Why Is My Dishwasher Not Getting Hot

Having a dishwasher is a convenience that many of us can’t imagine living without. It saves time and effort, but what happens when it’s not doing its primary job – getting your dishes hot and clean? In this article, we will explore the common reasons why your dishwasher might not be heating up as it should and how you can troubleshoot and potentially fix this issue.

Understanding the Importance of Heat in Dishwashers

Before diving into the reasons behind a dishwasher not getting hot, let’s first understand why heat is crucial in the dishwasher’s cleaning process. Dishwashers use hot water to dissolve and remove food particles, grease, and stains from your dishes. The combination of hot water and detergent ensures effective cleaning and sanitization.

Potential Causes for a Dishwasher Not Getting Hot

1. Faulty Heating Element

The heating element in your dishwasher is responsible for heating the water to the desired temperature. If it malfunctions, the water might remain cold throughout the cycle. Inspect the heating element for damage or signs of wear and tear.

2. Thermistor Issues

A thermistor is a temperature sensor that monitors the water temperature in the dishwasher. If it fails, the appliance may not detect when the water has reached the required heat level. This can result in lukewarm or cold water during the wash.

3. Water Inlet Valve Problems

The water inlet valve controls the flow of hot water into the dishwasher. If it’s clogged or malfunctioning, it may restrict the hot water supply, leaving your dishes cold and unclean.

4. Clogged Spray Arms

Clogged spray arms can prevent hot water from reaching all areas of the dishwasher. Inspect and clean the spray arms regularly to ensure proper water circulation and even heating.

5. Low Water Heater Temperature

Sometimes, the issue might not be with the dishwasher itself but with your water heater. If the water heater’s temperature setting is too low, the dishwasher won’t receive hot water. Check your water heater and adjust the temperature if necessary.

6. Overloading the Dishwasher

Overloading the dishwasher with too many dishes can obstruct the flow of water and prevent proper heating. Ensure you load your dishwasher following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

7. Detergent and Rinse Aid

Using the wrong detergent or rinse aid can impact the dishwasher’s performance. Make sure you’re using the recommended products to maximize cleaning efficiency.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

1. Check the Heating Element

If the heating element is damaged, replace it with a compatible part. This should restore the dishwasher’s ability to heat water effectively.

2. Inspect the Thermistor

If the thermistor is faulty, replace it following the manufacturer’s instructions. This should enable the dishwasher to monitor and regulate water temperature correctly.

3. Clean the Water Inlet Valve

Remove any debris or sediment from the water inlet valve to ensure a steady supply of hot water.

4. Maintain the Spray Arms

Regularly clean and unclog the spray arms to allow hot water to reach all areas of the dishwasher.

5. Adjust the Water Heater

Increase the temperature on your water heater to ensure an adequate supply of hot water for the dishwasher.

6. Avoid Overloading

Follow the recommended loading guidelines to allow proper water circulation and heating.

7. Use the Right Products

Ensure you’re using the correct detergent and rinse aid for your dishwasher model.


A dishwasher not getting hot can be frustrating, but it’s a problem that can often be resolved with some troubleshooting and maintenance. By addressing the potential causes mentioned in this article, you can enjoy hot, clean dishes once again.


Why is hot water important in a dishwasher?

Hot water is essential in a dishwasher because it helps dissolve and remove food particles, grease, and stains from dishes effectively, ensuring thorough cleaning and sanitization.

How can I tell if my heating element is faulty?

You can check the heating element for damage or signs of wear. If it’s visibly damaged, it’s likely the culprit behind the dishwasher not heating properly.

What should I do if my water heater temperature is too low?

To address this issue, adjust the temperature setting on your water heater to ensure an adequate supply of hot water to your dishwasher.

Can overloading the dishwasher affect its heating capability?

Yes, overloading the dishwasher can obstruct water flow and prevent proper heating. Follow the manufacturer’s loading recommendations for best results.

What happens if I use the wrong detergent or rinse aid?

Using the wrong products can impact the dishwasher’s performance. Make sure to use the recommended detergent and rinse aid for your specific dishwasher model to maximize cleaning efficiency.

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