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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Plumber
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Plumber
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Aquarius FDM550 the soap dispenser does not open. What do I

Resolved Question:

Aquarius FDM550 the soap dispenser does not open. What do I do?
James
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
canuck the pro :

Hi, my name is ***** ***** I have been in the home improvement and repair field for 20 years. I will be very glad to help you today.

canuck the pro :

I believe I have the manual for this dishwasher. I will check. Is it not opening during the wash or you cannot get it open to add detergent?

Customer:

I do not have the manual as I was not able to download it. The download just diverted to you. I am happy tp proceed to ask you my question as I have used justanswers before and the answer was excellent. A side issue is that the just answers site keeps telling me it has another person with teh same e-mail address. I expect this other person is me.Could you get this sorted for me please.

Customer:

To get back to the problem, I can insert the soap but the dispensre deos not open during the wash

canuck the pro :

I will forward to the moderators when we are finished and I am sure they can sort the email issue. They may contact you when we are through. Have you cleaned the detergent dispenser compartment? Does there seem to be any buildup in it?

Customer:

Yes the compartment is clean. The dishwasher has not been used very much for about a year. Ther is no build up

canuck the pro :

Does the spring for the compartment door look to be bent or is there any small cracks in he compartment hinge?

canuck the pro :

Were you able to open the manual I posted? You should be able to download it and print it off if you like.

canuck the pro :

I am also glad to know that you have had such a good experience on the site. I believe I will continue that experience for you!

Customer:

The spring is OK and there are no cracks in the door. It springs open as soon as you press teh button at teh bottom. It seems as if the mechanism that moves teh blue latch is not doing so.

Customer:

I have not seen the manual download appear yet but will look for it when we have finished talking unless you want me to do that now. I am frightened of losing contact with you if I startlooking for downloads.

canuck the pro :

No worries. You will not lose any connection. Do you not see it in the previous comments? If not I will try downloading again.

canuck the pro :

I have to look a little further into the specifications of this particular dishwasher since they have two different types of detergent dispenser mechanisms. There is a timer and wax motor or bi-metal latch type.

Customer:

I have now found and downloaded teh manual. The latch is a spring loaded plastic one.

Customer:

It looksa exactly like teh illistration on page 8 of teh manual. I have been using a tablet. It springs open very easily when teh button D is pressed.

canuck the pro :

Gotcha. So the latch is released either by a timer and bi-metal release or electronic with a wax motor. I am not sure which one it is. The bi-metal release is usually in older dishwashers. Either way the next step would be to do a little exploratory surgery. Are you quite handy and up for something like that? Are you familiar with test for voltages with a multi-meter?

canuck the pro :

You were able to download the manual I posted or you found one online?

Customer:

Yes, I am quite handy and have a voltage tester

canuck the pro :

Alright you will have to remove the door panel from the inside. You will likely need a torx screwdriver. Be sure to turn the power off before beginning work. Look for the wax motor it would look like this

Full Size Image

canuck the pro :

Test the prongs for continuity. If you get continuity then replace it.

canuck the pro :

That is almost certainly what is causing the door to not open. They can be damaged by the slightest power surge.

Customer:

Am struggling to get to teh motor.

Customer:

I have taken the four tor x screws out and teh door is now detached from its hinges. The actual outside panel is off having removed all teh philips screw, but I cannot see what is holding the polystyrene inner lining to teh inside of teh door. Are there hidden screws somewhere. I cannot see any. It is almost as if it was glued in or the soap unit has some hidden screws holding it.

canuck the pro :

The inner panel of the door is what you are removing. The screws would be on the inside possibly under the door seal. Have you removed those?

Customer:

The inner panel of teh door, the stainless steel bit was attached to teh hinges by teh four torx screws. These are removed and teh door is detached except for the wires leading the ithe control panel which come up through the bottom. The outer panels is also off. You speak as if there was a separate inner bit. It is alnmost as if you were talking about a different model but mine looks like teh one on page 6 of the manual

canuck the pro :

You were able to remove the front of the door then? That should expose the back of the dispenser. There are screws there that hold the complete soap dispenser in place. Sorry, I work on many models but the access is similar from model to model but not exact.

