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jhansen42
Frozen dishwasher supply line
jhansen42

My new, energy efficient dishwasher has its water supply connection on the back side of the unit – not underneath. The unit is installed against a well-insulated (perhaps not as much as I think) outside wall; yet with outside temperatures below freezing for days at a time here in Delaware, I am finding the water in the supply line freezes! I can only run the dishwasher when the outside temperature is above freezing or, if below freezing, when the morning and early afternoon sun heats up the east side of house where my dishwasher is. The national chain where I bought the unit and the local firm they contracted for the installation have been no help.

The supply line from under my kitchen sink (adjacent to the dishwasher) to the back of the dishwasher is a flexible hose with braided stainless covering. I am concerned that the repeated freeze/thaw cycle will weaken the hose and it will eventually fail. For that reason, I keep the water supply turned OFF when the unit is not in use.

Does anyone who has tackled a similar problem have any ideas for a lasting solution?

Thanks!
Jeff

A. Spruce
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
A. Spruce

It has been my experience that dishwasher taps originate under the kitchen sink and are run within conditioned space to the adjacent dishwasher. Granted, against an outside wall and behind a cabinet isn't exactly "conditioned" space, however, it should still be well above freezing.

Personally, I think you have a right to be concerned about a freezing issue with this water line, not sure there is a great deal you can do to combat the problem, though you might try removing the toe kick from the dishwasher to allow more house air to circulate under the machine, thus providing a warmer environment for the plumbing.

Honestly, if your supply line is freezing, I'd also be concerned about the discharge line, all the more reason to open up the kick panel.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
Mastercarpentry

I'm a nut for neatness but if someone fastened that supply line to an exterior wall, the wall's cold could be transferring to it. Be sure there's no contact between the supply line and anything exterior be they floor or wall; small pieces of pipe insulation clipped on where needed as spacers may be enough to prevent that. Don't insulate the whole line or it will probably make things worse.

Phil

keith3267
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
keith3267

I'm going to make an educated guess here that the supply line fits in a groove at the back of the dishwasher. If it does, opening up the kickplate may not help as much. In my experience, the kickplate under the dishwasher is adjustable so you can loosen two screws and raise it up to give about a quarter inch clearance between it and the bottom of the floor, and I would do that.

If the supply hose does fit in a groove, then there will be less air to circulate around it. Since the dishwasher is a high efficiency unit, it is probably well insulated and that insulation blocks the warm air inside the house from getting to the supply hose. Bad engineering, the company that manufactures this unit should be made aware of this situation. Without some feedback, they will continue to make these errors.

But in the meantime, raise the kickpanel and leave the door open on the dishwasher for an hour or two before use. Warm room air inside your dishwasher may help keep the hose from freezing.

Edit: The owners manual for the dishwasher should have a 1-800 number for warrantee issues. Please call that number and let them know the problem. If they are an ISO certified company, then ask the customer service representative (CSR) to open a quality investigation into the problem. If you don't ask for this, the issue may not get to the engineering or quality departments and stop in sales. This will force them to investigate, make needed changes and inform you of the outcome. You will actually be doing them a favor so don't be shy about it.

Getting feedback is very rare for most companies, and yet it is so important to helping them improve their products. They do want to improve their products as it improves their bottom line as well. So do them a favor and give them this feedback. They will appreciate it.

dj1
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
dj1

Take photos of the plumbing under the sink and behind the unit. It will help us a lot.

jhansen42
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
jhansen42

Thank you all for your responses. Here's what I can show and tell you at this point:

The dishwasher is a 500 series Bosch (SHE65T52UC/02). Opening up the toe kick probably won't do much good as the frame for this unit goes all the way to the floor (see photo). I will leave it open to see if it helps.

As I believe I mentioned, all of the connections for this unit are on the back of the unit with the water and drain lines connecting just above floor level. I have gathered all of the factory documentation I can from the Bosch website and the Internet to study. I have not pulled the unit out yet as I only want to do that job one time and I want to be armed with a plan and all of the information I can gather when I do it.

See photos of connections under the sink and screen captures of the connections for the water and drain lines on the back of the unit from Bosch documentation.

Phil is likely right that the supply line is in contact with the back wall. I can't gauge how much room there is back there as the hole in the cabinet wall for the supply line is not very big.

I am considering opening up the side of the cabinet somewhat to get a better view, to promote air flow, and also to possibly put a small piece of rigid insulation board between the supply line and the outside wall - or, as has already been suggested, maybe just a few small pieces of pipe insulation at points to ensure there is no contact between the wall and the supply line. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

Thanks everyone!
Jeff

PS: Unfortunately, this board is not letting me upload any photos. Every photo I try to add - be it JPG or GIF - is flagged as "not a valid image file". I won't go into the login issues I had yesterday. Suffice to say, this isn't the most user friendly board I've ever used. J.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
Sombreuil_mongrel

I don't know how much this could help, but it's worth a try, because it's not very costly, and just crazy enough to work. They make an insulation product similar to bubble-wrap, but out of a foil-like mylar. It is very thin, so applying a sheet of it to the wall behind the DW would prevent the pipe from touching the cold wall, and the foil would reflect any ambient heat back into the room.

In my experience, there is a good deal more room behind Bosch DW's (and ASKO's) because they are European designs. If that is the case with your model, a thicker insulation board may also fit back there. Foam board comes in 1/2", 3/4", etc..
Casey

keith3267
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
keith3267

Did you install this yourself or did you have someone do it for you? Is your sink to the left of the dishwasher or to the right? If your sink is to the right side, then the hoses have to run the full length behind the dishwasher, if the sink is to the left, there should be but just a few inches of hose from the dishwasher to the sink cabinet.

If the dishwasher was "professionally" installed, then it is possible that the installer coiled up all the excess hose and stuffed it in the area behind the dishwasher. I am also concerned that the installer may have removed the hose that came with the dishwasher and replaced it or added another hose to the one that came with it. The hose connection to the dishwasher is at the back left corner at the bottom.

The toe kick is adjustable. There are two types of toe kicks available on this model. One is a typical slotted toe kick, the other only has a hole for the mounting screws, but behind it is a series of closely spaced holes for the screws to go into so the height is adjusted by selecting holes that are higher up.

Here is your install manual:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/user-manuals/SHE65T52UC02-Bosch-Parts-DISHWASHER-manual

jhansen42
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
jhansen42

The dishwasher was installed by a local installer. The sink is just to the left of the dishwasher and, actually, the bulk of the Bosch-supplied water supply line is coiled up under the sink. I wish I could attach some photos but this board isn't going to let me.

Will make a trip to my local Lowe's to see what kind of insulation I can come up noting the types you all have recommended. I want get this taken care of ASAP! :)

Thanks to all,
Jeff

dj1
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
dj1

Quote: "PS: Unfortunately, this board is not letting me upload any photos. Every photo I try to add - be it JPG or GIF - is flagged as "not a valid image file". I won't go into the login issues I had yesterday. Suffice to say, this isn't the most user friendly board I've ever used. J."

Unfortunately, this is true. But don't hold it against us, the regular contributors. I can't upload photos too.

To upload photos try this: upload them onto a host like photobucket, and then let us have the link.

keith3267
Re: Frozen dishwasher supply line
keith3267

Adding more insulation isn't going to do much good if heat can't get into the area. Did you look over the manual I linked for you? Is the hole between the sink and the dishwasher located in the correct spot? Maybe you could open up the hole some to let more air in behind the dishwasher. Also drill an equal size hole up near the top of the cabinet directly above the hole the hoses and drain line come through so that the air will circulate behind the dishwasher. If the wall is well insulated, this should take care of the problem.

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