Dishwashers are quite essential to any large household, nowadays. They save not only your time but quite literally, your hands as well. Gone are the days of washing dishes and scrubbing pans until your hands are sore and it’s way past your bedtime. 

Or are they?

Like all machines, dishwashers can experience faults, too. One of the most common ones is when the dishwasher stops heating properly. The indicators of this are usually something of the sort:

  • Your dishware is still soapy and greasy after each cleaning cycle. It’s also still wet;
  • The heating element doesn’t feel hot after the cleaning cycle ends;

As you might have guessed by now, there is no quick solution to this problem. There are, however, several probable causes which you can try and troubleshoot yourself. With that being said, let’s start with the first…

Table of Contents:

Heating element

Before you make any attempts to troubleshoot your dishwasher, make sure it’s disconnected from the mains and the water supply has been shut off.

How to test dishwasher heating element

The first and most obvious part to check is the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher tub. You will need a digital or analogue multimeter to test the electrical resistance of the element. The multimeter will help you avoid any guesswork whether the heating element is indeed faulty or not.

You don’t need to uninstall the dishwasher for this procedure, however, you will need to do some crouching. But first, set your multimeter to the lowest setting of ohms of resistance. If you have a digital device, you’re ready to check the electricity. For analogue multimeters, touch the probes together and adjust the needle until it’s at 0. Now you’re good to go.

  1. Remove the kick plate from the front bottom part of the dishwasher. You will need to remove the screws holding it.
  2. Remove the power supply cover plate.
  3. See where the wires connect to the element. Take a photo with your phone, so you know how to put them back afterwards.
  4. Disconnect the wires by pulling the slip-on connectors and not the wire itself.
  5. Test the wires for continuity by touching each wire with each meter probe.
  6. If the reading shows between 0 and 50 ohms, then the element is fine. If, however it shows no or very slight movement, then the element is damaged and needs replacing.

How to replace the heating element of your dishwasher

To replace the heating element of your dishwasher, you will need to uninstall it first. Take photos of all the parts before you disassemble them. Prepare a blanket to lay the dishwasher on, once you take it out of the cabinet.

  1. Empty the dishwasher of its racks.
  2. Disconnect the drain hose from the garbage disposal. Make sure you have a container to collect excess water.
  3. Remove the access panel on the bottom front of the dishwasher.
  4. Disconnect the water supply line. You will have some excess water here as well.
  5. Remove the junction box cover and disconnect the wires.
  6. Loosen the screw to loosen the grounding wires and pull them out of the junction box.
  7. Remove the mounting bracket screws and screw in the front levelling legs to make moving easier.
  8. Pull the dishwasher out of the cabinet and lay it on its back. Before that, lay a towel on the ground.
  9. Disconnect the wires from the heating element spades.
  10. Remove the mounting nuts holding the heating element.
  11. Place the dishwasher upright and open the door.
  12. Pull the old element out and replace with the new one.
  13. Tip the dishwasher back and replace the mounting nuts.
  14. Reconnect the wires to spades of the new heating element.
  15. Slide the dishwasher back into the cabinet.
  16. Secure the mounting brackets back to the countertop.
  17. Reconnect the drain hose.
  18. Reconnect the water fill line.
  19. Push the grounding wire cable back to the junction box tighten the nut.
  20. Re-Install the junction box cover.
  21. Place the access panel back and tighten the screws.
  22. Connect the unit to the means and turn on the water supply.

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Thermostat

This device regulates the temperature of the water used on your dishes. Even if your washer has a hot water connection, the thermostat still plays a significant role in getting the water hot enough for washing. The thermostat also regulates the temperature of the hot air used for drying your dishes. And, like all other electrical components, this one can falter, too. If it so happens that your heating element is okay, then check the thermostat. Unfortunately, you will have to uninstall your dishwasher first.

How to check your thermostat

  1. Remove the kick plate located in the front bottom part of the dishwasher.
  2. Disconnect the water supply line.
  3. Remove the cover for the junction box and disconnect all the wires.
  4. Remove the screws from mounting brackets. 
  5. Pull the dishwasher and lay it on its back. Now you can see the two wires connecting the thermostat.
  6. Remove the wires that connect it to the rest of the unit.
  7. Remove the insulator.
  8. Remove the mounting bracket keeping the thermostat connected to the dishwasher. The thermostat itself is the small cylinder-like object connected to the bracket.
  9. Remove the thermostat from the bracket by slightly turning it. It should come off easily.

Now you can check the thermostat for electrical continuity with your multimeter. If it shows 0, it’s okay, if it’s way above it, it’s faulty. Fortunately, if you need to change the thermostat this is the right time to do so. All you need to do is place the new one in the bracket and follow the steps mentioned above, only in backward order.

Control board

This piece of tech is the brain of your dishwasher. It controls all the functions from the initial filling of the water chamber to the drying cycle at the end of it all. Malfunctions of the control board present themselves in different ways and your dishwasher not heating may be one of them.

How to replace the control board on a dishwasher

  1. Purchase a control panel which is for the same dishwasher model as yours.
  2. Turn off the power to your dishwasher.
  3. Open the door.
  4. Remove the screws which hold the outer door panel.
  5. Close the door.
  6. Pull out the outer door panel and open the door again.
  7. Remove the screws on the inner door panel which holds the control panel.
  8. Pull the control panel off the door.
  9. Disconnect all the wires connected to the control board. Take a photo with your phone beforehand, so you know how to put them back with the new control board.
  10. Remove the old control panel.
  11. Install the new control board by snapping it into place.
  12. Connect all the wires to the new board.
  13. Reposition the control panel and screw it back on.
  14. Close the door and reinstall the outer door panel.

Call the professionals

If all this seems way too complicated and time-consuming, consider booking a dishwasher repair service. Fantastic Services works with experienced and fully certified specialists who will repair your appliance and provide you with a one-year guarantee (the guarantee covers the replaced parts and the work done by the expert). You don’t need to buy tools you will rarely use and waste time trying to figure out why your dishwasher is not getting hot.

Your dishwasher is not heating?

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Takeaways

  • Always unplug your dishwasher from the mains when troubleshooting.
  • Check the heating element with a multimeter.
  • Check the thermostat.
  • Check the control panel.

Image Source: Shutterstock / Sherbak_photo

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Does your dishwasher leave your dishware and eating utensils dirty and wet? Have you found the source of the problem yet? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Posted in Home Improvement

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