Customer:

When I was told there was another customer with teh came e-mail address I substitued my wife's *****@******.***,m. messages from Just answeres are now arriving on her computer. She does not need these as you and I are in contact.

canuck the pro :

I was going to forward to the moderators after I have provided all the information for you. Once I submit it then it will be closed temporarily. When you post the email address on here it is blocked out for privacy reasons.

Customer:

Yes, I have removed the front of the door and indeed the whole door has now come off. I cannot get to the back of the soap dispenser because it is enclosed in a polystyrene inner liner which is somehow attached to the inner liner. Sorry if I am being stupid but I cannot see how to detach the two.

canuck the pro :

You are the customer.....that automatically makes you brilliant and anything dumb is on me! Is the polystyrene liner only cover the soap dispenser back?

Customer:

No it is covering everything from teh bottom of teh control panel to the bottom of the door and is from side to side

canuck the pro :

There should be like a flap that covers the back of the dispenser surrounded by the insulation piece, no?

canuck the pro :

Are you able to send a picture?

Customer:

There is no flap. It is as if the soap unit was pressed in from teh front and is held by plastic lugs. There is no flap in teh back at all. Have just been to have another look.( the machine is in another builkding about 50 yards away) I can take a picture. How do I get this to you?

Customer:

Ok. I see how to send a picture. I will go and take one

canuck the pro :

Just attach the picture using the paper clip icon. Download the picture to your computer first then use the paper clip to attach.

Customer:

will do

canuck the pro :

very good

Customer:

aquarius dishwasherI have spent the last half hour trying to send this picture to you. I do no know if it is here now. I can easily e-mail pictures but it seems very difficult to send it via your web site

Customer:

I have now tried to e-mail it to you as I cannot just clip it on

Customer:

Can we try again in the morning please? I hope you will have received my picture by tehn.will look out for you.

canuck the pro :

So sorry that you were unable to attach the picture. Picking it up tomorrow is fine. I am also sorry this has been so much more difficult than anticipated. I also have trouble attaching pictures sometimes. I wish I were more computer literate. I should have mentioned this before but there is a website that I have used in the past and then just copy and paste the link to here. Try wikisend dot com (have to type it like that or this site will X it out). Also sorry for my delayed response. It will go much better tomorrow then.

Customer:

I was able to send the picture to justanswer. Did you get it?

Customer:

ie I can send to an e-mail address. Speak/write in the morning

canuck the pro :

Alright. It takes a few hours or more to get to me through the site. Seems we got a little out of rhythm being online now at the same time anyway. Your last comment was 540 pm my time. Not sure what time morning is for you. Morning here will be in about 15 hours from now. I will be online for 6-8 more hours with a few breaks for reading bedtime stories etc. We will coordinate then.

Customer:

It is now 0906 my time. I do not seem to be able to get teh picture to you but to try to describe it again, the polystyrene box covers the whole of the inside and is somehow attached to the back of the stainless steel inner panel to which the hinges were attached before I took teh screws out. I am going to re-attach them and wait for you to suggest how I get to the inside of teh box. I do not think it is screwed to teh stainless steel inner panel.

canuck the pro :

Are you sure there are not any screws on the inside of the door? Around the outside?

Customer:

I'm back again. There are screws on the inside of the door but they hold the outer skin to the inside panel. When they are removed the outer skin comes off. I have been looking at our bosch dishwasher and I think you are expecting it to be like that. Hence your remark about Torx screwdriver. The inside of that is attached to the door with tor x screws and i think the hinges attach to the outside panel whereas the Aquarius has the outside skin attached to teh inside by philips screws, the only torx being the 4 that connect the hinges to teh inside panel.

Customer:

To sum up, the Bosch door is the outside white steel with an inside liner of stainless. The Aquarius door is the inside stainless steel with an outside skin of white steel.

Customer:

I know this does not help to answere the question of what holds the inner polystyrene box to teh stainless steel door

Customer:

A further point is that I notice that the Bosch liner when removed probably* leaves teh soap dispenser in place whereas it is built into teh inside of the Aquarius door.

