Burning smell from dishwasher

ApplianceKitchenAid Dishwasher

Model

Level of DifficultyEasy

Time to do repair30 - 60 mins

Age of Appliance1 - 4 years

Tools Screw drivers
Socket set

Jeff From Blaine, WA

Sep 05, 2007

42 out of 46 people found this instruction helpful

So one day passing the dishwasher while it was running, I noticed a rather pungent burning smell. Yikes, I shut it off!
I took apart the pump housing at the bottom inside the dishwasher, expecting to find some kids toy plastic bit had got caught and had jammed the motor or something. But nothing there, and my dishwasher has a little screen to keep just such things from getting to the pump anyway. Hmmm.
So, ran the dishwasher again, seemed ok now.
A week later, same thing, burning smell. Pull it apart again, but no sign of trouble. But I know something is up, so I pull the kickplate and have a look underneath... Way at the back I see a red wire that looks a little melted, but it's hard to tell, so I pull the whole dishwasher out. Sure enough, one of the heater wires is melted and burned, and the plastic locknut holding that side of the heater is badly scorched. Looks like a little electrical fire, I'm lucky it didn't get out of hand!
The heater still tests ok with an ohmeter, but I don't trust it now - order the heater and replacement locknut and washers. Didn't need to order washers, they come with the heater, oh well.
Heater removal and replacement is very straight forward, but I added some high-temp gasket silicone sealant (Ultra Blue) around the seals as I think the original problem may have ben a bit of water leakage causing a short.
Took about an hour to pull the dishwasher out, remove the heater and install the new one, put a new terminal on the heater wire, and put the whole thing back under the counter.
Working great now. But not a problem I expected to have with a 2-year-old dishwasher!

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability

Spring Grip Retainer

Part Number: PS346132

$2.70
In Stock

Rubber Washer

Part Number: PS384970

$3.96
In Stock

Heating Element Nut

Part Number: PS392966

$4.16
In Stock

USE WPL W10082892 (Now subbed to Heating Element)

Part Number: PS2376208

$37.90
In Stock