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587.14432200 Kenmore (Frigidaire) 18" Dishwasher Spray Arm or...?

Chicago Al

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
43
Location
Illinois
Model Number
587.1443
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
I am a self-taught DIY guy, and I can't believe I have not seen this forum until now! I may become a regular here as I'm always trying to keep our appliances going---including a 30+ year old Maytag washer I just did a (major PITA) snubber pad repair on.

But today the issue is our Kenmore (mfd by Frigidaire) 18" dishwasher. It's never been a great DW, most in that size are not, but it was adequate until a few days ago when we noticed a load that didn't even seem to have been washed. I ran the same load again and a mid-cycle check showed soapy water in the bottom, but no sign of any spray going on. (Normally if you open the door mid-cycle you see the spray mechanism come to a stop and the 'tower' collapse.)

I have opened the DW up and cleaned out/replaced some parts in the past, the impeller I think. This time I saw a problem as soon as I tried to get the spray arm off. The arm is quite loose on the shaft from the diffuser, and I could not get the nut off. In fact the threaded shaft must be stripped where it comes up from the diffuser, as the whole thing is turning. I removed the diffuser and found that the plastic gasket/seal/snapring that acts as kind of a 'bearing' for the spray arm had come loose from the arm and was probably preventing it from turning. So I popped it back in, and now I've reassembled things and it seems to be working more or less normally. When I open the door mid-cycle I do see water coming from the spray arm and the tower collapsing, so that's good, though I'm not sure how much water pressure is getting to the upper rack.

I've got another diffuser coming from repairclinic.com, and I'm sure I can get the nut off the old one.

My question (finally) is: how tight or loose should the spray arm be? As is, when the DW is off, it is so loose that at rest, the arm will touch the heating element. Would getting it tighter send more water through the system?

Also I'm suspicious of the shallow pool of water in the bottom of the pan...will investigate further!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
120,240
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Was the diffuser on back order? It looks to be out-of-stock at RepairClinic: Lower Wash Arm Support Diffuser 154367402

Its in-stock here: 154367402 Diffuser

My question (finally) is: how tight or loose should the spray arm be? As is, when the DW is off, it is so loose that at rest, the arm will touch the heating element. Would getting it tighter send more water through the system?
It should be tight where the nut supports it at the diffuser, but it may have a little play on the ends but not much.

You may want to check the upper impeller to see if its worn out or cracked, that will cause a decrease in pump spray power.

Here it is: 154370601 Impeller-Upper

Jake
 

Chicago Al

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
43
Location
Illinois
Hi Jake and thanks for the quick reply.

I must have gotten the last one in stock as that's the part that they shipped to me today!

After I posted above, I went back to the DW and took it apart another 'layer,' that is, down to part # 14 on the diagram, and cleaned out the little bits of crud that were accumulated there. They weren't really too bad and I didn't see anything that would have been obstructing. Also no sign of cracks in the impeller or anything else.

I've got it running a test cycle now and it seems to be working fine. I am pretty sure that the main problem was the 'snap ring' having popped out of the spray arm, which mean that the incoming water simply drained out there rather than being forced up into the arm and tower. The DW was filling with water, but the water mostly just stayed in the bottom of the tub. Probably the 'snap ring' was able to come loose because the spray arm is too loose on its shaft, so hopefully the new diffuser/lower wash arm support (why two different names?) will work.

BTW what's so special about the damn spray arm retainer nut that justifies it costing $30??? I'm reusing the old one for sure, even if I have to dremel the shaft to get it off.

Al
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
120,240
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Al sounds good.

I don't know why RepairClinic uses both names, maybe for inventory reasons.

Yes, that spray arm nut is way too much money, you can go to your local hardware store and match it up for 50 cents.:)

Its been a few years since I worked on a Kenmore 587 made by Frigidaire, I do remember that snap ring, but I can't find it on the parts diagram.

Here's the parts diagram for your model below, what number is it?

Jake
 

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Chicago Al

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
43
Location
Illinois
Hi Jake! Again I can't believe it's taken me till now to find this super-helpful forum. I am quite stubborn about trying to keep our older appliances going, esp as newer ones seem to all have fewer replaceable parts AND shorter life spans, a bad combination. Our Maytag washing machine is c1983 and was in our house when we bought it. But I'm afraid the next part to go will be the transmission, and if that happens I'm done.

This dishwasher I'm not so attached to, as it's just not that good even when working right, and we're keeping an eye out for bargain sale pricing on an 18" Bosch. Meanwhile though, a $30 part to keep this one limping along is fine.

That nut though--I figured it had to be a standard size. I'm used to expensive parts (motion picture/video gear) and just paid $30 for a little plastic threaded plug for a tripod fluid head handle---but that was a unique specially made part!

The 'snap ring' on the spray arm is not a separate part, it comes as part of the arm. It's visible (barely) in the photos of the bottom of the spray arm.

It's a translucent soft(er) plastic ring, maybe 1/4" thick, designed to nest inside the bottom hole on the arm and stay there. It's got a diagonal cut through it so it can be squeezed smaller in order to fit into the arm, then it expands back into place. I should have taken a pic while I had it off. The type of plastic it's made from is smooth and slippery so the ring serves the function of a bearing, while the harder plastic the spray arm is made from would wear out if it was directly in contact with the plastic shaft of the diffuser.

I just did a google search and think the proper name for this kind of part (generically) is: plastic sleeve bearing.

Alan
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
120,240
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Got it! thanks Alan. I remember now.

Jake
 
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