A load of dishes being washed on the racks of a dishwasher

GUIDE TO THE INSIDE PARTS OF A DISHWASHER

Your dishwasher is a powerful appliance that you rely on to keep your kitchen clean. Understanding the parts of your dishwasher can help you get the most out of your appliance.

The following guide will help you learn about the roles of various parts of a dishwasher and where they’re located inside.

A diagram of dishwasher parts A diagram of dishwasher parts

A DIAGRAM OF DISHWASHER PARTS

Get familiar with your dishwasher’s parts and what they do. Check your owner’s manual for model-specific information and to find out where various dishwasher parts are located inside your kitchen’s appliance.

A dishwasher heating element icon

1. HEATING ELEMENT

Heats the water for washing and the air for drying

A dishwasher dispenser icon

2. DISPENSER

Dispenses detergent and rinse aid at the optimal time during the cycle

A dishwasher control panel icon

3. CONTROL PANEL

Control pad for wash cycle and options selection

A dishwasher rack icon

4. THIRD LEVEL RACK

Provides extra loading space for small bowls, mugs and utensils1

A dishwasher spray arm icon

5. SPRAY ARMS

Rotate as they blast water throughout the tub

A dishwasher door latch icon

6. DOOR LATCH

Securely closes the dishwasher door

THESE PARTS ARE LOCATED BELOW THE WASH TUB:

WATER INLET VALVE

The water inlet valve opens and closes to control the flow of water into the dishwasher.

CIRCULATION PUMP & MOTOR

The circulation pump and motor force water into the spray arms and filtration system.

FILTRATION SYSTEM

Dishwasher filtration systems remove food from the wash water so it doesn't end up back on dishes. Dual Power Filtration on select Maytag® dishwashers can help you skip soaking, scrubbing and pre-rinsing to make doing dishes even simpler.

A black Maytag® dishwasher in a modern kitchen A black Maytag® dishwasher in a modern kitchen

UNDERSTANDING DISHWASHER PARTS: NAMES & FUNCTIONS

Dishwashers work hard to cut through food build-up and keep your dishes clean for when you need them next. As you learn about how the various parts of your appliance work, you'll also learn that the names of many dishwasher parts have to do with their function.

You can get more familiar with how your dishwasher works to cut down on cleanup time by knowing how the different parts of a dishwasher work.

An empty dishwasher with the door open An empty dishwasher with the door open

THE TUB & INTERIOR DISHWASHER PARTS

The tub and interior parts of your dishwasher work together to maintain the washing system that combines detergent, water and heat to keep your dishes clean. It can be helpful to understand what they do and how they should operate inside a dishwasher.

1. DISHWASHER RACKS

The racks of your dishwasher make up the loading space that holds items while the jets of the appliance deliver cleaning power straight to your dishes. Most dishwashers come with two or three racks with rows of tines that hold your items in place through a wash or dry cycle, usually featuring a silverware basket for holding cutlery.

2. SPRAY ARMS

Depending on the model, dishwashers come with two or three rotating wash arms. On a typical dishwasher, one arm is located beneath the upper rack to direct washing power to the top rack, and the second arm can usually be found below the bottom rack. The spray arms activate as the circulation pump pushes powerful streams of water through them.

3. OVERFILL PROTECTION FLOAT

Some dishwashers come with an overfill protection float to keep the inside of the appliance from overfilling during the wash cycle. If your dishwasher has one, you can usually find the overfill protection float at the front-right corner of the washer tub.

4. DISHWASHER HEATING ELEMENT

On a typical dishwasher, the heating element is usually located at the base of the washer tub, working to increase the temperature of the water during wash cycles to wash away built-on residue. During the drying cycle, the heating element heats air from the inside of the appliance to help your dishes come out dry and ready to put away.

A person unloading a clean dish from a dishwasher rack A person unloading a clean dish from a dishwasher rack

DISHWASHER INTERNAL WORKING PARTS

The internal parts of a dishwasher work together to make up the powerful system that keeps your dishes clean load after load. Knowing how the inner workings of your dishwasher function can help you know when it’s time to clean your dishwasher or order a replacement part for your older appliance.

5. DISHWASHER CIRCULATION PUMP & MOTOR

The dishwasher circulation pump is responsible for forcing water into the washer tub and through the spray arms. As this happens, the motor increases the pressure of the water to provide the rotating motion of the arms that deliver powerful streams to blast away food from the surface of your dishes. 

6. WATER INLET VALVE

Located on the inside of a dishwasher, the inlet valve opens and closes to control the amount of water that enters the washer tub to be used during a wash cycle.

