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Thread: Kenmore Elite dishwasher not heating water

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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Kenmore Elite dishwasher not heating water

    Hello, my Kenmore Elite dishwasher (#16299) doesn't heat the water like it should (and like every advanced dishwasher I've owned ever did). We've had Sears look at it at least 5 times & the techs just keep saying it's normal--but they never bother to do anything except listen to half of what I tell them! They never do any kind of diagnostic, never try replacing a sensor, etc. I have 4 kids & refuse to set my water heater any higher than 120*. The dishwasher has a 'Smartwash' setting which is supposed to heat the water to the proper operating temp but it doesn't. My previous dishwasher was a 3 year old top of the line Maytag that used to work the way I think it should--by heating water that is cooler than the dishwasher is designed for. I've even gone so far as to speak with managers & even wrote to the chairman of Sears, but it seems like they could care less.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm pretty disgusted at wasting $1,000 for a dishwasher that doesn't clean.
    Thanks

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    Dan O.'s Avatar
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    ** Kenmore Elite dishwasher # 16299 **

    I'm afraid that doesn't look like a Kenmore model number, did you get it right off the model and serial number identification tag *on the appliance*? That is the only reliable place it will be found.

    You can find tips for locating the model and serial number tag on your appliances at the following link:

    - Model Number Tag Search
    LINK > http://www.appliance411.com/parts/tagsearch.cgi

    ** doesn't heat the water like it should **

    Most North American dishwasher are not designed to "heat the water" just boost the temperature slightly during use if needed, usually to a maximum of 140F. On a 'sani' cycle, the dishwasher may heat the water a bit (~10F) hotter but it will also result in longer cycles.

    Many European dishwasher models have a true water heater and may heat water up to 160F.

    ** I refuse to set my water heater any higher than 120 **

    That's good for safety, bad for dish washing.

    ** The dishwasher has a 'Smartwash' setting which is supposed to heat the water to the proper operating temp but it doesn't. **

    What *exact* temperature does it heat it to?

    ** I'm pretty disgusted at wasting $1,000 for a dishwasher that doesn't clean. **

    There's more to cleaning than just hot water. Just because dishes aren't coming clean doesn't necessarily mean it is because of the water temperature.

    JMO

    Dan O.
    http://www.Appliance411.com/parts/?r...ore_Dishwasher
    The Appliance Information Site
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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the reply!
    The model # I listed was an abbreviated # (from their literature)--the full # is 665.16299400 as listed on the inside of the dishwasher. I also know that it's made by Whirlpool for Sears.
    According to the owners manual, the dishwasher is supposed to heat the water to the proper temp (I would assume 135-140*) if the incoming water is colder than it should be & continually adjust the temp during the entire cycle. This isn't anything new, my Maytag that I had in NY was less than 3 years old & it had that feature (and did an excellent job of heating the water) & the dishwasher I had before that had it as well (can't remember the brand on that 1, only remember that the electronics fried after a couple of years!).
    The exact temp it heats to? That's the problem, it doesn't heat at all. I check the temp after the dishwasher fills & it reads 72-75* (I don't know why the variation--& this is on a very expensive digital instant read thermometer). If I check the temp later on in the cycle it still reads 72-75*. Checking the temp during what I would call the main wash cycle yields a slightly warmer 87-92* (about the middle of the cycle). It's difficult to catch the dishwasher at the beginning of any cycle, except the very first 1, because it's so extremely quiet & because it's supposed to be trying to heat the water so it either stops to heat or extends the cycle to heat.
    I can understand it not heating to 135*, if it at least got to 125-130*, but water that stays under 100* just doesn't make any sense & it's not going to clean like it would if the water temp was where it's supposed to be.
    I've even had a plumber come & check the line to make sure it was connected to the hot water line, but as is usual here all the guy did was pull on the piping a little to see if the hot water line moved when he pulled on the dishwasher line! I still have a beef with the builder about this & I have the feeling that 'if you want it done right, do it yourself' will come into play very shortly. It just kills me to have to do this stuff on a brand new house when I didn't have to do it on the 95 year old house I had in NY!
    I just realized I have left 1 important fact out---I do know that the heating element does work (at least during the drying cycle) as it does dry the dishes effectively & if you try to unload the dishwasher just after it's finished drying, you'll have to move fast 'cause those dishes are piping hot!
    Thanks,
    Anthony P.

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    HayZee518's Avatar
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    Can you do this --- Increase the hot water heater temp to 140 degrees and pipe a dedicated line to the dishwasher, then install a whole house tempering valve to AFTER this line to the rest of the house?

