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FIXED KitchenAid KDTM504EPA0 grinding from circulation pump / motor

TrippKnightly

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
57
Location
mill valley, CA
Model Number
KDTM504EPA0
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
2.5 years ago I had an issue with a decimated food grinder / masticater from broken glass in this dishwasher. That might be what’s going on again. But maybe this sound is telltale for what it is. The video itself offers nothing, just the audio. I would also add it seemed like it was happening some 2.5 hours after I started the unit, as if it was stuck in a cycle. The tub was very dry hot and steaming.
 

Jake

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When you started the dishwasher from the beginning it FILLED, then the wash motor came ON? And you heard the water splashing in the tub like normal, then this noise started 2.5 hours later?

Are you absolutely sure its NOT the drain pump? Remove the electrical connector that goes to the drain pump so we can verify that.

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

Premium Member
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Oct 6, 2014
Messages
57
Location
mill valley, CA
It awoke me so I don’t know for sure. The only evidence I have is
  • Water was ponded on the coffee cups in the top rack, evidence wash water had been circulating.
  • To stop the thing, I hit the Cancel / Drain button and the drain motor purred like a kitten.
  • When I tried to start it again from scratch as an experiment the thing began as normal (sump filling?) and in a minute the noise began I assume with the circulation pump’s actuation.
It’ll take a couple days but I’ll report back.
 

Jake

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Make a video when the wash motor is running with water in it, I need to hear that.:)

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Messages
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Location
mill valley, CA
So I removed the racks and internal tubes to expose the sump better. No residual glass or other foreign objects. Soil sensor / thermistor had cakeage of detergent. Shot some video but it’s not yet useful. The noise comes on at about 30 secs into the cycle (the first pump(s?) to be actuated). My mechanic’s stethoscope seems to localize the grind to the main circ pump not the drain pump. But here’s what’s additionally weird - after running it for 5 min the tub was still dry — no water had emitted from the wash water dispense tube outlets at the bottom of the tub. My main reason for posting here was maybe there’s a most-likely part to order in advance. Seems like whatever part has failed I’ll still have to pull the unit to repair so my next step is pull the unit and pull off the circ pump and drain pump to inspect.
 
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TrippKnightly

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Oct 6, 2014
Messages
57
Location
mill valley, CA
It looks like the fine mesh filter has failed again , having taken out the circ pump and disassembling the filter from it. Some (50%) but not all the torn-off mesh/filter is found / visible. If the rotating screen binds up, I’m pretty sure the entire pump will be impeded, which would be consistent with no wash water in the tub. One thing that gnaws at me is where did the rest of the screen go? Maybe I can get some compressed air into the wash tubes / sump outlets. I also didn’t find whatever thing (glass, ...) caused the failure.
 

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Jake

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WOW, that's very odd that this problem keeps rearing its ugly head, I'm very puzzled by this too.

But you HAVE a very rare model that I've never seen on my service calls, so I can't explain why this keeps happening.

Here's your previous thread on this problem:

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Messages
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Location
mill valley, CA
I’m no dishwasher designer but that filter / waste grinder just seems too fragile for its own good. The motor specs @ 3,200 RPM and I think the filter spins right along with it so my analogy in the other thread about a bird striking a jet engine seems pretty fair. We’re not particularly careless with our glassware though since my wife isn’t reading this I’m better than she is. Fool me once shame on KitchenAid, fool me twice shame on me her, I guess. I’ve seen reviews on the part itself where people report +/- the same problem. I’m tempted to rig another layer of stainless 1/4” square chicken wire type mesh over the plastic drain filter / grate that’s in the tub (I had the same idea 2.5 yrs ago too — and I did ... nothing!). Anyway, I’ll report back that nothing else is amiss after the install.

One other thing: the inlet port grommet (part WPW10538166) which connects between the circulation pump and the sump seems worn. I have a new one from last rodeo, so may as well use it. I haven’t disconnected the outlet rubber elbow so can’t speak for it. But others reading this thread should think about these parts while they’re working under the... tub.
 

Jake

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Yes Tripp, I agree with everything you said.

Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Update: Uy yuy yuy yuy yuy.

Replaced the filter assembly and reconnected everything without re-installing. Same grinding noise from the circ not drain motor. Ran it for about two minutes. While water made it to the inlet valve (yes I turned the water back on) no water made it to anywhere near the tub. The drain pump, circ pump, basin, drain hose everything stayed bone dry. My recall is during the first couple of minutes you can hear the dishwasher trying to give itself some water (gurgling sound of sorts) - mine was silent in that regard.

