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Your Questions About Dishwasher Repair Parts

Daniel asks…

What’s the best way to declog a dishwasher?

My dishwasher is all clogged up and doesn’t drain properly and would like to get it back to proper working order. Does anybody know a full-proof way to declog it? Thank you!

James Conley answers:

I have been in the appliance repair business for a while. And if you first unplug it so you don’t get shocked.Open the door pull out the bottom rack now in the center of the spray arm located in the center floor of the interior cabnet.on top is there a bolt or screw take it off and write down were each part goes to so later it is easy to rember.As you remove the spray arm can you clean with a shop vac atachement.Also by disconecting the hoses to the water pump can you remove anything abstructing inside and in to the pump inlet is were most of the cloging will be found at.To get to this area below the dishwasher door. A small acsess panel needs to be removed uslley with a 5/16,1/14,inch nut driver or philips screwdriver.

Susan asks…

Is a countertop dishwasher worth it?

A countertop dishwasher uses I think some 5 gal of water but only does 4 place settings.. I’m wondering if it would be worth the expense.. We live in a small 12×60 mobile home and a full size one will not fit in here.

what are some better brands or are they all the same?

James Conley answers:

Danby 22 in. DDW396 Free-Standing Dishwasher
Unpacking the unit was the hardest part of the installation. It came well protected inside the box with foam and wood crating. Once I got it out of that darn box (not very easy done by one person) it was pretty much a matter of screwing on the pair of hoses included and it was good to go. It came with everything needed to run it right out of the box. It even came with a sample pouch of cascade that lasted about two weeks and a small sampler of rinse agent, which lasted well over a month. I changed the aerator attachment on my tap to the one included with the unit. It fits both male and female threading on the faucet.
The Quick Connect adapter snaps effortlessly onto your tap, and drains directly from the adapter, not a hose hooked onto the sink’s edge like other makes. Unlike the Haier units, this one drains fine no matter how much it is below the sink level. It is powerful enough to get all the water out even when set on the floor!

The machine itself is much more attractive than model DDW399 &W, the model most reviewed. It has the same features, shape and size, except the door and control panel are much more modern looking on mine, and the the dispensers look different. My model has a dispenser for the second cycle, which the previous models do not. The rinse agent dispenser is on the door, not in the rear like before. The rack in mine is grey, and may have been improved over previous models with the chipping problem. I’ll update on that later.

To those who have never saw this dishwasher, it looks like a great big microwave oven. Unlike an oven that size, I can easily lift the dishwasher by myself. The window is kind of pointless, because it is so tinted you can only see the spraying of soapy water on it… Though I wouldn’t want the model without the window. It just looks better with it. Save a couple bucks without the window if you want.

The machine’s beautiful and durable Stainless Steel Tub and interior is surprisingly large and has a single, quite powerful Spray Arm, also made of Stainless for extra durability. That’s compared to other makes of Countertop Dishwashers where the interior and tub are made of white plastic. Should the spray arm fail, Danby will send you one for free within the 1-year Parts Warranty period. If it fails past the warranty, it’s around twenty dollars to replace. Along with the instruction manual, which is clear and well written I might add, is a Service Depot Directory. I found 2 depots in my town where I can get qualified repairs made to this sort of dishwasher. Thousands of other places from all over are listed as well.

The dishwasher stands 17 inches high and fits under most cupboards. It has nice little rubber feet that won’t scratch the countertop and the rear base is indented, to allow the hoses to run behind with the unit pushed flush against the wall. My counters aren’t deep enough for this machine (early 1900’s kitchen), and the counter at the time was covered in dishes anyhow, so I decided to put the unit on a rolling cart. The cart has a much smaller footprint than a full size portable. That and the low price, in case you’re wondering why I didn’t just go full size. I decided to get to work immediately. I loaded it up, snapped the quick-connect adapter onto the tap, cranked the hot water and set it on.

The controls are extremely simple, with a 3 cycle selector dial, on/off button and a Sani button. Turn the dial to the cycle you want to use and push “on”. Push “Sani” on or off anytime you need that temperature boost. Anyone can figure it out.

Now, I read in some reviews that this thing was noisy. Not really. You hear a wooshing SOUND and a gentle whirr when it’s running, but no real noise. Perhaps this model was improved in that sense. It sounded no noisier than my microwave, also a Danby. I also braced myself for some leakage, but it’s nicely sealed with a soft rubber ring.

