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The detergent dispenser in our KitchenAid dishwasher was broken. I removed the door's cover and saw that the plastic drum piece that controls both the detergent release door and the rinse aid dispenser was melted (see image below).

I ordered and installed a new detergent dispenser unit, assuming that would fix the problem. However, the detergent release door still won't open during the wash cycle, nor does the rinse aid appear to get used. I made sure to reconnect all the cables the way I had found them.

What else could be broken? Any way to fix it?

Thanks so much and best regards,
Hannes

Dishwasher Model KUDX03FTSS3
Serial Number FW4401841

enter image description here

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    Melting sounds like too much current. Too much current would probably damaged control circuit/board.
    – crip659
    Jul 19, 2021 at 22:01
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    @crip659 Agreed. Not a "totally fried" circuit board in this case - could be a relay that got stuck on, which burnt up the dispenser and eventually the relay burnt itself out. Or similar. Jul 19, 2021 at 22:24
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Thanks a lot! Any advice on how to fix this then? Do I need to have a professional come or is there any chance to DIY it?
    – hannesario
    Jul 20, 2021 at 3:12
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    Next step would be to look at schematic and parts diagram to see what controls/powers the dispenser. Jul 20, 2021 at 3:21
  • Have there been any other electric gremlins in your house? Dimming lights? Slow toast? Other appliance burnouts? Jul 20, 2021 at 6:21

2 Answers 2

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I have a very similar model of dishwasher, and have had the repairman try and fix the dispenser numerous times with it clogging / sticking after a short time.

The last repairman suggested to just toss the soap pod in with the dishes and not try and use the dispenser.

Have been doing this now for at least a year with success.

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  • Note that this causes the pod to get released at a different point in the sequence on many (albeit not all) dishwashers (i.e. the dispenser doesn't open until partway thru the cycle) Jul 21, 2021 at 1:08
  • @jjdebarros Actually, that's what we've been doing as well for the past several years (i.e. tossing the soap pod in with the dishes). However, I have since read that the timing of the effect of the soap is off then, resulting in a diminished performance. Also, in our case the rinse aid dispenser is affected as well, which causes our dishes not to dry well and our glassware to get cloudy very quickly.
    – hannesario
    Jul 21, 2021 at 3:18
  • The typical modern dishwasher does rinse, wash (with detergent released), rinse. If you put the detergent directly in the main part of the dishwasher, it gets used in that first rinse. If you neurotically pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher then the rinse cycle + detergent will clean them. If you don't, then you are running "wash" without that first rinse, which is going to be much less effective. In addition, many dishwashers heat the water (even though, in the US, the water is coming from the water heater) and might do that only for the middle wash cycle and not Jul 26, 2021 at 19:45
  • for that first rinse, which will also decrease effectiveness of the detergent. Jul 26, 2021 at 19:45
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact "The typical modern dishwasher does rinse, wash (with detergent released), rinse." I came here to ask about that - is there a reference somewhere? My 15 year old Whirlpool 930PWPQ2 only seems to do two of those (cycles?). (I have been doing a rinse afterwards since I noticed.) Oct 28, 2021 at 4:31
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I just had a technician over, and he helped me spot two fried areas on the control board. We ordered a replacement control board, which he expects to fix the issue. I'll make an edit here if that's not the case, or if I arrive at any additional insight in the process. Thanks so much y'all for your help!

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