Dishwasher is not cleaning, element seems hot

I have a Maytag dishwasher that's about 5 years old. Periodically the holes in the spinning arms clog so we take them out and pick the bits of plastic out(wherever do those come from??) and it washes better. This always seems to coincide with using a more environmentally friendly detergent product, btw, but it could be happenstance.
This time, thought, I've picked out the annoying bits and it's still not cleaning. I'm wondering if somehow there isnt' enough water going through the system since the heating element seems awfully hot. How hot does the element get during the wash cycle when all is going well? Hot enough to fizz other water on contact? It doesnt' seem possible to do anything to make it possible to see what's going on when the door is shut- I've tried. :-P
Kate, mom to Ursula (9), Sage (6.5) and Benno (3!)
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~kolina/advantages-of-formula.html "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it - Flannery O'Connor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Kate) wrote in message

Hi,
Why worring about the element??

Yes.
Water fill is usually -just- under the heating element when normal.

No model# posted....remove lower spray arm, pump cover and clean out the filter inside as well.

People dumping them in and not scraping the food off, food waste disposal not being run before turning on the d/w, gremlins ;)
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.