Frigidaire 500 Series User Manual

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Use & Care Manual

500 Series

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Model #:

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Instructions .........................


Features ..............................


Normal Operating


Sounds ................................




Instructions .......................


Preparing and


Loading Dishes.................


Dishwasher Dispenser


and Detergents .................


Factors Affecting


Performance .......................


Care and


Cleaning .........................


Connecting Portable


Dishwasher ....................




Color Panels ..................


Solutions to Common Dishwashing Problems . 16-18

Consumer Services


Warranty & Service .........................


Versión en español ..............................



P/N 154256402 (9703)

Important Safety Instructions

This symbol will help alert you to such dangers as personal injury, burns, fire and electrical shock.

To reduce the risk of fire, electrical shock, or injury when using your dishwasher, follow basic precautions including the following:

Read all instructions before using your dishwasher.

Use your dishwasher only as instructed in this Use and Care Manual.

This Manual does not cover every possible condition and situation that may occur. Use common sense and caution when installing, operating and maintaining any appliance.


GROUNDED. Read the Installation Instructions for details.

This dishwasher is designed to operate on regular house current (120 V, 60 Hz). Use a circuit equipped with a 15 ampere fuse or circuit breaker. Use a 20 ampere fuse if dishwasher is connected with a food waste disposer.

Do not operate dishwasher unless all enclosure panels are in their proper place.

Dispose of discarded appliance and shipping or packing material properly.

To avoid entrapment and/or suffocation, remove door or door latch mechanism from any dishwasher that is discarded or not in use.

Keep young children and infants away from dishwasher when it is operating.

Do not let children abuse, sit, stand or play on door or racks of a dishwasher.

©1997 White Consolidated Industries, Inc.

All rights reserved.

Use only detergents and rinse agents recommended for use in a dishwasher.

Store dishwasher detergent and rinse agents out of the reach of children.

Do not wash plastic items unless marked

"dishwasher safe" or the equivalent. Check with manufacturer for recommendations, if not marked. Items that are not dishwasher safe may melt and create a potential fire hazard.

If the dishwasher drains into a food disposer, make sure disposer is completely empty before running dishwasher.

Disconnect electrical power to dishwasher before servicing.

Repairs should be done by a qualified technician.

Do not tamper with controls.

Do not touch the heating element during or immediately after use.

Load sharp knives with the handles up to reduce the risk of cut-typeinjuries.

Under certain conditions, hydrogen gas may be produced in a hot water system that has not been used for 2 weeks or more.

HYDROGEN GAS IS EXPLOSIVE. If hot water system has not been used for such a period, before using dishwasher, turn on all hot water faucets and let water flow from each for several minutes. This will release any accumulated hydrogen gas.

HYDROGEN GAS IS FLAMMABLE. Do not smoke or use an open flame during this time.

Do not store or use combustible materials, gasoline or other flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of this or any other appliance.



Printed in U.S.A.


Dishwasher Features

Your dishwasher cleans by spraying a mixture of hot water and detergent through the spray arms against soiled surfaces. Each cycle begins with a pre-drain.Next, the dishwasher fills with water covering the filter area. Water is then pumped through the filter and spray arms. Soil particles go down the drain as the water is pumped out and replaced with clean water. The number of water fills will vary with the cycle being used.



Nozzle and Upper Spray




Tub Gasket


Top Rack

page 10


page 6

Middle Spray Arm


Serial Label

pages 6,7,16


(located on right


side of tub)



Lower Spray Arm


Bottom Rack

pages 7,16


page 7

Overfill Protector


Glass Trap

page 10


page 10

Prewash Detergent Cup



page 8


page 10

Detergent Dispenser


Heating Element

page 8



page 10



Rinse Aid






page 9









4, 5,17




Operating Instructions




































































































































































































Very Important

Information— Read Before

Operating Your Dishwasher!

Normal Operating


This dishwasher does not sound like most dishwashers—IT'SQUIETER!

The new wash system uses energy efficient motors for the wash and drain portions of the cycle you select. Each cycle has a series of water fills and drains for washing and rinsing dishes. As each cycle begins, you may–ormaynot–hearthe drain motor.

The next sound you will hear is the splashing water as it enters the tub. Then the lower arm rotates and circulates water. This is followed by a pause and a slightly different sound as the middle arm sprays water. If you listen closely, you will hear the change in sound as the wash action switches from one arm to the other.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: If you compare this dishwasher to previous models, you may be surprised at what you DON'T hear!

Model MDB531

Getting Started

1.Load dishwasher (See Preparing and Loading Dishes).

2.Add detergent (See Dishwasher Dispenser


3.Add rinse aid, if needed (See Rinse Aid).

