Author Topic: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes  (Read 4344 times)

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Been fighting this dishwasher's poor performance for a while.  Ready to sit it on the curb.  Here is what I think I know using the water/service test:

Frigidaire PLD2855RFC
Neither of the top two spray arms rotate or move at all
Both dispensers work
Inlet valve filter is not clogged
Overflow float never trips
Water reaches the just covers the post that the heater element mounts to
126 seconds to fill
Water temp 120
Check ball rolls back towards the rear on the dishwasher
Water in bottom of dishwasher after all cycles looks dirty
After the drain cycle a little amount of water flows back into the bottom of the dishwasher
Dishes have some whitish grit left on them
Air gap is new, as the old one looked pretty dirty to me
I use the normal cycle with no other options
Drying vent on door was clogged with "stuff" but now is replaced and working.
Not looking to replace it unless I have to.

Offline Bailey

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 574
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 08:52:14 AM »
There is a check valve on the drain pump that should prevent water from backing into the dishwasher.

Offline Bailey

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 574
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 08:53:59 AM »
Also what kind of detergent are you using? Granular detergent will leave a gritty residue when it gets old.

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 09:11:21 AM »
I will have to check the back flow check valve.  The detergent is new (couple months old).  To add to the information I tried to use a Jet Dry dishwasher cleaner late last night and it never emptied.   The "wax" plug was still in the cap of the bottle.  Seems like it is not getting hot enough or could the wax harden over time because I have had the cleaner for some time now.

Offline Bailey

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 574
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 05:09:14 PM »
If you let it fill and start washing and then open the door, can you see the spray arm moving? I would think if the lid was on the bottle of cleaner the wax plug would be OK. What do you hear when its washing. If its too quiet that's not good. You should hear water hitting the door as the arm turns.

Offline PARTech

  • Technician
  • Member Since: May 2009
  • Posts: 415
  • Country: us
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
    • Panhandle Appliance LLC
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 05:11:19 PM »
Water temp 120 F? That is about where most hot water tanks are set... Not heating the water enough?
Serving North Idaho

Offline Bailey

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 574
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 05:21:02 PM »
Yeah thats ok for incoming water temp. Would have to check it at the end of the main wash to see if it was up to 140

Offline domain

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 661
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 08:30:51 PM »
Just cause the ball moves freely, doesnt mean the pump/pcb are doing their fair share O0 O0

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 09:46:15 PM »
Okay, so how can I check the pump and pcb (printed circuit board?), domain?  I am guessing the pump also supplies water to the bottom sprayer arm, which spins and shoots water to the top of the dishwasher.

Offline Bailey

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2011
  • Posts: 574
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 09:30:05 AM »
I see a lot of frigidaire dishwashers. I keep two pump motors in stock. Sometimes the impeller will strip and the other problem is the plastic cover over the impeller [which just snaps in place] will come loose. It is easy to check but you will have to pull the dishwasher out and lay it on it's back to remove the motor.

Offline domain

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 661
  • Country: us
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 05:14:29 PM »
 O0 O0


WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
The water distribution system consists of an upper and
lower spray arm, upper (spray) arm delivery tube, filter,
soil director, pump, sump, and check ball. The system
is designed to operate only one spray arm at a time.
During the first wash and first and second rinses, only
the lower spray arm operates. In the second wash, third
and fourth rinses the spray arms alternate about every
90 seconds.
This alternating of the spray arms is achieved with a
check ball located on a ramp between two outlets of the
pump. There is an outlet to the bottom spray arm and an
outlet to the upper arm delivery tube. In the normal
position the ball is at the bottom of the ramp, in front of
the opening to the upper arm delivery
When the pump starts, the force of the water pushes the
ball to block the opening to the upper arm delivery tube.
Not all of the water is blocked however. The opening is
constructed to allow a small amount of water to bypass
the ball and enter the tube, and fills the tube at a rate of
approximately four inches a second. At the same time,
the outlet to the lower spray arm is open, so the lower
spray arm operates. When the pump stops, the pressure
is removed from the ball and the water flows down the
tube, forcing the ball up the ramp and against the outlet
to the lower spray arm. If the pump remains off for more
than 3 seconds, all the water in the tube escapes and
the ball returns to the bottom of the ramp. But, if the
pump is started in less than .6 seconds, the water from
the upper arm delivery tube is still forcing the ball up the
ramp against the outlet to the lower spray arm. The
force of the water from the pump continues to hold the
ball against the outlet to the lower spray arm which
leaves the outlet to the upper arm delivery tube open.
When the ball is in this position only the upper spray arm
operates. This momentary stopping of the pump is
controlled by the control board.
Another unique feature of the water distribution system
is the two cavities of the sump. One cavity provides
filtered water to the pump for recirculation through the
spray arms. The other, called a quiet water cavity,
allows soil to collect in the area of the macerator blade,
where it is held until the drain pump removes it.

