Dishwasher Heating Element Won’t Turn Off: Fix It Yourself!

Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by River Tree Farms

The dishwasher heating element not turning off is a significant problem. Why? Because if it remains hot throughout the wash cycle, things might blow out of proportion inside the dishwasher due to the hot temperatures experienced.

A dishwasher heating element is a metal rod at the bottom of the tub responsible for heating the water for dirt removal and killing germs and bacteria. Depending on the dishwasher model also, it aids in drying the dishes after cleaning.

The dishwasher heating element won’t turn off if the inbuilt sensors located at the control board are defective. Also, if the control board of a dishwasher itself has a problem, the heating element won’t turn off.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about how to fix the heating element problem in your dishwasher and also some tips on how to prevent this particular problem from arising in the first place.

Why won’t my dishwasher heating element turn off?

First, it is good t note that if the dishwasher heating element won’t turn off, the heating element itself is doing its work. That means it is in excellent working condition as it will not do its job if faulty. However, the connections between the dishwasher heating element and the control panel may require replacing the whole heating element system.

Back to our focus, why won’t the heating element turn off?

The heating element will not turn off if the program controlling its function is not working correctly.

A dishwasher has a brain rather than a computerized program in the control panel. The control panel automatically controls how the dishwasher operates once you hit the button to start the cycle.

For some dishwashers model, for example, the control panel has an inbuilt sensor that automatically shuts off the heating element when it achieves the proper boiling point temperatures. So, the dishwasher heating element won’t turn off if the control panel is defective, as there will be no high-temperature sensing.

The main problem is the control panel. You can try some quick fixes before replacing the control panel: Resetting the dishwasher.

How do you reset a dishwasher?

I will give you two methods you can use to reset the dishwasher to find the one that best suits you depending on your dishwasher model.

Method 1 of resetting the dishwasher

  • Unplug the dishwasher/flip the circuit breaker off
  • Let the dishwasher rest for approximately 10 minutes
  • Plug it back

Method 2 of resetting the dishwasher

  • Press the start/cancel button for 3 seconds
  • Repeat the process if the light does not change
  • It gets the dishwasher back to the factory settings

Please note: It is always good to start with the unplugging method, as the other method will return your dishwasher to the manufacturer’s settings, contrary to the usual grounds.

After resetting the dishwasher, check whether the heating element can turn off. If yes, a minor problem at the control board needed just that.

If the dishwasher heating element won’t turn off, the control panel is officially the problem or potentially a wiring failure in the heating element connected with the control panel.

Therefore, you need to replace the control panel, and since it is a sensitive integral part of the dishwasher, you will need an expert to avoid further damage. The expert will also determine if you need to replace the dishwasher heating element.

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

Depending on different dishwasher models, a dishwasher heating element’s average cost is between $ 150 and $ 250. A dishwasher heating element will need replacement whenever it gets faulty, as the dishes will never be clean and bacteria-free without it.

How will you know your dishwasher’s heating element is faulty?

  • The dishwasher is not warm at all after the wash cycle
  • There are dirty dishes at the end of the process. There may be food particles and greasy surfaces.
  • The dishes are cold, especially if you open the dishwasher between the cycles.
  • The dishes are wet, and your model’s heating element is also responsible for drying them dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What controls the heating element in a dishwasher?

The heating element control is at the control panel, which can convert electrical energy into heat energy. It then heats the dishwasher making the water reach the boiling point for easy sanitization of the dishes.

Why does my dishwasher keep running?

Your dishwasher keeps running because it has a faulty control panel interfering with the heating element, the thermal start, or the timer motor. All these synchronize to complete a cycle and stop until ordered otherwise.

Can you run a dishwasher with a broken heating element?

Yes, you can, but using a dishwasher will not make sense. The dishes might still be dirty and greasy due to the cold water wash. You will also need extra time to dry them.

How much does it cost to replace a dishwasher control panel?

The dishwasher’s control panel ranges between $200 and $500, depending on the dishwasher model. Looks expensive? Yes! Because it is the brain of your dishwasher!


If you don’t want your dishwasher to become a sauna, you must fix it immediately.

Dishwashers’ heat elements design is to heat water and dry the dishes. You may find information that the heating element is supposed to remain on for a few minutes after the cycle is over to make sure it does not cool abruptly and cause your dishes to break.

However, there is a problem if the dishwasher heating element won’t turn off when the water temperatures are achieved or sometimes after the wash cycle.

We hope this article has helped you to understand the problem and probably fix it!