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Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Heating (Heat Dry Not Working/Heating Element)

I’ve had my Whirlpool dishwasher but now it doesn’t dry during the drying cycle. I looked into how to fix it and it’s actually very simple. Here’s what I found.

A common issue with Whirlpool dishwashers not heating is a faulty heating element. This element is like the sun of the dishwasher universe, providing the warmth needed for both cleaning and drying. If it’s not working, your dishes stay cold and damp. To fix this, you’ll need to test the heating element with a multimeter for continuity and replace it if faulty.

Hand taking clean dishes out of dishwasher

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world of dishwashers. Another potential culprit could be a malfunctioning high limit thermostat. Think of this thermostat as a diligent guardian, ensuring that the heat in your dishwasher doesn’t reach sky-high levels. However, if it’s too cautious and misreads the temperature, it can prematurely cut off the heat. You can test the thermostat with a multimeter and replace it if it’s not functioning correctly.

Lastly, a less talked about but equally important issue could be with the dishwasher’s control board. This board is like the brain of the operation, sending commands to all parts. If it’s not sending signals to the heating element, your dishes will end up chilly and wet. While diagnosing this can be complex, a visual inspection for any signs of burnt connections or components can be a start. If you suspect the control board is the issue, it may need to be replaced or repaired by a technician.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Heating Element Not Working

Person pulling clean dishwasher out of dishwasher

If you get the error code that the heating element is not working it is possible to repair it yourself. However, if you don’t have much experience working with tools you can have a repair guy do it for you. Here’s a summary of what you should do when your Whirlpool dishwasher heating element is not working:

Generally, the heating element will be replaced with a new one. They can be purchased online for roughly $80. To install one yourself is very easy. However, someone with experience working with tools would do it much quicker. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

The old element is unplugged and then unscrewed. After that you simply screw in the new one and plug it in. Below I will explain how to do it step by step. However, it’s important to note that a repairman could install it for you for around $150.

When the heating element is not working there can be a visible crack in the heating element. The heating element is a ring that goes around the bottom of the dishwasher. There can also be a notch on it. Both of these indicate that the heating element needs to be replaced.

If you don’t have good mobility or prefer to have an expert do it, I suggest hiring someone to replace it for you. It’s likely simpler to have them order the replacement element for you.

You need to get underneath the dishwasher with an adjustable spanner which can be difficult to reach. Here’s a video that shows how to replace a broken heating element:

Here’s a summary of the steps:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher at the wall or turn off the fuse at the fuse box
  2. Unplug the heating element by loosening the nuts holding it in place on the underside of the dishwasher.
  3. Pull the element loose and remove it from the dishwasher.
  4. Position the new element where the old one was.
  5. Screw the 2 nuts in on the underside of the dishwasher.
  6. Plug the heating elements back in.
  7. Plug the dishwasher back into the wall, or turn the fuse back on at the fuse box.

You might be interested in other brands of dishwasher not drying.


If a Whirlpool dishwasher is not turning on, the issue may be with the door latch. A broken latch may prevent the dishwasher from starting as a safety measure to avoid running with an open door. To fix this, check the latch for any damage and ensure it clicks into place when the door is shut. If damaged, the latch may need to be replaced to reestablish the connection that signals the dishwasher to start.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Heated Dry Not Working

Hand holding wine glass in front of open dishwasher

The main advantage of a dishwasher is that you don’t need to dry dishes by hand using a tea towel. But, it’s also nice when it works! So, here’s how to fix your Whirlpool dishwasher when the heated dry isn’t working.

The first thing to do is put it into diagnostic mode and see if there are any error messages. Following that visually inspect the heating element for any cracks or knobs. A heating element with a crack or knob needs to be replaced. This will sometimes show up as an error message.

Other times though, once you run the diagnostics mode it will start working again. It kind of does a reset on your dishwasher.

How to put it in diagnostic mode then what to do

  1. Press three buttons one after another except for the power button.
  2. Press the same three buttons in the same sequence.
  3. Again, press the same three buttons in the same sequence.
  4. Some of the lights will be lit up.
  5. It is now in diagnostic mode.
  6. It will check each of the components for errors one by one.

After it has finished it will display the error code on the screen. There is a panel at the front of your dishwasher that will come off if you pry it open with your hands. And inside that space is a sheet of paper that will tell you what all the error codes mean.

Then depending on what the error code is you can do the corresponding repair for it. For example, it may not necessarily be the heating element that is broken.

But, the only way you can know is to run it in diagnostic mode. A full list of all the error codes is also available online on the official Whirlpool website here.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

Close up view of clean utensils in dishwasher

You might have been running your Whirlpool dishwasher without any issues for quite a while but then noticed that the dishes are still wet at the end of the cycle. This typically indicates a problem with the heating element. Here’s how to fix it.

Run the Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode. It is put in diagnostic mode using a special combination of keys on the control panel. As part of diagnostic mode it will test each part of the dishwasher and report where the error is. The heating element can also be inspected and will show signs that it is broken.

The steps to put your Whirlpool dishwasher into diagnostic mode is covered under the heading just above this one that says “How to put it in diagnostic mode and what to do”.

Follow those instructions and then see what it says. After some time around 10 to 20 minutes it will display an error message for what is causing the issue.

The heating element should also have a completely smooth round surface. When there is an issue with the heating element a notch will develop on the surface of the heating element. The heating element can also crack, which will be visible on the otherwise smooth flat surface of the heating element.

Where the heating element is either cracked, has a notch on it, or needs to be replaced because of the error message you receive, then you can replace the faulty heating element very easily.

However, you can have a technician do it for you as well. There is a video near the top of this article that shows how to replace the heating element yourself. Check it out to see if it is within your skill range.

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