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Sears  - Fire Hazard

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Model number: 665.[protected]
Serial number: FR2303720
Replacement Parts: Dishwasher Heating Element Kit - 8194200 (Whirlpool)
This is one of several dishwashers (Sears Kenmore, Kitchenaid, Whirlpool) that use the same circuit board & heater. There are many of these dishwashers that have actually caught fire (www.kitchenaidfire.com). There have been recalls on some of these dishwashers. I have one of the dishwashers that have not been recalled. It caught fire, but luckily the circuit was broken before more than the circuit board was damaged. I replaced the circuit board and heater combination with the recommended repair kit. In less than a week, the same thing happened. Luckily, I was in the kitchen and noticed the smell before any major damage.
I have contacted Sears. They say they cannot do anything since there is no recall.
I have contacted Whirlpool (manufacturer). They said they cannot do anything since Sears requires all post sale issues with Kenmore appliances.
This is a major safety issue! I cannot believe that all these have not been recalled! The only difference between mine and the recall is that mine has a stainless steel tub and not the plastic tub. This is at a minimum irresponsible and should be felonious!
I have been a loyal Sears purchaser (especially all appliances, lawn/garden equipment, and tools). If nothing else is done with this issue, I will be eliminating my future Sears purchases and recommending the same to everyone I know.

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11 comments
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S
Jan 23, 2022 8:00 am

Same. Kenmore model 665. 10-15min into cycle, I noticed a burning plastic smell. I opened it and found a plastic lid on the bottom of the tub but not in the heating element, but thought that might have been it. Restarted it and a few minutes later, black smoke started coming out the top. I opened it and saw something glowing red hot on the upper inside right of the door panel and kept popping. It eventually melted through the plastic and flames ignited. I had to put it out with a fire extinguisher. Thank God I was in the kitchen, passing through when it started or it could have caused major damage and jeopardize the safety of my family!

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G
Oct 14, 2020 8:00 am

On Friday morning at 6am (10/10/20), we woke up to all our smoke alarms going off.
At first I thought it was some false alarm or someone left something cooking too long, but when I got to the kitchen, it was filled with smoke and impossible to breathe in. I saw a huge fire underneath the sink, and water spraying all over the place. I quickly opened the door to get some air, took a few deep breaths and went back in; I grabbed the fire extinguisher that we always have hanging on the wall, and fortunately never had to use, pulled the pin out and approached the fire. I then let loose the fire extinguisher and managed to put out most of the flames, but had to run outside to get some more breaths.
I came back in, and saw there was still some fire and electrical zapping sounds coming out from underneath the dishwasher (Kenmore Elite Model 665.1474), I sprayed the extinguisher some more directly underneath the dishwasher, and it put out the remaining flames.
However, the water was still spraying, and I could also feel electricity coming from the floor, as I was barefoot. At that point I went to the basement and turned off the water feed to the house and the breaker to the kitchen. When I went back to the kitchen, I opened all the windows, let the smoke out and cleared out the mess under the sink.
I found underneath the dishwasher melted plastic, and what looked like a fried control box. All the cleansers, dishsoap and washer pod containers and basins were all melted and burned. I took pictures at that point.
It was very scary for a time there, and had I not caught it in time, the fire would have spread to the whole house.
I bought the dishwasher from Sears about two years ago, and it never had a problem, but all of a sudden this happened. I am going to try to call them and see what they can do, as even though it is out of warranty, this is something far beyond a simple malfunction, but property and life threatening.
I hope I have more success than the OP of this thread.

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M
May 06, 2018 8:00 am

yup. just happened with ours this morning. Smelled burning electrical smell - just turned on the dishwasher before going out - opened the panel and there are scorch marks on the connections.

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J
Feb 15, 2017 8:00 am

Count me in, too. Kenmore Elite 665.[protected]. Smoke started pouring out of the top right... filled the house with toxic fumes, and now there is a white streak of chemical debris down the inside right of the door. Clearly the control panel fried about 15 minutes into the cycle. Whirlpool settled a lawsuit on this issue, but denied any fault/wrongdoing: https://www.dishwashersettlement.com/home.aspx

Whirlpool, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

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M
Feb 04, 2016 8:00 am

Same as everyone else. Kenmore Elite 665.[protected] SER FS4404450. I was standing right next to it when there was a popping sound and sparks and embers started shooting out of the top right area of the dishwashe onto the floor, followed by smoke. I immediately turned it off and ran for the breaker. Sears says there is no recall, CPSC says no recall on my specific model. Searching the web turns up many, many reports of same issue in models not covered by recall, I am disgusted. Had I not been standing there when it happened, my house could have burned down. This is a safety issue. I've never had an appliance catch on fire before. We were lucky this time. Manufacturer will not take responsibility.

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E
Jan 20, 2016 8:00 am

We noticed a burning smell on the afternoon of Sunday 1-17-16, and found that it was coming from the the dishwasher. Sears Elite model 665-12782K310, purchased August 2013. Got to it quickly before flames, so just smoke, but definitely hope to get Sears or someone to take responsibility for it - given the very real potential house fire that we fortunately were able to avert. We often run the dishwasher when we go to bed - what if?...

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K
Dec 18, 2015 8:00 am

Three nights ago we started our Kenmore Elite Model 665.[protected] before we headed to bed and a couple a minutes later smoke starts pouring out of the control panel because it started on FIRE! My husband ran and turned off the breaker which seemed to diffuse the fire and our house smelled terrible from melted plastics. Needless to say we will not be using Whirlpool/Kenmore products again. Just glad we were home and didn't lose our home over a dishwasher! I too am trying to get somewhere with Sears' recall people to get them to put this model on their recall list.

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C
Jul 17, 2015 8:00 am

Our Kenmore Elite dishwasher (Mod. 665.[protected]) caught fire today. Opened door and extinguished flames and turned breaker off. Control panel is burnt.

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N
Jan 03, 2015 8:00 am

I Had a fire in the control panel of my Kenmore Elite dishwasher (model 665.[protected]) that spewed out acrid smoke and flames. I was luckily standing in the kitchen when it occurred. I opened the door to stop it but it didn't, so I ran to trip the breaker. I haven't contacted Sears yet but it sounds like a waste of time.

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R
Jan 25, 2013 8:00 am

i too just had a control panel fire on our kenmore elite dishwasher with stainless tub. We were about to go to bed when our house fire alarm went off. I turned the circuit breaker off it stopped the electrical fire that was starting. My kids were upset, fire truck came and we were all safe. Googled the problem sears needs to get on this before someone gets hurt.

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R
Sep 01, 2012 8:00 am

I too have just had a control panel fire on our Kenmore Elite dishwasher... this after spending time and money on changing the failed heating element. Thankfully we were within sight of the dishwasher the other nite when the melt down occurred. The power to the circuit remained on while the melt down progressed...it was only a few minutes into the incident when I realized what was happening and ran to the basement to kill the circuit breaker.
I am quite disgusted to learn that Whirlpool has known of this problem for over 4 years and has yet to issue either a recall or public notice...Meanwhile this issue potentially affects up to 20 million units produced over the last 10 years... a ticking timebomb in every household where these reside.
we had been smelling a melting plastic smell periodically for a couple of years. Eventually the heating element failed. I replaced same recently and thought we were in good shape only to have this final failure occur...Not impressed considering we originally spent over a grand on this tall tub stainless interior unit thinking it might actually last for a while...

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