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FIXED KDTM354ESS2 KitchenAid Dishwasher Occasionally runs without water

flamingvan@gmai

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Model Number
KDTM354ESS2
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
Recently my circulation pump froze up and I had to replace the filter, which was shredded. This got the dishwasher working again, but every once in a while when I start up a cycle everything runs normally EXCEPT no water enters the tub. When this happens the circulation pump makes a loud noise and my theory is that the pump filter originally broke because it was running dry.

I have already tried replacing the inlet valve as well as the control board, but just last night I caught it trying to run without water. When I run the diagnostic I get error codes 8-1 and 8-2, which are related to the drain pump. I also sometimes get error 3-4, which is not in the tech sheet.

Any ideas?
 

Jake

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Have you checked to see if the water is siphoning out?

You need to make sure your dishwasher drain hose has a high loop in it before it connects to the garbage disposal or sink plumbing.

You can see how it has to loop in Fig 1, Fig 1a, Fig 2 here:

drain-help.jpg


Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I adjusted the loop. It's now about 25" above the floor and slightly above where it intersects with the disposer. I reran the diagnostic. I got error 8-1 but not 8-2. I didn't get the error 3-4 but I don't always get that one anyway. Do you think this will prevent it from running dry? If so would it be possible for you to explain why?

Thanks for the help!
 

Jake

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Yes, try it now.

Siphoning can occur if that drain hose doesn't have a high loop before it exits into your garbage disposal or sink plumbing.

If that does not resolve it, then its best to contact KitchenAid to come out at 800-422-1230 and see what's going on, this is a very uncommon problem.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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The problem is not so much the drain, which seems to work fine despite the error codes. It's that the dishwasher occasionally runs without water. Since I already replaced the water inlet valve and the control board, do you think it's possible that I need to replace the circuit breaker?
 

Jake

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That I don't know. Like I mentioned, this is extremely uncommon to ever see happen.

You should stay with the dishwasher on EVERY FILL and open the door after it fills to make sure there is water in the tub.

It could be a float or float switch or control board problem too.

Check the tub float, The tub float is inside the tub, move it up and down and you should hear it click each time you move it up and down.

If you don't hear the click sound when moving the tub float up and down, check your float switch.

Here's the float switch for your model, when you click the link to it you will see 2 videos, 1 on how to access it, 1 on how to ohm test it:

Disconnect power to the dishwasher before ohm testing it.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I already removed the float switch and tested it. It seemed to work fine so I put it back. And yeah, pretty much every time I start the dishwasher now I wait to see if water goes in. Maybe 1 out of 10 times it doesn't, so I just restart the cycle and it's been fine. Not a great long-term solution, though.

The reason I mention the circuit breaker is that perhaps there's not enough voltage getting to the inlet valve to open it. Seems like a long-shot but I was thinking maybe I'd just swap it with one of my other breakers that's in the panel.

I also saw on the tech sheet that the door switch is part of the circuit connected to the inlet valve so I was thinking about testing or replacing it, but I was told by Appliance Parts Pros that it's not the issue.

If you think of anything else please let me know and thank you for writing!
 

Jake

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No, I doubt its the circuit breaker.

Its going to be very difficult locating the problem because its so intermittent.

No, if the door switch was bad it would not be running at all period.

Just keep your eye on it and see if you can catch it not putting water in.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I'm going to replace the float switch. I removed it and tested it and it seemed ok, but this is an intermittent issue. It's a cheap part and an easy switch. I'll give it a shot.
 

Jake

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Ok, sounds good. Keep us posted.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I replaced the float switch as well as the circuit breaker. After some fiddling around with the float switch I now think it might be the wire connector for the float switch. It's loose. I tried compressing the plastic fitting with some pliers. This seemed to do something. Previously when starting the dishwasher the drain pump would run for an extended period, but after compressing the wire connector this stopped happening and water began flowing immediately at the beginning of the cycle.

I'd like to try replacing the wire connector but I don't know what to use. I don't want to replace the entire harness. Please let me know if you have any ideas.

Thanks again,
Moses
 

Jake

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Just go your local hardware store and buy a FEMALE wire terminal connector, and cut the old one off, and strip the wire insulation back a little and crimp the new one on.

I use my wire stripping tool:
Wire Stripper

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I'm still grappling with this. I think I've found a pattern. If the kitchen sink has been unused for several hours the water does not flow to the dishwasher. If I run some water at the sink faucet then the dishwasher runs fine. Does this make any sense? I'm still repeatedly testing it to see if this is really the case. So far it seems consistent but I cannot understand what would cause it. I already replaced the supply hose and the inlet valve.
 

Jake

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I think I've found a pattern. If the kitchen sink has been unused for several hours the water does not flow to the dishwasher. If I run some water at the sink faucet then the dishwasher runs fine. Does this make any sense?
No, I've never heard of that happening before, but now it sounds like a plumbing/pressure problem to me, you may want to have a plumber come out to investigate that.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I'm still struggling with this. The issue is that occasionally the fill valve doesn't open. It doesn't seem to get voltage from the control board. When this happens I can usually get it working by dumping a large bowl of water into the dishwasher. For some reason when I do this the valve starts working again. I have yet another theory: when I run the diagnostic the dishwasher returns some codes saying that the drain pump has issues. The drain pump seems to work, but perhaps the dishwasher thinks there is a problem with it, and the control board doesn't trigger the fill valve in this case. I'm thinking about replacing the drain pump. It's sort of a long shot but at this point I'll try almost anything -- short of a new dishwasher. I've devoted so much of my life to this one that I'm really attached to it.
 

Jake

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The issue is that occasionally the fill valve doesn't open. It doesn't seem to get voltage from the control board.
That indicates the control board is not sending power to the water inlet valve, if your float switch is good.

I know you said you already replaced the control board, but the new control board is possibly faulty.

Here's the control board for your model: W11228314

--->Also you said after you dump water in it the tub the water inlet valve works after that, so that also tells me your tub float may not be activating the float switch properly, double check that first when it does not fill.

Jake
 

flamingvan@gmai

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Jake, thanks for the feedback. I already replaced the float switch. If I have a second faulty control board then I think I'm doomed, because I'm certainly not going to buy another one. They're too expensive.

Previously I was focusing on components which are within the inlet valve circuit, such as the float switch. But it occurred to me that
there are numerous reasons why the control board may not activate the water inlet valve. There's no way to know what the logic is inside of that component. Perhaps if it thinks the drain pump isn't working then it shouldn't add more water to the tub.
 

Jake

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--->Also you said after you dump water in it the tub the water inlet valve works after that, so that also tells me your tub float may not be activating the float switch properly, double check that first when it does not fill.
 

flamingvan@gmai

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I have checked the float switch probably 10 times at this point. I'm reasonably sure that's not it. Also, I'm pretty sure that the float switch is only overflow protection and that the dishwasher has another way of detecting water in the tub. Can you tell me how that might work?
 

Jake

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It the float sticks UP water will not go into the machine.

If the float stem is not hitting the float switch properly, water will not go into the machine.

If your float is not STUCK UP and the float stem is hitting the float switch lever properly, than I don't know what else to suggest, something very "out of the norm" is happening and you'd need to have a authorized KitchenAid tech to come out at 800-422-1230 and call the factory from your house to see what's going on.

Jake
 
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