Repair help: Dishwasher is making a grinding noise during the drain cycle

Hello everyone,

Our Maytag Jetclean EQ Plus dishwasher (model# mdbd880awb) started making a grinding noise. The noise starts at about :20 in this three-minute video of the diagnostic cycle). I got to that cycle by pressing 212345671 on the main panel. It returned no obvious codes (I included the full video in case I missed something).

It only makes a grinding noise during what I assume is the draining cycle. This is because the dishes are still getting cleaned and there’s no noise during the swish-wash-swish-wash bit and the shhhhhhhhhhh noise when it’s filling is fine. It makes noise just a few times per entire dishwashing cycle. The grinding noise goes GrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRR for maybe a minute or so and then tapers off to a GGGRRRRRR RRRR RRRR RRRR RRR RRR Rrr Rrr rrr rr rr rr r r r r…

When it’s making the noise, it’s pretty steady, not like something is rattling about. More like a baseball card in the spokes (I took the spray arm/cover off and cleared a bit of debris but no change to the noise or baseball cards).

Though it starts/stops only a few times during a regular cycle, it makes the noise pretty much through most of the diagnostic cycle.

It still does a fantastic job, notwithstanding it being 17 years old. This is the first issue I’ve had with the it, so I’ve no idea what to check next. Any chance this is an obvious “replace the ___” noise?

(Also, assuming it’s an obvious noise — if this is an expensive or hard-to-find part, any guess as to how long can I run it like this without replacing the part? It won’t be too bad if I have to hand-wash dishes for a week or two when it completely fails and I need to repair it then (don’t know if I need answer fast). But that only makes sense if there’s a chance it could go on for a while like this and that leaving it unrepaired it won’t do further damage.)

I don’t really have any idea here as that vibration is not what I was expecting… at all. I’ve disassembled other dishwashers and replaced pumps, tubes, etc. I’ve seen one condition previously where the “pump” in the dishwasher broke a blade off and it definitely affected the draining more than the actual wash cycle. That was my initial idea. But judging by the noise I suspect:

  1. The belt may need to be tightened - it turns opposite ways for draining vs. washing
  2. For some reason the pump mechanism is being pushed by water pressure going out the drain tube
  3. The drain tube is vibrating against something- maybe teh back of the drum.

Pull off the bottom panel and get down on teh floor and listen. You should be able to hear and probably see what is making the noise. In my experience, it is 99% chance of just needing some lubrication or retightening of a nut or bolt. If it is something more major, just buy a new dishwasher- I’ve replaced the guts of them before twice and it is never worth it.

17 years? You’ve gotten an excellent long life out of it. Unless you’re able to disassemble the guts and extract some hypothetical cherry pit (Gee, how would he know about fruit pits in dishwasher mechanisms?) from the pump, it may be time to either live with the noise until it dies completely, or to consider a replacement.

If you want to invest fifty bucks in the dishwasher, these people have a kit of the pump impellers and seals, and a nice clear video in the “Cause #2” section. There’s probably too much disassembly to get at the drain impeller to safely do this without having the replacement seals on hand, so just tearing it apart for a look is impractical.

Youtube wouldn’t play the video for me, just the spinning circle of loading.

Glass, cherry pit, or nut shell? It might be a lot of steps to get the impeller exposed and find it. I had a very old Hobart portable at one point and I could strip that to bits pretty fast because of practice.

I had another fairly old Kitchenaid dishwasher. It lasted long enough that some of vinyl covering the pins in the top and bottom racks had been nicked and they began to rust off. Each rack was 179$ to replace. Then the control board started acting up because of corrosion. I didn’t even look that price up.

IKEA Lagan, 349$. Installed in about an hour since all the fittings were already in place. If it lasts 5 years I will be happy. When it dies I will roll it to the landfill and get another one just like it.

Will do this later this evening. Would be really great if it’s something that’s apparent like that.

Wow, did that probably save a ton of headaches. 17 years is a ton of time for an appliance, but given all that’s going on right now we’re not in the best situation to go replacing it. Then again, there will probably be a lot of sales in the near future — given its age it’s unlikely to last all that much longer anyway.

Crazy seeing only one- and two-year warranties out there. What, no 17-year deals?

That would be so much more appropriate if it were a front-loading washing machine!

So it seems that I’m just going to keep some towels handy and see what happens. Even with a sale, delivery and installation (not sure I’d be able to get it in/out myself), it’s not something I’m inclined to do. This is the (cherry) pits!

Last time I heard a noise like that, it was due to half a pistachio shell.

Last time I heard that noise it was a tiny shard of glass. Don’t know how it passed the filter before the pump but when I managed to extract it with much contortion and cursing it was fine and has been ever since. Good luck!

When my dishwasher’s seals seeped a bit constantly and I didn’t have time to fix it I’d tuck a half-sheet pan under there.

Dishwasher, heal thyself!
I took the bottom panel off this weekend to see if I could find where the noise was coming from — but there was no noise to be had!

I don’t know what to add to the pile of cherry pits, shards of glass and pistachio shells that have plagued other dishwashers, but something seems to have unstucken itself and left us with a noise-free dishwasher. Thanks!

Piece of glass…actually ours was plastic, but thin like glass, from a plastic wine glass I think. IIRC it was the drain impeller spinning against it, like a card in bike spokes.

So, some internal vibration from a pump (probably) was resonating with the bottom panel. Fixed when the panel was removed and then firmly replaced.:smack:
Or you suddenly went deaf:eek::smiley:

Congratulations and may you have another 17 years of use.