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FIXED DU800DWGQ1 Whirlpool Dishwasher soap dispenser does not open (mechanical controlled machine)

pjstock

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
205
Location
toronto
Model Number
DU800DWGQ1
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
More than 10 years
This Whirlpool DW (a tenants's DW) is old but up until this week has been chugging along nicely, cleaning very effectively. I know that Jake has said that DW have a limited lilfe expectancy and we shouldn't expect them to last for ever, but I don't like replacing things that are still working well.

However, this week my tenant said their DW was not working well. When we ran a test cycle he reported that the soap dispenser did not open.
(remarkably the dishes were sparkling clean which just shows the effectiveness of very hot water being forcefully sloshed around the tub even if there is no soap)

I am posting because this DW, unlike modern ones, has a mechanical control, a round dial that you turn to set the cycle and then which ticks down like a clock timer mechanismi.

is the soap dispenser then triggered mechanically? or is it still by an electric signal, though from the mechanical dial rather than an electronic control board.?

what should I be looking at here for trouble shooting?

Peter
 

pjstock

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
205
Location
toronto
as a side question. I have never really thought about the various DW cycles.
for a normal wash does a DW take in water, do a rinse, drain and then reload the water for a maini wash?
if so, until I can deal with this soap dispenser problem or replace the unit, am I correct that if we just tossed soap into the unit loose and ran a Normal cycle, the soap would mostly be washed out of the unit after the rinse phase?

so if I wanted to cheap the soap dispenser temporarily, and tell me tenants to toss loose soap in after X minutes, for how long does a rinse phase normally go?
(though I guess I could ask him to run a Normal cycle and listen for the Rinse Draine and Main Wash Water Intake and time the Rinse phase.)
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,735
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Peter,

Sometimes the detergent actuator assembly linkage can jam up with old dry detergent and stick, thus not opening the detergent dispenser door.

Also, You'll need to leave the front door panel off and just sit there and watch it, your tech. data sheet in the bottom of the dishwasher will tell you when that detergent dispenser opens.

The timer tells it to open through the timer/dispenser cam WP8271510

Here's the detergent actuator assembly linkage for your model:
Dispenser Actuator 8193646


There is a video in the detergent actuator assembly linkage part link that shows you how to access it.

Jake
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,735
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
as a side question. I have never really thought about the various DW cycles.
for a normal wash does a DW take in water, do a rinse, drain and then reload the water for a maini wash?
if so, until I can deal with this soap dispenser problem or replace the unit, am I correct that if we just tossed soap into the unit loose and ran a Normal cycle, the soap would mostly be washed out of the unit after the rinse phase?
Basically Yes.
so if I wanted to cheap the soap dispenser temporarily, and tell me tenants to toss loose soap in after X minutes, for how long does a rinse phase normally go?
(though I guess I could ask him to run a Normal cycle and listen for the Rinse Drain and Main Wash Water Intake and time the Rinse phase.)
Sure you can do that, just put the detergent pod in after you load the dishes and before you start the dishwasher.

Jake
 

pjstock

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
205
Location
toronto
as I sort of expected, that actuator sytem looks incredibly old-fashioned, dumb, mechanical.

so, can I actually remove the front panel and somehow watch the mechanism while a cycle is running?
 

pjstock

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
205
Location
toronto
but just to be clear.
you say "Sure you can do that, just put the detergent pod in after you load the dishes and before you start the dishwasher."

but to cheat, should I not : load the dishes, start the cycle but wait X minutes until the rinse phase finishes before tossing in loose soap?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
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Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,735
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes Peter, just follow the video in the linkage part link.

Peter: Just load the dishes as normal and throw the pod in and your done.:)

Jake
 

pjstock

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
205
Location
toronto
Stop me if you've heard this one before....

So, last December I was facing a DW soap flap that would not open but not being able to disassemble the door to investigate, I just moved the unit from my Tenants place to my basement with the idea that once the snow cleared I would take it apart and have a look.
and I swapped in a Bosch that I got 2nd hand pretty cheap (both my tenants now have Bosch DW - more by accident because they popped up for sale than design and I must say BOSCH DWs seem to work VERY well. )

That moment finally came this week (May 2021.) when I was clearing stuff out of my basement and I grabbed that old Whirlpool DW, dragged it to the country, put it up on a work stand and tested it out.

Cycle 1. Soap flap did not open.
nor on Cycle 2 or 3 or 4.

But then I noticed something odd. As I closed the door I could see how close the soap flap came to the front edge of the rack. Very close. in fact I couldn't see how the flap could pop open at all.
and finally it dawned on me. There was a veritical bar in the rack right in front of the soap flap that would hold it closed all through the cycle. even if the latch clicked open, the flap would be held shut and then at the end of the cycle the latch would (I think) click locked again. which is why I was lead to believe that the soap flap never opened at all.

what kind of stupid design was THAT I wondered.

and then I looked and noticed that the volcano funnel in the middle of the rack (that jetted water up and around the top rack)was not aligned with the opening where the water would fire out. That seemed weird. (and might have explained why the top level dishes were not getting very clean)

finally I looked and realized that the two faces of the rack had different bar patterns. THE RACK WAS BACKWARDS.
The front and back look almost identical. and it can rool in either way just as easily.
But flipping it around there is an opening so the flap can pop 1/3 open and the volcano aligned correctly.

Voila!

Crazy.

Jake and Company. Have you ever had to tell one of us boneheads to flip the DW rack around?
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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McMullen Valley, Arizona
LOL, Yes Peter, if I remember correctly 20 years ago I did tell a customer that.:)

You are exactly right, Whirlpool should of made it impossible to put it in backwards. LOL

Jake
 
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