Do Kenmore Dishwashers Heat Their Water? (Explained)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Dishwashers are great domestic aid in many households today, making dishwashing less strenuous.

However, Kenmore dishwashers use hot water to clean the dishes, and many wonders where this hot water comes from.

The quest to understand just how convenient Kenmore dishwashers are, raises the question, “Do Kenmore dishwashers heat their water?”

Kenmore dishwashers heat their water with the aid of an inbuilt heating element beneath their tub. However, you can also supply hot water from an external water heater to the dishwasher. This feature only helps the dishwasher to keep the water temperature high. The heating element can heat water as high as  130-140°Fahrenheit, and it remains hot until the washing process is completed.

Can You Run a Kenmore Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

Kenmore dishwashers can run smoothly without a hot water supply. The dishwasher is designed to use a hot-cold water supply with it.

Also, since the Kenmore dishwasher gets to heat its water, it can serve as a water heater when cold water is supplied without any distortion in the washing process.

However, in running a Kenmore dishwasher, the temperature to use for each washing and rinsing cycle is determined.

Choose the desired temperature for dishwashing at each pre-washing cycle, main washing, or rinsing.

Can You Run a Kenmore Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

The use of hot water in a dishwasher is highly recommended. The reason is that hot water has a higher cleaning ability compared to cold water.

The dishes are thoroughly washed with hot water in dishwashers without a trace of stuck food particles, grease, or detergent residues. 

The hot water ensures the detergent is completely dissolved while in use and doesn’t stick to the dishes to ensure proper cleaning.

Additionally,  hot water in the Kenmore dishwasher helps keep germs away from the dishes.

The high temperature of the water ensures the dishes are adequately sanitized and sparkling clean beyond those specks of dirt that can be seen with the eyes.

Furthermore, the detergent used in dishwashers is relatively stronger than normal detergent, and most times, the detergent sticks to the dishes. 

The presence of hot water attends to the detergent residues formed in the dishes, which have a slippery feel with a soapy smell.

When cold water is used, the cold water cannot adequately take care of this. So with hot water, traces of detergent on the dishes are cared for.

Many people fear that using cold water to run Kenmore dishwashers can damage the appliance. This claim is not true.

The differences between hot and cold water use in a Kenmore dishwasher are stated above.

It is, however, important to note that the most important thing a dishwasher needs to function is electricity and a water line, not a cold or hot water supply.

The reason is most dishwashers come with a heating element that can curb the challenge of hot or cold water supply.

While a hot water supply is preferable, it is unnecessary as the dishwasher can do without it.

Do All Dishwashers Have a Heating Element?

Although not all dishwashers have a heating element, most do, especially newly produced dishwashers.

For those dishwashers without a heating element, it will require an external supply of hot water into it to carry out the dishwashing process, especially if the dishwasher is a hot water dishwasher.

Notwithstanding, you must take proper care when adding hot water directly to the dishwasher.

The ideal temperature of water in a dishwasher is 120°Fahrenheit. However, the maximum allowed temperature is about 140° Fahrenheit. Any temperature above this will cause damage to the dishwasher.

However, using an external hot water supply may increase energy usage. The reason is that more energy is required to heat water when using a water heater than that consumed by dishwashers that have a heating element in them. 

The heating element consumes less energy and can heat water to 130-140° Fahrenheit.

Nevertheless, heating the water first before doing the dishes may take longer for the washing process to be completed.

That is why sometimes hot water is supplied into the dishwasher for the inbuilt heater to heat it further.

When cold water is supplied into the dishwasher, heating the water takes about 2 minutes for the water to heat to 1 degree.

Most dishwasher hot water needs to reach a minimum of 120° Fahrenheit to complete one washing cycle, and this may take approximately 60 minutes for this cycle to be completed.

Do Dishwashers Heat Their Water?

Many dishwashers do not require an external hot water supply as they heat their water using their inbuilt heating element.

The water heater activates itself and positions itself for work when the dishwasher is turned on and water starts rushing in. 

The heating element located at the bottom of the dishwasher begins the heating of the water the moment the dishwasher is activated for use.

The purpose of the heating element is to warm up water to the ideal temperature required for proper cleaning of the dishes. As commonly believed, the hotter the water, the cleaner the dishes.

Do Dishwashers Heat Their Water?

With the aid of this heating unit, there is an adequate hot water supply with no need for an external water heater to heat the water needed for dishwashing.

It is important to note that determining whether dishwashers heat their water depends on the dishwasher’s brand and model. 

Not all dishwashers out there have a water heater installed in them. Some are designed to function with cold water as they do not contain the water heater. 

Hence, the need to check the dishwasher’s manual to know whether or not the dishwasher can heat its water or run with just cold water.

Where Does the Hot Water in a Dishwasher Come From?

The hot water in a dishwasher doesn’t get in there mysteriously. Instead, a pipe is connected to the dishwasher.

It is either a hot or cold water pipe. From this pipe, water is supplied into the dishwasher.  

Additionally, understanding how the dishwasher works will help know where the hot water in a dishwasher comes from.

The dishwasher can work hot water when supplied with cold water through the help of the heating element at the bottom of the tub, which heats the water until the desired temperature for washing is attained.

Also, when hot water is supplied into the dishwasher, it is further heated by the dishwasher to the appropriate temperature, thereby allowing the dishwasher to wash with the hottest of water which is more effective in cleaning the dishes. 

All dishwashers have a valve- a water line from which hot, cold water is supplied.

Where hot water is supplied to the dishwasher, the hot water dishwasher, with the aid of the heating element pre-installed in them, heats the water further to a temperature needed for the proper cleaning and sanitizing of the dishes with no trace of germs, greasy stain or any form of dish debris.

The hot water supply also keeps the water at a stable temperature.

Again, when cold water pipes connect cold water to the valve, the water is heated by the heating element to provide the desired washing temperature of the water.


Kenmore dishwashers are known to use hot water just like every other dishwasher out there.

The presence of a heating element at the bottom tub of the dishwasher helps the appliance heat its water with or without an external hot water supply which is needed for the thorough cleaning of the dishes.

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