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For years, families used the old-fashioned method of washing dished � by hand. However, with the introduction of the dishwasher, everyone�s life was benefited. By understanding your dishwasher and knowing how to care for it, you can keep it running in excellent condition for years. Additionally, by following some simple steps and taking care of problems, you can stop things from becoming a huge disaster.

For a dishwasher to work, water and detergent are mixed, heated, and then sprayed onto the dishes during the wash cycle. The dirty water is then pumped out and clean water is sprayed onto the dishes with or without a rinse agent onto the dishes to finish the washing process. Depending on what you choose, the dishes are then air-dried or heat dried.

Once the door of the dishwasher is shut, a latch is pressed into a switch that starts the washing process. Washing machines come with a variety of options. Some are simple and have just a few options while others are highly technical that include timed delay and a number of advanced options.

The dishwasher also has an inlet valve that is responsible for filling the dishwasher tub with water. Additionally a float located in the tub is what regulates the water so it does not overflow onto the floor. Based on the type of dishwasher you have, the timer or the float is what will trigger the inlet valve to close. Then, the detergent is released into the tub. Again, depending on the model of dishwasher you have, the detergent mixture is heated or not heated. Either way, it is combined with the water. The secret to good washing is the heating of the detergent. For instance, if it is not heated enough, then the result is poor cleaning.

The motor pump of the dishwasher is what forces water up and out of the spray arms and the tower if your dishwasher has one. This pressure then causes the arms to turn, which creates the even spray onto the dishes. Your model dishwasher may have a two-way motor. If it does, as the motor turns into one direction, the water is pumped through the spray arms and when it turns the other way, the water is pumped out through the drain. If your motor is only a one-way motor, it will only go in one direction. For the water to spray through the arms or down to the drain, an actuator moves to make this happen.

Once the detergent cycle is done, the rinse process begins. If you add a rinse agent, this will help the final rinse by covering the dishes to help prevent spotting. The rinse water is then cycled out and the dishes dried, which occurs by a heating element inside the dishwasher. Your dishwasher may or may not have a fan and thermostat for the dry cycle. If you have problems with your dishwasher, following are some tips to determine the problem:
  • Dishwasher will not operate, has no water, no sound, no lights on the panel
  • Check your fuse box to see if a breaker has been tripped or if a fuse in the dishwasher has blown
  • Make sure the dishwasher has not come lose from its electrical connection
  • Look at the wiring to make sure there are no breaks or burns
  • Make sure the door latch is connecting with the trigger needed to turn the dishwasher on
  • Try testing the door switch
  • Test the selector switch to see if only one or all of the cycles are not working
  • Check the timer motor to ensure it is working
  • If the dishwasher starts to operate but you notice the motors has a humming noise
  • See if there is something jamming the motor or pump
  • Look at the motor to see if it is operating properly
  • Check the drive belt to make sure it is not broken
  • The dishwasher runs but does not fill the tub or it does not drain
  • See if the water supply is on by checking the water valve
  • Make sure the door latch is working
  • See if the float assembly is working
  • Make sure there are no kinks in the fill tube
  • Check the float switch
  • See if the inlet valve filter is clean and void of debris
  • Check the drain valve lever arm and drain valve
  • Water fills the tub but does not drain
  • Make sure the drain and drain hose are not clogged
  • Check to see if the motor or pump is jammed
  • Make sure the drain valve is okay
  • Check the drive belt
  • Make sure the timer motor is working
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