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Dishwasher Parts and Functions

Amigo G Nov 8, 2018
Invented by Josephine Cochran in 1886, the dishwasher has become a kitchen necessity today. Let's read more about its parts and its working.
The dishwasher no more a luxury, but a necessity today in the kitchen, since it minimizes the extra efforts taken for dishwashing. Selecting the best dishwasher depends upon a lot of factors such as space availability, number of users, etc. Dishwashers are available in different types such as portable, countertops, commercial dishwashers, etc.

Dishwasher Parts

Inlet Water Valve

The inflow of water from the water supply into the dishwasher, takes place through this inlet water valve. Opening of the valve results in inflow of water due to water pressure.

Control Mechanism

The control mechanism used is a simple electro-mechanical setup, situated inside the control panel door. In this setup, a timer decides the duration of each cycle and initiates draining, spraying and detergent dispensing. Modern units are also furnished with child locks and door latches as safety measures.


The pump performs functions such as guiding water flow into the spray arm during pump cycle, throwing water into the drain hose during drain cycle, etc. This pump gets powered up by an electric motor and is available in the following 2 types.
  • Direct drive : It's a horizontally staged pump utilizing solenoid for directing the water flow to the drain from the spray arm. Solenoid initiates valve opening and closing and shifts hose connections. Motor operates in one direction only.
  • Reversible: These are vertically staged pumps, which create reversion in the motor direction, resulting in a shift between water flow to drain and water flow to spray.

Electrical Motor

An electric motor can be a DC (direct current) or an AC (alternate current) typically composed of power supply, axle, rotor, magnet and brushes. Let's have a brief look at these components.
  • Power supply: Dishwashers usually require 60 Hz, 120 V power supply assigned to them. The circuit should be provided with a 20 amp circuit breaker installed in the cabinet for safety purpose.
  • Axle: It's a spindle supporting the rotation of a wheel around its axis. The most commonly used axle combination is roller wheel and axle.
  • Magnet: A field magnet is used to induce magnetic field in the electrical motor.
  • Rotor: The rotor receives power supply by electromagnetic induction.
  • Brush: A brush allows electric flow between moving parts and wires in an electrical motor.

Dishwasher Replacement Parts

Some replacement or repair parts include:

  • Heating Element: Heating element raises the temperature of the water for washing utensils. Heating element is more expensive as compared to other replacement parts.
  • Gasket: Gaskets, such as a door gasket experience wear and tear due to overuse resulting in energy wastage, leaks and pressure reduction, thus, need to be replaced.
  • Latch: Without the latch mechanism functioning properly, the dishwasher cannot operate. Thus, if it's broken or damaged, it should be quickly replaced.
  • Pump Impeller: Pump impeller assemblage is provided with an outlet and inlet hose for exit and entry of water. If the hose or pump rupture or break, they need to be replaced or repaired.
  • Other Parts: Parts like solenoid, dish rack, actuator and control panel must be replaced if dysfunctional.

How a Dishwasher Works

A dishwasher works on a simple mechanism of wash mode and drain mode. After filling the tub with water in wash mode through an inlet water valve, the temperature of water is raised by the heating element, for washing the utensils.
The detergent dispenser opens at the right time by the timer and the water is sprinkled in the form of jets, to clean the utensils. Further rinsing takes place, followed by draining dirty water through the pump. The air temperature is then raised to dry the utensils.
As far as easy replacements are concerned, you can do it yourself at home, however, in case of any complexity, you should consult a professional.