This is a minorly lengthy read, but I hope this blog post will help you learn how your dishwasher works! Thanks for reading!
The first section of the dishwasher I will explain is the motor and pump. Your dishwasher probably has one motor which is attached to a pump. The pump forces water into the spray arms. During your dishwasher’s drain cycle it also pushes water out and into the drain. The motor is located behind a panel on the underside of the dishwasher. Some models have reversible motors and others do not. If your dishwasher has a reversible motor it is mounted vertically in the center of the bottom of the dishwasher, and the shaft is pointed up. The pump is attached on top of the motor, and also attached to the underside of the dishwasher. When the dishwasher pumps water into the spraying arm it runs one way, and while the pump is draining the motor runs the opposite way. If your motor runs only one way, it is mounted horizontally, the shaft is pointing sideways and it’s located near the middle of the bottom of the dishwasher. The top of the pump is also mounted underneath the dishwasher. When the motor rotates it pumps water to the spraying arms. Another mechanical arm activates to pump the water to the drain. There are two other older styles of motor systems which are no longer being made. One is a system which uses belts, and the other is a motor which is mounted vertically and uses a separate valve which is used for the drain cycle.
Next, I will explain the controls, switches, valves, and solenoids; a dishwasher has from three to six of those components. The timer is located behind the control panel at the top of the dishwasher or behind a lower panel. It can be either a mechanical device, or it could be fully electronic with a digital display. The timer runs the dishwasher in a set pattern; it also provides the electricity to different components at a specific time and for a set period of time. The selector switch lets you choose different wash cycles, drying cycles, temperature of the wash/rinse; this switch also tells the timer which cycle options to engage. The water inlet valve is located at the bottom right or left side of the dishwasher, behind the panel. This valve controls the water flow for the wash cycle. The hot water supply and a tube attached to a side of the dishwasher is what this valve is connected to. When the timer sends electricity to the water inlet valve it will open up and let water into the dishwasher. The valve stops when the timer stops sending electricity to it, or the float switch is tripped. Now the float switch is a safety mechanism to keep your dishwasher from over filling. When the water level in your dishwasher rises, so does the float; when it gets to a certain height it will activate a switch which cuts the electricity to the water valve. The soap and rinse aid dispenser work the same way, when the timer says it is time for the soap or rinse aid to be released into the dishwasher it sends electricity to a switch which opens up the dispenser. The thermostat protects the dishes, dishwasher, and you by turning off the heat element that warms the water or air in the dishwasher. The thermostat will reset automatically when the temperature falls to a cooler temperature. The door switch shuts off the dishwasher if the door is open. The drying fan is beneath the dishwasher, and it blows heated air into the dishwasher to dry your dishes. The heating element heats the wash and rinse water to the correct temperature. It also helps in drying the dishes. Also, some models of dishwashers have an extra heat element to warm the air blown into the dishwashers for drying purposes.
Next, of course, is the inside of the dishwasher. The inside of the dishwasher is where the dirty dishes go. It contains the racks, spray arms, the mechanism that sprays water at your dishes, top part of the pump assembly, and water filter.