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SquareTrade Warranty Review: Dishwasher Repair Claim Success Story

This SquareTrade.com Warranty Review describes my great experience when filing a warranty claim to repair my Frigidaire® Gallery dishwasher, model FGHD2433KF1. A teardown of the old dishwasher circulation pump follows that revealed rusted ball bearings due to leaking pump shaft seals.

Frigidaire® Gallery Dishwasher FGHD2433KF1

I purchased and installed a Frigidaire® Gallery dishwasher, model FGHD2433KF1 on April 8, 2010 from Lowes. I declined the more expensive in-house warranty offered by the Lowes salesperson. Instead, I purchased a 3 year warranty from SquareTrade.com for $34.99.

After only 1.5 years – or just 6 months after the 1 year Frigidaire manufacturer’s warranty expired – the dishwasher started making a loud grinding noise during the wash cycle.

  • The pump noise steadily got louder over the next couple of weeks, to the point that I had to shout to be heard.
    Listen to the noisy pump:
    Bad Dishwasher Pump Noise
  • I have since learned from experience and user reviews on Consumer Reports, Lowes.com and Amazon.com that the Frigidaire FGHD2433KF1 dishwasher apparently has a pump design flaw and other reliability problems.
  • Consumer Reports rates Frigidaire dishwashers at 10th place out of 14 brands reviewed with 16% of 82,000 readers reported having “Repairs or Serious Problems” for the period 2007 to 2011. Whirlpool and Bosch dishwashers were ranked #1 and #2 with equal ratings for overall dishwasher brand reliability.

In my opinion a dishwasher should last 8 to 10 years instead of breaking in only 1.5 years.

SquareTrade Warranty Review: Dishwasher Repair Claim Success Story

I called SquareTrade.com to file a repair warranty claim on the dishwasher. I didn’t have access to my SquareTrade online account because I forgot to update my e-mail address when I changed Internet providers. The SquareTrade customer service representative (CSR) validated my personal information and updated my e-mail address so I again had access to my SquareTrade online account.

Filing a SquareTrade warranty repair claim was easy, however I not sent the dishwasher sales receipt to SquareTrade as I should have when I purchased the warranty 1.5 years ago. The CSR said I could either send a paper copy of the receipt or scan & e-mail the receipt to SquareTrade.

I learned my lesson that thermal print sales receipt paper fades and become unreadable over time, so I now scan a copy of my important receipts and save on my hard drive as an Adobe Acrobat Reader file (.pdf). If you’ve been responsible and filed away your purchase receipts, best check to see if they’ve faded out!

I had the Lowes dishwasher sales receipt file on my computer hard drive and e-mailed it to the SquareTrade CSR while we were on the phone. The CSR confirmed he received my e-mail in moments. Cool!

SquareTrade offered me two options for repairing the dishwasher:

  1. SquareTrade will dispatch a local technician and handle all the paperwork and payment.
    SquareTrade said a repairman would contact me within 5 business days.
  2. I hire and pay a local repairman of my choosing.
    SquareTrade will reimbursement me for the repair cost, up to purchase price of the dishwasher.

I elected to have SquareTrade dispatch a repairman. SquareTrade sent confirmation e-mails for my sales receipt and approved warranty claim with a claim number. Both e-mails arrived while I was on the phone with the CSR!

SquareTrade Repair Dispatch

The local repair company dispatched by SquareTrade called me on Saturday, just 3 days after I filed the warranty claim. The repairman ran the dishwasher and checked if something was blocking the food grinder. He said the circulation pump was bad and a new pump would have to be ordered. I signed a work order form to acknowledge the repair call and was told they will call to schedule an appointment when the pump arrived.

Almost 2 weeks later, I hadn’t heard from the local repair company. The dishwasher grinding noise is now so loud we only run it when we leave the house. I called the repair company and was told their computers were down, but they would call me back in an 1 hour. 3 hours later I called again and was told the pump is on “back order” and they didn’t know when the pump would be available.

Suspicious of a lame “back order” excuse and why the local repair company didn’t call to let me know of the delay beforehand, I phoned a local appliance repair warehouse where many of the professional appliance repair companies buy parts. The warehouse had the pump in stock for immediate pickup. I next checked the Better Business Bureau (BBB) file for the local repair company. The local repair company had a F rating by the BBB because of failures to respond to customer complaints. Kudzu.com listed nothing but bad reviews with complaints about “back order” excuses and excessively long wait times with no callbacks.

Cutting my losses, I called SquareTrade to politely complain. SquareTrade explained that they contract through a national repair agency who in turn makes arrangements with local repair companies and thanked me for informing them of the problem. To remedy the problem, SquareTrade said they could find another repair company or I could hire my own. I chose to hire my own repairman. SquareTrade also said they would refund the original warranty purchase price of $34.99 as a courtesy and the warranty remain in force for the full 3 year term. That was very nice!

I received a new claim approval e-mail from SquareTrade in minutes.

Hire My Own Repairman

I checked Kuduz.com and the BBB reviews to find a reputable appliance repair company. I called All Area Appliance of Atlanta and explained the problem. All Area Appliance confirmed the pump was available and could be at my home the next day.

The All Area Appliance repairman called ahead and arrived on time. He said they see a lot of circulation pump failures on this Frigidaire® Gallery dishwasher. When the repairman removed the dishwasher door and kick panel, he said the pump was leaking on the floor. I was lucky it didn’t leak and flood the floor causing major water damage.

