How to test a dishwasher float

Updated November 21, 2016

Many dishwashers have an overfill protection float that is located on the bottom of the dishwasher tub. The overfill protection float is responsible for the float switch assembly, and if the float gets stuck in position, water may not be able to enter or may leak from the dishwasher. The overfill protection float looks like a small, plastic cone. Testing the overfill protection float to make sure it is able to float freely and is not caught in place can help prevent or resolve leaking or a lack of water filling the unit.

Turn off and unplug the dishwasher.

Pull out the bottom rack and locate the overfill protection float, typically located near the spray arm.

Push down on the float to test whether it can move up and down on the shaft. If the float is stuck, clean away any debris with a clean cloth.

Remove the float from the shaft by pulling gently and use a clean, damp cloth to clean any debris from inside the float. Restore the float on the shaft.

Push down gently on the float to ensure it can move freely. Clean any large debris or items from the bottom of the dishwasher that may inhibit float movement.

Push the bottom rack into place and restore power.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth(s)
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About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.