How to Replace a Dishwasher Float Switch

What You'll Need
New switch

Poor dishwasher drainage, flooding and dry or dirty dishes may indicate a faulty float switch. Follow the steps below to replace this part. Before you begin, disconnect the main switch of the dishwasher and unplug it.

Step 1: Find the Float

Inside the tub, at the bottom of the dishwasher, the float switch is connected to the float that rises as water fills the unit. When the water reaches a predetermined level, it acts as a trigger for the float switch to stop the water flow. Find the float by removing or opening the lower kick plate panel. This plate is below the dishwasher door and must be taken apart with a screwdriver to remove the screws. Open the dishwasher door to remove the screws. Shut the door to remove the panel.

Step 2: Disconnect the Old Float and Discard

On the side at the bottom of the tub, you will see 2 wires connected to the dishwasher float switch. Slip-on connectors bind these wires to the switch, and these must be taken off. Remember where the wires were connected so that it can be put back in place later. It may be useful to mark the wires. You can use pliers if you can not grip the connectors. It is not recommended to pull the wires themselves as they may snap or be damaged. Some dishwashers may have screws or clips that hold the dishwasher float switch in position against the float. These screws are easy to remove. Discard the old dishwasher float switch.

Step 3: Replace with the New Switch

You will find a replacement switch that should be specific to the make and model of your dishwasher. You can replace it with screws or a clip as long as it is secure. Reconnect the wires in the proper position. Check that they are firmly attached and put the lower kick plate panel back in place.

Step 4: Test the Job

Plug in the dishwasher, load some dishes and switch the machine on. Be sure to monitor the entire washing process. You can test the new dishwasher float switch with a multi-tester. Set the ohms to x1 and test each switch terminal individually. Touch each probe to a switch terminal, and you should get a zero or infinity reading.

Once this process has been completed, press down on the switch's button and the reading should change to the opposite extreme. Before removing the dishwasher float switch, it may be useful to use a multi-tester to check if the dishwasher float switch is the main problem or if there is another issue that may require a professional.

If the dishwasher float switch has been successfully replaced you should have sparkling dishes every day as long as you clean excess food and debris away before it becomes clogged in the spray arm or filter. Dishwashers also need to be washed themselves in order to do their job.