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Thread: Musty Smelling Dishes

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Smelly in Battle Ground's Avatar
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    Default Musty Smelling Dishes

    Hello:

    We are the proud owners of a new Bosch SHX55R55UC/64. Something we have wanted for a long time, but sadly, it has not fixed one major issue we’ve had for a few years. Our dishes and glasses smell like wet musty dog. But first a little history.

    We built our house 5 years ago at which time we installed an entire kitchen suite of KitchenAid appliances. Super disappointed! Everything but the microwave has had problems.
    We first noticed the dish smell issue about 6 months into using the super fancy, super expensive, double drawer KitchenAid dishwasher. At first we thought it was the porcelain dishes, so we replaced them, then we thought it was because there was standing water in the dishwasher, so we manually sucked all the water out with a turkey baster after each and every wash. We have hard water so we bought a very expensive water softener. None of these steps repaired the issue so, we decide to bite the bullet and buy our dream dishwasher, the Bosch. We thought, “that will certainly fix the problem!” Sadly, it has not. I have scoured the internet and this seems to be a common problem, but I cannot find a solution. I thought I’d go to you, the experts….

    We have had a plumber tell us that nothing is wrong with our piping. Frankly, we have tried everything.
    We have tried:
    various detergents.
    leaving the door open after the cycle has completed.
    tossing a lemon in the garbage disposal before washing.
    pouring baking soda in the dishwasher basin.

    And the best part about this is that it doesn’t always happen. Only sometimes…….

    I am at my wits end! Help!

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Could you post a photo of the drain situation under your sink, how the DW is connected/ Do you run the DW at least every 2nd or 3rd day??

    This is NOT a problem which you SHOULD have, so there will be a solution somewhere. For starters, I would contact Bosch technical.

    BTW, there is a superb Pro & DIY appliance help forum. www.appliancejunk.com Don't be put off by the title!! They are truly superb.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Smelly in Battle Ground's Avatar
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    Default Pics Attached

    I have contacted Bosch, but have not heard back as of yet. Since this was an issue with our first dishwasher as well, I thought I expand my search for help. Thank you for sharing appliance Junk with me. I will post there too.

    I run the dishwasher everyday, sometimes twice. I am an avid cook. Name:  photo 1.jpg
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    I hope these images help.
    Thank you again!


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Could you post a photo of the drain situation under your sink, how the DW is connected/ Do you run the DW at least every 2nd or 3rd day??

    This is NOT a problem which you SHOULD have, so there will be a solution somewhere. For starters, I would contact Bosch technical.

    BTW, there is a superb Pro & DIY appliance help forum. www.appliancejunk.com Don't be put off by the title!! They are truly superb.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Can't see what I would want to see in your pictures, but it certainly looks like they did a lousy job installing the outlet hose from the DW. You want the line to run up to the top of the cabinet or an air gap, if required in your locale (and a good idea everywhere), then always running downhill, make the connection to your drain. Prior to making the connection to the drain, cut off any excess hose. In this case, that connection is probably the disposer's tailpiece. The fact you have it running down and laying on the bottom of the cabinet means that there will be a bunch of stagnant water in the hose, and if there's any food particles, it would just sit there and grow crud.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Maybe it's the water. I've lived in several rentals that were on municipal water that had a musty smell. Might be from the water heater.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Couple of questions: (1) Is that corrugated white hose going up to an air gap on the sink? I can't see where it then connects to the drain or to the disposal. Did they put a new air gap in when installing the dishwasher, or just use the old one?
    (2) Do you get a musty smell anywhere else you use hot water? You can toy with the anode rod but other than the detergent you use there isn't much difference between using a shower with the hot water and using the dishwasher with it. The anode rod is relatively-inexpensive, but it can cost something to put in, and there's often an issue of inadequate clearance above the top of the water heater to put the new rod in (i.e. long rod needs to go in straight).
    (3) Ultimately, it's either something nasty on the outflow side that's backing up into the dishwasher (see Jim's questions) or something nasty about the water coming in. When they put the new dishwasher in, did they run all-new hoses and pipes to the wall and to the air gap/disposal? Or did they make use of what's there? Maybe a dumb question, but I guess we have to question everything: are the materials used in the hoses and pipes appropriate for the temp that the water is being brought in at?
    (4) Again maybe a dumb question, but it looks like you have a separate wall-connection for the hot water to the dishwasher. Have you ever put a hose on there, run that water into a bucket, and smelled it? It should all be coming from the same place, but I can't see how things are hooked up behind the wall...

    Those are the only ideas I have...

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Just notices what appears to be a water-hammer device where the hot water connects. Those can be odor sources.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Just notices what appears to be a water-hammer device where the hot water connects. Those can be odor sources.
    Good spot, Jimbo!!

    SMELLY, do you see what Jimbo is talking about? You have three protrusions from the wall on the hot-side plumbing. Your sink is hooked to the top one, the dishwasher to the bottom. In between is a copper protrusion that's bent upwards. What that is is a piece of pipe with a piston in it that mitigates the shock wave ("water hammer") that can occur in the line when the quick-closing valve on your dishwasher's water inlet shuts off. It keeps pipes from banging. The vast majority of people don't have this device, and do just fine without it. It appears to be plumbed in between the hot to your sink and the hot to your dishwasher.

    If Jimbo is correct (and I assume he is because he is a highly-respected veteran plumber) that these sometimes cause smelliness, I would therefore do what I suggested above, which is to run some water from the hot water tap for the dishwasher through a hose and into a bucket, and give it a whiff. If it's musty-smelling, you probably have your culprit. You could have your plumber just remove the arrestor and you'll have solved your problem.

  9. #9
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Do some research into Geosmin and ask your municipal water board if that is a known issue. As I mentioned before, I've been on some municipal water systems that had a Geosmin issue. It has a definite musty smell that normally dissipates quickly but can get trapped in the confines of a dishwasher. For some reason it seems to be worse on the hot water.

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