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On the inside of my dishwasher is a plastic tube that transports water to a spinning piece in order to clean the upper rack.

Part of the plastic tube has melted through and the top rack is no longer getting properly clean

Edit: The dishwasher was obtained used and already had the damage when I got it. Based on the way it's melted, something hot came from above, so it's probably not a fault in the appliance itself. It is a Kenmore of some sort, but I currently have a lot more time than money, so I would really prefer to find a DIY solution instead of shopping for OEM parts. enter image description here

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  • Can you provide a picture of the item and the damage area, Also the brand and model of the DW. – Programmer66 Jul 28 '20 at 16:39
  • Picture and brand are edited into the original post. – Nathaniel Jul 29 '20 at 0:15
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The recommended, long term method

There are quite a number of places on line that sell repair parts for all types of home appliances.

It will likely be easier to purchase and install the proper replacement part than to attempt to repair a part.

Using your favorite internet search engine, look for

replacement parts <make> <model>

Where <make> = Whirlpool, or GE, or Bosch (as appropriate), and <model> = xyz, or pdq, or alpha123soup-b as listed on your machine.

and you'll probably come up with 4* options right off the bat!

*number guaranteed to be correct for as long as it took me to type it.


The short-term quick fix methods

Since the OP has indicated that he's looking for a short-term repair before replacing the appliance...

All the big-box home improvement stores stock all sorts of miracle leak stopping tapes and wraps that will work on anything from glass to plastic to metal to cement and more!!! (As seen on TV!™) You could probably even pick some up at your local 24-hour superstore while you're getting groceries.

It seems like this would be a good time to try one out and see how close it comes to the claims on its package. If one doesn't work very well, try a different brand. I've never had need to use any, so couldn't make a recommendation.

If you wanted to be really solid, but spend a bit more money (or maybe not), and can get that pipe out of there, a rubber coupling (sometimes known as Fernco connector) should be more than sturdy enough to hold in the pressure and, for only a couple of years the rubber should take the heat, as well. It might not last much beyond 2 years, but that's all your looking for.

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  • The replacement part looks to be about $35 (plus shipping) on an appliance with a year or two left in it. Not budget breaking, but if there's a cheaper option on an appliance with a year or two left, I'd take that instead. repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Center-Wash-Arm-Assembly/675808/… – Nathaniel Jul 29 '20 at 0:03
  • Absolutely your call to make, @Nathaniel, but useful advice for future readers. – FreeMan Jul 29 '20 at 10:58
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If the tube has melted you better find out why? It's unusual for that to happen.

That being said, I can't count how many hoses, radiator hoses, PVC pipes i've fixed just by wrapping black vinyl electrical tape around the ruptured part. Don't skimp on the tape and pull it tight. Add two or three layers.

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  • Excellent point about finding the cause! – FreeMan Jul 28 '20 at 17:15
  • More information edited into the original post. I may give electrical tape a try, I'm just a little worried about it failing and leaving behind a residue that stops anything else from bonding. – Nathaniel Jul 29 '20 at 0:05
  • Now that I see it is the tube hanging under the top rack and not the tube going up the back wall (which some dishwashers have), wrapping with tape makes more sense. I would probably not use electrical tape. Use something wider and specifically waterproof, because it will get absolutely soaked every time you run a load. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jul 29 '20 at 0:10
  • Right, I'm just not sure what tape would hold up to that kind of water and temperature over time (again, not a forever fix, but I'm hoping to get 2 more years from this machine). – Nathaniel Jul 29 '20 at 0:13
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When I was 17, a mechanic helped me repair my radiator. He was swamped with business and didn't feel the need to take money from me for something I could do on my own. While the fins were metal, the tubing on the back side of the radiator was molded plastic. He used a garden hose to force water into the radiator and showed me where a crack was in the plastic and told me to take it out, clean, dry it, and find the best silicone I could find; one with a high melting point. I got a tube from the big box store and viola; it was fixed for years. I suspect this could work here as well, but you need to make sure the silicone is food safe.

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If you know anyone who will donate a lady's nylon stocking and you have some 1-hour epoxy on hand, cut the stocking into strips, mix up a batch of epoxy, wet the strips with the epoxy and wrap the epoxy-soaked strips around the plastic part, overlapping for double or triple coverage. Just like gauze and plaster on a broken arm. I've done this kind of repair on plastic parts, and it's waterproof and amazingly strong after it cures. Use rubber gloves. It's probably best to let it cure for 24 hours before using it. Run a wash cycle with no dishes to wash away any unmixed / uncured epoxy.

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