How to Remove a Dishwasher Pump

An open dishwasher.
What You'll Need
Dry cloth/rag

Hiring professionals to repair your dishwasher pump can be an expensive proposition. A better approach lies in understanding the dishwasher pump mechanism and repairing it yourself. This can be easily done with some basic household supplies and the following information.

Every dishwasher has two main parts — the water-moving pump and the motor. Both of these parts are located within the lower end of the sprayer arm of a dishwasher. A dishwasher pump is sturdier than conventional water pumps and seldom breaks down. However, the pump is often clogged by residues of chemical detergents and leftover food. Removing a dishwasher pump becomes necessary to clean it thoroughly.

Disassembling the pump in the wrong manner can induce vibrations in the sprayer arm and permanently damage the water-spraying mechanism of the dishwasher. Removing the pump requires a basic understanding of the dishwasher configuration.

Understanding Dishwasher Pump Configuration

Every household dishwasher is composed of an impeller system. An impeller is further divided into upper and lower parts. The upper impeller is called the wash impeller and the lower impeller is called the draining impeller. The impeller is a fan-shaped device responsible for forcing the water through the sprinkler system. The lower impeller is responsible for ensuring that used water is directed towards the drain ports.

Food or detergent remains get stuck in the impellers, compromising the pressure at which water is pushed through the sprinklers. Besides the impeller, the pump consists of some washers and an O-shaped ring. The washers are usually replaced after a while since repairing them is seldom cost-effective.

Step 1 - Prepare

Turn off the electrical supply of the dishwasher. Ensure that the water supply lines are also closed. It is better to disengage the water inlet pipes when disengaging the pump. Using a dry cloth, wipe the insides of the dishwasher. This is essential because the metallic components may carry some static electrical charge.

Step 2 - Access the Dishwasher Pump

An open dishwasher.

Using a screwdriver, remove the screws of the dishwasher's access panel. The panel houses the dishwasher pump and the motor. The pump is easily recognizable with its usually-oval or circular shape. Generally, it has a belt connected to it. Slide off the belt. Ensure that the belt is in proper condition. A weathered belt often releases small bits of rubber/acrylic pieces that get stuck in the pump. Similarly, the lower end of the panel houses plastic or rubber hoses that are often damaged, causing the pump to malfunction.

Step 3 - Disengage the Dishwasher Pump

Disengage all the water lines connected to the pump section, both the inlet and outlet pipes. The pump is usually secured to the bottom plate of the dishwasher with two to four larger screws. You can disengage them with a wrench. Old pumps might be a bit hard to displace. Don’t tug too hard at the pump. If it seems stuck, place a small rag beneath it. Push the screwdriver’s tip below the rag and lift it upwards. Ensure that you keep each set of screws separate to avoid confusion when re-installing the pump.