4.Select desired cycle (See Wash Cycle


5.Turn dial clockwise to select cycle or number of hours for delay start.

6.Select desired energy OPTIONS (See

Energy Options).

7.For instructions on connecting the portable dishwasher, see "Connecting and

Disconnecting the Portable/Convertible


8.If using DELAY START, go to step number


9.Run hot water faucet nearest dishwasher until water is hot. Turn water off.

10.To start, close door to latch.


Operating Instructions(continued)

Wash Cycle Selections

Note: Cycle times are approximate and will vary with model.

Pots & Pans *

(81 minutes) (2 washes, 4 rinses, dry)

(7.2 gallons) (6.0 imp. gallons) (27.3 liters)

For pots, pans, casseroles and dinnerware with dried-onorbaked-onsoils:

Press POTS & PANS button.

Turn dial to POTS & PANS/HEAVY WASH.

Select desired OPTIONS.

*The timer may be delayed for automatic water heating in the main wash if the water is not hot enough.

Delay Start

Allows you to delay starting the POTS & PANS cycle up to 6 hours.

Turn dial to select number of hours.

Press POTS & PANS button.

Select desired OPTIONS.

Energy Options

Hot Dry Option

HOT DRY option provides faster drying since the heating element is on during the drying portion of the cycle.

Cool Dry Option

Heavy Wash

(81 minutes) (2 washes, 4 rinses, dry)

(7.2 gallons) (6.0 imp. gallons) (27.3 liters) For heavily soiled dishes and silverware:

Press HEAVY WASH button.

Turn dial to POTS & PANS/HEAVY WASH.

Select desired OPTIONS.

Normal Wash

(75 minutes) (2 washes, 3 rinses, dry)

(6.0 gallons) (5.0 imp. gallons) (22.7 liters) For regularly soiled dishes and silverware:

Press NORMAL & LIGHT button.

Turn dial to NORMAL WASH.

Select desired OPTIONS.

Light Wash

(67 minutes) (1 wash, 3 rinses, dry)

(4.8 gallons) (4.0 imp. gallons) (18.2 liters) For lightly soiled or pre-rinseddishes and silverware:

Press NORMAL & LIGHT button.

Turn dial to LIGHT WASH.

Select desired OPTIONS.


(4 minutes) (1 rinse)

(1.2 gallons) (1.0 imp. gallons) (4.5 liters)

For rinsing dishes that will be washed later:

DO NOT USE detergent.

Turn dial to RINSE/HOLD.

COOL DRY option saves electricity since the heating element is off during the drying portion of the cycle. To speed drying process, open the door slightly after the cycle is complete.

Some water droplets may remain on door and tub and in areas where dishes touch silverware basket and rack.

With either option, you may see water vapor coming from vent during drying portion of cycle. The vent is closed during washing to hold moisture and sound inside and then opens for drying.

The drying option may be changed at any time during the cycle and affects only the drying period.


Preparing and Loading Dishes

Dish Preparation

Scrape away large pieces of food, bones, pits, toothpicks, etc. The continuous filtered wash system will remove remaining food particles. Burned-onfoods should be loosened before loading. Empty liquids from glasses and cups.

Foods such as mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice and tomato based products may cause discoloration of stainless steel and plastics if allowed to sit for a long period of time. Unless the dishwasher is to be operated at once, it is best to rinse off these food soils.

• Load racks so that large items do not prevent the detergent dispenser from opening.

• Check manufacturer's recommendations before washing items in question.

• If the dishwasher drains into a food disposer, be sure disposer is completely empty before starting dishwasher.

Loading the Top Rack


Important: Do not cover the funnel when




The top rack is designed for cups, glasses


small plates, saucers and bowls.


Load glasses in top rack. Damage may occur


if placed in bottom rack.


Load plastic items in top rack only. Melting


may occur if placed in bottom rack.


Load items with open ends facing down for


better cleaning and draining.


Damage may occur if delicate items touch


each other during dishwasher operation.


Long-handledknives and utensils can be


placed in top rack.


Be sure nothing protrudes through the bottom

Do not cover funnel

of the rack to block rotation of middle spray





Preparing and Loading Dishes(continued)

Loading the Bottom Rack

Make sure tall items do not block spray arm rotation.

Place plates and platters so that they do not touch.

Place bowls, casseroles and sauce pans with the soiled surface facing down or toward the center. Tilt slightly for better drainage.

Be sure pan handles do not protrude through the bottom of the rack and block the spray arm rotation.

Loading the Silverware Basket

Mix spoons, forks and knives to prevent nesting. Mixing items gives better cleaning and drying.

