Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Mysterious Case of the Whirlpool Dishwasher

Apparently Whirlpool has trouble hiring good help these days...

My new apartment has a new dishwasher. My happiness over this ended when I opened it after the first load to discover that my glasses weren't very clean. There was also a big clump of soap in the bottom of the machine. After a few loads and some happenstance I came to discover that the soap dispenser door wouldn't open because the rack was in the way.

I sent the following email to the people at Whirlpool:

model: DU810SWPU3
serial: FY1842524

product: Dishwasher,Built-in

The soap dispenser door does not open on my dishwasher. After some investigation, it appears that the rack blocks the door. No matter which direction the rack is placed into the dishwasher the rack would still block the door.

Is there some solution to this problem?
I received the following response:

We are sorry to learn about the concern you have experienced with your dishwasher.

As we are also consumers, we can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment regarding this matter. For your convenience, we have provided a few troubleshooting suggestions for you to check.

Was the dispenser cup wet when you added detergent?
Make sure the dispenser cup is dry before adding powdered detergent. If dispenser cup is wet, the detergent can clump.

Is the cycle incomplete?
If the previous cycle did not complete, the detergent can become caked in the dispenser cup if it is left sitting in the dishwasher.

Is the detergent old?
Older detergent exposed to air will clump and not dissolve well, which will cause the dispenser door to stick to the detergent. Replace detergent if necessary.

Is the water temperature too low?
For best washing and drying results, water should be 120F (49C) as it enters the dishwasher.

Were items blocking the dispenser that kept it from opening?
Items blocking the detergent dispenser will keep it from opening. Make sure water action can reach the dispenser.

Detergent guidelines
- Use automatic dishwashing detergent only.
- Other detergents can produce excessive suds that can overflow out of the dishwasher and reduce washing performance.
- Store tightly closed detergent in a cool, dry place.
- Fresh automatic dishwasher detergent results in better cleaning.
- Add detergents just before starting the cycle.

If you have checked these suggestions and are still experiencing your concern, we would advise contacting an authorized service provider for the most satisfactory addressing of any issues you may be experiencing.
My response:
The dispenser cup was dry. It was, in fact, the first time I had used this machine ever.

The cycle was complete and had been for several hours.

The detergent was new to me, but may not have been new to store. I cannot speak to its age, but it flows freely from the box.

The water temperature is a balmy 135 F.

There was an item blocking the dispenser from opening. As I pointed out in my question, the rack blocks the dispenser from opening. I suggested this in the email in a less than assertive way to be kind. I have attached a picture demonstrating my point. As can be seen in the picture, with the main dishwasher door opened slightly the door can clearly be seen against the rack. With the main door completely closed, the soap dispenser door does not open at all.

Following your response, I realized that the matter was best handled with a hacksaw. I have attached a picture of my solution. The door opens perfectly.

If you would be so kind, please share this solution with your design engineers. It may serve as a useful guideline as they draw up the next model.


FonckFamily said...


All Beavercreek Residents said...

you go big guy! TOWANDA

Cameron said...

I have the same dishwasher, your rack is in backwards. Turn it around it already has a notch removed for the dispensor, I had that problem my repair tech figured it out for me.

Linda said...

I have the same problem with my Whirlpool dishwasher. the rack is not backwards there is no notch for the soap door to open I looked at the part online with whirlpool and there is no notch for the 810 model, it looks like Whirlpool changed the basket for the 811 model. I called Whirlpool and they are investigating the issue, I'll let you know what the result is.

Loralu said...

I see this post is 3 yrs old, but my Whirlpool dishwasher has the same problem! Linda, did you ever find anything out? Did cutting the rack cause any problems with rust? Thanks!

Ryan Amick said...

Mine looks just like yours and opens up just fine. Its not designed to open all the way just enough for the soap to release. I did not have to hack off that bar and mine works great. That being said I did accidentally turn mine backwards and it would not open because of the vertical wire, but I can see from the pictures that yours doesn't have the vertical wire in that section. Not sure what the problem is?

Bill Hatch said...

For the record, I've examined the bottom rack and there appears to be no difference in the grid patterns on the front and back (how to tell which is which?). The rack blocks the detergent dispenser door regardless of which way it's inserted. There is no cutout for the dispenser door anywhere on the bottom rack. Please tell me there is a solution aside from the hacksaw approach.


I have lived with this same dishwasher crisis for the past 7 years in a rental unit and each time I request maintenance attention to the situation I am told that that is how all the dishwashers are in every unit. I have resolved to just pour the soap in the dishwasher from the get go. I tried to search out a replacement part online and the expense of dishwasher racks is outrageous could one even be found which it cannot. It is a crappy dishwasher and Whirlpool should be ashamed to have such a product on the market!

Judi said...

I just bought a house with the same problem in the dishwasher.....looking at replacement racks, it seems the replacements are the same....anyone recently have any luck?