How to test a dishwasher float switch:

Common dishwasher float switch

Use our step-by-step dishwasher repair guide to learn how to test your float switch. Once you have diagnosed the problem we have the OEM replacement float switch that fits your appliance.

Disconnect the power source to your dishwasher before you conduct this or any other test. Either unplug the unit from the wall outlet, remove the appropriate fuse from the fuse box, or flip the appropriate breaker in the circuit breaker panel.

Your float assembly is found inside the dishwasher's tub, on the bottom. The water that fills your dishwasher lifts the float, and when it reaches a certain level, it acts as a trigger for the float switch. The float triggers the float switch to shut off, thereby shutting off the flow of water into the dishwasher. A defective switch may interfere with your dishwasher's filling and/or draining ability.

You can gain access to your switch by removing the lower kickplate panel located just below the dishwasher door. This panel is usually held in place with a few screws. You might need to open the dishwasher door to gain access to and remove the screws. The door will have to be closed again so that you can remove the panel.

A dishwasher's float switch will sit below the float assembly. So find your float assembly inside your dishwasher, and your switch will be located directly below it in the access area. It will likely be either on the left or the right hand side. There are going to be two wires connected to the float switch. They are connected with slip-on connectors. Its a good idea to label these wires so that you are able to correctly reconnect them later. Grasp the slip-on connectors and pull firmly to remove the wires from the switch. Do not pull on the wires themselves. You may want to use a pair of needle nose pliers to help you.

Use your multitester to test the switch. Set the device to the ohms setting x 1. Take each probe and touch them to one switch terminal each. This should produce a reading of either zero or infinity. Continue to touch the probes to the terminals, and press down on the switch's button. The reading should change to the opposite extreme.

If your switch fails either of these tests, you should replace it.

For more information about dishwasher float switches: