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I couple weeks ago, I had an electrician come in and remove two wires from two circuit breakers from the main panel. Those circuits power a sub panel across the basement. I found out that sub panel had a circuit breaker for the gas oven/stove and a circuit breaker for the dishwasher. I reconnected the wires to the two circuit breakers on the main panel.

The stove/oven works fine. The dishwasher doesn't turn on.

I bought a new dishwasher, because I thought there was a problem with the dishwasher, but the new dishwasher won't turn on either. I find it unlikely that the old dishwasher stops working at this time AND the new dishwasher doesn't power on, so I'm assuming it's a problem with the electricity.

I have a voltage tester, and it indicated that there was power going to the dishwasher. Would a dishwasher not turn on if there weren't enough amps? I plan on borrowing a multimeter from a friend today to check the amps going to the dishwasher. If there's not enough amps, would I have to run a new line to the dishwasher?

Thanks, Jim

Edit:

I just tested the voltage and it came up with 8 - 11 volts. I checked the outlet next to me (on another circuit) to verify it was working correctly, and it showed 110.

Do I have to rewire?

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    I worked on a circuit where the breaker interrupted the neutral, not the hot wire. So power still reached the appliance, but the appliance would not run. The fix in that case should have been to reverse the wires in the breaker. But the building was torn down for a long list of reasons. – donjuedo Jun 22 '15 at 18:51
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    If the dishwasher is not turning on, you will not be able to measure its current draw. You said you used a voltage tester; instead use the multimeter to measure the actual voltage at the dishwasher connector. It should be approximately 120 volts. If not, you have to determine why. If it is, then you may need to call an appliance repairman (I assume the dishwasher is still under warranty). – Barry Jun 22 '15 at 22:00
  • Just asking the obvious - is there an on/ off switch on the wall for your dishwasher? Mine has one that looks like a regular light switch. I think it's a safety feature so you can manually turn off power to the dishwasher. – chue x Jun 30 '15 at 14:03
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    @Jim - Yes, definitely check your wiring and perhaps contact the electrician again. I'm not sure I understand, though, why it took an electrician to disconnect wires that you took upon yourself to reconnect? Is the dishwasher hardwired or does it have a plug? If it is a plug, test it with another outlet with a heavy-duty extension cord. Also, perhaps post a photo of the open breaker box...? – paulmz Sep 4 '15 at 20:15
  • @chue x - More than likely the switch that controls your dishwasher used to control a garbage disposal. I'm assuming that the switch controls an outlet under your sink, which someone then used that outlet to power the dishwasher. – paulmz Sep 4 '15 at 20:17
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I believe the electrician also disconnected another wire, from the neutral bus bar, in addition to the "two wires from two circuit breakers" you mentioned.

Follow the two you mentioned to where they exit the wall or the main panel and find a third there. That (white) one is probably not connected to anything, but should be connected to the neutral bus bar.

Here is my rational:

Stoves use two hots. Old stoves especially, only use two hots to operate.

Dishwashers need a hot and a neutral.

If the electrician disconnected a sub-panel, he probably did it all the way, not just the hots. You should check for and reconnect an uninsulated ground conductor as well if its loose in the main panel.

If the neutral was not connected, the stove would work, and the dishwasher not.

  • Although I believe this to possibly be a solution; a gas stove (as he mentioned he has) would only be ran with 120V in most cases. So this couldn't be the cause. – TFK Mar 8 '16 at 14:33
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For it to be a sub-panel, it'd need 4 wires running to it: Hot, Hot, Neutral, Ground

I couple weeks ago, I had an electrician come in and remove two wires from two circuit breakers from the main panel. I reconnected the wires to the two circuit breakers on the main panel.

Why is the sub-panel fed from two different breakers? You need a double pole breaker or the breakers need to be barred together so that if one trips, they will both trip. Secondly, why did you have an electrician remove the wires, but then reconnect them yourself? You should have called him back in to ensure things were done correctly based on the work that he had done.

I find it unlikely that the old dishwasher stops working at this time AND the new dishwasher doesn't power on, so I'm assuming it's a problem with the electricity.

It's very unlikely. For future reasoning; check the electricity first before buying a new appliance.

I have a voltage tester, and it indicated that there was power going to the dishwasher. Would a dishwasher not turn on if there weren't enough amps? I plan on borrowing a multimeter from a friend today to check the amps going to the dishwasher. If there's not enough amps, would I have to run a new line to the dishwasher?

Your power supply does not give amps to anything. Amps are pulled by a device, not pushed by the service. If the device is not working, then there are no amps being pulled by it. The electricity supplied to your house is like your water supply. Electrical pressure (voltage) is in the line waiting for a load to be added. Like how you have constant water pressure waiting within the pipes in your house. When a device is connected and turned on, it's like turning on a water faucet and filling a bucket. The amount of electricity being used, i.e. the amount of water filling the bucket, is the amps.

I just tested the voltage and it came up with 8 - 11 volts. I checked the outlet next to me (on another circuit) to verify it was working correctly, and it showed 110.

Do I have to rewire?

No, not entirely. Just consider here that nothing has been changed between the sub-panel and the dishwasher and we'll assume that one of your two dishwashers are good. Since the rest of your house is fine, and half of the sub-panel, this means that the error is within the feed to the sub-panel or within the sub-panel itself.


My guess is that one of the two hot wires feeding the sub-panel are not connected correctly or you could even have a bad breaker feeding it. You should definitely have a double pole breaker supplying it or at least a bar between the two separate breakers so that they'll trip together. Next, it's best not to touch another person's work until they are done. I don't know why you had an electrician come in to play with the sub-panel, but he might not have had all of the wires connected correctly in both panels.

The two hots should be fed from the breaker (or barred breakers) and connected to the bus bars of the sub-panel.

The neutral should be tied into the neutral bar in the main and in the sub.

The ground should be tied into the ground bar in the main and in the sub.

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