Common Dishwasher Parts Glossary

Adjuster support clip

The adjuster support clip is a long support clip mounted at the very back of the upper dishrack. It supports height adjuster assembly when the assembly moves up and down, and it limits the upward travel of the rack during height adjustment.

Check valve

The check valve is a component in the outlet water path of the drain system that allows water to drain from the dishwasher and prevents it from flowing back into the tub. It consists of a flexible piece of plastic or rubber that bends in one direction. The flapper seals against a lip in the outlet water hose. It can be positioned inside the sump or just outside the sump in the drain system path. It also can be positioned on the outlet tube of the drain pump.

Chopper blade assembly

The chopper blade is positioned in the sump assembly of some Whirlpool and Kenmore 665 model dishwashers to help break up soft food particles in the sump area near the pump impeller to prevent clogging. It won't break up hard items such as popcorn kernels or broken glass.

Circulation pump motor

The circulation pump motor spins the impeller of the circulation pump to move water up through the spray arms during the wash portion of the dishwashing cycle.

Control panel

The control panel (also called the control console) is mounted at the top of the dishwasher door and houses the selection buttons and the display for the dishwasher. The control panel connects to the electronic control board through a ribbon wire cable that communicates button presses and display functions.

Cycle selector switch

The cycle selector switch assembly is mounted on the control panel. It's used to turn on and off selections such as Heated Dry.

Detergent dispenser

A detergent dispenser is mounted on the inner door panel and houses the dishwasher detergent in a covered compartment. The cover of the dishwasher dispenser has a latch mechanism controlled by the timer or electronic control board in the console. The latch is released to open the cover and dispense the dishwasher detergent at the proper time during the dishwashing cycle. The dispenser assembly also has a reservoir for the rinse aid. A small amount of rinse aid is dispensed from the reservoir during the final rinse portion of the dishwashing cycle.

Diverter motor

The diverter motor moves the diverter disc into position so the disc can direct water through the upper spray arms. The diverter motor also sends a signal to the electronic control board about the disc’s position. If the diverter motor fails, the dishwasher stops and signals an error code (check out our dishwasher error codes for many brands). Replace the diverter motor if the error code indicates the diverter motor failed.

Door balance link kit

The door balance link kit is a cord with connectors, where one end connects to the dishwasher door hinge and the other end connects to the tension spring on the frame of the dishwasher. The cord is routed through a balance guide component to properly align the cord for smooth movement as the dishwasher door is opened and closed.

Door hinge

The door hinge is mounted on the bottom of the dishwasher door. It pivots on the bottom of the dishwasher frame to allow the dishwasher door to open. The hinge has an arm that extends toward the rear of the dishwasher. A tension spring attached to that arm controls how fast the door drops when opened.


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Door hinge spring

The hinge spring applies tension to the dishwasher door through the door hinge to prevent the dishwasher door from dropping too quickly when the dishwasher door is opened. One end of the spring is usually attached to the door hinge and the other end to the frame of the dishwasher. Each side of the dishwasher door has a spring.

Door latch assembly

The door latch assembly is mounted at the top of the dishwasher door. It has a catch that engages the strike when the door is closed so that it won't open during the dishwashing cycle. A handle mechanism on the latch assembly, or switch assembly, allows the catch to release the door strike so the door can be opened after the cycle is finished, or during the cycle if necessary. This assembly includes the microswitches that are used to detect whether the dishwasher door is shut and latched properly. The dishwasher won't start unless the control detects that the door is properly closed.

Door seal

A door seal, or a door gasket, seals the gap between the opening to the dishwasher tub and the outer edge of the dishwasher door.


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Drain line

A drain line, or drain hose, is a hose that carries the drain water from the drain pump to the sink drain.


DW drain hose PD_0022_665_3374077
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Drain path

The dishwasher drain path includes the drain pump, drain hose and house sink drain system that carries drain water from the dishwasher to the outside of your home. A clog in the drain path prevents the dishwasher from draining water during the cycle.


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Drain pump

A drain pump removes the water from the dishwasher tub during the drain portion of the wash and rinse cycles.


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Electronic control board

The electronic control board is the "brains" or motherboard of the dishwasher; it starts and stops all the dishwasher's functions—filling, washing, drying and draining. It receives a signal from the control panel when you select a button and displays the cycle status, time and other information on the control panel.

Heating element

The heating element is mounted on the bottom of the dishwasher tub and is responsible for heating the water during the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. Raising the water temperature improves cleaning, and in some situations, sanitation. The heating element is controlled by the timer or electronic control board in the console.

Height adjuster assembly

The height adjuster assembly is a mounting plate that houses the track wheels for the upper rack height adjuster. One plate is mounted on each side of the upper rack. The plates support the upper rack and allow it to be raised or lowered to the desired height.

