October 1, 2016

How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump and motor assembly

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump and motor assembly

This dishwasher DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the circulation pump and motor assembly. The dishwasher circulation pump and its pump motor work together to circulate water through the spray arms; when the spray arms aren’t spraying, the dishwasher pump or pump motor could be at fault. If just the circulation pump motor failed, you could repair the dishwasher by just replacing the pump motor, but the pump motor often costs nearly the same as the circulation pump and motor assembly. It's easier and cost effective to replace both parts at the same time, by installing a new circulation pump and motor assembly. And because you don’t have to fit the two components together, you avoid the risk of a leak at the joint if you don’t seat the seal correctly. For more dishwasher troubleshooting help, see our dishwasher DIY repair page.

This guide shows how to replace the pump and motor assembly on some Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, and Amana dishwashers.

Quick links
Tools required
Nut driver set
Torx screwdriver
Channel-lock pliers
Rinse aid (to lubricate the pump seal)
Towel Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump video

Replacing the pump and motor assembly on a dishwasher video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off electrical power and water supply to the dishwasher

    Unplug the dishwasher or shut off the house circuit breaker for the dishwasher.

    To verify that power is disconnected, make sure the control panel doesn’t light up when you press a control button or the power button.

    Find the water supply valve for the dishwasher under the sink (or in the basement). Close the valve to shut off the water supply going to the dishwasher.

    Shut off the house circuit breaker.

    Shut off the house circuit breaker.

  2. 02.

    Remove the spray arms

    Open the dishwasher door and pull out the bottom dishrack.

    Release the upper dishrack track stops and pull out the upper dishrack.

    Release the bottom spray arm and remove it.

    If you have a Kenmore dishwasher with a TurboZone spray arm, release and remove the TurboZone manifold.

    Release the feed tube clips. Release the feed tube from the pump outlet and pull out the feed tube.

    Pull off the feed tube.

    Pull off the feed tube.

  3. 03.

    Remove the bottom front access panel and toe panel

    Using a nut driver, remove the screws that hold the bottom front access panel and toe panel in place.

    Pull the access panel and the toe panel forward and remove them.

    Remove the bottom toe panel.

    Remove the bottom toe panel.

  4. 04.

    Pull out the dishwasher

    Position the dishwasher’s power cord so it moves freely as you pull the dishwasher out from under the counter.  (See Tip if your dishwasher doesn’t have a power cord.)

    Place a towel under the water supply line connection. Disconnect the water supply line from the water inlet valve and wipe up spills.

    Disconnect the drain line from the garbage disposal or sink drain.

    Remove the 2 mounting screws from the brackets that secure the dishwasher in the cabinet opening.

    Tip: If your dishwasher power supply is hard-wired directly into the junction box, remove junction box cover and disconnect the wires. Remove the strain relief nut to release the power cable from the junction box.
    Disconnect the water supply line from the inlet valve.

    Disconnect the water supply line from the inlet valve.

  5. 05.

    Remove the drain pump

    Carefully lay the dishwasher on its back to access the drain pump.

    Lay a towel under the drain pump to catch water.

    Squeeze the wire hose clamp that holds the drain hose on the drain pump—use channel-lock pliers if necessary.

    Pull the drain hose off the drain pump.

    Remove the wire harness from the drain pump.

    Press down on the locking tab and then rotate the pump 1/4 turn counterclockwise and pull it out of the sump.

    Wipe up any spilled water and remove the towel.

    Pull out the drain pump.

    Pull out the drain pump.

  6. 06.

    Remove the circulation pump and motor assembly

    Disconnect the wires from the diverter motor and circulation pump motor.

    Remove the optical water indicator from the sump and let it hang by the wire harness.

    Tilt the dishwasher upright.

    Release the sump mounting tabs.

    Carefully open the dishwasher door while supporting the base to prevent the dishwasher from tilting forward.

    Pull the circulation pump and motor assembly up and out of the dishwasher tub and close the dishwasher door.

    Pull out the circulation pump assembly.

    Pull out the circulation pump assembly.

  7. 07.

    Install the new circulation pump and motor assembly

    Transfer the filter cup and screen from the old circulation pump and motor assembly to the new one.

    Transfer the sump damper from the old circulation pump and motor assembly to the new one.

    Lubricate the sump seal with rinse aid.

    Carefully open the dishwasher door while supporting the base to prevent the dishwasher from tilting forward.

    Line up the mounting tab and insert the new circulation pump and motor assembly into the tub.

    Close the dishwasher door.

    Engage the sump locking tabs.

    Carefully lay the dishwasher on its back.

    Lubricate the O-ring on the optical water indicator with rinse aid reinstall the water indicator.

    Plug in the diverter motor and circulation pump wire harnesses.

    Install the new pump assembly.

    Install the new pump assembly.

  8. 08.

    Reinstall the drain pump

    Lubricate the O-ring water seal on the drain pump with rinse aid.

    Insert the drain pump in the sump opening and then rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise so the locking tab snaps into place.

    Reconnect the wire harness on the drain pump.

    Reinstall the drain hose on the outlet of the drain pump. Use the wire clamp to secure the drain hose on the drain pump outlet.

    Reinstall the drain pump.

    Reinstall the drain pump.

  9. 09.

    Reinstall the dishwasher

    Tilt the dishwasher upright and carefully push the dishwasher under the counter.

    Reconnect the drain hose to the garbage disposal or sink drain.

    Reconnect the water fill line to the inlet water valve.

    Insert the screws into the mounting brackets that secure the dishwasher under the counter and tighten the screws.

    Position the toe panel on the dishwasher and then position the access panel in front of the toe panel. Insert and firmly tighten the mounting screws.

    Tip: If the dishwasher hardwires into a junction box, push the power cable into the junction box and reinstall the strain relief nut. Reconnect the wires in the junction box and reinstall the junction box cover.
    Reconnect the water supply line to the inlet valve.

    Reconnect the water supply line to the inlet valve.

  10. 10.

    Reinstall the spray arms

    Open the dishwasher door.

    Reinstall the feed tube and snap it into the mounting clips.

    If you have a Kenmore dishwasher with a TurboZone spray arm, reinstall the TurboZone manifold.

    Reinstall the bottom spray arm.

    Push the upper dishrack into the tracks and reinstall the track stops.

    Put the lower dishrack back into the tub.

    Reinstall the bottom spray arm.

    Reinstall the bottom spray arm.

  11. 11.

    Restore electrical power and the water supply

    Reset the house circuit breaker or plug in the dishwasher to restore electrical power.

    Open the water supply valve.

    Run a dishwasher cycle and check for leaks.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor failure, control system problem
Main causes: glass or popcorn kernel stuck in the chopper blade, drain line vibrating against the cabinet, debris in wash pump or drain pump
Main causes: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems

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