Friday, October 23, 2009

Dishwasher Question - Dirty Dishes at the end of the cycle

Kyle writes:
I found your blog in Real Simple and am hoping you can help me with a really exasperating issue.

I have a three year old Jennair JDB1100AWS dishwasher. For the past two years the dishwasher has been cleaning the dishes and then redepositing grit and what looks like sandy food particles back on the dishes. I have had Service Plus (our local utility appliance repair plan) technicians out here at least six times. I have had the motor replaced, changed dishwasher soap brands, made sure the water is hot and the garbage disposal is flushed before starting the cycle. I have used Glisten to clean it out regularly and this still persists. I have tried everything and still the dishes come out dirtier when they went in. I used JetDry, and still they come out with this grit on them.

We did get a new sink installed two years ago. We were told maybe the hose needed to be lopped up, so that debris didn't come back in the system, and we did that.

Any suggestions? Ideas? Things to ask Service Plus to try?

My response to Kyle is:
Thank you for reading my blog. Sounds like you tried the most common types of fixes but,I hope I can help you with the cleaning issue on your dishwasher.
On occasion, there might be some food particles left on the dishes at the end of the cycle.
Possible cause: Water temperature might be too low. Remember, the water temperature
should be 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as it enters the dishwasher tub.
Solution: Check the water temperature at the closest faucet. Let the water from the hot water
tap run before starting the dishwasher in order to clear the water line of any cold water.
Possible cause: Not enough detergent for the degree of water hardness or for the amount of
dirty dishes to be cleaned.
Water hardness is measured in grains:
• 0 to 3 grains: soft water
• 4 to 9 grains: medium-hard water
• 10 to 15 grains: hard water
• Over 15 grains: very hard water.
If you do not know the hardness of the water supply, contact the local water department.
Solution: Use 1 teaspoon of detergent for each grain of hardness, with 3 teaspoons of
detergent, at a minimum, in soft water. The dishwasher will require extra detergent for
greasy pans.
Possible cause: The detergent was placed in the wrong side of the dispenser cup.
Solution: Instruct the user on how to fill the dispenser, and have the user reread the use
and care manual so that the detergent is placed in the correct dispenser for the cycle that
is selected.
Is the detergent dispenser functioning properly? Does the soap remain in the dispenser?
Possible causes: Improper loading of the dishes into the dishwasher.
1. Blocking the spray nozzle. If a large bowl or pot is placed over the center of the lower
rack, this will block the spray nozzle washing action when the lower rack is pushed in.
2. Larger items that shield smaller items from the washing action.
3. Observe to see if there is a nesting of the bowls or silverware so that the water
cannot reach all surfaces.
4. The spray arms are blocked from turning. For example, tall items or an item that fell
through the racks.
5. If an item blocks the detergent dispenser from opening, this will not allow the
detergent to mix with the water.
Solution: Instruct the user to reread the use and care manual for the proper instructions on
how to load the dishes for proper cleaning.
Possible cause: Improper filling of water in the tub. Water pressure must be between 15
and 120 pounds per square inch. After the fill has stopped, check the water level in the
tub. On most models, it should be even with the heating element in the bottom of the
Solution: If the water pressure is low, be sure that no other faucets are in use while the
dishwasher is operating.
Possible cause: Not enough hot water.
Solution: Instruct the user to use the dishwasher when the hot water is not being used for
laundry, baths, or showers.
Possible cause: If the dishwasher detergent is old and caked, it will not dissolve
Solution: Instruct the user to always purchase fresh detergent and store it in a dry place. Try using the dishwasher soap recommended in the use and care manual.

The Jenn-Air JDB1100 series dishwasher has extra features over the middle to bottom of the line other dishwashers. Listed below are some additional tips that might help you.

One feature is a turbidity sensor. This sensor is located on the bottom and to the left of the pump motor assembly. The sensor measures the soil level in the water. A service technician will have the check the sensor.

Another feature is called an over pressure filter. The purpose of this filter is to filter sediment missed by the lower filter than circulating it back through the wash cycle. This filter is located inside the tub straight in the back of the dishwasher. Spread the locking tabs. Rotate the filter down and remove from the manifold. clean or replace it.

If your problem is in the upper rack, check the docking station. The purpose of the docking station is to seal the water flow to the upper rack wash arm.

If everything checks out, try using the heavy cycle with an extra rinse.

Kyle, I hope these tips are helpful. Good luck, let me know if that worked for you. Remember to send your appliance questions to

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