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Dishwasher Heating Element Not Working: How to Fix?

Dishwashers are appliances that can clean plates and cutlery, cooking utensils, and other kitchenware like dishes and pots and pans automatically.

A mechanical dishwasher uses a spray of hot water to clean the dishes, with adjustable temperatures for washing fragile items. On the other hand, when doing dishes by hand, a lot of physical scrubbing is required to get rid of dirt.

Even though they are designed to be watertight, dishwashers do not actually accumulate any water inside of them. Only a small basin at the very bottom of the container fills up.

There, elements that generate heat bring the temperature of the water up to between 130 to 140-degree fahrenheit. The sanitize setting on a dishwasher uses very hot water to get rid of any bacteria, allergens, or germs that are still on your dirty dishes.

Even though new technology has given us all some great features for our dishwasher machines, it can also have some problems. Though the main part of the machine is still simple and easy to figure out.

Here, we’ll talk about some interesting things you might not know about dishwashers. Then, we’ll try to figure out why the dishwasher heating element is not working and how to fix it.

Dishwasher heating element not working

In most cases, the heating element in the dishwasher doesn’t work because it wasn’t loaded right. You have to load it right for it to work. The heating element doesn’t make the water hot. Instead, it keeps the water at the same temperature. Replace the heating element if it’s not heating properly.

When your dishes are still wet after a full cycle and water is coming out of your dishwasher, you can be sure that the heating element is broken. The heating element is working well if the dishes come out hot and the core of the dishwasher is hot. The major causes are as follows:

Using hard water:

Hard water makes lime build up faster on the heating element, which stops it from working. When there are a lot of impurities in the water, like salts of calcium and magnesium, the water is called “hard water.” It doesn’t work very well with the soap. As was already said, it speeds up the rate at which the heating element’s surface rusts and forms lime. When you heat the hard water, the salts in it break down. On the heating element, calcium starts to build up.


As time passes, it takes up sodium and begins to transform into a solid form of lime. The temperature of the air or the water is not sufficient to cause the water droplets to evaporate, so the plates are always left damp after each cycle. So you should clean it.

Short circuit:

When there is too much current because of an energy surge or constant high voltage, your heating element short circuits. In some places, energy surges happen often.

Usually, they can be seen when there is a storm, a lot of rain, etc. All of these cause a high voltage to flow through every appliance that is plugged in, which shorts them out.

Most electrical appliances, like dishwashers, have a safety fuse that keeps them from being damaged by sudden power surges. Sometimes the overflow is so strong that the current damages the wiring inside the appliance before the fuse can break the circuit. This is called a short circuit.


In the case of the dishwasher, a short circuit can cause not only the heating element but also the entire dishwasher to stop working. It is contingent on the make and model, as well as the quantity of electrical overflow.


If the heating element sustains any kind of damage, it will immediately stop working. It could have been caused by direct force applied to the bottom of the dishwasher, a surge in energy, rusting, or any number of other things.

After that, it turns into a threat to public safety. This issue manifests itself most frequently in households that also contain young children and animals.

If you found your child near your dishwasher, and it stopped working after that, you know exactly who the little devil is that was responsible for this malfunction.


It is in your best interest to refrain from using the dishwasher and get assistance from a trained professional.

Why is my dishwasher heating element not working after replacing?

The heating element may still not work because you aren’t using soft water or because there is a short circuit. It is an easy and reliable way to test how well the heating element works. So you should take care.

Moreover, the part of the dishwasher that heats the water is very reliable. It works perfectly for a long time and doesn’t need much care. Some careless things can cause the heating element to stop working. But they are easy to avoid by just changing it.

When your dishes are still wet after a full cycle and water is coming out of your dishwasher, you can be sure that the heating element is broken. The heating element is working well if the dishes come out hot and the core of the dishwasher is hot.

How do I know if my dishwasher heating element is broken?

If your heating element is broken, you’ll notice it during the wash cycle if you use hot or warm water, or during the drying cycle if you use heat to dry your dishes. So, your dishes won’t be as clean as they usually are because the water won’t stay hot throughout the whole cycle.

However, no one likes a dishwasher when it is malfunctioning; when it is malfunctioning, it transforms from the most popular appliance to the most annoying appliance. Besides, the most common issue homeowners encounter with their dishwashers is a malfunctioning heating element.

Since the heating element does not actually heat the water, its primary function is to simply keep the water at a hot temperature. The other purpose that it serves is to speed up the process of evaporation by increasing the temperature of the air within the unit while the drying cycle is in progress.

How much does it cost to replace the heating element in the dishwasher?

The price range for replacing a dishwasher’s heating element is between $150 and $300. Depending on what is wrong with the heating element, the dishwasher cycle may still operate, but the dishes will not be dried or thoroughly cleaned.

Whirlpool dishwasher:

If you find that the dishwasher is not warm immediately after a cycle, then it is possible that the heating element is not working properly. A Whirlpool dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $150 and $250 to replace. 

Bosch dishwasher:

Most of the time, it costs between $150 and $250 to replace the heating element in a Bosch dishwasher.

GE dishwasher:

GE dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $140 and $220 to replace.

Kitchenaid dishwasher:

Kitchenaid dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $150 and $250 to replace.

Zanussi dishwasher:

A Zanussi dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $150 and $250 to replace.

Hotpoint dishwasher:

You have to spent 90-120$ in order to replace a heating element in a Hotpoint dishwasher.

Amana dishwasher:

Amana dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $150 and $220 to replace.

Beko dishwasher:

Beko dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $140 and $220 to replace.

Fridgidaire dishwasher:

Fridgidaire dishwasher’s heating element usually costs between $100 and $200 to replace.

How do you reset the heating element on a dishwasher?

Even though a dishwasher’s heating element is usually a very reliable part, it can burn out or have a problem with its wiring or electricity. You can follow some steps to get it going again.

Check the circuit breaker:

When these switches detect a significant increase in power in the primary electrical supply, they cut off the electrical current. It is a modest investment with enormous potential returns, as it protects not only your home’s electronic devices but also the entire building.

Unplug your dishwasher:

It prevents electrical overflow, which could damage your dishwasher as well as other appliances. It is also helpful in reducing the amount of money you spend on your electric bill. Even when they are not actively being used, the vast majority of electrical appliances, including dishwashers, still use a negligible amount of energy.

Reset the heating element:

Press and hold the button on the bottom of the thermostat for 10 to 15 seconds, and then let go. If you push this button, the thermostat will go back to its original settings. Put the panel on the dishwasher again.

Final Thoughts

Typically, the heating element doesn’t function because it was improperly loaded. You need to load it right to work. Water doesn’t get hot because of the heating element. Instead, it keeps the temperature of the water the same. If the heating element isn’t working right, you should replace it.