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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Pipe a dedicated line to the dishwasher?? Not happening here--I live in Florida, slab foundation & very large house where water heater is located in garage & dishwasher is in 'pass-through' between kitchen & family room at the rear of the house.
    Besides, I think I found at least a good part of the problem---I decided to take my own advice (if you want it done right....). I just turned the dishwasher on to do a load overnight & decided to open it to see how warm the water was (after running the faucet to hot again & checking the dishwasher line & feeling that it got very warm too). Strangely enough, even though the water supply hose for the dishwasher was very warm, the water in the dishwasher was cold (72*) immediately after it filled. But I noticed that the water didn't cover the heating element & in fact was about 3/4" below the element! I don't know why it wouldn't fill any more than this---the float didn't even lift off the bottom.
    It is the heating element that heats the water in the dishwasher, is it not? There wouldn't be any other heater inside that would heat it would there?
    Now the dishwasher has drained & filled twice & the water has been cold after filling every single time & it has not reached the heating element on any of the 3 fills.
    Thanks again,
    Anthony P.

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    Dan O.'s Avatar
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    ** I check the temp after the dishwasher fills & it reads 72-75 **

    That is way, way too cold of water to start with. It should be *starting* at at least 120F. Have you tried running a tap before starting the dishwasher to make sure it is filling with HOT water and not stale, luke-warm (or luke-cold) water?

    This is from the service tech sheet for your model:
    quote:Supply Water Temperature: 49 C (120 F) (Before starting a cycle, run water from sink faucet until hot).
    ** I noticed that the water didn't cover the heating element **

    It isn't suppose to.

    ** in fact was about 3/4" below the element! **

    That's about right.

    ** the float didn't even lift off the bottom. **

    It's not suppose to. The float is a safety device only meant to shut the water fill off when it gets too high, *to prevent flooding*.

    ** the water has been cold after filling every single time **

    Than I suggest you look into why your water heater isn't heating the water. It is connected to a HOT water supply like it's suppose to be isn't it???

    JMO

    Dan O.
    www.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Kenmore_Dishwasher
    The Appliance Information Site
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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Dan, that temp is also suggested in the owners manual & as stated in my posts, I have been running the water at the faucet until it's hot & checked the temp of that water (120*). Last night I decided to feel the water supply hose to the dishwasher as it was filling & it got hot (indicating that, at least there is hot water going into the dishwasher). But I still don't get 2 things---why would it get so cold so fast inside the dishwasher (I can understand cooling due to stainless interior & dishes, but it's impossible to cool 120* water 45* in the minute or so that it takes to fill the dishwasher) and why would the dishwasher not heat (ok, if you don't want to use the word 'heat', then 'increase' the temp!) of that water when the dishwasher is on 'Smartwash'?
    Also, I had read somewhere (not in my owners manual, but someplace on the Internet while looking for answers) that the water is supposed to cover the heating element when the dishwasher has completed filling--is that accurate? There is only about an inch of water in the bottom of the tub when it's 'full'.
    Thanks,

    Anthony P.

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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Sorry Dan, I didn't scroll down to see the rest of your post about the water level in the dishwasher. Ok, I see that you say that mine is filling properly. Thank you.
    I was scratching my head about the hot water issue until I felt the inlet hose of the dishwasher last night & since it does get hot that at least indicates hot water is getting to the dishwasher. It's not an issue of my house water heater, since we (I have 4 kids under 10 & a wife as well, so baths & showers are a plenty around here) never have run out of hot water (50 gallon water heater).

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    Dan O.'s Avatar
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    ** -why would it get so cold so fast inside the dishwasher **

    Frankly I don't see how it is possible either. There shouldn't be anything in a dishwasher that could remove that much heat from its water.

    ** why would the dishwasher not heat when the dishwasher is on 'Smartwash'? **

    I'm afraid I am not familiar with the "Smartwash" function. Someone would have to look at the dishwasher's wiring diagram for the timing chart for the control to see in what parts in each cycle it is suppose to be heating. Have you tried any other cycles besides the Smart Wash?

    If it wasn't heating *in any cycle*, the element could be defective, one of the thermostats in series with it open or a problem in the electronic control.

    JFYI

    Dan O.
    www.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Kenmore_Dishwasher
    The Appliance Information Site
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    StillaYankee is offline New Member
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    Smartwash uses sensors to check the temperature soil content of the water & adjusts the cycle automatically. I foget what the other manufacturers call it, but they all have at least 1 model with a feature like this. I've been trying to get a Sears tech to replace whatever part it is that does the sensing (or replace anything for that matter), but without even testing they just keep saying 'that's normal'. But as I said in 1 of the posts, it's not Sears--it seems to be everybody around here. A/C people, plumbers, carpenters, tile people, you name it, they don't want to do anything. Good thing I know how to do most of those things myself. At least the unit has a 3 year warranty--guess I'll have to figure it out & then tell them exactly what's wrong.
    Thanks so much for your help & input.
    Anthony P.

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