It’s not unusual for a Kenmore dishwasher’s sump pump to become clogged with sediment or food particles over time, which consequently can interfere with the pump’s normal function. Also, a sump pump can develop a leak if its rubber seal wears and breaks down. When either one of these problems occurs, you have to disassemble the pump to repair the problem.
Diagnosing a Clogged Sump Pump
Most Kenmore dishwashers have sump pumps with a small screen that keeps debris from entering the pump and clogging it. If the dishwasher isn’t maintained, debris can obstruct the screen or break it and allow particles to get into the pump. If the pump malfunctions, the dishwasher won’t drain completely, and water will remain in the dishwasher after a cycle ends. You can usually repair the pump by clearing its screen.
Confirming a Worn Sump Pump Seal
An water-tight seal surrounds the sump pump and prevents water from getting into the pump’s motor and short-circuiting it. If the seal wears out, water can get into the pump and leak underneath the dishwasher. Since a dishwasher can develop a leak underneath for a variety of reasons, you must inspect the seal to verify it's worn before you can repair the dishwasher.
Initial Dishwasher Disassembly
To disassemble your Kenmore dishwasher, begin by removing the bottom rack, which should slide out. Use a pair of pliers to unscrew the nut that holds the spray arm in place and lift it out. Remove the plastic back feed line arm by forcefully turning it clockwise about 50 degrees while unfastening its clamp. Put the arm to the side. Once these components are off, the motor and pump compartment should be visible. Examine the pump’s rubber seal. If it’s bubbling up on the sides or has separated from the pump and motor compartment, replace it with a new one from Kenmore directly or an appliance retailer that sells Kenmore replacement parts.
Sump Pump Disassembly
To disassemble the sump pump, start by unscrewing the four Torx head screws on top of the motor and pump cover then remove the cover. Before you can access the screen to clean it, you must remove the pulley mechanism on the pump. This is attached with screws that must be removed. After taking out the pulley mechanism, use an old toothbrush or small scrub brush to clear away any sediment and food particles that are clogging the screen but don’t remove the actual screen from the pump as this can be challenging to reinstall. Once you've cleaned the screen, reassemble the motor and pump and continue to reinstall the remaining parts until the dishwasher is fully assembled.