How to Replace Your Whirlpool Dishwasher’s Heating Element

If your dishes aren’t getting dry, the heating element might be broken. Some machines will also alert you once the element has shorted out or broken. To replace it in a Whirlpool dishwasher, order part #W10518394 and follow these steps.

1. Unplug the dishwasher and shut off the water supply.

During the course of this repair, you will be uninstalling the dishwasher. It’s essential that both the power source is disconnected and the water supply is shut so there are no leaks.

2. Uninstall the dishwasher.

The brackets holding the heating element in place are in the bottom of the machine. While the part itself is easy to replace, you need to fully uninstall the machine to access it.
First, remove the lower dishrack. Then remove the lower access panel so you can access the water supply connection point. Disconnect the water supply line, and prepare for a bit of water to come out. Also, disconnect the drain line from the garbage disposal and thread it out of the cabinet towards the dishwasher so it won’t pull when you move the machine.
Next, disconnect the wiring by:
  1. removing the terminal block’s cover plate.
  2. taking a picture of the wiring for later.
  3. removing the nuts to separate the wires.
  4. releasing the ground wire
  5. removing the nut holding the wires in place and pulling the wires out of the box.
Remove the mounting screws that hold the dishwasher in place against the underside of your counters. Now you can carefully grab the machine by its sides and start to wiggle the machine free. Once you have a better grip, you can pull the machine fully out.
Place the dishwasher on a large towel and carefully tip the machine on its back so you can access the bottom of it.

3. Remove the heating element.

Find the two mounting brackets near the floor. Disconnect the wires and remove the mounting nuts on each terminal. Any time there is wiring, take a picture before disconnecting it so you can reconnect the wires in the correct positions later.
Then tilt the machine right side up, open the door, and pull out the old heat element.

4. Install the new part.

Slide the new heat element into place with the tabs in the dishwasher. Then push the terminals through the floor.
Once the element is in place, shut the dishwasher and tilt it on its back again. Replace the mounting nuts without overtightening them; this can snap the terminals. Then reconnect the wiring.

5. Reinstall the machine.

Follow the uninstallation steps backward. First, tilt the machine upright and slide it back into place once the tip of the drain hose is back in the adjacent cabinet. Then resecure the mounting screws and ensure the machine is level.
Next, reconnect the drain hose and water supply line. Then reassemble the wiring and tighten the screw around the ground wire. Reattach the plate once the wiring is complete.
Then put the lower access panels back in position. Turn on the water and power.
For more dishwasher and appliance repair procedures, go to Twin Cities Appliance Service here.
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