How Does A Dishwasher Work? — Appliance Repair Tips



while dishwashers can differ from model to model they all operate on similar principles in this video we will address the five basic stages of dishwasher operation as well as potential problems you may encounter in most cases the fill cycle actually begins with draining the water from the appliance although some of this water is retained in the sump housing to prevent the seals from drying out in cracking when the dishwasher is not in use most dishwashers have a timed fill cycle that will allow no more than two gallons of water to enter during operation the homes water supply line connects to the water inlet valve on the dishwasher when you select a wash cycle the control sends 120 volts of alternating current to the inlet valve solenoid opening the valve and allowing the proper amount of water into the tub depending on the model the voltage sent by the control will keep the valve open between 90 and 120 seconds if the control fails and doesn't shut off the voltage to the valve a float will actuate a switch that shuts off the water keep in mind that the purpose of the float is to prevent overfilling the float itself does not monitor or control the amount of water entering the tub having the proper amount of water is vital to the dishwashers performance if the tub is under filled the dishware will not clean properly commonly under filling is caused by a restricted water inlet valve to help determine this poor one to two quarts of water into the bottom of the tub and run the dishwasher if the wash performance improves the valve is probably restricted and should be replaced trying to clean out an old valve is not recommended due to the risk of part failure after repair once the proper amount of water enters the tub the washing stage begins the three factors that affect the wash cycle are water circulation detergent and water temperature to circulate water within the dishwasher the control sends voltage to a circulation motor the motor drives a pump which uses an impeller to force the water up through the wash arms the arms are driven by the water jetting out of the holes if the arms are not rotating or you experience pour wash performance the cause could be a worn or damaged impeller as the food debris is cleaned from the dish where it collects in the sump which filters and retains the larger particles this filter prevents the food particles from being circulated through the wash arms over time some particles may still reach the wash arms clog the holes and reduce wash performance so you may need to clean out the holes periodically also be aware that it's normal for the arms to feel a little loose when not in operation as the water circulates through the arms a wax motor or solenoid causes the dispenser to open releasing detergent that mixes with the water since dishwasher detergent does not create suds like other detergents or soaps you should only use detergent designated for dishwasher use you should also be aware that too much detergent may result in pitting or etching on glassware so follow manufacturer's recommendations depending on the setting the dishwasher may use a heating element during the wash cycle the control will send voltage to the element periodically to maintain a water temperature between 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit if a problem develops a high limit thermostat will switch off the voltage to prevent damage to the dishwasher if you suspect the heating element is not working you can test the element for continuity to determine if a continuous electrical path is present after the completion of each wash cycle the dishwasher will drain the dirty water from the tub the control sends voltage to a drain pump that uses an impeller to force water through the drain hose to a disposal or drain pipe to ensure proper draining and prevent the water from flowing back into the tub you must make sure the drain hose has a loop that goes above the drain if the water does not drain first check the drain hose for any obstructions if the hose is clear the drain pump may be defective and require replacement the dishwasher will go through several rinse cycles which are similar to the wash cycles and may also use the heating element the final rinse cycle introduces rinse aid from the dispenser instead of detergent rinse aid helps to dry the dishware and prevent streaking caused by hard water the harder the water the more rinse aid will be required you should consult the owner's manual to determine the optimum rinse aid setting for your use following the rinse cycles will be a final drain cycle as we mentioned earlier some water will remain in the tub to preserve the seals and prevent cracking once the dishware has been washed and rinsed and the water has been drained from the unit the drying process will begin two things are required to dry the dishware efficiently heat and venting some models will use a heating element to heat the air inside the tub other models will rely on the heat generated by the final rinse cycle the hot moist air will either exit through a permanent vent or through a vent in the door which is open by a wax motor or solenoid without proper venting the moisture or water vapor would condense back into liquid and collect on the dishware repair clinic has a solution for many of the problems you may be experiencing with your dishwasher enter the appliances full model number in our website search engine for a complete list of compatible parts our site also has an extensive selection of instructional videos to assist you covering topics like part testing disassembly and part replacement at repair clinic we make fixing things easy you

38 Comments

  • seni

    April 15, 2019

    My name is fix it Henry, I can fix anything!

    Reply
  • Haifa Simbri

    April 15, 2019

    Amazing thank u??

    Reply
  • Everything Channel

    April 15, 2019

    Are Bosch dishwasher makes the dishes all sticky if we use rinse aid.

    Reply
  • Jeremiah

    April 15, 2019

    Do old dishwasher's internal components (i.e. internal tub) need to be cleaned out? Can they get any mildew or build up within the component?

    Reply
  • Dustin Z.

    April 15, 2019

    Hey RepairClinic, My dishwasher is no longer working, When i turn it on, it sounds like its trying to filling with water, but im not sure if it actually is, i cant visibly see water in the bottom, and theres still the dirt and particles on the bottom, if i wait for a minute or so, it goes to what seems would be the rinse cycle, but the only thing it does is make the whirring sound of the motor, no water shooting up or anything. Im going to try what was mentioned in this video about filling it up manually and try it again, I just wanted to get in touch and see if you have any tips. Thanks a bunch. Can't afford a new dishwasher and I just spent $45 on maintenance parts for this one.

    Reply
  • poku bit

    April 15, 2019

    Finaly a stupid video that is actually explains every thing . Thanks

    Reply
  • Johnpnw

    April 15, 2019

    I just randomly came across this but it was one of the best videos I have seen on "tearing down" an appliance and learning about them. Quality animations!

