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Kenmore Dishwasher Keeps Tripping Breaker/Blowing Fuse

A Kenmore dishwasher works well to clean and dry your dishes when needed. However, you know something is wrong when your circuit breaker or fuse keeps breaking, rendering your dishwasher unusable. This article explores a number of reasons why this might be happening so that you will know how to fix your Kenmore Dishwasher.

A Kenmore dishwasher will trip your breaker when there is excessive current detected in the dishwasher’s circuits, usually caused by damaged wires or parts. The thermal fuse will blow in response to excess temperatures. This can also be due to excess current or a heating element that won’t turn off.

Repairman working the back of a dishwasher

I will explain in more detail which components can cause your circuit breaker to trip and why the heating element will not turn off. You may appreciate the role of the thermal fuse more when you understand the consequences of your dishwasher overheating.

Kenmore Dishwasher Keeps Tripping Breaker

Fuse breaker box

A circuit breaker is designed to prevent excessive amounts of electricity flowing through the wiring in your house. If the voltage and current is too high, the wires can heat to a dangerous level that has the potential to cause a fire.

Your dishwasher, and all other appliances in the home, are designed to place a certain amount of resistance on the electricity circuit to prevent overload. More resistance means less electricity can flow through the circuit.

If there is an electrical fault causing a short circuit, a low-resistance pathway is created for electricity to flow, which increases the voltage and current. This circuit then reaches dangerous levels, which triggers the circuit breaker to open the circuit. Once the circuit is open, you will lose power to all appliances connected to the same circuit.

Finding the issue is best done by a certified electrician as they will have all the necessary safety gear. If you decide to explore why your dishwasher is tripping the breaker yourself, it is extremely important to turn off the electricity beforehand. Failing to do so puts you at risk of receiving an electric shock.

There are many wires within the dishwasher, delivering power to all electronic controls. This includes the circuit board, solenoids, heating element, control panel, etc.

Therefore, the problem could be anywhere within the dishwasher’s wiring. However, there are common areas that can cause your breaker to trip, which I will explain below.

External Wiring

One of these areas is the power cable connection. If the power cable is the cause of the electrical trip, this should occur shortly after turning the dishwasher on.

Sometimes the exposed portion of wire can melt, welding together. This creates a connection between the earthing wire and the live wire, forming a short circuit.

This connection can also be created by contact with water, such as a leak from the dishwasher. If this is the case, you will need to find the source of the leak before trying to fix the short circuit issues. If you notice water around or under your dishwasher, below are the most common causes for a leak.

· Dishwasher is not level

· Compromised door seal

· Leaking drain pipe or water inlet valve

· Blocked filter

· Broken pump


A Kenmore dishwasher soap dispenser not working can often be due to soap buildup blocking the dispenser mechanism. Over time, detergent can form clumps that prevent the dispenser door from opening. Clean the dispenser thoroughly with hot water and a soft brush to remove buildup. Regular cleaning can prevent soap from clogging the mechanism and ensure it operates correctly.

Circuit Board

You may also have an issue with your circuit board. The wiring on a circuit board is so fine that it is very sensitive to overheating or moisture. This circuit board is located in the dishwasher door near the control panel.

If you have a compromised door seal, moisture may have entered the internal door compartment and short-circuited the circuit board. Excessive heat can also melt the wires, creating bad connections.

You should be able to see damage or moisture if you inspect the circuit board. If this is your problem, your dishwasher could trip the breaker at any time because it controls all functions.

Heating Element

The heating element can also become damaged and trip your circuit breaker. Sometimes this may be damage to the element itself or damage to the wire connections. Either way, you should notice the breaker trip when the element is turned on.

During a normal cycle, the dishwasher will empty water into the tub before turning the heating element on. This means that there will be a delay before the breaker is tripped and you should hear the water running into the dishwasher first. A damaged or faulty element will need to be replaced.

Pump Motor

If the motor in the pump is malfunctioning, this can also cause a short circuit. Unfortunately, a pump/motor also needs to be replaced if faulty.

The motor functions when water is pumped around the dishwasher and also when the water is drained. If the motor trips the breaker when pumping water around the tub, this will also occur after the water has entered the dishwasher.

Kenmore Dishwasher Keeps Blowing Fuse

Dishwasher door that is being repaired

A fuse is made up of a delicate piece of wire connected to the main circuit of an appliance. This wire is designed to break when subjected to a maximum current (in an electrical fuse) or temperature (in a thermal fuse). Once the wire connection is broken, the circuit is open and the appliance can no longer function.

Kenmore dishwashers have a thermal fuse, located on the circuit board, which prevents the circuit from overheating. They are designed to be one-use-only, so need to be replaced once they are blown. When the fuse blows, the dishwasher will turn off immediately and will not turn back on until the fuse has been replaced or bypassed.

There are a number of reasons why a thermal fuse would keep blowing, which have been outlined below. All of these relate to the temperature rising in the dishwasher. A thermal fuse is useful in heated appliances because they can still overheat without having excess current running through the circuitry.

Too Much Electrical Current

Although thermal fuses are primarily designed to blow when subjected to high temperatures, these high temperatures can still be caused by excessive electrical currents running through the dishwasher circuit. More current produces more heat, which is why overloaded wires can become burnt on circuit boards.

Therefore, any of the wiring issues that can trip your circuit breaker can also blow the thermal fuse in your dishwasher. In the case of an electrical overload, you may notice burn marks on the control board. This will indicate that you need to investigate the electrical components mentioned above.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 19, 2021.

Heating Element Overheating

The heating element is designed to be turned on and off, depending on how hot the water is within the dishwasher. The element itself cannot detect when to turn off, but must receive a signal from the circuit board. The circuit board knows when to send this signal due to the thermostat that is measuring the water temperature.

Therefore, if there are any mixed signals coming from the circuit board to the heating element, the water may heat up to unsafe temperatures. This will cause the thermistor to blow.

It could also be due to a broken thermostat, which is not registering that the water is hot enough. In this case, the signal is not sent to the control board to turn off the heating element.

If your thermal fuse is breaking continuously from excessive water temperatures, you should start to notice the effects of these high temperatures. You will notice that your dishes are too hot to touch after the cycle has completed, or that some dishes are cracking under the intense heat. Plastics, in particular, will melt and be irreversibly damaged.

Interestingly, water that is too hot can affect the performance of the dishwasher. High temperatures can break down the enzymes in your detergent too quickly, meaning they do not clean the dishes as thoroughly. Hot water also increases the chances of limescale building up in the dishwasher.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on July 19, 2021.

Therefore, the thermal fuse not only protects the dishwasher from internal damage or fire. It also enhances the performance of the dishwasher by ensuring that the water temperature does not exceed ideal levels when the heating element has not been switched off.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on July 19, 2021.

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