Customer:

* I have not tried to do this

canuck the pro :

Does it seem that the polystyrene piece is glued?

canuck the pro :

Hotpoint and Bosch are the same manufacturer

canuck the pro :

You should also not have to remove from the hinges

Customer:

It does in a way in that I can see no screws and it is quite firmly fixed to teh door, but one can pull off the top and bottom a bit. However a possibility is that it is the soap dispenser itself that is somehow holding the poly bit to the door

canuck the pro :

Do you think that you can remove it without breaking it? It likely has just sealed to the wall from the heat.

Customer:

If you are sure the seal is just because of the heat, I will try but am wary of breaking it

canuck the pro :

Be careful not to. It is not the end of the world if it does. It is not necessary that it stay in one piece but certainly is a little better in one piece.

Customer:

OK. I will try and let you know what happens

canuck the pro :

Very good.

Customer:

I have cut the top section and removed it. I can glue it back in place afterwards. It was glued. The mechanism of teh soap dispenser is now clear to see. What is not clear is why it does not work. How do I test that. It includes what looks like a solenoid and a long metal strip that may be a spring or it may be an expansion strip.

canuck the pro :

If you push the clip with a screwdriver does it open the door to the dispenser?

canuck the pro :

Test with the power off.

canuck the pro :

It may be the solenoid or control board also. After checking the clip turn the power on and check that you have voltage with a voltmeter to the solenoid. If there is power then the solenoid is bad and needs replacing. If there is not power then the control board is needing replacing.

Customer:

yes it does open teh door. Just checking for power

canuck the pro :

That is good. So the bi metal latch is good. Now we are getting somewhere, eh? Either the solenoid or the board now.

Customer:

It is dificult to get to teh connections because I do not understand how to undo what I think is a plug but my meter picks up about 1volt ac from a metal strip down teh outside of the solenoid

Customer:

ie there is some power there

canuck the pro :

Is that after the solenoid or before?

canuck the pro :

Do you have alligator clips on your meter?

canuck the pro :

Or just probes?

Customer:

I have removed the little plug at the side of the solenoid and find 16v ac. I have probes. Presumably the current should only be there when teh solenoid id required to move, or does it increase then?

canuck the pro :

Yes. That is correct. That is why I was wondering if you had alligator clips. If you remove the access plate on the bottom front there should be directions how to start the diagnostics mode on the back of the plate.

Customer:

Sorry, the bottom from of where?

Customer:

Sorry, the bottom front of where

canuck the pro :

On the front of the dishwasher below the door there is an access plate that is held on by two screws. It may have plastic screw covers.

Customer:

OK I will look for it

canuck the pro :

Very good

Customer:

Canuck. I am afraid I am beaten. The two screws were a piece of cake but I cannot get the panel out. In teh middle at teh bottom is a small sub panel which has a small section of circuit board inside it. This was easy to remove and I suspect is where a hotpoint fitter plugs in some piece of diagnostic kit and so does not have to remove the large panel which is well sealed in as well as screwed is ther any other way of telling whether the solenoid is the culprit?

canuck the pro :

The only thing now would be to take an educated guess if we cannot do the diagnostic. The panel at the bottom may have two screws up higher. Sometimes you have to lay on the floor to really see them and look with a flashlight.

canuck the pro :

I am pretty sure that it is the solenoid....but not certain. A solenoid tends to go bad more often than the control board although that model is known for both.

Customer:

I have been lying on the floor with a flashlight and I am sure I have found the screws. I therefore am inclined to accept your suggestion that the solenoid needs replacing and will find one and replace the existing. As it is new year's eve tomorrow and I have much to do I shall put off finishing this job until next week and thank you for your advice now. Do you think I can just buy the solenoid or shall I have to get the whole unit?

Customer:

PS,. Where are you in the world?

canuck the pro :

You should be able to get the solenoid. I would remove it and bring it to a local appliance parts supply. The local Ma and Pa shops are the best but hard to come by these days. I am a Canadian in the U.S.

canuck the pro :

Many suppliers may stock it but there is the possibility they may have to order it. Having the solenoid in hand when ordering takes any guess work out along with the model number and serial number if you have it. It should be on a sticker inside the door.

Customer:

Thank very much for your help. I wish you a very happy new year

Customer:

James

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