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 11:14:59 AM »
Now that is an answer I can understand, Domain.  Not sure it is the best principle to have this type of system, but it least I feel better that it could be the reason I have not seen the top two arms move during the service test mode.  I will give it a quick look during a real complete run. 

Getting ready to give the jet dry dishwasher cleaner bottle a second chance so I will have a time during the second 21 minute wash cycle.  I will also check the water temp during that same cycle.  I do know that the heater element test okay and does get a little hot during the service mode which is very short.  The door vent was an issue, but is working correctly with the "new" parts from a junked unit from my friend.  I forgot to mention that we have very hard water here in my neck of the woods "city" due to limestone mainly.  I have heard that running some CLR in the dishwasher would be helpful, is this true?  I installed a water softener last year mostly for the dishwasher.  So the hard water should not be an issue anymore other than build up(I no longer use fabric softener and towels are just as soft) and I have the setting on the softener very low so getting soap off should be okay. 

Side note, is there a better way to test for correct water softness?  I have been using the free test strips from the salt pellet companies but really do not like the so, so readings.  Check valve flap was deformed and replaced from that junked parts unit.  Any reason it could have gotten damaged in which I should be looking for the cause?  I think the valve letting back in dirty water in the drain tube could have been my biggest issue, so thanks Bailey.  BTW, just in case I did not make it clear the bottom sprayer arm spins and makes a lot of water noise, so the pump and impeller looks to be okay.  I will give an update on the water temp and if the wax plug melts and releases the dishwasher cleaner.  Let me know what you all think about the other detail please.  Thanks

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2013, 02:20:27 PM »
Details of last run:
*Took 135 minutes to reach Dry cycle (91.5 minutes is what the chart shows)
         [Had hi-temp option on, seen long HO (water heating delays)]
*1 1/2 minutes shy of 2 hours told time.
*Temperature was near 110 at the end of last cycle (using infrared tester which reads incoming temp at 130)
         [I had tried to read the stream of water in the faucet, but got a better reading in a glass]
*Non-visible steam from vent which measured 94 (Inside temp 67, outside temp 55, dew point 49, humidity outside 82%, inside humidity 30% according to a low cost reader)
         [Was able to see steam in the past]
*I was able to hear different water patterns which makes me believe that all sprayer arms were working, but this is just a guess.
*The dishes look clean (a couple of plates had a grain of grit here and there), but the glasses on the top rack (upside down so no standing water) have that gritty dirt of many colors as you can hopefully see in the attached photo.

Offline Rick52768

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 47
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2013, 11:09:05 AM »
Still in need of help guys.  Did everyone fall of the face of the earth. I am trying to get this crappy dishwasher fixed before the wife comes back from business trip.  I hope I have not overloaded anyone with information, but I am someone who likes as much info as possible when fixing anything.  Going to make sure the drain pump works when it should in the cycle but that is a pain to babysit the dishwasher for a 2 hour period.  BTW, what should be the max distance between dishwasher and sink drain?  Do not have the complete distance at this moment but the drain hose comes the far right of the dishwasher, through one set of wide drawers to the left side of a good size double sink (countertop mounted air gap) and then back to right bowl through a disposal which drains to the left bowl which is the sink drain.  Just more info to muddy the waters, no pun intended.  Thanks again for any help is getting this issue solve before I have to buy another dishwasher.

Offline grkeener

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Apr 2011
  • Posts: 39
  • Country: us
  • 45 years of appliance repair's
Re: Frigidaire top spray arms not working, gritty residue on dishes
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2013, 11:42:48 AM »
how is your water pressure? too low will cause some of your problems but the water should be hot as well - steaming!

 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:43:36 AM by grkeener »
bk1953

 

spray arms do not spray

Started by hookcapn

Replies: 9
Views: 2388
Last post April 18, 2008, 09:07:38 AM
by hookcapn
Frigidaire dishwasher upper spray arm inop.

Started by Dirty Harry

Replies: 0
Views: 2729
Last post November 15, 2008, 01:55:03 PM
by Dirty Harry
Dishes have residue

Started by hydrogen

Replies: 1
Views: 1215
Last post January 03, 2010, 07:47:36 AM
by Repair-man
frigidaire dishwasher won't clean dishes

Started by rasputins fingerbone

Replies: 10
Views: 9319
Last post October 29, 2010, 07:41:40 AM
by Repair-man
Thick Gritty Film on Glasses, Dishes Still Dirty

Started by jasoncostello

Replies: 11
Views: 4209
Last post July 29, 2011, 10:18:21 PM
by john63
Frigidaire upper spray arm assembly - confused. Help please!

Started by stream41

Replies: 9
Views: 1034
Last post March 11, 2013, 12:25:00 PM
by AJ