Why are my Cascade pods not dissolving?

If you are a regular Cascade pod user, you might have at one time or the other found yourself wondering: Why are my Cascade pods not dissolving?

This is not an uncommon problem for Cascade pod users. Fortunately, the problem is easy to troubleshoot and fix with no special skills/tools.

So, read on to know how to fix your dishwasher pods not dissolving problems.

Why are my Cascade pods not dissolving? (And how to fix the problem)

Below are the possible causes and how you can troubleshoot and fix them:

The detergent dispenser might not be opening

Usually, the detergent dispenser has a mechanism that allows it to open (and release the pod) at a scheduled time during the wash cycle.

If you note that your Cascade pod is sitting inside the dishwasher until the end of the cycle, there is a possibility that the dispenser is not opening fully to let out the pod.

To fix this, start by rearranging any dishes that might be blocking the dispenser.

Next, clean the dispenser opening as it might be clogged – occurs due to the accrual of detergent residue on the opening.

To clean the dispenser opening, scrub it using a toothbrush and warm water.

Pods could be sticking on the dispenser

Recall that Cascade pods dissolve when they come in contact with water.

Having that in mind, there might be a chance you are putting the pod inside the dispenser using wet hands (or the dispenser is moist).

This will make the pod sticky hence it won’t fall from the dispenser even if the dispenser is opening fully.

To fix this issue, start by wiping the sticky residue from the compartment. And, make sure that your hands and the compartment are dry before handling the Cascade pods.

Dishes might be blocking the detergent dispenser

If you are putting your Cascade pod inside the detergent dispenser, there is a chance that a dish is blocking the spray arms from spraying water to the detergent compartment.

As such, there will be little (or no water) entering the compartment to dissolve the Cascade pod.

To fix this, re-arrange the dishes such that the detergent dispenser is in direct view of the upper spray arm.

Your dishwasher might not be getting water

Here, two main parts might be causing this, and below is how to troubleshoot each:

The water supply line

If this inlet hose has kinks or is blocked, water will not flow into the dishwasher.

To fix it, start by making sure that the tap is fully open and straighten out any kinks that might be along the length of the hose.

Also, be sure to clean out any clogs that might be in there.

If you note that the hose is leaking, replacing it might be the best bet here – see current prices of a replacement inlet hose.

The water inlet valve

If this part is faulty, it will not open to let water in.

To be sure whether the inlet valve is faulty or not, use a multimeter to test it for continuity.

For a comprehensive guide on the symptoms of a faulty inlet valve (and how to test it), read our other article on the same: Symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve.

The spray arms might be bad

As such, no water would be sprayed over the Cascade pod to dissolve it.

Also, it might be that the water being sprayed over the pod is not enough to fully dissolve the pod.

Pro tip: If you are putting the Cascade pod inside the detergent dispenser, the upper spray arm might be to blame.

On the other hand, if the pod is inside the wash tub, there is a possibility that both arms might be to blame.

To fix this, clean out any debris in the sump assembly that might be preventing the arms from rotating.

Next, use a toothpick to dislodge any food debris that might be trapped inside the spray arms’ jet holes. Once done, rinse the spray arms under running water to wash out the residue.

Something else: When rinsing the spray arms, check to see if water is flowing out through the seams of the arms – water flowing out through the seams points to a faulty spray arm hence why the arms won’t spin.

To fix this, your best bet would be to get a replacement spray arm… Below is a list of where you can easily order replacement arms for some of the popular dishwasher brands in the market:

Dishwasher brand Replacement spray arm
LG Order it on Amazon
GE Order it on Amazon
Samsung Order it on Amazon
Whirlpool, KitchenAid Order it on Amazon
Frigidaire, Electrolux Order it on Amazon
Kenmore Order it on Amazon
Bosch Order it on Amazon
Maytag Order it on Amazon

On the other hand, if the arms are fine, it could be that…

The circulation pump might be faulty

The main work of the circulation pump is to pump water around the dishwasher during cycles.

As such, if this pump is bad, the water won’t be sprayed around the dishwasher.

In other words, there will be no water to dissolve the Cascade pod.

Possible solutions

Start by removing any foreign objects that might be clogging the pump assembly.

Next, remove the pump and test to see if it is good – use a multimeter to measure the resistance between the pump terminals.

If the pump is good, it should have a reading of at least 100 ohms through the terminals.

Of course, if the reading is below this range, it means that the pump is bad and replacing it is the best route to take – here’s a compiled list for some popular dishwasher brands to guide you along:

Dishwasher brand Replacement circulation pump
Samsung Get it on Amazon
LG Get it on Amazon
Whirlpool Get it on Amazon
Maytag Get it on Amazon
Frigidaire, Electrolux Get it on Amazon
GE Get it on Amazon
KitchenAid Get it on Amazon

The water might not be heating enough

The optimal temperature for a dishwasher to dissolve a Cascade pod is around 120⁰ to 140⁰ F.

If your dishwasher is not heating, to this temperature, it might also result in the Cascade pods not fully dissolving.

How you can troubleshoot the problem

A few minutes after the dishwasher starts running, open the door and measure the water temperature.

If it is not at least 120⁰ F, there is a possibility that the heating element is bad – test it by measuring the resistance between its terminals.

A healthy heating element will have a resistance of 10 to 35 ohms between its terminals.

If yours is not within this range, it goes without saying that it is bad and you ought to replace it.

Why are my Cascade pods not dissolving – parting words

Cascade pods are designed to be put inside the detergent dispenser compartment – they get released once the pre-wash cycle runs.

This is why it is not advisable to put the pod in the dishwasher’s tub.

In any case, if you follow the above steps, you won’t have to worry about the pod being stuck in the dispenser compartment.


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