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Messing With The Miele Dishwasher

Cleaning a washerless Mixer Tap to reduce leaking

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Contributed by Puddledud.

The Article

Messing with the Miele dishwasher

The Miele dishwasher played up and it was either fix it or get another one. Good dishwashers are expensive so I decided to try to fix it.

It should be clearly understood that I know next to nothing about dishwashers but the process I followed may perhaps be of assistance to others so here it is. To be fair though I should also say that I have messed about with a lot of other consumer goods of one kind or another from the wall oven to the TV.

Before I started to play about with the innards of the dishwasher I turned it off at the wall! It would be even better to unplug the powerlead. Keep in mind too the potential to damage the hoses when moving the unit about.

Somewhere I picked up that dishwasher access is frequently via the base cover plate and that there is a float cut off there that sometimes causes problems - so I tried the base cover plate - after removing the drawers and laying the dishwasher on its side. Humm - looks complicated in there. I did manage to identify the float mechanism and my knowledge of the beast increased that much. At that point I put it back together. Haste in such endeavours is not a good thing!

Perhaps I should say that the diagnosis at this point was that the dishwasher was leaking water into the overflow tray - the sump - and that the float was then turning off the cycle and diverting the dishwasher sequence to continuously running the pump. (I put that together by looking about on the net and asking around - by researching the matter.)

One thing that I'd tried earlier on was to tip the dishwasher sideways a bit to get it to spill out some of the overflowed water in an effort to get it to finish an interrupted cycle - but that isn't the way to go for there has got to be the potential to get electrocuted as a result - aside from the mess created.

The next big step forward was to talk to a repairman. He didn't want to travel to the country to do the job, quoted $150 for a service call if he was to make the trip and estimated a total cost of between $250 and $325. But he was helpful and when I showed that I half understood the problem he suggested putting the machine up on blocks and watching to see where the water was coming from. He said to get back to him once I knew where it was coming from. He really has been most helpful and interested in my endeavours - the suggestion to put the machine up onto blocks so that I could see what was happening was a major breakthrough.

Getting the machine up onto rather precarious blocks - with the base cover removed - was the next step. I put a saucepan underneath the machine and lay down to watch the show. And quite a show it was - one saucepan was not sufficient - a second was needed to contain the 4.2 litres of water that dripped out from between the motor and the circulation pump housing during the course of one Intensive washing cycle.

So I rang the technician back. He muttered something about the partition and suggested that maybe he'd better make the trip and attend to it. Being, perforce, cost sensitive, I said I was worried about the cost left it at that.

So - what next? I'm trying - with this account - to detail a process, a gradual gathering of information and a narrowing of focus in addressing the problem.

I looked on eBay and found a motor and pump from the exact same base model machine for sale as a secondhand unit. But how was I to make sure that the units were really the same?

The machine at this time was perched precariously on blocks in the middle of the kitchen and I didn't want to tip it up again so I got out a mirror on an arm, fetched my bedside lamp and tried to read the model number off the motor compliance plate. Of course in the mirror things were reversed and difficult to read - so I got out my camera, carefully wiped the much dripped on floor and took some pictures of the compliance plate. Getting the pictures lined up correctly to show the detail I wanted was more difficult than I would have thought due to paralux errors in aligning the camera but once the images were moved to the computer I was able to print out a nice clear picture of the, in situ, compliance plate and "snap" it really did match the one in the eBay advertisment.

Now the new price of a replacement motor and pump could have been in the order of $350 or more and this advertisment was looking for about half that but I thought perhaps a third of the new price was reasonable - offers were invited in the sale notice so an offer of about a third was made - after 10 pm that evening. And it was accepted very promptly. The acceptance email was waiting early the next morning.

The thinking here was that replacing the whole unit meant no possibly tricky meddling with seals and it offered the possibility of making a one off swap over of the motor and pump module. It would have been cheaper to get a seal kit but to do that I'd have had to be sure exactly which kit was needed and that I'd be able to get the pump back together correctly. Of course if I didn't assemble the pump correctly after doing the seals then I might have to do the job all over again - possibly several times.

