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What to Do if Your Dishwasher Keeps Running?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Apr 09, 2024 | Written by Olga Larina

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

Wasting water, electricity, and time on a dishwasher that keeps running even hours after starting the load can be infuriating. Luckily, there are common problems that you can identify and use to fix your dishwasher that won’t turn off.

Since the average Energy Star dishwasher uses up to 3 gallons of water at a time for a normal wash, the waste of water can start to add up. Take the time to go through a list of common causes and actions to take for a dishwasher that keeps running and save yourself some time and money.

In short, try unplugging your dishwasher for a short while to reset it if it is running nonstop. Check for any clogs in the drain hose, spray arms, or filters if that doesn’t work. Ensure that the sensors, like the float switch and door switch, are undamaged. If you’re unsure, consider testing the water inlet valve for any faults. If the issue persists, read our article to learn more about what to do if your dishwasher keeps running and what you can do about it.

Common Causes for the Dishwasher to Keep Running

If you have a dishwasher that keeps running, the chances are that you are beginning to worry about the cost of energy and water that you are wasting, not to mention the repair costs. Luckily, our team has compiled a list of the most common causes of a dishwasher running too long. These causes are listed below:

Reason 1: Timer Motor Problems

The timer motor is the mechanism that lets the rest of the washer know when it is time to start and stop the washing cycle. If the timer motor is on the fritz, it may need to be cleaned or replaced. A faulty timer motor is the most common cause of a dishwasher that keeps running.

Reason 2: Heating Element Issues

The cycles of your dishwasher rely on the previous cycle to end before the next begins. If you have a faulty component in one part of the cycle, it may not signal the next cycle to begin. This keeps the dishwasher stuck in a single cycle, unable to switch off and unable to move on to the rest of its washing cycles.

The heating element is one of the most common faulty mechanisms within a dishwasher cycle that runs too long. If the cycle isn’t getting to the correct temperature, the next cycle will never be signalled to begin, and your dishwasher will continue in the current cycle.

Reason 3: Thermostat Is Acting Up

The next mechanism that can cause a dishwasher that won’t stop running is a thermostat that is acting up. Even if the heating element is working, if the thermostat is not reading the cycle’s temperature correctly, the next cycle will never be signalled to start. The dishwasher will continue in one cycle forever.


Actions to Take for a Dishwasher that is Running Too Long

If your dishwasher won’t stop running, you need to diagnose and fix the problem A-S-A-P. The fine-tuned dishwasher relies on the components of cycles working together, and when one of these components gets out of whack, it can cause a dishwasher to run too long.

When working on your dishwasher, unplug it before starting work to stay safe and avoid electrocution. Below are some of the most common ways to troubleshoot and fix the causes of a dishwasher that won’t stop running:

Step 1: Check the Timer Motor Wiring

If the timing motor is causing the issue, you’ll need to access the motor assembly and employ a multimeter to verify whether the wiring is receiving power. If it isn’t, you’ll have to replace the timer motor.

To get access to the timer motor, open the control panel. The control panel has an assembly box with screws that you must remove. The timer motor has two wires at the top of the motor. Test both of these with the multimeter, and if you get an infinity reading on either one, replace the timer motor.

Step 2: Check the Heating Element Terminals

If you have an electric stovetop, you will understand what a heating element looks like. The large metal rod curved at the bottom of the dishwasher has two terminals connecting it to the power that heats it up.

Disconnect the heating element from the terminals and then use the multimeter to test the terminals for continuity. If you get infinite readings on either, use a wrench to remove the terminal nuts and replace the terminals and heating element with a new one to the current dishwasher wiring.

Step 3: Replace the Thermostat

Since a thermostat is such a sensitive component, you will probably need to replace it if it is the issue. To get access to the thermostat, open the control panel. The thermostat is mounted in the control panel with metal brackets. Please remove them and test the wires going to the thermostat. If they are good, replace the thermostat with a new one.

Choose FIX Appliances CA for All of Your Service Needs

Our seasoned team is well-versed in a wide range of dishwasher repairs, utilizing extensive experience and authorized repair services from leading home appliance manufacturers such as MieleBoschLGSamsung and etc. We provide honest and accurate assessments of your appliance issues. A dishwasher that won’t stop running is already costing you money. Stop the bleeding and call us to troubleshoot and fix your appliance with friendly service.

Choosing to work with FIX Appliances CA offers several advantages, including:

  • Experience with all types of appliance problems
  • Free quotes and service call
  • Reliable and friendly service
  • TSSA Licensing
  • Access to original parts and delivery
  • Authorized repair service for 20+ home appliance manufacturers

Appliances like a dishwasher that won’t stop running can cost you your precious time and money. Please take a few minutes to request a service or call our phone number: 1-888-242-0777; there is no need to wait any longer. When you contact FIX Appliances CA, you can rest assured that our team is ready and willing to help you with any of your appliance repair needs.

Date of page creation: July 05, 2020

Page update date: April 09, 2024


What Our Customers Say About Us

Discover how Fix Appliances maintains a 5-star service record since day one.

Work was completed by Dina on our dishwasher that would not drain. Dima was very professional and friendly. Dima explained everything to us in a clear manner and also discussed our options with us. 100 percent satisfied with the service call.

rating  Coach K., Newmarket
Coach K., Newmarket
January 20, 2024

He was very kind and professional! He is good! We are satisfied with his work.

rating  erica_231, Toronto
erica_231, Toronto
January 12, 2024

FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

Signs include excessive water and energy consumption, extended cycle times, and the dishwasher not turning off even after completing a cycle.
The primary culprits are often issues with the timer motor, heating element, and thermostat. These components may need cleaning, replacement, or adjustment.
While some troubleshooting steps can be performed by homeowners, safety is paramount. Always unplug the dishwasher before attempting any repairs and consider seeking professional assistance for complex issues.
To check the timer motor, open the control panel, and use a multimeter to test for power. For the heating element, disconnect it from the terminals and test for continuity using a multimeter.
FIX Appliances CA offers a range of advantages, including extensive experience with various appliance problems, free quotes and service calls, reliable and friendly service, TSSA licensing, access to original parts, and authorization for repairs from over 20 home appliance manufacturers.

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