Frigidaire® Gallery Dishwasher FGHD2433KF1: Circulation Pump Repair

The pump is a DCJ72 series motor manufactured by Johnson Motor, probably as a custom item for Electrolux identified by the label:

Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG
120V 60Hz
P/N: 154793001
ID No.: 1060N6505583
2.0A 120WATT CLASS B

Dishwasher Circulation Pump: Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001

Here’s the new and old pumps side-by-side. The pump identification labels are identical (note that the O-rings for the new pump are still in the shipping carton). I think it’s only a matter of time before the new pump also fails. I’ll be checking under the dishwasher every week with a flashlight looking for water leaks.

Leaking Dishwasher Circulation Pump: Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001

The All Area Appliance of Atlanta appliance repairman was great to talk with and replaced the pump in 30 minutes. He handed me the old circulation pump and asked me to turn the impeller (the impeller is the white plastic disc on the end that resembles a water wheel and moves the water). The old motor didn’t want to turn and made scraping sounds like it was full sand. I spun the impeller on the new pump which was silky smooth and quiet.

The parts and labor cost to replace the circulation pump replacement was $289.00. Wow! The pump repair cost was 58% of the original $494.10 dishwasher purchase price! I would have junked the dishwasher and bought a new one (not Frigidaire!) if I didn’t have the SquareTrade.com warranty.

I paid the repairman, scanned the repair invoice and e-mailed it to SquareTrade.com.

SquareTrade reimbursed the $289.00 repair cost and refunded the $34.99 warranty price via PayPal in one week. I was pleased!

I asked the dishwasher repairman for his opinion of the best dishwasher brand; he replied “Bosch” because it has a:

  • Watertight molded plastic base pan that catches any leaks.
  • Leak sensor that shuts down the dishwasher if a leak is detected.
  • Pump to drain the water from the base pan so it doesn’t overflow and flood the floor.

Bosch calls it the AquaStop® Plus leak protection system.

Dishwasher Pump Noise

I was curious to understand why the Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher circulation pump failed. So I took it to my workshop for teardown and inspection. The old Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001 pump was making a loud grinding noise and leaking water on the floor:

Dishwasher Circulation Pump Leak: Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001

I used a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel to saw through the metal fastening tabs on the steel pump housing, removed the impeller shaft screw and separated the pump components. This photo shows all parts except the plastic impeller shaft:

Frigidaire® Gallery Dishwasher FGHD2433KF1: Circulation Pump Teardown

The reason the dishwasher circulation pump failed after only 18 months is obvious: The pump shaft seals failed (bottom left of photo) allowing water to travel along the steel motor shaft and rusted the ball bearings. Water then leaked through the vents of the plastic pump housing and onto the floor. The ball bearings press-fit into the plastic pump body as indicated by the blue line.

Frigidaire® Gallery Dishwasher FGHD2433KF1: Circulation Pump Rusted Bearings

Rusted ball bearings are very bad and were responsible for the loud grinding noise heard when running the dishwasher. As the bearings disintegrate the motor shaft wobbles and vibrates, causing the shaft seals to leak even more and flood the floor. The failure process is a positive feedback loop that rapidly gets worse.

This is a closeup view of the rusted ball bearing and motor impeller shaft. Water has leaked past the shaft seals leaving stains along the fluted shaft to the ball bearing:

Frigidaire® Gallery Dishwasher FGHD2433KF1: Circulation Pump Rusted Bearings

I cut a slot in the outer ring of the ball bearing with a Dremel tool to inspect the condition of the steel balls:

Dishwasher Circulation Pump: Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001 Rusted Ball Bearings

I pried open the outer ring with the tip of a screwdriver to expose the ball bearings. This is a caged type ball bearing. The bearings are very rusted and dirty due to the leaking shaft seals. It’s possible the bearings would eventually seize-up causing the motor to stop. A good ball bearing should be clean, shiny and well lubricated.

Dishwasher Circulation Pump: Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG P/N: 154793001 Badly Rusted Ball Bearings

Summary

SquareTrade

SquareTrade Warranty Protection Plans are excellent with great customer service!

Frigidaire Dishwashers

I won’t be buying anymore Frigidaire dishwashers.

In my opinion the Johnson Electric DCJ72(4)MLG Mfg Part #: 154793001 dishwasher circulation pump is not a quality part that makes the Frigidaire® Gallery dishwasher model FGHD2433KF1 a lemon with a DO NOT BUY recommendation, which won’t likely be a problem for most people because the model appears to be have discontinued. I’ll also be busy checking under the dishwasher for leaks every week so long as I own it.

A $494.10 Frigidaire dishwasher is not a bargain if it costs $289.00 to replace the pump after only 1.5 years.

  • The 1.5 year true cost of ownership for this Frigidaire lemon is $783.00
    ($783 = $494 purchase price + $289 pump repair).
  • I could have spent less and bought a Bosch 500 series with AquaStop® for around $765.00.

As always, do your homework and read the consumer reviews.

DIY Dishwasher Repair

If your circulation pump is bad and the dishwasher is out of warranty, you can buy a replacement pump online and fix it yourself. Remember to shut off the electricity and water supply before disconnecting the hose and wires. Remove the dishwasher from under the counter and lean it over to gain access the circulation pump. Unplug the wire harness and unbolt the old pump.

The manufacturer has since replaced the Johnson DCJ72(4)MLG Mfg Part #: 154793001 with a new Part #: 154844101 that hopefully doesn’t have the leak failures of the original part.

AppliancePartsPros.com, Inc.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

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One Response to SquareTrade Warranty Review: Dishwasher Repair Claim Success Story

  1. Carl Maggio August 27, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    This is the exact scenario with my Frigidaire FGHD2433KF1 I elected to replace the dishwasher pump myself with a new one (part #: 154844101) of course I’m hoping for an extended life of the dishwasher my first failure was with under two years of use. I bought the new pump on line for $86.00 including shipping so plus elbow grease that was my total cost of repair.

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