April 1, 2014

How to replace a dishwasher timer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher timer

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace a dishwasher timer. The timer is behind the cycle control knob in the control panel. A small electric motor inside the timer advances the control knob and rotates cams inside the timer. The cams turn on and off the electro-mechanical components in the dishwasher such as the wash pump, drain pump, water inlet valve and heating element. Replace the timer with the manufacturer-approved replacement part if it won’t advance or if the cams fail to properly turn on and off components in the dishwasher.

This guide is for GE and Kenmore 363-series dishwashers. You also can use the same basic process to replace the timer in Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Maytag and Amana dishwashers.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Torx 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 (instead of a breaker, some older homes 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.

    Remove the timer knob

    Pull the timer knob straight off of the front of the control panel.

    Pull off the timer knob.

    Pull off the timer knob.

  3. 03.

    Remove the door latch handle knob

    Remove the Phillips screw located under the latch handle knob. Slide the handle knob off the end of the handle.

    Remove the dishwasher door latch handle knob.

    Remove the dishwasher door latch handle knob.

  4. 04.

    Separate the outer door panel from the inner door panel

    Open the door and remove every screw on the inner door panel.

    Shut the entire dishwasher door and latch it.

    Grasp the sides of the outer door panel and pull the outer door panel down to separate the door panels and access the timer that is attached to the outer door panel. The inner door panel will remain closed. 

    Remove the inner door panel screws.

    Remove the inner door panel screws.

    Separate the dishwasher door panels.

    Separate the dishwasher door panels.

  5. 05.

    Remove the timer

    Disconnect the wire harness connector from the timer. 

    Remove the timer mounting screws and remove the timer.

    Unplug the wire harness.

    Unplug the wire harness.

    Remove the mounting screws.

    Remove the mounting screws.

  6. 06.

    Attach wires to the new timer

    Attach the wires to the new timer the same way they were connected to the original timer. 

    Reinstall the timer mounting screws.

  7. 07.

    Reattach the outer door panel to the inner door panel

    Close the outer door so that it mates up with the inner door panel.

    Grasp the inner and outer door panels and open the door. Keep the inner door panel postioned against the outer door panel.

    Line up the mounting screw holes and reinstall the screws that hold the inner door panel and outer door panel together. 

    Tip: The mounting screws that fit in the bottom corners of the door are machine threaded screws. These machine threaded screws must go back into the bottom corners of the inner door panel to properly secure the inner door panel to the door frame.
  8. 08.

    Reinstall the door latch handle knob.

    Slide the latch handle knob back onto the door latch handle and reinstall the screw.

  9. 09.

    Restore electrical power

    Flip the house circuit breaker switch to the On position. 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. 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: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems
Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: not using rinse aid, rinse aid dispenser failure, broken heating element, malfunctioning vent, drying fan failure
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
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

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
April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher door outer panel

If your dishwasher door is dented or you want it to match your cabinets or other appliances, this guide shows how to replace the dishwasher outer door panel.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher control panel

Learn how to replace a dishwasher control panel. Learn which tools and parts you need and get step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 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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