Inspecting the accumulator and W10083957V 8268383 chopper in a dishwasher 👀
How it started: A couple of dishes on the top rack looked dirty after a wash. Not a big deal, but maybe a symptom of water struggling to reach the upper rack. Ok…so I ran a bottle of dishwasher cleaner through the dishwasher. That should do it, right? Nope. Dirty dishes again.
A dishwasher cleaner is not a replacement for a service technician or periodic maintenance. After the washing didn’t improve with the dishwasher cleaner, I knew it was time……time…for repair. TO THE TOOLS!!!
TOOLS USED: 2
- Pliers are used to hold the spray arm retainer while you gently unscrew the lower wash arm.
- The accumulator (the thing under the spray arm with fragile mesh screens*) has 4 Torx screws. The chopper cover underneath uses a slightly smaller Torx screw. I was conveniently surprised this Torx T15 bit fit both.
- *fragile mesh screens – Be very careful. I’ve seen tools slip and poke a hole through the screen which requires the accumulator to be replaced.
PHASE 1 – Remove and Clean Accumulator
I had just ran a dishwasher cleaner. But, just look at this stuff. It’s not going anywhere. This is grease, cooking oils, etc. But, it could’ve been worse. Hard water. White calcium deposits that stick like concrete. If your dishes come out white, or filmy, it may be hard water. I can cover that a bit later. The picture below may be gross, but it can be easily cleaned. If this were calcium, you might honestly need a wire brush. That stuff builds up like barnacles on a boat.
Luckily, a quick wash in the sink and the gross is gone. I first wiped it with a cleaning cloth and disposed of any large amounts in the trash. I was then able to easily clean off the remaining parts with soap and water.
NOTE: If you clean your dishwasher parts, do not leave even a DROP of dish soap on these parts or it will create a foam party in your kitchen. Rinse thoroughly.
PHASE 2 – Inspect and Clean Chopper Area – Check Valve
Toothpicks. Plastic. Straws. Nuts. Seeds. Glass shards. Bread ties.
Underneath this cover, the dishwasher’s chopper blade is attached to the motor. As the wash motor runs to circulate and pump the water, this is essentially the “filter” where all the water is pulled through. The chopper reduces any soft scraps that get through. But, you have to remove the accumulator to get to it. A small torx on the left side and this part lifts free. Gently rock it as you pull up.
I used a shop-vac to quickly remove the debris, but needle-nose pliers and paper towels work just as well. I did not check the check valve. I wasn’t having draining issues (a common symptom for a faulty check valve), so it didn’t seem like something I needed to mess with. It would’ve been a good idea to replace it with a new WP8268375 check valve had I planned ahead.
PHASE 3 – Reassemble
That’s it. Five screws and maybe an hour. You may notice Fisher & Paykel or Bosch dishwashers with easy, removable filter screens. Unfortunately, not all dishwashers are made the same and some dishwashers require a little research before you perform any preventative maintenance. If
Periodic maintenance is vital for peak dishwasher washing performance. This may also extend the life of your dishwasher and ensuring your dishes come out as clean as possible.
- Use a high-quality, premium dishwasher detergent
- Be aware of white-film and hard water. Use additives or booster, if necessary.
- Use a dishwasher cleaner once every 30-90 days.