How to Check the Thermal Fuse on a Dishwasher

If your dishwasher has stopped mid-cycle and appears to have no power, a blown thermal fuse is mostly likely the cause of the problem. In dishwashers the thermal fuse is a safety switch that protects your dishwasher circuit from overloading. A single shorted component can trigger the thermal fuse, cutting off heat and power to your dishwasher. Once triggered, the thermal fuse must be replaced, but before you go to the trouble of replacing the thermal fuse, it's a good idea to be certain it's the cause of your troubles.

Disconnect your dishwasher from its power source before disassembling it to check your thermal fuse. Make sure that all power is disconnected from your dishwasher before proceeding.

Locate the toe panel and access panel at the bottom front of your dishwasher. The toe panel is the panel that goes all the way to the floor. The access panel is located just above and overlaps the top of the toe panel.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen the two toe panel screws located just below your dishwasher's access panel. At this point it is not necessary to remove the toe panel screws completely.

Locate the two screws above the dishwasher access panel. Remove the screws and set them aside until you are finished checking the thermal fuse in your appliance.

Slide the access panel up until it clears the loosened toe panel screws and comes free. Set the access panel aside until you are ready to replace it.

Remove the loosened toe panel screws to free the toe panel. Set the toe panel and screws aside.

Locate your dishwasher's thermal fuse, which is a white plastic component with two wires attached. Disconnect the two wires from the thermal fuse terminals.

Set a multimeter, sometimes called an ohmmeter, to the Rx1 setting to measure resistance. Touch the multimeter leads to each side of the thermal fuse. If the multimeter needle moves to "0," the thermal fuse is still functional. If the multimeter needle fails to move, replace the thermal fuse.


Contact your dishwasher manufacturer for support service if you are apprehensive about troubleshooting your appliance.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Multimeter or ohmmeter
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About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.