Frigidaire dishwashers are known for their affordability, efficiency, and superior cleaning ability. As durable as these appliances are, you may encounter issues eventually.
When problems occur within Frigidaire dishwashers, they are often evident when the clean dishes do not come out completely spot-free. This is generally an indication that the dishwasher spray arms are malfunctioning. If this is the case, you’ll find leftover grit on dishes and glasses, sometimes necessitating an extra hand wash.
It’s important to perform regular maintenance and have a general working knowledge of how these devices function in order to ensure optimal operation. If you believe that you may be experiencing a failure in your dishwasher’s spray arms, let’s examine “how to replace the upper arm adjusting bracket on a Frigidaire dishwasher.”
Table of Contents
- Troubleshooting Dishwasher Spray Arms
- Removing the Upper Spray Arm
- Food Residue and Blockages
- Coffee Grounds and Dirty Water
- Overloaded Dishwasher
- How to Replace the Upper Arm on Frigidaire Dishwasher
- Step 1: Take Necessary Safety Precautions
- Step 2: Empty the Dishwasher
- Step 3: Remove the Existing Upper Arm
- Step 4: Align the New Upper Spray Arm
- Step 5: Reassemble the Dishwasher
Troubleshooting Dishwasher Spray Arms
The primary function of dishwasher spray arms, both upper and lower, is to discharge hot water at a high pressure to effectively clean your dishes. The spray arms exist as the substitute for the manual scrubbing that is involved in washing dishes by hand.
Therefore, if you have a broken or malfunctioning dishwasher spray arm, you can expect it to be very difficult to achieve perfectly clean dishes. The first step in determining what the cause may be is accessing the spray arms so you can further troubleshoot the problem.
Removing the Upper Spray Arm
In a Frigidaire dishwasher, you will generally have two spray arms: one at the base and one situated below the upper tray. To troubleshoot the spray arms, empty your dishwasher and completely remove the lower rack.
Remove the upper spray arm by rotating the nut on the underside. Depending on how tight the nut is, you may be able to remove it with your hand. Doing this should enable you to disconnect the upper arm from the bottom of the rack. From this point, you can further assess the situation, clean, repair or replace as needed.
The following are some of the most common causes for spray arm failure. Assess these possible causes to determine if the upper arm adjusting bracket needs replacing.
Food Residue and Blockages
One of the main reasons that a spray arm could be malfunctioning is blockages caused by food residue. When the holes of the arms become clogged, the spray arms have difficulty functioning as they’re meant to. Most often, these blockages will be the result of built-up food residue.
With the upper spray arm removed, allow water to run through it. A blockage will be indicative of the water being unable to flow easily through the spray holes. If this is the case, it needs to be cleaned out.
Use hot water and soap to scrub the spray arm and remove any debris. Then, rinse it well with clean water. For stubborn obstructions, you can use an air compressor to blow them out or a piece of wire to dislodge the residue. However, keep in mind that using a wire could cause unnecessary damage or scratching to the spray arm’s interior and provide a coarser surface for more dirt to collect.
Coffee Grounds and Dirty Water
Another common cause of dishwasher spray arm failure has to do with the arms shooting unclean water. More often than not, dirty dishwasher water is a result of coffee grounds in the appliance. Since the dishwasher drain is often connected to the garbage disposal, anything that is put in the disposal could potentially enter into the dishwasher.
In this case, coffee grounds are a common reason why the water is dirty. In general, if you have a persistent problem with your spray arms spewing unclean water in your dishwasher, this may mean it is time to give your garbage disposal a good cleaning.
Overloading dishes and utensils in your dishwasher can also lead to problems with the spray arms. Small dishes and utensils that are situated on the upper tray could shift during the cycle and cause a blade, handle, or some other device to peek underneath and block the spray arm’s path.
Additionally, plates or other cookware, placed on the lower tray, that are too tall could possibly hit the upper spray arm and prevent it from moving. Ensure that the dishwasher isn’t overcrowded so that the spray arm can move freely and the water can spray as it is intended to.
How to Replace the Upper Arm on Frigidaire Dishwasher
If you’ve determined that your dishwasher fix isn’t as simple as cleaning out the upper spray arm or repositioning dishes, it may be time for a replacement. In this case, you’ll want to begin by gathering all the necessary tools and materials. This fix does not require much gear; all you’ll need is the replacement sprayer arms and possibly a pipe wrench or work gloves.
Step 1: Take Necessary Safety Precautions
Your Frigidaire dishwasher is not only an electric appliance, but it is also hooked up to your main water supply. If you’re concerned about the possibility of the sprayer arms spraying during the replacement, turn off the water supply to the appliance.
Additionally, you can choose to wear work gloves in order to make removing the nut that holds the upper arm in place an easier maneuver.
Step 2: Empty the Dishwasher
Make sure that all dish-ware, utensils, and other materials are entirely removed from the dishwasher. Since you are doing maintenance on the upper arm, you want to displace the top rack. To remove the dish rack, turn the clips open at the end of the sliding tracks. This will allow you to pull on the rack and effortlessly slide it out.
At this point, you’ll have better visibility of the inside of your dishwasher. If you notice any collected debris inside, clear it out before proceeding.
Step 3: Remove the Existing Upper Arm
Locate the fastening nut in the center of the upper spray arm and turn it counterclockwise to remove. In most cases, the nut can be easily displaced with your hands. However, if you have an older Frigidaire model, you may need to enlist the help of work gloves or a pipe wrench to pry it free.
With the nut unfastened, the upper spray arm will pull free from the rack. Depending on your particular dishwasher model, you may also have a gasket ring. Remove this as well and set all the pieces to the side.
Step 4: Align the New Upper Spray Arm
If you’ve determined that the upper spray arm won’t benefit from a good cleaning and needs to be completely replaced, you can install the new one. Begin by aligning the new upper spray arm in the exact place the previous one was positioned in.
Reattach both the fastening nut and the gasket to secure the new spray arm. Twist the nut firmly to ensure a proper seal but not too tightly as you could break the sealing gaskets.
Keep in mind that since you’re replacing the upper arm, you may need to correct the water inlet tube. If during installation the inlet tubing becomes displaced, use a set of needle-nose pliers or your hands to put it back into position.
Step 5: Reassemble the Dishwasher
At this point, the installation is behind you and all that’s left is to reassemble your dishwasher. Return the dish racks to their positions and close the end clips to affix in place. Then, turn your water supply back on and run a test load to ensure the upper arm and entire dishwasher are functioning as expected.