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How a Dishwasher Works

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Some dishwashers have a two-way motor. When it turns in one direction, it pumps the water through the spray arms. When it turns the other way, it pumps the water out through the drain. If the motor only turns in one direction, then an actuator moves to channel the water either to the spray arms or to the drain.

After the detergent cycle is complete the dishes are rinsed. If the dishwasher has a rinse agent feature, the rinse agent is added to the rinse water.

Once the rinse cycle has completed and the water has been pumped out, the dishes are dried. A electric heating element heats the interior of the dishwasher. Some dishwashers also have fan to circulate the air. A thermostat prevents the dishwasher from overheating.

Some dishwashers employ soil sensors to monitor the clarity of the wash water. When the water becomes clear, the sensor signals the control timer to advance to the next cycle.

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