FGHD2433KF Puzzling issue with Frigidaire dishwasher

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
Model Number
FGHD2433KF
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
6-10 years
Hello.

I have a dishwasher from Frigidaire's infamous "Gallery" product line. It is not cleaning dishes well and I'm running out of ideas of things to try, but don't want to give up without a fight.

I've done the good old cleaning cycle with water and vinegar several times. I've taken apart just enough to see the sump area and the water circulation pump, as well as testing for continuity on some components. I've also held the door slightly opened and activated the door safety switch manually to peak into what happens during operation and this is what I've seen so far:

The inlet valve seems to be doing its job. When the washer is started, it send enough water to partially fill the bottom of the dishwasher. It comes out as a gentle stream rather than a gushing jet but that doesn't seem to be a problem as long as it fills the bottom. I've also added water to the bottom of the dishwasher prior to starting and it hasn't helped clean the dishes better.

Once the water fill cycle ends and the arms start to spin, the water comes out of that bottom spout like a freaking geyser, and I've gotten a few facials out of it for my efforts. I've held the door partially opened just long enough to see the spectacle and then turn off the cycle. I've done this both, with and without the lower arm. Water pressure there doesn't seem to be a problem.

The one thing that seems off is the wastewater flapper valve that prevents backflow. I've operated the drain cycle with the arm and filter removed and can see the pump extract all of the water but, once it stops, some water comes back. I would say perhaps a quart of water returns. I bought a new flapper valve at repairclinic, whose warehouse I'm blessed to have 3 miles from my house but I noticed it was slightly smaller than the old one, although the later was pretty bent out shape. The new valve did not really help with the backflow. I also fashioned my own larger one, from gasket rubber material and the result is exactly the same. I should mention that both the retail and my cobbled valve do cover the inner tube by which the wastewater exits. It is as though the water is returning from somewhere else.

I've been theorizing that this dirty water that comes back is mixing with the new water at the beginning of the cycle and that is what is preventing the dishes from cleaning properly but I'm pretty sure I did a cycle where I removed as much dirty water was as I could beforehand and the results were not great. I need to repeat that experiment.

I do have the benefit of changing parts at will, then returning them to repairclinic if they don't help. Short of doing that, or my experiment just above, what else should I be looking at?

Thanks in advance.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
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Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Give me your definition of "not cleaning dishes well" Check the drain hose is higher than the bottom of the sink before the drain connection:
D-Dishwasher connections.jpg
 

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
Thank you for your reply. Dishes usually come out with with a murky film and feel soapy when you add water to them. Besides that, they often also have food particles. I just checked the rain hose and it is indeed higher than the bottom of the sink. I surmise that what comes back is the contents of the hose up to the its highest point. Last night I had the filter out of the dishwasher and was washing some dishes by hand in the sink. When I looked at the bottom of the dishwasher, I noticed that dish soap suds had made it into the dishwasher. I still think there is an issue with the flapper valve.

However, while I was working on the back flow issue, I noticed something that should be at least just as critical and would explain part of the problem. I did another test with the door open and for the first time noticed that the middle washer arm is not turning. While water is gushing out hard from the bottom spout that drives the lower arm, the middle and upper arms are not getting any water. I'll read up on what to do in this case and report back here.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Once you figure out the spray arms most of your problem should be solved. If soapy water from the sink is making its way to the dishwasher, there's a problem. The drain hose might not be high enough. You're correct, the amount of water that could enter the machine through the drain hose is from its highest point so at the end of a cycle the water in the drain hose is final rinse/clean water. Now, for what it's worth, here's what I can tell you about the check valve. Quite a while ago we had a service school on Whirlpool machines that used the same style check valve. Here's how it was explained to me. If you look closely at the flapper, there a couple small holes in the center. They're designed small enough not to let water past but to let air pressure out and for it to work correctly everything needs to be assembled. Here's a few more tips:

If you have a soft water system installed, use half the amount of soap you normally use. Use a dishwasher cleaner instead of vinegar. Plumbing supply stores sell a more concentrated hydrochloric acid. Run 2 cups through a wash cycle (after it fills) then dump a box of baking soda in the tub and run another quick wash cycle.
 

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
Thanks a gain for the good tips. I reinstalled the retail flapper valve I got from repairclinic with the three little holes in the middle and this time I made sure it was in the right position. I had the dishwasher on its side so I had a very good view of everything. I also wrapped a small rubber band in the little tab where the valve hinges/attaches to make sure the valve sits as back and close to the opening as possible. Back flow seems a bit less now but what you say makes sense that even if some rinse water gets back, this should be from the end of the cycle when the water is clean, so I'm sure now this is not really the problem.

On to the washer arm...

I purchased a new one from repairclinic and just finished installing it. However, it performs just like the old one. The tube that feeds water to the middle and upper washer arms is transparent so I can see how the water flows through it. When the arm spinning part of the cycle starts, I can see the water slowly make its way to the middle arm and then either trickles in or doesn't quite get into the middle arm, let alone reach the upper one. It looks like not enough pressure is building but it's not because of the pump itself. It looks like pressure is escaping at some point.
 

rickgburton

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The motor drives a pump which supplies 100 percent filtered water at a rate of approximately 12 GPM to one spray arm at a time. The spray arm’s operation is alternated by small “pauses” of the motor during the wash cycle.
 

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
The motor drives a pump which supplies 100 percent filtered water at a rate of approximately 12 GPM to one spray arm at a time. The spray arm’s operation is alternated by small “pauses” of the motor during the wash cycle.
Oh, I see. Does that mean that at some point in the cycle the middle arm will begin to spin while the bottom one won't? That should be some pretty clever design as everything seems to flow on the same path. I haven't waited long enough to see if the water makes past the middle arm at some point. I'll check it out.
 

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
Well, I'm running out of steam on this one. I monitored the transparent duct that provides water to the upper wash arms. As you said, at predetermined points in the cycle, water does flow all the way to the top so it looks like the arms must be spinning inside. At this point, I don't know what else to try. Dishes till come out poorly cleaned.

It is as though I were cleaning the dishes with just water. Those that are not too dirty going in come out OK but the ones with visible traces of food, like sauce, etc., come out with food residue. Earlier this year, I had replaced the detergent dispenser because sometimes it would fail to open but the new one certainly opens. We've been using the same types of detergent we've always used.

Is it time to throw in the towel and buy a new one?
 

TheManuel

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Michigan, USA
Might be, I don't know what else it could be.
I really appreciate you keeping an eye on this thread and guiding me along. I plan to start looking at dishwashers this week and install a new one over the Christmas break. I did all I could on this but the dishes must be clean :)
 
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