The water inlet valve on your dishwasher is important for controlling the amount of water in the washer tub, which is why it’s important to replace the valve if you notice wear or damage.

7. WATER SUPPLY AND DRAIN HOSES

Two hoses help deliver and remove water from the dishwasher tub during a wash cycle: the water supply hose and the drain hose. The hoses are fed through the cabinetry during installation and secured using fittings, with the water supply hose connecting to your home’s hot water supply line and the drain hose connected to either a garbage disposal or drain pipe.

8. DISHWASHER DUCT & VENTING

The dishwasher duct and vent are responsible for releasing the hot steam that collects inside the appliance during the rinse cycle. The air vent and its components can usually be found on the inner door panel of the dishwasher.

If you notice excess moisture inside your dishwasher that’s preventing your dishes from drying completely, a venting component may need to be replaced.

A stainless steel Maytag® dishwasher in a modern kitchen A stainless steel Maytag® dishwasher in a modern kitchen

DISHWASHER DOOR PARTS

The parts of your dishwasher’s door work together to support the wash and drying power that help you get through cleanup faster. Understanding how the parts of a dishwasher that are often overlooked can help you know when it’s time to make a replacement or arrange for professional service.

9. DISHWASHER DOOR TOUCHPAD & CONTROLS

Your dishwasher’s touchpad and controls, where you can find the buttons for different cycle options, are usually located either on the top or front of the washer door. Your dishwasher may communicate error messages to you displayed on a thin rectangular console.

Help ensure reliable access to all of your dishwasher’s controls by treating the touchpad with care between uses.

10. DISHWASHER DOOR LATCH

Located beneath the plastic cover of the inner door, the latch is responsible for securing the dishwasher door closed during operation. When the door is closed after loading, the door latch flips the safety switch that initiates the dishwasher cycle.

The door latch of your appliance is important to ensuring your dishes are properly contained and cleaned inside the dishwasher tub.

11. DISHWASHER DOOR HINGES

The hinges of your dishwasher’s door can usually be found at the bottom of the appliance where the door meets the base. Here, the hinges work to allow the dishwasher door to swing open or closed freely as you load and unload dishes.

The hinges of your dishwasher’s door help give you easy access for unloading and loading dishes.

12. DISHWASHER DOOR GASKETS

Door gaskets serve as a seal that prevents water from leaking out of the appliance during the wash cycle. Tears, gaps or cuts in the door gasket can cause water to drip out of the appliance, so it’s important to replace them if you notice damage, especially on older models.

13. DISHWASHER DETERGENT DISPENSER

Your detergent dispenser is where detergent and rinse aid are stored before the start of each wash cycle. You can usually find the detergent dispenser inside of the dishwasher door. It looks like a small, rectangular-shaped container with a cover, usually featuring a separate rinse aid chamber.

Over time, the cleaning solution can build up inside the detergent dispenser, so it’s essential to clean the chamber when necessary by removing residue with a damp cloth.

A person loading dirty dishes into a dishwasher A person loading dirty dishes into a dishwasher

MAYTAG OWNERS: FIND YOUR DISHWASHER REPLACEMENT PARTS

If you’ve been relying on an older or outdated appliance in your kitchen and aren’t quite ready for an upgrade, you can sometimes buy replacement parts for your dishwasher. Before making your purchase, consult the use and care guide for your specific dishwasher model.

Find replacement parts for your Maytag brand dishwasher, or visit Maytag® Product Help for model-specific support for your dishwasher. If you need help, it’s always a safe option to contact a professional for service.

CLEANING WITH A DECADE OF DEPENDABILITY

All Maytag® dishwashers are backed by a 10-year limited parts warranty2 on the racks, chopper blade and stainless steel tub. Find the Maytag® dishwasher replacement parts you need to streamline cleanup after every meal.

SHOP NEW MAYTAG® DISHWASHERS

If you’re looking to give your current appliance a bit of an upgrade, it may make sense to purchase a replacement part for your dishwasher. However, if your older or outdated appliance just isn’t cleaning dishes like it used it, it may be time for a full replacement. 

Dishwashers by Maytag brand combine flexible loading space with specialized cleaning ability to power through the washing process and keep your dishes clean. Skip the tedious process of soaking, scrubbing and rinsing through the power of a Maytag® dishwasher.

GET MORE IN-DEPTH DISHWASHER INFO

Was this article helpful? Pass it on

1. On select models. 

2. See here for warranty details.