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A piece of plastic melted on our dishwasher (66515113K216) heating element, and within a few weeks the heating element failed at that spot. We ran the dishwasher without a heating element for a few more months, drying the dishes by hand, before I ordered the replacement part.

Once installed, the new heating element didn’t work. I can’t imagine multiple things failed at once, unless the fault in the old heating element may have “blown” something else.

I replaced the high limit thermostat as it seemed like the most likely culprit, but no joy.

Before I go and replace every part in this dang thing, I’d like to apply a method to my madness. I do have a multimeter, and both new parts seem to conduct just fine (as does the original high limit thermostat, dangit).

Thanks!

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Over the years I have bought brand new heating elements for dishwashers, stoves and water heaters that were no good. Remove the new element and check it for continuity. If you aren't familiar with this type of test, here is a Dishwasher Element Continuity Video. I would also check the resistance of the element. Turn your multi-meter dial to the ohms position. You should get a reading somewhere between 10-30.

Dishwasher Element Continuity Video

The bad element could have caused an overload in the Electronic Control Board. This is the "brain" of the appliance. Remove the inside door cover to expose the wiring and make sure all of the wires are tight and not burnt. Smell the control board and see if you detect any type of electrical burn.

Dishwasher Control Board

  • Thanks! The control board appears intact and fine. Should I test it somehow? All of the help I can find online about control board testing suggests it is a step you take when your dishwasher won't start. Mine does, obviously, but the heating element doesn't turn on. – Teddy Otero Feb 2 at 4:27
  • ... both new parts seem to conduct just fine (as does the original high limit thermostat, dangit)... - - - Does this mean you tested the parts for continuity and resistance? I have updated my answer to explain. – Jerry_Contrary Feb 3 at 13:42
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It was a simple fix, and I probably wasted my money by buying the high limit thermostat. I needed to reset the machine by running the diagnostic cycle. Just pick any three buttons and label them 1, 2, and 3 in your mind, then hit 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 with less than 1 second between presses. This runs a relatively short diagnostic cycle, and the heating element began working again immediately thereafter.

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