You can open the door to add dishes if needed. The machine stops automatically and not a drop of water will leak out.

I damaged my seal slightly within the first week by putting knife blades up in the cutlery basket. I still have no leakage, but be sure to watch sharp objects passing by the rubber seal. It is possible to get a replacement seal form Danby, and it is super easy to put on; the old one just pulls off and you push the new one into the groove.

At the end of the full 45-min cycle, I opened the door to find the dishes 100% clean and spotless! I was doubtful that it would get these particular dishes clean, for they had been sitting on the counter for two days waiting for me. 3 loads later and I had washed every item. Even all pots & pans, which were nasty, came out clean. I found that when washing cookware and stuck on dirt, you have to use the Sani-Wash function to get desirable results.

I was curious how much water this thing must use to get the dishes this clean. So I plugged the sink and ran the dishwasher through a cycle, including the pre-rinse. In the end, the sink was not even filled to the half way point! I would use up 3 or 4 times that much water washing and rinsing by hand.

In Sani mode, the 1200W heating element heats the water to 160 degrees to dissolve that tough gunk and is also good for sanitizing.

Don’t use too much detergent or it won’t rinse effectively. It’s tempting to use the full suggested amount, but just a couple teaspoons of Cascade did a world of wonders.

If you’re going to wash dishes right after a meal, you don’t even have to use the full wash. I use the short wash and get phenomenal results in less time. It would probably extend the life of the machine, too, which I read in other reviews is relatively short for a dishwasher.

Out of the 3 main cycles, I never use the pre-rinse cycle. I feel it’s pointless unless you have a lot of solid food waste on your dishes or they actually do need soaking.

The cavity really can hold up to 4 place settings! I have a set of Corelle dishes, which includes 4 of everything, but my glasses wouldn’t fit on that stupid folding cup rack. It fits standard mugs just fine however. The whole Corelle set fits with ease. Cookware must be washed separate, but that’s fine with me. You have to be creative with the placing of dishes to get the most out of the sprayer. I aim dishes toward the centre of the machine. I managed to fit a very large pot, large frying pan, saute pan and small saucepan in all at once along with all of the cooking and serving utensils… Rendered squeaky clean.

An advantage to this machine over the Haier and Equator is that there’s no upper sprayer arm for your dishes to get caught on. This creates an abundance of extra space inside, and the dishes come out just as clean without it.

If you have many glasses to wash, you can remove the inner dish rack and put 20-25 glasses in there. Glasses can be washed in the shortest time. I use only the rinse cycle when washing glasses.

The rinse cycle consists of a first rinse, which can also be used as a wash, and a second rinse with Temp Boost to speed up drying.

Dishes dry in just minutes with the door cracked when you use Jet-Dry in the Automatic Rinse Agent dispenser.

Everything is fine and Danby right now, but I will update this review if I have any problems with it. I have contacted Danby about the sprayer arm problem that others are having. They assured me they have designed a better spray arm mounting system for all new units exiting the factory, and should mine fail, would gladly send me the new one. They even gave me a phone number and address to an appliance repair shop who will order the part and install it for me on warranty.

I was paranoid that the sprayer arm mounting would break, so I sent away for a replacement sprayer kit. It arrived in just under a week, I paid just under $20, including shipping, and it comes with a one year warranty. I had to pay because my original spray arm mount is still working fine, but now I have a replacement for when it does break.
, it’s been well over 3years and the dishwasher is still working as good as the day it I got it. I never had to replace any parts after all. I do think, howerver, that it would have self destructed if I didn’t regularly clean the lint out of the pump intake located under the food strainer. It started to sound a little sluggish when this was full of lint, which is why some machines self destructed. I think it will last much longer still.

I would Recommended: this one for sure.

Donald asks…

At the inside bottem of my dishwasher, I see a pool of water. Anyone knows what is going on?

We try to find the answer why the water will be at the bottom of dishwasher. Every time we use dishwasher, it works fine. But if we are not using it for a while, there is a water pool at inside bottom of the dishwasher. We either see a pool of water or none, not in between. I thought it may be a back flow from tape water. Is dishwasher has the back flow device inside. I just try to understand the mechanism how it is possible for water back into the bottom of dishwasher without using it.

James Conley answers:




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