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FIXED Kitchenaid Dishwasher KDFE104HBL0 not cleaning, wash motor voltage 95V

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hartigan

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Location
Houston
Model Number
KDFE104HBL0
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
Hi, I'm having a problem with my Kitchenaid KDFE104HBL0 dishwasher in that it no longer cleans, and just leaves a sad-looking blob of soap inside. All the symptoms pointed to a faulty circulation pump motor, so I bought a new assembly that included the pump motor, the diverter motor, and the rest of the molded plastic that goes with it. This is all installed. Running through the diagnostic cycle gives me a 4-3 error - 'motor not running'. The connections are all good, the power cord and outlet are good. Connecting a voltmeter to the leads to the circulation pump during the test cycle gives 90-95V AC during most of the cycle. Once in a while it runs up to 120V, but drops back to 95V after about 0.5 seconds. Running the diagnostic with the pump connected, it seems like the motor is trying to start, presumably during the 120V surges, but then drops off. As it tries to start I hear water spraying on the inside of the unit. So that's good I guess.

As I noted, the wiring all looks quite good. The manual says there is a control motor drive or sense circuit and suggests a resistance check, though I'm not sure where I'd be checking, exactly. If I'm reading this correctly, the OEM part is W11305293, looks like a tan rectangular plastic box that lives inside the door. Is this the most likely problem (and the right part)? Thanks.

Originally misposted this under freezers, sorry about that.
 

Jake

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The problem is the control board not keeping constant 120 volts going to the wash motor.

Check your owners manual warranty, you should have a 5 year warranty on your control board.

Contact KitchenAid at 800-422-1230 and tell them to send you a new control board under warranty.

Here's the control board for your model:

Jake
 

Jake

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Its not that common, but can happen.

Yes, its out-of-stock just about everywhere.

Jake
 

Jake

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But Contact KitchenAid at 800-422-1230 they may have some in their main factory.

Jake
 

Jake

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Your welcome, keep us posted.

Jake
 

hartigan

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Well, the new control board arrived, got it from irtmn.com, a place that recycles tested electronics. Only $37 instead of $150 or more. Right part, identical to the old one. Installed without issue. Unfortunately I'm getting the same problem. Still a 4-3 code, does the same thing as before. I'm pretty much convinced at this point that this thing is just junk. I don't know what else to check here. The motor and control board are 'new'. If there is some fault buried in the wiring harness it is just time to get a different appliance.
 

Jake

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That is very strange, then yes it must be a burnt or shorted wire in the wire harness to the wash motor.

Jake
 

hartigan

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Tore it apart again, tried a different outlet, went into the power box and checked wire nuts. Followed the power up the wire harness to the control board, and followed the light blue wires from the control board to the wash motor. They all look brand new. Everything connects solidly. Still a 4-3 code. It's like the motor tries to go and then shuts off, almost as if some safety feature is cutting in.

I know the drain has a float that is supposed to shut off if there is too much water, so I lifted that up and hear a faint mechanical click, so I presume that is working. I can't think of any other safety shutoff that could cause the power to cut off as the motor starts up.

I can say at this point it is not the wiring, or the motor, or the control board, unless the new parts are faulty in an identical way to the old ones, highly unlikely.
 

Jake

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unless the new parts are faulty in an identical way to the old ones, highly unlikely.
Bingo!

Its not highly unlikely, new parts come defective more often than you think. Are you getting the OEM parts from a reliable appliance parts place like AppliancePartsPros or RepairClinic?

The wash motor should be getting a constant 120 volts to it.

Here is the wash motor assembly for your model: W11084656 Motor-Pump

You can use the safety pin trick if your meter leads are too big:

safety pin 500x250.jpg


Here's how I do it in this thread, and advise others to do it the same way:

If your NOT getting a constant 120 volts to it, then its bad control board plain and simple.

