|Posted on August 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM|
Residential dishwashers have three basic requirements for operation. A dishwasher needs to be connected to a power source, normally 120 volts. It will also be connected to a water supply and requires a drain line. The differences in how dishwashers work depends on the cycles or features a model offers.
Permanently installed dishwashers are often wired directly to a household circuit. They can also be plugged into an outlet behind the dishwasher on the wall. Portable dishwashers may be plugged into a kitchen wall outlet. A permanent dishwasher should be on its own circuit breaker.
Tip: If your dishwasher has no power, check the circuit breaker or fuse at your electrical panel.
A portable dishwasher is connected directly to the kitchen faucet. Permanent dishwashers will be connected to the hot water line under the kitchen sink. A heating element inside the dishwasher is used to heat the water to 130 F or higher.
The majority of dishwashers will have a drain line connection through the garbage disposal under the kitchen sink. They can also be connected directly to a plumbing line under the sink or drained into the sink itself. A connection through a garbage disposal is the preferred method. While many users will rinse their dishes before loading, the dishwasher food particles can accumulate and may eventually clog plumbing lines.
Tip: If your dishwasher is not draining correctly, check the filter at the bottom of the holding basin first. Then run your garbage disposal to determine if that is causing a back up.
Basic dishwashers have a simple control panel with on and off buttons. They will usually include the option for heat or air-drying. Advanced features can include a delayed start option, pre-rinse and hold, quiet cycle, heavy duty and even sanitizing cycles. A timing mechanism controls each stage of the dishwashing process.
When the dishwasher is started, water will flow into the holding basin. The water is then heated to the appropriate temperature. The detergent dispenser will open to allow the detergent to mix with the hot water. A pump then forces the mixture through the jets, or upper and lower spray arms, to begin cleaning the dishes. When this cycle is complete, the dishwasher will begin its first drain cycle.
After the dirty water has drained, the rinse cycle will begin. The holding basin will fill with water a second time. The jets or spray arms will rinse away the detergent and any remaining debris. The dishwasher will then go into a second draining cycle. If a heated drying cycle has been chosen, the heating element will turn back on to warm the air and dry the dishes. Some models will include a fan for circulating the air to speed the drying time.
If your dishes are not coming out clean, check the jets for clogs. Hard water can cause mineral build up.
Categories: General home help