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Dishwasher Keeps Stopping

If your dishwasher keeps stopping before it’s completed a full cycle, it can be frustrating. You now have to figure out if it’s a small problem that you can fix or if it’s time to replace the whole device.

To fix a dishwasher that keeps stopping, check to see if the door is securely latched. Next, look at the control panel to see if you have power or warning lights. No power means a blown fuse; blinking lights could be a faulty panel. It could also be a problem with the fan assembly, motor, or pump.  

dishwasher door with dirty soap dispenser with caption dishwasher keeps stopping

This article will discuss these issues, as well as:

  • Signs of each problem
  • How to diagnose the issue
  • Helpful resources on how to fix the issue

Check the Door to Make Sure It’s Closed

Before you start breaking your dishwasher down to check internal parts, the first step you should take is to check the door to make sure it’s completely shut. If your latch is broken, your dishwasher will cut off during the cycle. 

You will know it’s the latch that is causing your dishwasher to keep stopping if you can put pressure on the door, and the motor resumes its cycle. To fix the problem, you will need to replace the latch. 

Replacing the latch on your dishwasher is a simple process, and the only tools you will need are screwdrivers. Here’s a helpful video to walk you through the steps of changing your latch:

Examine Fuses and Breaker

Another common reason that your dishwasher cuts off during the cycle could be that you’ve blown a fuse or tripped a breaker. When dealing with a blown fuse or a tripped breaker, your dishwasher will cut off randomly. 

In addition to shutting off, your dishwasher will not resume its cycle, no matter what you try. The first way to tell if you’re dealing with a blown breaker or fuse is to check your panel to see if there are any glowing lights on your control panel.

Darkness across the panel means there isn’t any power getting to your dishwasher. The first thing to check is your fuse box. If your breaker has thrown, simply flipping it back on will make the dishwasher resume. 

Faulty Thermal Fuse

The next step is to check the thermal fuse located behind the control board. Be sure you’ve disconnected the power before disassembling your panel. 

A step by step guide for removing the fuse for testing and replacing can be found here. Or check out this short video that demonstrates how to access and switch out the fuse:

When the problem is your thermal fuse, it’s crucial to figure out what caused the short circuit. Otherwise, it will continue to blow. This fuse is designed to shut off power to protect your dishwasher when it gets too hot. 

If your dishwasher continues to overheat, you can risk damage to more crucial elements of your device, such as your motor, pump, or fan. It might be an error with one of these components that is causing the faulty thermal fuse.

Bad Control Panel

The control panel is what makes your dishwasher run through the cycle. You use this to set the specifics of your cycle. When this part goes faulty, you can experience problems with your dishwasher stopping in the middle of a cycle.

One sign that you’re dealing with a bad control console is blinking lights on the panel. There might not even be any lights glowing at all. 

The first thing you should check is that no child safety lock has been pressed, which is causing your dishwasher not to work. If there is no safety lock, you could have a stuck button.

If all appearances are normal but you’re still dealing with a malfunctioning dishwasher, you can reset the panel. Sometimes, this method helps fix any kinks, and your machine will resume normal functioning.

To reset your dishwasher, unplug the machine from the wall. Keep it unplugged for one minute. Then plug it back into the socket and try running a test cycle. If your device works, then there’s no problem. 

But if the problem continues to persist, you may need to replace your panel. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to remove and replace your dishwasher control panel. 

Malfunctioning Motor or Pump

If you’ve checked all other issues and still haven’t found a solution to why your dishwasher stops running without completing a full cycle, you may have a bad motor or pump. 

Your dishwasher needs plenty of water and adequate pressure to wash your dishes properly. When the pump goes bad, you lose pressure. And without pressure, there’s not enough water to get your dishes clean.

If the motor is going out, your machine will cut off mid-cycle. Over time, it will fail to start altogether. In addition to cutting out, your device may also make loud noises and leak water.

To replace your dishwasher motor and pump watch this helpful video if you’re a visual learner or want to see someone else do it before you attempt it:

Heating Element Has Gone Out

Your dishwasher has a heating element that warms the water and air, so your dishes are cleaned and dried. This metal tube heats up through an electrical current.

When your heating element fails, your dishwasher can stop working mid-cycle. Signs of a broken component include dishes that don’t get dry and water that isn’t heating up. When you open the door, you don’t get hit in the face with a cloud of steam. 

Examine the entire heating coil located at the bottom of your dishwasher. There might be a crack in the element that prevents it from heating up. Make sure you order the proper part for your make and model dishwasher before attempting to install it. 

Replacing a heating element can be done DIY, so you don’t have to hire a professional to fix it. You could also watch this helpful video for a visual walkthrough of the process:

Vent/Fan Assembly Has Messed Up

Another issue that can cause a problem with your dishwasher is when the vent at the bottom of your dishwasher fails. This vent opens to allow the hot air to be pushed out by the fan. 

But when the vent gets stuck closed, the warm air that accumulates during the wash cycle gets trapped. This prevents the dishes from drying properly, and the dishwasher will seem to stop in mid-cycle. 

If the vent is working correctly, it could be an error with the fan. You may need to replace the fan assembly. This video on replacing the vent and fan assembly on a dishwasher is also useful:

In addition to wet dishes, the control panel lights will turn off, and the dishwasher may stop running altogether. Replacing the fan assembly would take you around thirty minutes. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve given you all the reasons why a dishwasher keeps stopping without finishing a complete cycle. As you can see, there are multiple potential causes, so you may need to try a few different tests to determine the cause. 

Most problems can be fixed yourself, with little mechanical experience. We’ve offered helpful step-by-step guides and videos to demonstrate how to replace various parts. You are now ready to solve why your dishwasher keeps stopping. Good luck with your repairs!

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