October 1, 2016

How to replace a dishwasher overfill float switch

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher overfill float switch

This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the overfill float switch. The overfill float switch trips to shut the water fill valve if the water level gets too high. If the switch fails, it either won't shut off the water, or it won't let the dishwasher fill at all. In either case, you can correct the problem by replacing the float switch with a manufacturer-approved dishwasher part.

These instructions are for Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, JennAir and Amana dishwashers. You also can use the same basic procedure to replace the overfill float switch in some GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Samsung models.

A broken overfill float switch is just one of a few reasons a dishwasher won't fill with water. To pinpoint why a dishwasher won't fill, see the Dishwasher Not Filling troubleshooting video.

Quick links
Tools required
Nut driver set
Torx screwdriver
Slot screwdriver
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a dishwasher overfill float switch video.

How to replace a dishwasher overfill float switch 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 door panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the outer 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 overfill float switch

    Release the left locking tab on the overfill float switch housing and open the left side cover.

    Unplug the wire harness from the connector.

    Release the right locking tab on the float switch housing and open the right side cover.

    Remove the overfill float switch.

    PHOTO: Pull out the overfill float switch.

    PHOTO: Pull out the overfill float switch.

  5. 05.

    Install the new overfill float switch

    Insert the new overfill float switch and close the right side cover.

    Plug in the wire harness.

    Close the left side cover.

    PHOTO: Install the new dishwasher overfill float switch.

    PHOTO: Install the new dishwasher overfill float switch.

  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.

    Tip: Use the longer screws to secure the control panel.
    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 to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the 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 should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

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

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 door latch assembly

If the dishwasher door doesn't click shut, a broken door latch is a likely cause. Follow these instructions to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a dishwasher user interface control

The user interface control houses the selection buttons and display. If it fails, you can't select the cycle and settings. Follow these instructions to replace it yourself.

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

A completely dead control panel often indicates that the thermal fuse on the electronic control board is blown; follow these steps to replace a blown thermal fuse in your dishwasher.

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.

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Dishwasher has power but won't run? Could be demo mode

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This list shows how to disable the demo mode on a variety of dishwashers.