Broken heating element
Mark M. • Birmingham, AL • March 14, 2014
Appliance: Model KENMORE 665.17373301
My Repair & Advice
Followed the video from APP but had to go to another video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX5-ruvqZaI) that showed more information about the wiring since the dishwasher wouldn't pull out without our disconnecting the wires at the bottom behind the cover plate. That was the hardest part as we couldn't get the wires to pass through the hole: there were flanges that apparently were meant to keep the wires from passing through. But looking at the video again, I see that they unscrew "the strain relief nut" which we didn't try to do because we didn't think it would unscrew. Ours didn't look the one in the video--ours was hard black plastic. What we had to do was my wife used a flat head screwdriver to lift one of the flanges while I pushed the wires through with a screwdriver. But it must have taken at least 45 minutes just to figure out how to do this part. And by the way, it's a very awkward position. The video makes it look like the dishwasher is sitting on a countertop while they do it.
Our "water supply line" also didn't look like the one shown in the video but was a small copper pipe that was very tough to maneuver. We never saw where to unscrew it from the dishwasher, so we ended up tipping the dishwasher on its side, rather than on its back.
The next problem was that disconnecting the wires from the heating element that looks so easy in both videos, was quite difficult. Again, ours didn't look like the video and we weren't sure if they were actually soldered in place. We thought we'd have to give up on the whole thing, but I finally tugged harder and they released. After that things went smoothly--but we were pretty worn out by this time as we were nearly 2 hours into a project that we thought would take 30 minutes.
Wait--one more thing: we were concerned about how were going to get those wires back into the hole and back to the front of the access panel. It's not like you can stick your arm in there and keep them in place while you're pushing the dishwasher back under the cabinet. So my wife got the idea to make a tether with some kitchen string. She cut a length about a 24" long and made a knot around the copper ground wire. With some difficulty, she laid down next to the dishwasher and pushed the string through the back of it while I tried to catch it through the hole in the access panel at the front. I got it and pulled it through, then pushed the dishwasher back under the cabinet. Then we had a bit of trouble again getting the wires back through that hole (again, if we had been able to remove that flanged nut, it may have gone a whole lot better).
We have not yet tried the dishwasher to make sure it works. If it doesn't, I'll let you know; otherwise, assume it did.