October 1, 2016

How to replace a dishwasher high-limit thermostat

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher high-limit thermostat

This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the dishwasher high-limit thermostat. The high-limit thermostat at the bottom of the dishwasher tub shuts off the heating element when it detects water temperature above 207 degrees Fahrenheit. A defective high-limit thermostat trips at a cooler temperature, preventing the heating element from heating. You can check for electrical continuity through the high-limit thermostat using a multimeter. If you measure no continuity when there’s no water in the tub, the high-limit thermostat tripped well below its set point and is defective. Replace the defective high-limit thermostat with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use these steps to replace the high-limit thermostat in Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, JennAir and Amana dishwashers. You also can use the same basic procedure to replace the high-limit thermostat on some GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Samsung and LG dishwashers.

Quick links
Tools required
Nut driver set
Torx screwdriver
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a dishwasher high-limit thermostat video.

How to replace a dishwasher high-limit thermostat video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off electrical power

    Unplug the dishwasher or shut off the house circuit breaker for the dishwasher.

    To verify that power is disconnected, make sure the control panel doesn’t light up when you press a control button or the power button.

    PHOTO: Shut off the house circuit breaker.

    PHOTO: Shut off the house circuit breaker.

  2. 02.

    Remove the outer door panel and control panel

    With the dishwasher door open, remove the Torx screws from the inner door panel. Support the outer door panel with one hand as you remove the final 2 screws so the outer door panel doesn't fall.

    Separate the outer door panel and control panel slightly from the inner door panel, and rest the outer panel on the floor while you disconnect the user interface control wire harness from the control panel.

    Pull off the outer door panel and control panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the outer dishwasher door panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the outer dishwasher door panel.

  3. 03.

    Remove the bottom front access panel and toe panel

    Using a nut driver, remove the screws that hold the bottom front access panel and toe panel in place.

    Pull the access panel and the toe panel forward and remove them.

    PHOTO: Remove the toe panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the toe panel.

  4. 04.

    Remove the high-limit thermostat

    Pull the wires off the high-limit thermostat.

    Release the mounting bracket from the dishwasher frame and pull out the metal mounting bracket along with the high-limit thermostat.

    Pull the high-limit thermostat out of the mounting bracket.

    PHOTO: Remove the high-limit thermostat.

    PHOTO: Remove the high-limit thermostat.

  5. 05.

    Install the new high-limit thermostat

    Push the new high-limit thermostat into the mounting bracket.

    Reinstall the mounting bracket with the new high-limit thermostat into the dishwasher frame.

    Connect the wires to the new high-limit thermostat.

    PHOTO: Install the new high-limit thermostat.

    PHOTO: Install the new high-limit thermostat.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the bottom front access panel and toe panel

    Position the toe panel on the dishwasher and then position the access panel in front of the toe panel. Insert the mounting screws and tighten the screws firmly.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the toe panel.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the toe panel.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the outer door panel and control panel

    Position the outer door panel and control panel close enough to the inner door so you can reconnect the user interface control wire harness.

    Reconnect the user interface control wire harness and attach the outer door panel and control panel to the inner door panel.

    Reinstall the mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the outer door panel.

    PHOTO: Reinstall the outer door panel.

  8. 08.

    Restore electrical power

    Reset the house circuit breaker or plug in the dishwasher to restore electrical power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor failure, control system problem
Main causes: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem
Main causes: glass or popcorn kernel stuck in the chopper blade, drain line vibrating against the cabinet, debris in wash pump or drain pump
Main causes: not using rinse aid, rinse aid dispenser failure, broken heating element, malfunctioning vent, drying fan failure

Repair guides common to all dishwashers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dishwasher.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher vent and fan assembly

If the control panel goes blank, the fan could be to blame. Replace the vent and fan assembly using these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher detergent dispenser

Dishes need dish detergent to get clean. Learn how to replace a dishwasher detergent dispenser with easy step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher lower spray arm

If the lower spray wash arm is damaged, you can install a new one in just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dishwashers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dishwasher.

June 19, 2019

How to load a dishwasher video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out where dishes should go, as well as what never to put in a dishwasher.

September 29, 2016

Dishwasher detergent cup not opening video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Overloading the detergent dispenser, using clumpy soap and a broken actuator are reasons why the dispenser won't open.

January 16, 2015

How to fix rust spots on a dishwasher dishrack video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

It’s easy to get a newer looking dishrack!