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Hotpoint FDM550 Heater on the blink?



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  • Hotpoint FDM550 Heater on the blink?

    I've got some odd behaviour from my dishwasher.

    Usually we put it on before bed and open it up and empty it the following morning. Recently I've noticed that rather than be practically dry, all the items are still dripping wet. They are clean but obviously have not had any drying.

    I get no flashing error lights and no other indication that anything is wrong. In fact I opened the door part way through a 'normal' wash cycle the other evening to check if the wash cycle was also cold and it was definitely hot! Once completed however, the plates etc were dripping wet ie not dried out.

    So, my question is - are there two heater elements in this dishwasher ie one to heat the water in the wash cycle and a different one to heat/dry at the end?

    If there's only one, do the above symptoms indicate a faulty heater element or perhaps a faulty module?

    I know people will suggest opening it up and testing the heater with a multimeter but quite honestly I would rather only have to drag it out the once and change the dodgy component if I can get a fairly good piece of advice either way! Not sure my back can take yanking it about more than necessary. The dishwasher that is.

    As I said, other than this lack of drying the machine works fine ie cleans, pumps, drains with no flashing lights or odd noises etc.

    Yours in hope!

  • #2
    No separate heater used, drying is done using 'residual heat'.

    The Natural Drying System uses Residual Heat and Rinse Aid to Dry loaded dishwasher.
    During the Drying Phase of the cycle the Water reaches a very high Temperature 70įC,.
    Drying is carried out in 2 steps both with the machine paused (Circulating wash pump off)
    1. Hot water in the tub
    2. Hot water drained from the tub.

    Have you changed your detergent tabs or sachets recently?

    Do you use rinse aid? As a rule we would recommend using separate washing tablets and rinse aid rather than 3 in 1, 4 in 1 etc.

    To check for the residual heat at the end of the cycle you would have to run the machine to the very end and then open it as soon as it has finished to see if you can feel any signs of heat in the drum. This would of course stop the drying from occurring but would eliminate a 'no heat' situation as the cause of your problem.
    Last edited by iadom; 10-01-19, 11:25 AM.
    Nothing really matters much, and hardly anything really matters at all.


    • #3
      Thanks iadom - no, haven't changed detergent but I have always used tabs and always filled the rinse aid tank with rinse aid. Occasionally I forget to refill it but this has never caused the current issue I'm getting.

      I will try waiting till the machine has ended to check the heat situation. I just find it very weird though that,as I said before, the other day it was definitely washing with very hot water and yet when we emptied it, that heat had done nothing to dry the dishes?

      Does this all sound like any particular issue with the heater do you think? I'm not averse to replacing parts on this machine, I just don't want to buy a new heater if it's more likely the control board has thrown a wobbly or vice versa!


      • #4
        If it heats during the wash cycle then although they are one of the many weak points on these Indesit dishwashers then the heater itself is fine. In theory a fault in the control module could cause the heater not to switch on during the last hot rinse cycle but you will find out if that is the case by opening up as soon as it has finished a full cycle. double check that the rinse aid is topped up, of course another possibility is that the rinse aid function has failed.

        The manual itself only lists rinse aid as a possible cause of poor drying results.

        E. POOR DRYING
        1. Correct amount of Rinse Aid
        The purpose of rinse aid when added to the water of a final rinse is to allow the water to run off
        the dishes as a complete film so that no water-run marks or calcium are left. To enable this to
        happen it is essential that the correct amount of rinse aid is dispensed. Too little does not reduce
        water tension sufficiently.
        Result: The water film breaks up into streaks which make shiny and clear drying impossible.
        After all the rest of the water has evaporated, marks are left which are especially noticeable on
        glass and cutlery as well as on items made from stainless steel.
        Too much rinse aid leaves smear marks. As a result, the dishes look and feel greasy.
        Setting Guide
        Set dial to approximately mid position. From experience it is advisable to start with too little and
        to increase the amount until perfect results are obtained. This can be verified by holding the plate
        surface horizontal to incidental light at eye level. An even shine should be observed.
        The automatic rinse aid dispenser should then be adjusted accordingly.
        2. Opening and closing door during drying
        Allows hot air to escape and affects drying efficiency. Noticeable if the door is opened
        immediately the programme ends.
        Last edited by iadom; 10-01-19, 02:33 PM.
        Nothing really matters much, and hardly anything really matters at all.


        • #5
          Ok -thanks again. Iíll check the temp at the end of the cycle. I get where the manual is coming from re the rinse aid but like I said, when itís run out before, it made almost no difference to how wet the stuff was when the wash had finished. Everything is literally dripping wet at the end right now.


          • #6
            When was the last time you had to top up the rinse aid, is it actually using any now?
            Nothing really matters much, and hardly anything really matters at all.


            • #7

              A couple of things you could try, either top up the rinse aid dispenser fully, set the dosage to maximum then monitor usage for several washes, or perhaps an easier way is to ask a friend, neighbour, relative if they use the 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 tablets or pouches. turn your dishwasher rinse aid setting to absolute minimum and try using one of the combination products to see if it helps with the water run off at the end. Even without heat a proper dose of rinse aid should remove most of the moisture from the dishes.

              The real problem is the cost of any parts involved, if the dispenser itself is faulty that is around £56:00 but is not easy to test. The rinse aid action is switched by a module in the facia console that is itself controlled by the main pcb.

              The cost of the facia module is around £84:00

              The cost of the main module is £137 but that also needs programming with a smart card that is £20:00. you then also need a card reader to use the card to program the module, that will cost you £151:00.

              A less costly alternative is to start using 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 tablets or sachets.
              Last edited by iadom; 10-01-19, 08:39 PM.
              Nothing really matters much, and hardly anything really matters at all.


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