April 1, 2014

How to replace a dishwasher thermal fuse

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher thermal fuse

This dishwasher repair guide explains how to replace the bi-metal thermal fuse in the control panel. The thermal fuse is a safety device that shuts power to the controls off— making the control panel unresponsive to commands— if there's a short circuit in the wire harness. The fuse can also blow or trip due to a failure of a major component such as the heating element or pump. You can replace the thermal fuse in less than 30 minutes, using a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

These instructions work for replacing the thermal fuse in Kenmore 665-series, Whirlpool and KitchenAid dishwashers.

Quick links
Tools required
Torx screwdriver
Slot screwdriver
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off electrical power

    Flip the house circuit breaker switch to the Off position to completely disconnect electrical power to the dishwasher (some older homes instead have a fuse that you remove from the fuse box). To verify that power is disconnected, make sure the display on the control panel can't be activated.

  2. 02.

    Release the control panel

    Remove the Torx screws from the inner door panel that secures the control panel to the front of the dishwasher door. 

    Fold the control panel forward and down for access to the thermal fuse. You don't have to completely remove the panel.

    Remove screws from the inner door panel.

    Remove screws from the inner door panel.

    Release the control panel from the dishwasher door.

    Release the control panel from the dishwasher door.

  3. 03.

    Remove the thermal fuse from the control circuit board

    The thermal fuse is mounted on the control board housing. Push down the main release tab to release the fuse from the locking tabs. Pull the thermal fuse forward and out from under the other tabs.

    Release the locking tabs on the thermal fuse.

    Release the locking tabs on the thermal fuse.

    Pull the thermal fuse out of the board.

    Pull the thermal fuse out of the board.

    Remove the wires from the thermal fuse.

    Remove the wires from the thermal fuse.

  4. 04.

    Install the new thermal fuse

    Connect the wires to the new thermal fuse. Position the thermal fuse under the locking tabs and push it into place.

  5. 05.

    Reattach the inner door panel

    Install the screws in the inner door panel. Firmly tighten the screws but don't overtighten, which could strip the threads. 

  6. 06.

    Restore electrical power

    Flip the house circuit breaker switch to the On position to restore electrical power to the dishwasher. The dishwasher display should light up after you restore electricity. Test that the dishwasher control buttons work.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Be sure to use the proper tools and safety equipment notes 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 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: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor 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: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems

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
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How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump and motor assembly

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October 1, 2016
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If your dishwasher fills constantly or won't fill at all, the water inlet valve has failed. You can replace it in about half an hour.

Repair difficulty
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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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