Product Pick of the Week: Dishwasher Pumps & Motors

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Dishwashers are great.  They save us the time and effort of having to wash dishes by hand, and can even save you money by using less water especially when it comes to newer models.  But have you ever wondered just how your dishwasher gets your dishes so clean?  Two very important players in the cleaning process are our product picks this week – the Pump & Motor.


So what do the motor & pump do?


Typically found below the basin, this duo is responsible for moving water through your dishwasher’s system.   They move water in and up through the spray arms for cleaning, and then out of the dishwasher to the drain.

11492382 - washing plates in the dishwasher. inside a dishwasher

Once the basin has filled, the electric Motor starts powering the Pump, activating the paddle or impeller inside that works to move the water where it needs to go. The type of Motor your dishwasher uses will depend on the model:

Reversible – The motor for this type of pump is able to switch directions which is why it’s called a Reversible Pump.  The motor will run one direction when it needs to supply water the spray arms, and the opposite direction (reversing the pump) when it needs to direct the dirty water out to the drain. They are usually vertically mounted.

Direct Drive – This type of pump motor only runs in one direction.  In order to switch between washing and draining, your dishwasher will either have a Solenoid that controls where the water goes or will have separate Pump and Drain Motors.  These are usually horizontally mounted.


Common signs of damage


Below are a few common signs that a component of the Motor or Pump isn’t working properly and that the part(s) may need to be replaced:

  • Puddles of water in the basin
  • Dishwasher isn’t draining
  • Dishwasher isn’t cleaning well
  • Spray pressure is low
  • Spray arms aren’t spraying at all
  • Pump or motor are noisy

It’s important to note that these problems may not necessarily mean that the Pump or Motor are broken.  You may simply have a clog somewhere or even just a kinked hose, so be sure to check the water and drain paths first.

If you do find that you need to replace a part of your dishwasher, you can find just what you need on our website.  The best way to make sure that you’re getting the right part for your dishwasher is to search for it using your specific model number.


We hope you found this post helpful!  If you did, be sure to like and share it with a friend.  Looking for more dishwasher info or help?  You might like these posts.  You can also find all of our past Product Picks on the blog here.  Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, additional tips, or blogs you’d like to see for us in the comments.

Written by: Sarah Walker  

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