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FIXED Kitchenaid Dishwasher KDTM404ESS2 lower spray arm very leaky

lmcancu

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
15
Location
h7e5m7
Model Number
KDTM404ESS2
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
6-10 years
Hi,
I recently noticed that the dishwasher was no longer cleaning the dishes well. Checking diagnostic mode, noticed the code F6 E1. I removed the lower wash arm and noticed is was completely full of gunk. I gently took it apart and cleaned all the gunk out. Put it back together, and carefully re-attached it. Code did not re-appear, however, dishwasher still does not clean as well as before. I need to set pro-scrub, pro-scrub upper, and high temp wash to get dishes in lower tray clean.

I purchased a cheap go-pro knockoff camera, and recorded the rinse cycle in slow motion. What I noticed is that the whole arm is very leaky (especially the corner arm) with most of the water coming out of the sides rather than through the jets. Was the gunk in the lower spray arm some type of gasket that forced the water to go through the jets that went bad? Can I put a bead of silicon in the areas where it shouldn't leak?

Best Regards
 

Attachments

  • dishwasher.mp4
    21.8 MB

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
128,883
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Hi, Remove that spray arm and see if its cracked or broken.

Here's the lower spray arm assembly for your model:
Lower Wash Arm W10860176


Watch this video:


Jake
 

lmcancu

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
15
Location
h7e5m7
Hi Jake,
Thanks for the response.I had removed it earlier and found no cracks and everything looked ok except that it was full of gunk. I carefully took the plastic pieces off, removed the gunk and then put everything back together. I did not touch the gears, or anything operational. Does the arm normally have a gasket inside or is it completely hollow?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
128,883
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That I don't know, I have not worked on this model as of yet myself.

Hopefully another tech. or member that has can tell you.

You can 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 next.

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
 

lmcancu

Premium Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
h7e5m7
Thanks Jake for finding those links. In my case, the lower arm rotates correctly and there is significant water coming out of the jets, however about 50% of the water also leaks from the sides as if there is a gasket or something missing? The second link mentions him finding a lot of gunk in the lower arm which I also found. Could this have been a degraded gasket? In my first post, I attached a short video of the problem using a small camera in the dishwasher. You can see clearly how the water leaks from the bases of each three pointed star, as well as the water coming out of the jets. For the largest arm, more water leaks from the base then going through its jets.
Thanks again for the help!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
128,883
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Those are good questions, but I don't know the answers, I have not worked on this model as of yet.

Take the lower spray arm assembly to your local appliance parts store in your area and they can see if your missing a gasket from comparing it to a new one they should hopefully have in stock.

Jake
 

lmcancu

Premium Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
h7e5m7
Hi,
I managed to significantly improve the performance of the lower wash arm. I carefully removed the stainless steel three star covers (there are a number of steel tabs that simply need to be bent open), put a bead of RTV silicone sealant along the inner edges, and clamped them back on using a needle nose plier. Remember to note the position of the fixed arm jets as it doesn't rotate. You can see from the new video that the jet streams from each jet is much improved with only a little leakage from the larger 3 star arms base ( I guess I didn't put enough silicone there but I think its good enough). I did, however order a new wash arm, in case this one breaks further down in the future. I am thinking that at one time there was some sort of thin gasket that wore off over time.
If you compare with the first video above, the camera in the new video is often getting sprayed which wasn't happening in the first video due to the weak pressure.
Thanks Jake for the discussion
 

Attachments

  • dishwasher-fixed.mp4
    15.7 MB
  • 20220102_160242.jpg
    20220102_160242.jpg
    635.6 KB · Views: 55
  • 20220102_160300.jpg
    20220102_160300.jpg
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Last edited:

Jake

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Yes, I see that, good job.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 

lmcancu

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Unfortunately, silicone didn't hold up after a few days. Caused the fixed 3 star arm to direct a high pressure jet towards one of the corner doors and create a significant leak. Waiting for replacement lower wash arm to come in.
 

Jake

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Ok, then yes, that new spray arm will definitely fix it for good.:)

Jake
 

lmcancu

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Messages
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Location
h7e5m7
The massive gush of water happened due to the water channel lifting from the main base for two of the smaller spray arms. It looks like over time, the glue that keeps the plastic parts together disintegrates with the heat and soap I guess. I used a super glue made for all-plastics (not sure what kind of plastic this is) and glued the water channel back to the base. Leak is gone now even after several washes, so looks like glue is holding up. Hoping this holds up until the new part arrives which may still several weeks away.
 

Jake

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Ok, sounds good, yes keep us posted when you get the new lower spray arm installed.

Jake
 

lmcancu

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Messages
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Location
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Finally got the new part in, and upon inspection I can see all the parts are more or less glued together. So the glue basically disintegrated on my old spray arm over time: seems like a very poor design. Hopefully the glue on the new part is stronger than the glue on the old part as it only lasted 5 years. Will keep the "fixed" old spray arm as backup. Will avoid setting to "heat" dry as I am thinking that might speed up the disintegration process. Will install the part later tonight after the old part does its last wash before retirement ;)
 

Jake

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Ok, sounds good.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 
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