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Video: How I fixed my Kitchenaid KDS-21 — with help from Automaticwasher.org


The fixit for my vintage Kitchenaid KDS-21 dishwasher — “the last of the great Kitchenaids” — my “Hurricane in a Box” — was easy peasy — I had an answer in 10 minutes — yes: 10 minutes — once I asked the right people: the Imperial-forum experts at Automaticwasher.org. Watch my video — just  2 minutes long — to see the fix and hear a bit o’ the Hurricane! Thank you, Automaticwasherites, and especially, @toploader55!

  1. Jennifer says:

    Pam, you’re a bad influence 🙂 Last night I found a KitchenAid Superba 21 online for FREE. We jumped on it. It’s not hooked up yet, but it’s a beauty! Can’t wait to try it. Though I do worry about our white bone china dishes in it.

  2. Margaret says:

    We are using the Chambers double ovens (electric) that came with our house. Had them worked on a few times over the last 24 years but they do work. They will be tossed shortly for Thermador when we gut the kitchen. Hate to see them go,

  3. Katie says:

    Hi Pam! My husband and I just purchased a pristine 1961 ranch with one owner, and it has a very similar KitchenAid dishwasher that appears to also have a removable front panel. Have you switched the panel out? Was it a tough job? Thanks, I’m looking forward to putting the great ideas on your site to work after years of drooling over mid century homes!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Katie, congrats! We decided to stick with the white panel. So, I don’t have any experience with trying to switch it out.

  4. Rick G says:

    This is what it’s all about – Finding that missing piece of the puzzle and getting to enjoy it !!! Super nice machine Pam , it must have been great to get it up & running – If your going to clean dishes, why not do it in style !!!

  5. Dr. Charles Lynn says:

    I had to finally replace a 1966 GE “automatic dishwasher” after 51 years of marvelous service. The installer of the new GE said flat out: “don’t expect more than 10 years – TOPS – on this one!” I still have 2 yellow wall mounted GE refrigerators that need TLC and a good home! Hate to see them go to a landfill..

  6. David Osinga says:

    I love your story and your enthusiasm! A great story about giving a good old workhorse a second life, and the the amazing help out there at our fingertips!

    The diamonds in the details You’re a deliberate and resourceful steward. Nothing as nice as falling in love again!

    I read both of your posts, but didn’t notice you having referenced the years your “Hurricane in a box” was manufactured?

  7. Lisa Arnett says:

    The folks at automaticwasher helped me troubleshoot and even find parts for my vintage 1961 General Electric turquoise double oven. They stuck with me over a period of weeks helping me with each hurdle I came to. I now have a fully functional double oven. The rotisserie even works. The automaticwasher folks are WONDERFUL!

    I absolutely LOVE your dishwasher! What a treasure!

  8. kt2le says:

    We had a 1977 KitchenAid (“by Hobart”) dishwasher that was original to our house and it worked perfectly until 2010, when it finally got to where it wasn’t cleaning well and we replaced it with a new stainless steel KitchenAid model. It was originally avocado green but didn’t go with anything so we used appliance paint to spray it white, which made it match the countertops and look brand spanking new. This was before I found my inner retro self btw. Shortly after we painted it white, we removed the old kitchen flooring and discovered patterned vinyl with an avocado green and harvest gold pattern all over it, which then made the original dishwasher color make sense. My thought was the original countertops were probably harvest gold, which REALLY would have made it all come together. It was beautiful but too late.

  9. Cheryl says:

    Pam, how long is the normal cycle? My new “energy efficient” model takes 94 minutes! I would love to have my old Kitchenmaid model back–my family kindly replaced mine with a new “improved” version one year when I was on vacation. I’ve had 4 dishwashers since then, and I’ve not loved any of them.

    I love seeing yours working!

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Cheryl, each time I get a newer energy efficient dishwasher, it has a longer cycle than the old one. I think that’s because they use less water and rinse the dishes more gently. If you are blasting hundreds of gallons of super-heated water under pressure on the dishes, they get clean faster. But I do appreciate that the new ones save energy and are gentler on my good dishes.

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