There’s no question the filter needed replacing. But I wonder: could I get that noise from a circ pump trying to run when there is no water but the washer thinks there is water? I assume that under normal conditions no water service would throw an error / shutoff. BTW, the inlet valve screen at the connector is almost perfectly clean.

My wife is thinking it’s time to call a professional. I can’t imagine why.
 

Jake

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Yes, I agree with your wife, you'll need to have KA come out, mainly because like I mentioned this is a very rare model and KA did not make a lot of these models that use that pump/sump motor assembly, and I have never worked on one like this before.

Contact KA at 1-800-422-1230 to schedule a service call.

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Location
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Since it wasn’t filling with water I thought maybe it was as simple as the inlet valve. It wasn’t. Multimeter showed plenty of resistance / continuity on it and yet I stubbornly thought maybe it was still broken.

The circ and drain motors I did test connect directly to 120V and they purred fine (thought maybe one had a bad bearing causing the noise). So after putting it all back together I got no change - no water sent to tub, circ motor still loud. I then dumped some water in and the circ motor was much quieter with actual water to move around - though I never saw evidence that the spray arms had enough water jet pressure to spin. There was significant leakage from the bottom seal on the sump and I only later realized that I must have unseated one of the sump’s bottom clips in my attempt to muscle the circ motor back into position because the sump was loose —no wonder it was leaking. Have tightened the offending clips.

I did film two somewhat useless videos of the circ pump and the drain pump working with actual water in the machine (with sump leakage). Because the mic is so close to the motors it may not sound very quiet.

I didn’t test the float switch, though the float moves and the switch clicks.

Next stop is probably technician, though I might try running holy water through it first. I probably am skilled enough to test if the board is sending the inlet valve 120v at the right time- which if not might be enough reason to get a new board (yikes) not a service call.
 
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TrippKnightly

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Small update: I was able to test the inlet valve voltage by running the machine in a wash cycle dry with motors / drain hose disconnected. This also allowed me to test the float switch. Voltage on the line to the inlet valve (disconnected from the valve itself) was 16V AC (like, exactly) and the voltage only was present with the float switch activated (that is, as if the float wasn’t floating so ok to dispense water). So, the float switch seems ok. The inlet valve itself and the technical service sheet say it’s supposed to be 120v — so not sure what to make of the 16V. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.
 

Jake

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Ok, you should be getting 120 volts at the water inlet valve when it should be filling, if not check for a broken wire, if no broken wire then its a bad control board.

Here's the control board for your model:

Check your owners manual warranty, some of these KA models have a 5 yr. warranty on the control board.

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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mill valley, CA
Thx, good idea. After speaking with KA they are claiming that the yrs 1-5 of the warranty which covers (and I quote):
  • Nylon dish racks
  • Electronic controls
Would NOT cover the control board. I’m probably going to have to escalate with them. The rep was saying that “electronic controls” is limited to the control button interface.
 

Jake

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The control board is covered.

Look here at post 7:

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Messages
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Location
mill valley, CA
I did manage to take a multimeter to the thing during attempted operation and confirmed that the float switch was working, there was continuity on the inlet valve wires, and most importantly there was no voltage coming from the control board's inlet valve pin-outs when there should have been - thus explaining the absence of water flow to the unit. No visible damage(s) on the board. So a new board would have been in order. I actually am thinking the original noise was not from the bad filter (which was perforated but not yet fully destroyed) but rather from motors trying to run with no water present.

Anyway, here's how this is getting resolved. KA made two different decent offers - free technician call(s) + 50% off parts to get it repaired or 60% off MSRP + free delivery / install for a new unit + 5 year extended warranty. It would have been impossible to get the board itself for free from a warranty standpoint without an actual authorized service call and I just started seeing further weeks stacking up. I also got the sense the board was backordered everywhere and I know from other experiences how those parts delays can go. I chose to start over with a new (the exact same!) unit (still in progress). With any luck I'll be able to keep the old unit to cannibalize for parts rather than them hauling it away.
 

Jake

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I chose to start over with a new (the exact same!) unit (still in progress).
Wise choice, but don't worry, it will be the updated model, not this older model that they didn't make many of to start with.:)

Let us know when you get it, then post the model number of it, and I will show you the difference.:)

Jake
 

TrippKnightly

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Thx will do. And they’ve told me it’s not going to get here until very early March. Good times. My model is KDTM504EPA0, and their website seems to suggest the same (sameish apparently) panel-ready unit is KDTM504EPA (no trailing 0). I always thought those last digits just indicated exterior color. But we’ll see.
 

Jake

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, LOL

Ok, this time buy the extended warranty on it from KA, or you will be going through this all over again.

Why can't you get this one below, it has the much better reliable wash motor assembly, plus it cost less:

Jake
 
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