Here's the control board for your model:

Here's another member that had this same problem:

Jake
 

hartigan

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Location
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Jake, Thanks for the reply. I had found the posts you listed before I did my first post (which is why I put the word 'voltage' in the title) and set up my voltmeter as you have it in the photo where you show 123.9 volts, and my reported voltages were with that procedure. As noted in the thread above, I did not get the control board from AppliancePartsPros.com because the link you have indicates it is out of stock. I got it from the one place I could find it, and for 37$ it was worth a shot. I will try the factory tomorrow, hopefully they will agree to send out a board without the cost and delay of a service call, assuming they have one.

What I still don't get is why the failures should be identical, and in this odd way of having a constant 95V, with occasional surges up to 120V. This cannot be random. I see there appear to be internal fuses buried somewhere in the electronics, so perhaps if one of those blows it would give this error. Usually blown fuses just give 0 V though. The worry is that it is not the control board, but there isn't much else here - the power comes in, goes through wiring to the board, and wiring to the motor. The motor is new, the wiring is fine, the input power is fine. So I'm left with the board. It's just very odd that two different boards give exactly the same error, and that error is not what I'd expect from a short or a blown fuse.
 

Jake

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Yes, I see what your saying.

You may a short in the wires from the control board to the wash motor.

Check your wires thoroughly.

Jake
 

hartigan

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Called Whirlpool. Part is covered, but is not available in the warehouse either, currently 'on order'. The new part when it is made will be $187. However, to have it under warranty requires them to come out, with a service charge of $135 to do what I would do.

Checked the fuses by measuring resistance between terminals P5-2 and P6-3 and it is all good. Wiring looks good.
 

Jake

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No, Whirlpool should send you that part free of charge with no tech. coming out. CALL them back and say you will install it yourself.

Jake
 

hartigan

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Remeasured the voltages but with the leads attached during the cycle. With the load it now measures roughly 55V, and surges occasionally to 110V. During the surge, the wash motor runs.
 

Jake

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Keep your meter leads on it and see if it stays at 110-120 volts after the surges.

Jake
 

hartigan

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No, it drops.

I've decided what I'm going to try. With load, it has 55V, very similar to the other 'low voltage' post on this forum, where the resolution was a new motor. I've read where a bad motor can provide variable nonzero voltage at the input because there is 'ghost' voltage from the rest of the circuit, and that variation can mimic control board issues when the motor fails. I measured resistance off the 'new' motor and got 20k-Ohms, well outside the allowable range of 5-15 Ohms. So I'm thinking the windings in the motor are partially broken. I hear clicking at the motor that sounds as if it is trying but failing to start. This makes more sense to me than a faulty control board, as it is unclear to me why two different control boards would give identical errors that aren't 0V, and the board looks fine and the fuses are not blown.

So I'm sending the motor back and will get another one to try. It's got to be either the motor or the board, and I've replaced both. The board is out of
stock, so may as well try another motor.
 

Jake

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Ok sounds good, I agree with you on that.

Let us know how it goes with the new wash motor.

Jake
 

hartigan

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RESOLUTION:
It was a bad wash motor. The first one I replaced it with was also bad. The second wash motor W11084656 from RepairClinic was good. What is really helpful is to measure resistance across the power inputs on any new motor. They need to read 5-15 Ohms. The first one read 20k-Ohms, the second one was10 Ohms or so. The control board was not the problem even though the input to the motor was not getting 120V. The 55V under load is apparently a 'ghost' voltage you can get when the motor is bad and its load then changes the circuit.

One other thing - unfortunately I could not find the entire bottom unit in stock at Repair Clinic. This necessitated hooking up the hoses, and those have horrible cheap clamps you are supposed to crimp, meant for one-time usage. This was a problem, as one of them leaked. You cannot replace these with normal hose clamps with screws like from an auto store, because the auto hose clamps are too fat. Fortunately I have an old Honda motorcycle and have some spare clamps that are narrow and (oh-so-barely) fit. With the decent hose clamps, 9mm wide with outside radius of 35mm, the leakage stopped. You can get these, but you'll have to order them. They cost about the same as the junk that comes with the dishwasher, so if you are ordering these you may as well get a type you can unscrew, and reuse.

Thanks for the help in thinking through this, it was a bit of a pain to figure out, but hey, now I have a new control board and new motor so that means it is going to last a long time, right?
 
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