aug 28, 5:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I buy my parts from here:
http://www.triblesapplianceparts.com
there's a brick and mortar store near my house so I can't comment on their mail order
good luck
nate
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

How low is low? There's normally only an inch or so of water in the tub when the dishwasher is operating. As long as the pump always has water at its inlet that should be enough. (As the dishwasher fills, you should hear the pump transition from not pumping because its inlet is dry, to alternately pumping and not pumping, to pumping full time.)

Probably not. According to the service manual for our GE, the float switch doesn't normally open - the fill ends when a certain amount of time has passed and the water isn't expected to be high enough to trigger the float at that point. The float is just a safety if the timer gets stuck or your water pressure is particularly high.
If you really aren't getting enough water, check for a clogged water inlet screen or low water pressure.
    Dave
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