Monday, January 3, 2011


I like using the dishwasher.   Sure if we didn't have electricity I wouldn't be running the dishwasher.  But we do and I'd like to keep using the dishwasher.  We keep a dishpan full of soapy water in the sink.  All dirty dishes go into it.  Then they are put into the dishwasher.  No running water is used to rinse the dishes.  The dishpan water is often thrown outside to water the lawn (don't need that with all the rain though).  I think we use a lot less water this way.  Today grandson unloaded the dishwasher and he told me that the bottom was filled with water. 
I couldn't feel any obvious blockages.  I took the racks out of the dishwasher and scooped the water out.  Then I took out the sprayer and the bottom strainer.  Interesting because in the four years this dishwasher has been in place I've never had to fix anything.  The last bits of water were removed with a couple of large bath towels.  Under the strainer I found broken glass, paper, plastic, hair, and gunk.  I cleaned all this out.  I felt around and all seemed clear.  Proudly, I announced that it was fixed.  I put a few things in for a test run.
I opened the dishwasher after the cycle ended and to my dismay it was full of water.  I took the whole thing apart and figured there was a clog in the spot where the water left the dishwasher.  For a few minutes I tried to push water through.  No luck.  Then it hit me.  Maybe there's a kink in the line under the sink.  Looked, no kink.  I decided to remove the end of the hose that attaches to the garbage disposal.  I saw a little liquid in the line (it's opaque) but when I lowered the hose no water came out.  After looking closer I realized the stoppage was there in the line.  It was a three inch chunk of orange fatty grease.  Grease must have been on something that went through the dishwasher yesterday.  After all, I wasn't home and house-destroyer son and his family came over to babysit the grandkids.  They must have put dishes in that had solid fat on them.  They must have not turned on the "use hot water" button when they ran the dishwasher . 
I didn't need anything other than a wire coathanger to clear out the grease.  Then I ran the dishwasher using hot water.  All is well.  Of course that got me to thinking about the supplies I have on hand for the dishwasher.  I have no repair parts at all.  Most repairs to the dishwasher are really quite simple.  This one needed a screw driver and a wire hanger.  What if I needed a hose?  What if the door doesn't seal properly?  I figure for under $20 I can buy all the replacement parts I'll ever need for the dishwasher.  It's on the list for the next shopping trip. 

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