Maytag dishwasher suddenly stopped working

MDB9601 suddenly stopped working, and instead started humming loudly. When I open the door, a loud grinding noise can be heard (from where i assume the pump is at the bottom of the unit) stopping and grinding slowly to a halt.
All on-line diagnostics seem to indicate that something is caught in the impeller somewhere but all of them report that their units fill and then start humming when something is caught in the impeller. Here, if there is something jammed into the impeller, where is the grinding sound coming from to grind to a halt?
Does anyone know anything about these units and have any idea whether this is something caught in the impeller preventing the water filling or something stopping the water filling preventing the unit working with no water input? (Nothing has operated to prevent the water coming in such as a water shut-off, and the water supply is shared with the washing machine which still works)
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wrote:

isn't there a removable screen at the bottom that can be renmoved for cleaning if youtake the rotating arm off?
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wrote:

not that I can see?
(and no loonies staring through screens either)
Anyone come across this problem? no water input but humming and possibly jammed motor?
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Amanda Ripanykhazova wrote:

Hmmm, Water inlet solenoid?
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2012 06:54:01 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

Don't write off this suggestion. I had a similar problem with a dishwasher years ago. The 'grinding sound' could be caused by a defective water inlet solenoid. Instead of opening properly, it just buzzed. And don't disregard the possibility of a defective water level switch. The float switch is in series with the fill valve.
Googling 'MDB9601 parts' brings up a wealth of information, including the wiring diagram and assembly drawing of the main pump area. This model has two pumps - the main wash pump which has a food grinder in it's shaft (a possible source of the noise), as well as the drain pump.
PlainBill
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On Apr 30, 4:38pm, snipped-for-privacy@yawhoo.com wrote:

I hadnt written anything off, in fact I was assuming that it was the water valve and was wondering how i can replace it (even though it is probably just blocked up with dirt from the pipes) in situ. I will have to buy one as the local technicians like to come to any apartment twice, once to diagnose when you tel them to bring a valve because you need a valve and then again to bring the valve.
I had also tried to clean out the impeller mechanism but didnt get very far as the round pump cover under the removable arm seems to be exceptionally difficult to take out.
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2012 16:10:56 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

Whoo!! Lots of stuff. First, I forgot a link to the wiring / assembly drawing http://www.appliancepartspros.com/partsearch/model.aspx?model_idQ70566&diagram_id (468795#d28468795
You could simply replace the valve, but I prefer troubleshooting to at least establish that power (and water) is getting to the valve (P/N 6-920534). Prices for this are all over the map - Appliance Depot lists it at $19, others have it as high as $59. They are also available on eBay.
Tearing down the main pump assembly is a pain. The lower rotating arm must be removed, then there are a number of Torx screws that have to be removed. As I recall there are about three layers to it.
PlainBill
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On May 1, 3:26pm, snipped-for-privacy@yawhoo.com wrote:

Luckily I found one for ten bucks including shipping! I agree, the dissembly of the pump area is a real pain as the mid and upper spray arm seems to prevent the various bits being easily taken off to clean or inspect: Possibly the solution is to use some sort of dishwasher cleaner to get rid of whatever is in the impeller mechanism? On looking at it, it does look filthy but not with anything which would block it. Unlike GE dishwashers, there seem to be various screens to prevent that sort of thing blocking the impeller?.
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On Thu, 3 May 2012 07:16:46 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

The assembly of yours looks similar (if not identical) to mine. I recently had to tear mine down to remove an accumulation of 'crud'. The disassembly goes like this: 1. Remove the lower tray (the upper one also if you desire additional clearance). 2. Remove the plastic nut that holds the lower spray arm in place, remove the lower spray arm. 3. Remove three torx screws (T-15 IIRC) that hold the upper filter plate in place and remove it. 4. Remove the (6?) torx screws that hold the discharge housing in place and remove it (it is a snap fit into the water distribution assembly). 5. Remove the screw holing the impeller in place and remove it. 6. Remove the screws holding the pump filter in place and remove it. 7. Examine the chopper that is just below the screen on the pump filter.
Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.
I live in an area that has very hard water. Residue had clogged many passages, in addition the screen in the pump filter was partially clogged with food particles.
A common suggestion is to add 1 - 2 cups of white vinegar to the dishwasher to remove any deposits. That did not work well for me.
PlainBill
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On May 3, 3:27pm, snipped-for-privacy@yawhoo.com wrote:

The problem I had was with the second part of stage 4. I couldnt get the covers off around the upper spray arms at the rear.
(yes, there is lots of crud in there)
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On Sat, 5 May 2012 16:23:03 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

On mine it was not necessary to remove the upper spray arms. The discharge housing slips (snaps) off the tube that leads to the middle and upper spray arms.
PlainBill
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Oh that's where I went wrong! It snaps out and I wasn't prepared to apply enough force. Thanks for confirming that, Have now found a valve so cheaply shipped and will take impeller apart to make sure it doesnt need too much attention there as well.
Emphatically didnt want to lose that lower tray-cleaning level which no other dishwasher has now a days!
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Oh that's where I went wrong! It snaps out and I wasn't prepared to apply enough force. Thanks for confirming that, Have now found a valve so cheaply shipped and will take impeller apart to make sure it doesnt need too much attention there as well.
Emphatically didnt want to lose that lower tray-cleaning level which no other dishwasher has now a days!
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wrote:

Hey guys, you were right, the humming was a jammed solenoid on the input valve which I changed after finding one for the ten bucks i mentioned. And while the unit may still need cleaning in the impeller mechanism which I couldnt get at, it is now working properly.
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On Apr 30, 4:38pm, snipped-for-privacy@yawhoo.com wrote:

BTW Did you manage to get the valve changed without taking the whole dishwasher out and turning it on its side? (I seem to remember there was a problem installing this dishwasher but I cant remember what it was. I also remember wondering while I was watching it why it wasnt just the five minute install job which it was supposed to be!)
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On Thu, 3 May 2012 20:19:51 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

I've never had to replace the fill valve on this dishwasher, but I don't think it's possible to do it without pulling it out. It would require a major contortionist to do it.
PlainBill
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Pump running while dry? Mine has a float sensor on the bottom, left front. If the float sticks up, as it does occasionally, the sensor reports there is standing water and turns on the pump. Dry pump made a grinding/growling noise the entire time.
It might not be relevant, but worth a try to check.
Scott Dunedin
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On Thu, 26 Apr 2012 16:05:56 -0700 (PDT), Amanda Ripanykhazova

I have some very bad news for you. Your dishwasher is broken! Now you will have to do like the pioneers, and wash them dishees by hand. Of course you could just eat at Mcdonalds every day and then you wont have dishes to wash.
I'd recommend Mcdonalds as the best solution.
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