How to Fix a Dishwasher

5 Dec

My dishwasher broke mere days before my parents were supposed to arrive for a visit. Now normally a broken dishwasher and company aren’t a good thing, but my Dad can fix anything so I figured it was kismet.

"Dad! Glad you’re here! Can you help me fix the dishwasher?"

"Son, no, it’s not like that. It’s time to go to Lowes and pick out a new one."


"Look, you’re gonna bust your ass and find that the busted part is gonna cost you $200 or be unavailable altogether. Get yourself a new one and save yourself the heartache."


"Look, I don’t like going to the dentist either but I go; so go out and buy yourself a new dishwasher. They’ll pick the old one up for free."

So of course I didn’t listen. It all started so innocently… I figured, if I’m gonna get a new dishwasher I can at least install it myself, right? So I better see what I’m up against and pull it out and all… So I started pulling it out and figured, "well, if it’s a gonner anyway, there’s no harm in pulling parts off, right? I should have a look…"

After a little bit, I had that "Thar’s yer problim!" moment as I plucked out a shattered hunk of metal. So I went to the repair guide. I couldn’t find the exact part, but they showed the whole area I was working on came as a bundled "Impeller drive kit" or something like that. $30. Sold.

It showed up after a week or so and I got busy. Initially, I was puzzled, but then I figured out that the busted part I had in my hand was actually just a chunk of a larger part, so I pulled that out and replaced it and buttoned it back up again. It didn’t seem to fit, but, well, what could go wrong??

The loud humming sound that came along after the tank filled up appeared to me to mean that something could go wrong so I frantically aborted the whole operation. Only one thing can make this worse: a 5 year old.

"HI DAD!!!! CAN I HELP????"

"oh hell no."



"Err Dad, what kind of bucket?"

"Sorry. The big orange one."

After bailing the dishwasher out with the 5-year-old’s assistance, I still hadn’t learned my lesson. After all, the whole issue just came down to the fact that the impeller was binding against another part. Let’s look at that other part, it just needs to be pried >>>SNAP<<< or broken off. Fine. Looks like it was smashed up anyway and it’s a part of the impeller kit, so I have a replacement.

It all went together pretty well except for this rubber doohickey that didn’t want to seat all the way down. Perhaps. Or maybe it was fine. Hard to tell. Well, there’s one way: put her all together and see if she works! What could go wrong, after all?

Well, it could leak, for one.


"But we don’t even need a bucket, ’cause the motor at least works and pumped the dishwasher out. What I need is a towel." "I’LL GO GET THE ORANGE TOWEL!!"


It was around this point that I discovered this:

I tell you. The interwebs knows everything. It’s exactly the kit and the model of dishwasher I have in-hand. I did everything the fellow said to do. Believe him when he says "This may take some effort". My response: "and some C4".

His secret sauce was the dish soap on the rubber thing. Once I did that, it went together pretty well. The dishwasher still is making more noise than it should, which could either be because I knocked the motor off-center or because of what looks like another broken part underneath the drain pan. I don’t know. In any case, the dishwasher runs.

I’m not crowing victory. I think I bought myself some time, that’s all.


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