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FIXED GE Dishwasher SSD3900J00WW won't drain, drain pump extremely hot

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
Model Number
SSD3900J00WW
Brand
GE
Age
More than 10 years
GE model SSD3900J00WW stopped draining. S/N indicates manufactured July 2004. I attempted to troubleshoot. I cleaned the center and back filters; these were not really obstructed by anything. The gasket on the piston & nut assembly looks worn. After cleaning I removed front panel and cycled it a few times. When it gets to the drain cycle, the drain solenoid clacks loudly down but instantly returns to the up position. It moves up and down easily when I did it manually. I did not detect that the drain pump ever really ran. The solenoid just clacks down and then instantly up again, other than that nothing happens. After it had been on for a while trying to cycle the drain pump, I attempted to spin the drain motor with my fingertip, and burned my finger. The drain motor was too hot to touch. I did not detect any burned wires or scorching anywhere under there though. Then I used a screwdriver to spin the motor a little and it didn't appear to be seized up.

I removed the piston/nut assembly and solenoid, thinking I'd at least replace those. But is the drain motor supposed to be that hot? Is the solenoid not staying down actually the source of the problem, or would a failed drain pump cause the solenoid to react like that?

Other info: I have not pulled the machine out yet. It is not adjacent to a sink so it is plumbed atypically. The supply line is copper, runs up from the floor at the back, and is nutted to the water valve. The shut off valve is across the kitchen adjacent to the sink shut off. The drain tube goes into the floor after presumably looping up behind the machine (but I can't see behind there yet). I don't think there is any air gap. I haven't pulled it out to see if there are any obstructions in the drain parts themselves.

Should I start with replacing the solenoid, or is it the motor?

Thanks for any advice.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
131,217
Location
Redmond, Oregon
When it gets to the drain cycle, the drain solenoid clacks loudly down but instantly returns to the up position. It moves up and down easily when I did it manually. I did not detect that the drain pump ever really ran.
Sounds like the pump/motor assembly is either stuck or has gone out on you.

Pump/Motor Assembly:
WD26X10013 Complete GE Pump and Motor Assembly


When it drains the TIMER sends 120 volts to the drain solenoid and makes the drain solenoid flapper go down to drain. It should not pop back up till all the water is out AND if the pump/motor is humming or buzzing and HOT and not running that's why it returns to the up position.

Take the pump/motor assembly out of the dishwasher and see if something is stick inside it keeping it from running, the impeller inside it should turn freely.

WD19X10032 Pump Seal and Impeller Kit


When you click the link to the pump/motor assembly, you will see a video on how to remove it and replace it.

Jake
 

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
Sounds like the pump/motor assembly is either stuck or has gone out on you.
OK, I guess I'll have to pull out the dishwasher and remove the pump/motor assembly. I didn't detect any sound at all from the motor, just the sound of the solenoid clacking and a slight timer noise. I found a video on how to replace the impeller so I'll take that apart too and see what's there. If there's no obstruction anywhere, I guess it must need a new pump/motor. Those things aren't cheap so I'll have to decide whether it's worth it versus a new one. Thank you for the reply.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
131,217
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Ok sounds good, let us know what you find.

Jake
 

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
Will do, it's a rental and I cant get back in there until Sunday. I'm hoping I'll find that the impeller is just blocked with something.

As far as diagnosing, I'm seeing that you can check resistance on the solenoid and pump motor with a multimeter. One source says solenoid should be 40 ohms, another source says the motor should be 200 ohms. Are these values roughly correct? I checked the old solenoid and it reads .033. I bought a new solenoid, but that also reads .033. I'm checking by putting the leads from the multimeter on each prong where the wire harness attaches. Both the old solenoid and new one reading the same .033 is confusing me if it's supposed to be 40. I may not be using or reading the multimeter correctly? My (cheap) multimeter has a resistance range of 2k.

I plan to return the new solenoid if I can, since the pump/motor assembly comes with one. Just wondering if the ohm test is reliable for determining if the motor is bad.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Joined
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Messages
131,217
Location
Redmond, Oregon
I'm hoping I'll find that the impeller is just blocked with something.
Yes, that would certainly be good news if that's all it was.:)

As far as diagnosing, I'm seeing that you can check resistance on the solenoid and pump motor with a multimeter. One source says solenoid should be 40 ohms, another source says the motor should be 200 ohms. Are these values roughly correct? I checked the old solenoid and it reads .033. I bought a new solenoid, but that also reads .033. I'm checking by putting the leads from the multimeter on each prong where the wire harness attaches. Both the old solenoid and new one reading the same .033 is confusing me if it's supposed to be 40. I may not be using or reading the multimeter correctly? My (cheap) multimeter has a resistance range of 2k.
I'm not quite sure what the resistance should be on it, usually I replace that drain solenoid when its mechanically failed, usually the plastic around that solenoid starts to melt and it gets mechanically stuck and won't go up or down when the 120 volts from the timer goes to it, to operate it.

Jake
 

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
usually I replace that drain solenoid when its mechanically failed
If I don't find any obstructions, I plan to strip an old lamp cord, wire it to the prongs for both the solenoid and motor (separately) after removing the pump/motor assembly, plug in the cord and see if both work. Being careful about the electrical hazard of course. It seems like this would prove whether one or the other is failed. I saw this mentioned in a couple videos so please tell me if this is a bad idea.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
131,217
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Yes, I agree 100% with you doing that.:)

Jake
 

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
Yes, I agree 100% with you doing that.:)
It was Chewbacca.

IMG_6921.JPG

I removed the pump/motor assembly. There was hair gunk packed around the impeller blade. I put some penetrating oil on the shaft and hacked away at the hair with a tiny screwdriver. I got to the point where I could remove the impeller blade, then removed the suction ring, wear ring retainer, and wear ring (that's what this video
calls it). I could not get enough leverage on the impeller to unscrew it, and I'm not sure on this model whether it unscrews or what. I proceeded to hack away at the rest of the hair gunk, and this was the result.

IMG_6922.JPG

Fortunately it did not spring to life. Since I could not get the impeller off, I got to this point and figured it was enough to test.

IMG_6925.JPG

I reassembled the rings and impeller blade. Meanwhile I had reassembled the old solenoid (see original post) onto the motor. I attached my old lamp electrical cord to the motor and plugged it in. The motor ran without a hitch and was very quiet too. I did the same with the solenoid and it clacked into the down/open position and stayed there. At this point I thought there was nothing substantially wrong with either the motor or the solenoid. I put the assembly back into the dishwasher, reattached all hoses and electrical and water supply line, plugged it in and ran a full cycle, a quick wash, and then just a rinse. Everything seemed normal. Little to no water inside.

At this point I'm calling it a success. Thank you Jake for your help! I can't imagine how many people just buy a new dishwasher when this sort of thing is the only problem.
 

Jake

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Excellent, good job getting all that hair gunk out, and your back in business.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 

KMB59

Premium Member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Small Town, CO
It was a satisfying outcome and thanks again for your help. One has to wonder how so much hair gets into a dishwasher.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
131,217
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Glad to help!

Jake
 
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