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FIXED KDTM354ESS3 KitchenAid Dishwasher - Lower Arm not Spinning

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mkat

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Ohio
Model Number
KDTM354ESS3
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
Hi - my Dishwasher is about 3 years old. We noticed it was not cleaning like it had previously.

I noticed the arms were not moving, so over the last day or so I started cleaning up up. The top arm now moves, but the bottom arm seems stuck. It spins freely when I spin it. I can clean it such that all openings are clean once, but there are some jalapeno seeds or something stuck inside - I'm not sure if I'll ever get them out and taking the arm apart doesn't seem possible. They never completely block an opening, but I'm sure its not ideal. Is there a way to take this apart or should I just order a new one and hope thats my problem?

If I start a cycle and wait 5 minutes the top arm will be moving when I open the door quickly, but the bottom arm appears to have never moved.

Is there some tests or things I should look at? The only easily accessible filter seems to be the big catch all in the pan.

Thanks in advance!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
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Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,754
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Lets first check and make sure the diverter plate is aligned and "snapped"/locked in place. A jalapeno seed or something stuck inside of it may be keeping the diverter motor from rotating the diverter plate disc, which makes the water divert to the upper spray arm and not the lower spray arm.

Thus, the diverter disc MAYBE sliding up the shaft while the unit is running. This gives it just enough space to slide off it's groove.

Watch this video below, it shows you how it slides on the shaft.

Jake
 

mkat

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Ohio
Thanks for your help so far. I took it apart (the video was excellent). I didn't find anything stuck in there. The diverter looks clean. It sort of floats on the spindle, it was aligned on the key correctly. Should it be locked/snapped into place? If that's the gimmick do I just press it into place until it "snaps"?

I tried to run the pot scrubber setting to see if it got water flow. I didn't see any as I quickly yanked open the door occationally to check. But we don't usually use that function, so I'm not sure which part of the cycle it might use for that feature/function.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
123,754
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Should it be locked/snapped into place?
No, I meant the diverter cover snaps/locks into place after you replace the diverter disc back onto the diverter motor shaft.:)

The tech. data sheet should be located behind the lower front access panel, get into the diagnostics cycle and see if you get any error codes.

Jake
 

mkat

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Ohio
I found the the tech data sheet and ran the cycle. (Wouldn't it be nice if all appliances included a guide like this!!!!) After the diagnostic cycle completed the display didn't show any error codes, admittedly I walked away and did other things. Would the error code continue to show if there was one afterwards?

By looking through the tech guide I also learned how some of the cycles work. It seems that the top and bottom arms never move at the same time. This might be part of my confusion. I am now seeing water through the bottom / lower arm in certain cycles, it just doesn't spin. I kind of lean back towards obstructions in the nozzles, if the a few of the outlet nozzles which create directional flow are blocked it wouldn't get rotation going and just sit there and spit water - as I see in some cases. I can open the door quickly and get hit by water which presumable originated from the bottom arm.

I'm willing to take a chance on the lower arm as a replacement part unless you have other ideas. Thanks for your help so far!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,754
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Would the error code continue to show if there was one afterwards?
Yes, it should.

It seems that the top and bottom arms never move at the same time.
That is correct.

I'm willing to take a chance on the lower arm as a replacement part unless you have other ideas.
Yes, I agree, if you see water spraying out of it and its not spinning, then its possibly the culprit.

Here's the lower spray arm for your model:

You may also check the pump filter--->On these models there has been a problem with the pump filter breaking and jamming up the wash motor, thus you will hear little to no water spray out the spray arms. Id check that first.

Mike took lots of photos and documented them here:

Here's that pump filter you can order if needed:
Pump Filter W11084156


If not in-stock at RepairClinic, It's also here: W11084156

Also look at this thread:

Jake
 

mkat

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Ohio
Follow-up -- for me it was as simple as exchanging the lower arm with a new one. I learned a lot, which may help me in the future. Jake, I can't thank you enough, you doing this on for free is a gift. Many thank you's!!!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
123,754
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Excellent @mkat glad to hear the new lower spray arm fixed it.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 
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