For safety, load sharp knives and forks with handles up.

Be sure nothing protrudes through bottom of basket or rack to block the spray arm.

Do not mix silver and stainless to avoid damaging the silver finish.

Adding a Dish

To add or remove items after wash cycle starts:

Unlatch door and wait a few seconds until wash action stops before opening.

Add the item and wait a few seconds to allow cold air to slowly expand inside dishwasher.

Close door firmly to latch and resume cycle.


Dishwasher Dispenser & Detergents

Use only fresh automatic dishwashing detergent. Other types will cause oversudsing.

Add detergent just before starting cycle.

Store detergent in a cool, dry location. Moist or caked detergent will not dissolve properly.

Filling the Detergent Dispenser

The detergent dispenser has one covered and one uncovered cup. Detergent in the uncovered cup falls into the dishwasher when the door is closed. The covered cup opens automatically in the main wash.

Fill both cups for Pots & Pans, Heavy and Normal.

Fill covered cup only for Light Wash.


How much Detergent to use

The amount of detergent to use depends on the water hardness. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon. Using too little detergent can result in poor cleaning and hard water filming or spotting. Using too much detergent in soft water can cause permanent etching on glassware. Your local water company, water softener company or county extension agent can tell you the water hardness in your area.

More detergent may be needed if the phosphorus content is 8.7% or less.

The phosphorus content is shown on the detergent label.

Fill to second line when using standard dishwashing detergent.

Fill to first linewhen using ultra or concentrated detergent.

Detergent Chart

Water Hardness

Amount per Cup

Soft (0-3grains)

2 Teaspoons



Medium (4-8grains)

5 Teaspoons



Hard (9+ grains*)

10 Teaspoons


(fill level with top)



* 12 grains and higher is extremely hard water. Detergent alone may not be enough. A water softener is recommended to improve water quality and dishwashing performance.



Dispenser &

Detergents (continued)

Rinse Aid

Rinse aid greatly improves drying and reduces water spots and filming. Water

"sheets" off dishes rather than forming water droplets that cling and leave spots.

A dispenser, located next to the detergent cup, automatically releases a measured amount of rinse aid during the last rinse. If spotting and poor drying are problems, increase the amount of rinse aid dispensed by rotating the dial to a higher number. The dial is located under the dispenser cap. The indicator will be dark when full and will show clear when it is time to refill.

To add liquid rinse aid, turn dispenser cap 1/4 turn counterclockwise and lift out. Pour in rinse aid until liquid touches the indicated fill level.

Replace cap.

Do not overfill since this can cause oversudsing. Wipe up any spills with a damp cloth.

The dispenser holds enough for 35 to 140 washes, depending on setting.

Dispenser Opening























Adjustable setting

Dispenser Cap

Factors Affecting


Water Pressure

The hot water line to dishwasher must provide water pressure between 20 and 120 psi.

Low water pressure may occur when laundry or showers are in operation. Wait until water use is reduced before starting dishwasher.

Water Temperature

Hot water is needed for best dishwashing and drying results. Water entering dishwasher should be at least 120°F (49°C) to give satisfactory results.

To check water temperature entering dishwasher:

Turn on hot water faucet nearest dishwasher for several minutes to clear cool water from pipes.

Hold a candy or meat thermometer in stream of water to check the temperature.

If temperature is below 120°F (49°C), have a qualified person raise the thermostat setting.

Important: Before starting a cycle, run hot water to clear cool water from pipe.


Care and Cleaning

Burn Hazard

Allow heating element to cool before cleaning the interior.

Failure to do so can result in burns.

Outside—Occasionallywipe with a mild nonabrasive detergent and water. Rinse and dry.

InsideThe inside of the dishwasher is selfcleaning with normal use. If needed, clean around the tub gasket area with a damp cloth.

The filter is self-cleaning.A glass trap located in the center of the filter is designed to collect pieces of broken glass, straws, bones and pits.

To remove items in glass trap, grasp handle, lift out, empty and replace.

Overfill Protectorkeeps dishwasher from overfilling and is located in the left front corner of the tub.

Clean occasionally with household cleaner containing vinegar or bleach to dissolve any buildup.

Overfill Protector should move up and down freely about one inch. If it does not move, lift and clean underneath.

Care of Drain Air Gap

If a drain air gap was installed for your built-indishwasher, check to make sure it is clean so the dishwasher will drain properly. A drain air gap is usually mounted on countertop and can be inspected by removing the cover. This is not part of your dishwasher and is not covered by warranty.

Note: Hard water may cause lime deposit buildup on the interior of the dishwasher. For cleaning instructions see "Removing Spots and Film" section.