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Sears - Kenmore Elite Dishwashersears dishwasher destroys counter top

In November 2003 we purchased a Kenmore Elite Dishwasher Model #16473. Within the year we noticed that the counter- top just above the dishwasher was bulging out due to the steam which went straight up into the countertop. I called the Sears in Glendale, AZ that we purchased it from and was passed from one person to another for months. In June 2005, Sears sent a technician out who wrote "Vent damaged counter refer to manager and selling store" Goldwing Appliance co. determined that it was installed correctly. I was referred to Sears Incident Center, Sedgwick claims, and they sent me to Whirlpool Corp. Dawn Outwin requested Photos and estimates for the cost of repairs and said to wait 60 days. It actually took longer than that for her to respond. Whirlpool said that because I have laminate countertops they will attract moisture and Whirlpool cannot guarantee that every product will work in every application and therefore they must deny responsibility for the claim. We were never told not to buy this product if we had laminate countertops.


  • Kd
    kdp87 Nov 02, 2011

    Same problem for the past year. Didn't do it at first. There is some aluminimum sheet that looks like it ripped. I tried to put a thick layer of aluminimum foil but it still is warping the counter.

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim Metheny Nov 06, 2010

    We had the same thing happen! Someone should start a sort of petition. We had Whirlpool quiet partner 2 dishwasher installed in March, 2010 and the other day I noticed the pressed board protruding from the bottom of the cabinet and the top of the counter top (directly above) bulging. The steam vents from this dw directs the steam upward which causes it to warp. We installed it flush according to the directions and were not aware it was going to damage an expensive counter top. For as much as you pay for the dw you would think good customer service and foresight would dictate that they advise you of this at the start of the manual and provide a cheap fix, if needed. I am hoping someone with experience can get a petition or massive complaint filed so we can get it fixed. I'm afraid it will continue to get worse. Tell your friends or anyone contemplating buying a dw not to get the Whirlpool one!

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    maxglitz Sep 09, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'd like to organize the masses with torches and pitchforks, tar and feathers for companies that sell us this stuff without taking responsibility for problems. Anyone who has a dishwasher shouldn't have to suffer time loss and expense to repair countertops. And countertop makers should understand that we have dishwashers that create steam under THEIR products. I think that Sears (dishwasher) AND Home Depot (who installed my laminate counter top) should send someone out to do the repair job FOR FREE.

    0 Votes
  • Rm
    RMMO Sep 09, 2010

    We had a GE dishwasher ruin our granite countertop. We have an undermount sink and the granite manufacturer always places steel reinforcement rods in the granite around weak spots like an undermount sink. The steel rods extended past the sink and went over the dishwasher area. The rods are placed in a groove in the underside of the granite. My dishwasher vented so much air out the top that it caused the apoxy around the rod to deteriorate and then the steel rod to rust. When steel rusts it expands -- it is called iron or steel jacking. When the rod in the groove expanded it cracked the top of my granite all along the steel rod. We have a straight line crack along the steel rod above my dishwasher. I had just had the top keypad panel replaced by a GE repairman before it started cracking. Apparantly, the seal was bad on my dishwasher which caused steam and water to accumulate along the granite above the dishwasher (exactly where my steel rod was). The dripping then destroying the key pad. The dishwasher repairman did not even check to see why the key pad had failed on a newer dishwasher in the first place. Because it he fixed the symptom of the problem and not the problem and got it running again, it kept accumulating water on the steel rod every time I ran it and caused my granite to crack. I called several independent granite and other contractors to discover this problem and they all agreed that this was the cause. I called GE to come back out and fix the seal. They laughably tried to tell me that hundred of droplets of dripping water off of my granite countertop overhang over my dishwasher is normal. I said what if I had a formica countertop -- it would be destroyed with all of the pooling droplets. They said that they would not repair it, even at my expense!!! So now I have an enormous problem. There is no really good way to repair the granite and my dishwasher is still pooling water on the steel rods. GE treated me terriably. The GE repairman finally told me that they "are not allowed to say anything that may make GE liable for anything." Great service GE. Ruin my expensive granite countertop and don't even fix your broken dishwasher because it may be admitting that it was the cause. All I got out of this was a claim number and a refusal to do anything. Whatever happened to standing behind your work/product and doing the right thing?

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    maxglitz Jun 17, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have Sears Kenmore model 665.15789 and have noticed the particle board backing swelling and hanging below the laminate. I hope there's a follow-up here with a solution.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    bigbelt Jun 08, 2010

    Why can't they just make a small steam deflector to direct the steam out towards the front of the machine and beyond the counter tops. Seems like a cheap easy fix to me, but I can't find one either. I am trying to have one fabricated, because this machine is supposed to be counter flush and not stick out at all. Sears or Whirlpool or "whoever" made these units needs to take responsibility for their product and offer a cheap fix for the consumer.

    0 Votes
  • Un
    Unhappy in Berkeley Aug 19, 2009

    Wow--Well, we also have the same model with a laminate countertop. The countertop has not bulged out. However yesterday we had a Sears service person out to repair the door and he repositioned the dishwasher so that the top vent is out beyond the countertop. The whole thing looks so wrong I couldn't believe a professional had done it. My husband was home the whole time and said that the service person had made several calls to verify what he was doing. I came home to find the dishwasher jutting out into the kitchen, with two screws connecting the dishwasher to the counter visible on the front edge of the counter. I then went looking for the original paperwork that came with the dishwasher and found the installation guide. It clearly says that the front of the dishwasher should be aligned with the other cabinets, and the screws should be on the inside of the cabinets or the countertop. So, yes, it seems like the top vent is a big design flaw and I am going to see what can be done about it.

    0 Votes
  • St
    Steve Mar 05, 2009

    I found this after googling the model number because we have the same problem. I can't believe that I actually never saw this when we bought the dishwasher. I don't normally sit there and watch the dishwasher and one day my wife showed me the countertop. The excuse that they gave you is bogus because if you go into any Home Depot or Lowes and look at the countertops for sale they are always laminate tops with pressedboard backing. The steam destroys the pressed board chips and the substance that they are held together with. All of the dishwashers that I ever owned and even others currently have vents that vent out horizontally into the room, not straight up. Apparently they think that the entire door thickness should stick out past the edge of the countertop and the steam would blow straight up. If you install it that way it would look ridiculous and you would hit it if you walk past the d/w. The other thing that leads me to believe that they designed this this way is the placement of the touch controls. They said that they were hidden controls and are only accessible when the door is opened past the countertop lip but if you were to install the d/w to vent the steam straight up you would also be able to push the buttons. So of course somebody goofed when it was designed and of course no one wants to take responsibility. So we both have ruined countertops. The only thing I can tell you is to put something that is heat resistant under the laminate but over the door to direct the steam out past the edge of the countertop. If you are reading this and are contemplating buying a new d/w make sure that the steam vent at the top of the door vents into the room, not up into the contertop or you will have a ruined countertop. I guess unless you have marble or granite or some composite lookalike. But even in those cases the stam is not good for the cabinets plus mold grows where moisture and darkness are abundant so you don't want that either.

    0 Votes

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