Dishwasher Heating Element Failure?

lilacious_in_nycDecember 19, 2012

My 7 year old Danby 18" dishwasher has been inconsistent lately. It wouldn't dispense soap, would get stuck on a cycle. It would just keep washing unless I manually turned it off and selected the lowest 7 minute cycle - which was the only cycle that would complete.
I checked the soap dispenser and expanding wax nub that releases the catch, works fine.
Replaced the control panel. The soap now dispenses, but the washer still gets stuck on a cycle, endlessly washing washing washing. Someone suggested the heating element is perhaps the culprit. The dishwasher is perhaps waiting for the water to heat to a certain degree before progressing on.
So here's a picture of the heating element. Is it supposed to look like this? Originally it was all silver, just like the rest of the interior. I've googled this problem quite a bit and can't find an answer. I tried to take out the heating element last night to test with a multimeter, but these 18" dishwashers are packed in tight below. I couldn't twist my hands nor my tools right!

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Well, will the element get hot during the main wash? If not, you assumption about a (never ending) heating delay would be correct.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Well, I guess it depends on how smart it is. My KA will throw a code and quit if the heating element doesn't work, or the water doesn't heat to the desired temperature in the fixed amount of time.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Can't say about your model but I have a Danby countertop unit. The timer is mechanical. When heating is enabled, the timer stalls at the heating increment until the thermostat is satisfied. Heating for the wash period can be turned off via a panel button, but I believe the final rinse always heats regardless of the button position.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:19PM
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what's that black pimple on the heater in middle ?

Coil doesn't look good, but your issue could also be a pressure switch too.

I recall these units as costing 300-400 bucks. At that price I'm of the mind to call it disposable and not worth fixing, especially if you can't even get the coil out. Service call is going to run approx. $200 plus parts.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:44PM
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that element just looks bad to me.... I would say if you can remove the machine and check the element then replace it if bad yourself for a reasonable price then you should do that. but if you have to call for service in my experience how ever limited it might be if the estimate is going to be over half the cost to replace with a new machine its not worth it just get a new one.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Replaced the heating element and success! The machine runs just fine with old control panel. A 9 dollar part, some elbow grease, and I don't contribute to the ever growing landfill.
Thanks to all for your input!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:17PM
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