What to Check When a Dishwasher is No Longer Drying Dishes


Are you opening your dishwasher at the end of a cycle to a bunch of still wet dishes? While it is not exactly the worst problem in the world to have, if your dishwasher was previously finishing with dry dishes, this new moisture is certainly a sign of a problem. Typically when this happens, there is a small handful of malfunctions that can manifest this issue.\

Water Temperature

A dishwasher needs to be around 120 degrees F to properly clean and dry the dishes. Some designs, like Bosch or Asko or some Jenn-air models, rely on the water temperature to dry the dishes properly. You may need to investigate your hot water heater or the line running to the water heater.

Heating Element

The first thing you will want to check is the heating element in your dishwasher. If your dishes are coming out wet and cold, it is likely the result of this part failing. The heating element is also responsible for heating up the wash water to the appropriate temperature, so if it is not functioning, you may also notice dirtier dishes coming out of the dishwasher as well.

High Limit Thermostat

If you have tested the heating element and found it functioning, it could be that the high limit thermostat has been tripped. This part is designed to trip in case the dishwasher gets too hot so as to prevent a fire. If it is malfunctioning, it may be cutting the power to the heating element. If this is the case, you will also want to look into what is causing the dishwasher to overheat.

Rinse Aid Dispenser

Are your dishes warm after the cycle, but still wet? It is possible that you are either out of rinse aid or the dispenser is no longer functioning. What rinse aid does is help your dishes shed water easier. This means they dry faster and produce fewer water spots. Without rinse aid, you will likely notice wet dishes after the wash cycle finishes. After checking to see if rinse aid is present, you will want to remove the dispenser and check it for clogs.

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