High-limit thermostat

The high-limit thermostat at the bottom of the dishwasher tub shuts off the heating element when it detects water temperature above 207 degrees Fahrenheit. A defective high-limit thermostat trips at a cooler temperature, preventing the heating element from heating. You can check for electrical continuity through the high-limit thermostat using a multimeter. If you measure no continuity at room temperature, the high-limit thermostat tripped at room temperature and is defective. Replace the high-limit thermostat if it’s defective.

LED assembly

The LED assembly is a set of LED display lights on the control panel that indicate conditions of the cycle. The assembly is mounted on the control panel and controlled by the electronic control board. In some situations, the LED assembly refers to the light tube lenses that fit over the actual LED lights. The lenses transmit the LED light to the front of the control panel so that it can be easily seen.

Outer door panel

The outer door panel is the front-facing cover of the dishwasher.

Overfill float switch

The overfill float switch is connected to the overflow float. The overfill float, or mushroom float,rises as the water level in the dishwasher rises during the fill process. If the water rises to the maximum height, a shaft on the bottom of the float activates the overfill float switch, which cuts off the voltage supply to the solenoid water fill valve so that the dishwasher stops filling.

Piston and nut assembly

The piston and nut assembly is a drain system component in GE dishwashers. It's a spring-loaded piston assembly mounted at the top of the drain collection chamber in the sump of the dishwasher. When the control system energizes the drain solenoid, water is directed into the bottom of the collection chamber instead through the spray arms. Pressure on the bottom of the piston and nut assembly pushes the assembly upward, closing the opening between the bottom of the dishwasher and the top of the collection chamber. As a result, water can't flow from the dishwasher tub to the collection chamber. At the same time, water and debris in the collection chamber is flushed and pumped out of the dishwasher through the check valve and into the drain line. The drain line then carries the water to the sink drain.

Position adjuster clip

The position adjuster clip is a mounting clip that fits on the back of the front track wheel on the upper rack. It supports the height adjuster assembly when the components move up and down.

Power supply control board

This control board is connected to the incoming 120 volt AC power. It has a transformer that converts the 120 volt AC power to low voltage DC. The low voltage DC is used on the display control board and with the sensors in the dishwasher.

Soil separator

The soil separator is an integrated part of the dishwasher sump assembly (shown) that separates soil from water. The pump impeller forces the soil to the outer edges of the pump chamber. From there, where the soil is forced into the separator section of the sump, where it stays until the drain system pumps it from the sump. The clean water is pumped through the spray arms. The water falls back down to the bottom of the sump where the soil separating process repeats.

Sump and motor assembly

The sump and motor assembly moves water from the sump collection area up through the spray arms. The assembly includes the circulation pump, circulation pump motor, circulation pump impeller and the entire sump. The sump includes the pump housing, screen water filters, chopper blade assembly, water collection chambers and housing for sensors and the drain pump. It's mounted in the bottom of the dishwasher tub. You can remove and replace it as an entire major assembly instead of replacing the individual parts.

Thermal fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device mounted on the electronic control board housing of the dishwasher that trips or blows when it experiences excessive current or when it overheats. A short in a component or wiring causes the thermal fuse to trip.


The timer is mounted in the control panel of the dishwasher. The timer turns on and off electro-mechanical components such as the wash pump, drain pump inlet water valve, and heating element. The timer also advances the control knob during the cycle.


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Upper pump assembly

The upper pump assembly is the component above the circulation pump impeller that directs water up through the top of the sump to the bottom spray arm. It's integrated into the part and isn't sold separately.

User interface control

The user interface control houses the selection buttons and display information such as the remaining cycle time. A defective user interface control won't light up or won't respond when you press its buttons. It’s difficult to pinpoint the user interface control as the source of a problem. Refer to the tech sheet for diagnostic tests (it's usually behind the service panel below the door) or have a service technician test the control. If the user interface control is faulty, replace it.

Vent and fan assembly

The vent opens during the drying cycle so the fan can direct hot, moist air out of the dishwasher through the vent opening at the bottom of the dishwasher door. If the vent fails, the dishes won't dry as well because the steamy air stays inside the dishwasher tub. If the fan fails, the control panel goes blank and the dishwasher stops in the middle of the cycle. Replace the vent and fan assembly if either the vent or fan fails.

Wash pump motor

A wash pump motor is the electric motor attached to the impeller in the sump of the dishwasher. The wash pump motor rotates the impeller at high speed to force water up through the spray arms.

Water inlet assembly

A water inlet assembly is an anti-siphon assembly attached to the outer left wall of the dishwasher tub . This assembly acts as an air gap and delivery system for the inlet water fill process. Water enters the dishwasher fill system through through an attached water tube or hose that carries the fill water to the water inlet assembly on the side of the dishwasher tub. After the water passes through the assembly, water fills the tub.

Water inlet valve

A water inlet valve is an electrically operated solenoid water valve that controls the flow of water into the dishwasher during the fill process. Solenoid coils on the valve cause it to open when the timer or electronic control board triggers the valve. When no voltage is applied to the solenoid coil, the valve remains shut and no water flows into the dishwasher tub from the water inlet supply line.