How to Test Your Dishwasher Heating Element: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve ever wondered why your dishes aren’t coming out as clean and dry as they should be, it might be due to a faulty dishwasher heating element. The heating element plays a crucial role in ensuring your dishwasher’s efficiency. In this article, we will guide you through the process of testing your dishwasher heating element to determine if it’s functioning correctly.

Why is the Heating Element Important?

The dishwasher heating element is responsible for heating the water to the desired temperature during the wash cycle and aiding in the drying process. If it’s not working correctly, your dishwasher may leave your dishes with a lackluster finish or even leave them wet, which can be frustrating.

Tools You’ll Need

Before we dive into the testing process, gather the following tools:

1. Multimeter

A multimeter is a versatile tool that measures electrical current, voltage, and resistance. It’s essential for diagnosing issues with your dishwasher’s heating element.

2. Screwdriver

You’ll need a screwdriver to access the heating element, which is usually located at the bottom of your dishwasher.

3. Safety Gear

For your safety, wear gloves and safety glasses when working with electrical components.

Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Your Dishwasher Heating Element

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of testing your dishwasher’s heating element.

1. Safety First

Before you begin, ensure your dishwasher is unplugged or disconnected from the power source. Safety should always be your top priority.

2. Access the Heating Element

Use the screwdriver to remove the lower access panel at the bottom of your dishwasher. This will give you access to the heating element.

3. Locate the Heating Element

Identify the heating element, which is a coiled wire or metal rod located at the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub.

4. Set the Multimeter

Turn on your multimeter and set it to measure resistance (ohms). You’ll use this setting to test the heating element.

5. Test for Continuity

Place one multimeter probe on each end of the heating element’s terminals. A reading of zero or very low resistance indicates that the heating element has continuity and is functioning correctly.

6. No Continuity? It’s Time for Replacement

If the multimeter shows infinite resistance, there’s no continuity, which means your heating element is faulty and needs to be replaced.

7. Reassemble and Test

Once you’ve determined that the heating element is faulty, reassemble the dishwasher and order a replacement heating element. After installing the new one, run a test cycle to ensure it’s working as expected.


A properly functioning dishwasher heating element is essential for clean, dry dishes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and address any issues with your dishwasher’s heating element. Remember always to prioritize safety when working with electrical components.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I replace the heating element myself?

Yes, you can replace the heating element yourself if you have some DIY experience and the necessary tools. However, if you’re not comfortable with electrical work, it’s best to consult a professional.

2. How often should I test my dishwasher heating element?

You don’t need to test it regularly unless you notice issues with your dishwasher’s performance. If you encounter problems with cleaning or drying, then it’s a good time to check the heating element.

3. What can cause a heating element to malfunction?

Common causes of heating element malfunctions include mineral buildup, manufacturing defects, or wear and tear over time.

4. Can a faulty heating element damage my dishwasher?

Yes, a faulty heating element can lead to poor performance and even damage other components of your dishwasher if not addressed promptly.

5. Where can I find a replacement heating element?

You can find replacement heating elements at appliance stores, online retailers, or by contacting your dishwasher’s manufacturer for genuine parts.

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