My dishwasher uses a Bauknecht 2040W heating element:

enter image description here

Can you test if it's faulty using a continuity test?

If so, is the continuity test between:

  • ground and the positive,
  • ground and the negative, or
  • the positive and the negative?

Testing between positive and negative shows continuity but between either the positive or the negative and ground doesn't.

1 Answer 1


Continuity is "An unbroken electrical path in an electronic circuit or connector[1]". First thing, unplug the dishwasher or if hard-wired turn off the circuit breaker. Unplug the connector to the heating element and then test the contacts on the heating element.

A heating element is a semi-conductive (typically coil) that creates heat as it resists the flow of electricity through it, a.k.a. a resistor. Also, even though there may be a clear positive and negative fed into/through it, a resistor does not have positive and negative terminals so orientation of your testing leads doesn't matter. A conductivity test will provide some feedback, but a resistance test with provide more accurate feedback, set your multimeter to Ohms Ω and check that the value across the heating element is within manufacturer's standards.

Whenever testing a heating element, make sure you are actually testing the element and not a circuit before it that drives it!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuity

  • thanks, i didn't think about seeing if there where was a manu's spec for the resistance. Unfortunately it's ok which means it's something else (that's beyond my capacity to check),
    – Alex
    Jul 29, 2013 at 12:24
  • turns out it was the pump...something that wasn't on the list of things to check with the error Fault the machine was giving.
    – Alex
    Aug 5, 2013 at 15:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.