Another thought was that, if things went bad, then at least I'd have a pump unit to work on without having to have the dishwasher sitting about in pieces - my wife is not happy to have the dishwasher standing in the middle of the kitchen floor for she is an orderly minded person.

The deal for the motor and pump went through very smartly and was completed early the next morning so I hopped into the car that same morning and fetched the motor and pump assembly- two and a half hours of driving later I was back home, by ten past twelve - scarcely even afternoon!

The chap I got the motor and pump from made a comment about taking the top off to get into the machine.
When I later investigated this idea I found that it was indeed the case - look underneath the top overhang at the front of the machine for the fixing screws- remove the top and the side panels and before long the machine is relatively easy to access.

I spent part of the afternoon changing the unit over and had it done before four o'clock.

The change over was a little tricky as there is not a lot of room available to manouvre the motor and pump assembly inside the framework at the back of the dishwasher - but I managed it - putting a smear of vaseline on the hoses when reattaching them and trying to make sure that the hoses were well clamped when they were reattached. (I've no idea whether or not it was appropriate to use vaseline in this way!)

(A good technique, which I didn't use, is to photograph the assembly before removing anything - another is to mark connectors with a coloured texta if there is potential for confusing which cable goes where - I did do that.)

I reused a main seal where the pump joins onto the machine and that probably wasn't a good idea - both the ones I had to hand didn't inspire confidence. It is also interesting to note that some of the hoses were quite soft - there is potential for them to split when they do give up the ghost.

Unfortunately - it looked for a while that things had not turned out well. The detergent block wasn't being consumed when the machine was run and the pump noise didn't sound quite right in the intensive wash parts of the cycle. Maybe the pump seals were dried out or maybe it had a bit of a build up of calcium. Maybe the packing of the dishes wasn't done well and the dishes were blocking the rotating arm.
(I think that the detergent block is washed away principally due to the action of the top rotating arm in this dishwasher so if the arm is blocked from rotating then the detergent block is little reduced at the end of the washing cycle.)

  I rang the technician again. He couldn't help any more at that point and referred me to a person who would be able to redo the seals on the pump - now that it was out of the machine. He was very surprised that it had all come together in just two days.

But the project wasn't over yet! I ran a bottle of dishwasher cleaner through on the Intensive cycle - and the machine  finished the cycle correctly. That was very good news for the float had not acted to interrupt the machine cycle and that missing event clearly indicated that the machine was no longer leaking litres of water. Even better I could hear the pump doing its thing on the intensive washing parts of the machine cycle.

I put some dishes in and ran the machine on the Economy cycle - and it ran full cycle - and the dishes were clean, and the detergent block was consumed. Maybe I have actually got it working again. Time will no doubt tell!

There is some specific information to be garnered in this account for someone wanting to work on their dishwasher and perhaps some encouragement but what is really on offer is the concept of starting out and then bit by bit accumulating details and refining the focus of the enquiry until the necessary level of information gathering has been accomplished to allow a particular task to be undertaken.

(By the way I'm not a dishwasher technician and I don't know anything about dishwashers. If a reader should be encouraged to act on the basis of this account such an activity is to be entirely at their own risk!)

A last thought - searching for the particular dishwasher by manufacturer's name and model number and then looking through the catalogue of available parts for a particular machine is a fairly good way of both identifying the part which may be needed and also of starting to learn the correct names for the dishwasher parts - let alone a means of securing the part needed.


(This account is in the public domain - with this restriction - no-one is to be required to pay a fee or to register for a site membership in order to access the content.) 25 July 2015

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Article copyright 2015 by Puddledud, Web page layout copyright 2011 Richard Cappels All Rights to layout Reserved. Find updates at Return to HOME

First posted in August, 2015 (150805)

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