    Reply
  • The Indie Freak

    April 15, 2019

    I swear this dude is Handunit

    Reply
  • AxOnlyOne

    April 15, 2019

    Is it possible to remove water from salt chamber at the time of refilling?

    Reply
  • Glen Joseph

    April 15, 2019

    Did you see a Google Cup at 4:51?

    Reply
  • shell company

    April 15, 2019

    Does heated dry make it dry faster?

    Reply
  • ChocolateMuffinsC

    April 15, 2019

    An excellent example of content marketing done right; great job, guys!

    Reply
  • RedDestroyer Gaming

    April 15, 2019

    Only dishwasher soap, not the soap on top of the soap on top of the sink,

    Reply
  • RedDestroyer Gaming

    April 15, 2019

    Does the heating element also heat the water when the water is not hot enough

    Reply
  • Joshua Nguyen Presents

    April 15, 2019

    Did Food particles still reach the wash arms on the dishwasher?

    Reply
  • RedDestroyer Gaming

    April 15, 2019

    Does rinse aid also improves drying time

    Reply
  • Everything Channel

    April 15, 2019

    Some dishwashers have a garbage disposal to grind any particles that get down.

    Reply
  • MegaComparator //MCPE

    April 15, 2019

    Philippines do not use dishwashers

    Reply
  • wesley hill

    April 15, 2019

    I enjoyed your video showing how a dishwasher works. However; your "diagnostic" presentation is lacking in continuity! At the outset, it was asking: " what are the symptoms experienced?" I clicked on "dishes are not being dried. I was apprised that perhaps my heating element might be the fault…so far that would be a viable solution. It went on to explain how the part might be tested for continuity, etc. Of course I already knew that! I've already replaced the heater element…and the "high limit thermostat". What your "diagnostic help" program should have offered is a simple: 'if that didn't fix your problem; test your high limit thermostat….and then it should have inquired: "did that solve your problem?" Your well meaning program needs to be "tweaked"; shucks; I could have presented a more cogent, helpful analysis than that! Wes Hill

    Reply
  • jlife 1

    April 15, 2019

    Good video really informative

    Reply
  • ozesalsa

    April 15, 2019

    I bought a new timer for a Dishlex dx102WB*00 part number 0574400063, but it didnt come with the plug in diagram, has about 12 small plugs. Can anyone help me to find that diagram. I put the plugs on as they came off the old one, but just want to check the wire colors to the rite pins I should have taken a pic befor dismateling. Thanks so much

    Reply
  • D&L N

    April 15, 2019

    Very nice video!!

    Reply
  • Eilam Perets

    April 15, 2019

    best video ever

    Reply
  • Isaac Nelson

    April 15, 2019

    Oh OK maybe my Gramma and Granpa once had one with a motorized vent but now they don't cuz they got a new one cuz the old one broke I don't think the one at my house has one eather but actually I think it mite or it mite be the sump it sounded like a fan I

    Reply
  • Isaac Nelson

    April 15, 2019

    There something you guys forgot 120 volts VAC going to the dishwasher vent fan and waxing motor as well remember?

    Reply
  • O01dude 45

    April 15, 2019

    Poor wash performance is also caused if an object is in the way of the spinning arm.

    Reply
  • RepairClinic.com

    April 15, 2019

    +Kris Miller, we created a Trash Compactor: How It Works video! http://youtu.be/1HM0YC3S0ew

    Reply
  • kody mackey

    April 15, 2019

    are their any manufacturers that still make a dishwasher with a mechanical timer?

    for some reason, controle bords on new dishwashers like to fail some times and their are 30 year old dishwashers with timers that have never been serviced. any info will be great. thank you

    Reply
  • Lisa Wingfield

    April 15, 2019

    My dishwasher came with the house I bought 6 months ago.  The rinse aid has never needed to be refilled.  My glasses are cloudy and spotted.  What could be wrong?

    Reply
  • Robert Crudele Jr

    April 15, 2019

    Just install my dishwasher.  I think I cross threaded the elbow where the water feed line connects the nylon male fitting.  Anyone out there know how I can fix this?  I thank you in advance!

    Reply
  • Anze G

    April 15, 2019

    Our dishwasher doesn't have a vent, or at least I can't see one? Also, where does salt come into play here?

    Reply
  • Susan Elizabeth

    April 15, 2019

    After cleaning my dishwasher down to the impeller in the bottom, and listening to your video a few times, I have come to the conclusion that it is a pump motor.  No water is getting to the arms, so washer is no longer a washer :).  Thanks so much for this very very clear video (I have a Kenmore and the Sears repair guy is coming. I think I am one step ahead of the game here).

    Reply
  • Chris Cunningham

    April 15, 2019

    Didn't know about that rinse aid stuff… I don't know if ours has that.

    Reply
  • David Clark

    April 15, 2019

    I just purchased a Dishwasher from a friend and I enjoyed it so much I made a song for it. https://soundcloud.com/mc_clark/dishwasher-feat-neutron

    Reply
  • soap1919jt

    April 15, 2019

    Another thing that wasn't mentioned is the hard food disposer.  I know that many dishwasher manufacturers have done away with this feature to reduce noise.  Many dishwashers now rely on just a filter, that needs to be manually cleaned.  

    But many dishwashers currently on the market, including the Frigidaire model shown in the video, do still contain food disposers.

    Reply
  • mysonywalkman1978

    April 15, 2019

    Why do you show a wooden spoon in a dishwasher? That is to be washed manually

    Reply
  • anticuti

    April 15, 2019

    Good video. So the tank never fully fill with water? There is no soaking of the dishes?

    Reply
  • Crafty snail

    April 15, 2019

    I saw a google mug! 🙂

    great video. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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