Solutions to Dishwasher Not Heating – Home Guide Corner

A dishwasher is a machine that has become a big help for many working people. Whatever models are available on the market, dishwashers have made it easy for many to wash their dirty dishes after a long tiring day at work.

However, trouble may arise when the dishwasher does not heat properly during the cleaning process. Some prefer cold water to hot water; however, the trouble with cold water is that it may take more time to dry and be less effective when cleaning your dishes. That is why a lot of people use hot water.

broken dishwasher

Heating problems can arise from things like a broken heating element or uncontrolled water temperature. You can often fix and troubleshoot a few problems on your own, but sometimes it might require more than a DIY job. You might need to call a technician because it can sometimes get complicated, as seen in this video.

So how does one determine if the dishwasher isn’t heating well? Here are a few possible reasons why and how you can fix them.

Heating Element

heating element

First, check the heating element. This turns off and on to control how hot or cold the water is when washing and drying the dishes. Use a multimeter to help determine if it’s functional. The measurement should read between 15 and 30 ohms, with 30 ohms being the highest.

Faulty wires can also be the cause of the heating element problem. To check this, turn the power off, close the water supply valve, remove the panel, and inspect the wires for wear and fray. Replace as necessary. Screw everything back in, turn the water supply valve back on, and turn the power back on. Then you can run a small test load to check for heat.

Thermostat problems

The thermostat determines the water temperature the machine will use. You can choose hot or cold water by adjusting the thermostat. Usually, this temperature gets adjusted to accommodate the load size, how dirty the dishes are, or if you are washing pots and pans.

If the thermostat has a problem, it will not adjust the water temperature. You can check the thermostat by using a multimeter to determine the problem. A high limit thermostat will prevent the dishwasher unit from overheating. These are easy to replace and generally affordable. The only challenge is to get the thermostat underneath the dishwasher, so it is best to remove it carefully and correctly. Don’t forget to close the door of the dishwasher once you fix the thermostat.

Faulty High-Pressure Switch

The main job of the high-pressure switch is to signal the heating system to warm the water. If certain food debris, such as grease or fat, block the high-pressure switch, it won’t function properly, and the water will not heat up.

Depending on the location of the high-pressure switch, you can clean it by removing the part and washing it with soap and water. If you need to replace it, head to the hardware store or check with your brand provider to replace the high-pressure switch.

Wrong Dishwasher Water Cycling Setting

dishwasher water cycling setting

Dishwashers have many different setting options, which can sometimes affect how the dishes are dried. You can check the settings on the control panel label and look for the appropriate buttons. Then, make sure that you’ve set it to the correct setting for it to run as you’d like it.

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Drain Filter Clog

A clogged filter can be another reason why your dishwasher is not heating up. The filter traps scraps or food debris that remain after a wash cycle. If the filter is clogged, it can prevent the motor’s power from being reduced and affect the ability to heat the water supply. At this point, it may need to be cleaned or even replaced.

To check the filter, remove it from the dishwasher after closing the water supply. After cleaning or replacing it, put the filter back in, turn on the power, and test the heating element again by starting a small load.

Proper Plumbing

Installing the dishwasher is not just about installing it in the kitchen. It also needs the right plumbing, so placement is crucial. You’ll need to screw in the parts, install the hose, and inspect the water supply. These are all important factors to make sure that your dishwasher will heat the water correctly.

Before the plumbing:

  1. Check the dishwasher model by looking at the unit and manual that came with your appliance.
  2. Put it together and connect it to the plumbing per the instructions.
  3. Once installed, test the dishwasher and the water temperature to determine if the hot water or cold water is working correctly.
  4. Do a last-minute check on the pipes to avoid any water leakage and determine if there are any defects or necessary repairs.

Check the Washing Program

Some dishwashers have many wash settings and programs. The temperature sensor controls the water temperature set by the program while washing. Sometimes, an accidental bump might change your default wash program.

It’s pretty easy to miss this small mistake and end up with a cold wash cycle. Double-check that it’s on the program of your choice and wait for the dishwasher to do its magic.

Defective Temperature Sensor

A defective temperature sensor will not give you the right water temperature to use for your dishwasher. Suddenly, the hot water may be too hot or not hot at all.

Check the temperature sensor for correct functionality when using hot or cold water. For example, does your dishwasher feel cold when it’s set to heated dry? Or do your dishes feel hot when you’ve programmed the cycle to be cold? If this is the case, it’s likely the sensor you’ll need to replace.

Damaged Electrical Wires

Another possible reason why the dishwasher isn’t heating is that the electrical wires are badly damaged. Damaged wires will definitely prevent the unit from providing hot water.

You will need to replace defective wiring immediately. Double-check the size of the wiring if you’ll be repairing this yourself. Once you have changed out the wire and reassembled everything, do a test run and try to wash a small load of dishes. Try different temperature settings to see if the programs are working correctly.

Check The Compression Chamber

check the compression chamber

A blocked compression chamber will likely send erroneous signals to the pressure switch, which might prevent water regulation. To clean the compression chamber, you have to remove a small pipe and unplug it.

After that, Use a syringe filled with water to remove the dirt inside the compression chamber. After the blockage is clear, you will need to dry it before reassembly. You can do this with a blow dryer or similar appliance. Then, replace the small pipe and assemble it back with the rest of the components.

Circuit Board Defect

Your dishwasher has a circuit board that manages the control switch functions to regulate the heating element and water supply. This includes the motor, access, terminals, and all the mechanisms inside.

Like any appliance, it is important to see if the circuit board is working. A defective circuit board can cause a low hot water supply, inconsistent heating, and wash cycle problems.

Suppose that the circuit board does need to be replaced. It’s probably best to head over to the nearest hardware store or your dishwasher supplier. Do not forget to consult with a technician or repairman as it may require more specialized techniques and knowledge.


Overall, fixing a dishwasher that is not heating right can be quite a challenge. Remember: Always keep it clean and do routine maintenance checks. When you are unsure what is wrong, it’s time to call for help and have it repaired by an expert.

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