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Repair information for KitchenAid dishwashers.

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Heating element not working even after replacing it.

Hi, I have a Kitchen aid Dishwasher KDFE204ESS3. Noticed not cleaning. Error code was 7-1. I changed the element but still not heating. And gives me the same error code (7-1)

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Hi @ali15597

You need to check all the components in the heater circuit path to make sure that they're OK e.g. wiring connections, hi limit thermostat, thermistors etc.

Here's the tech sheet for the dishwasher that may help. Go to p.4 to view the Water Heating/Heat Dry and Water Sensing with O.W.I. Sensor (Water/Air/Soil/Temperature) strip circuit.

Be safety aware, disconnect the power to the dishwasher and check as much as you can with an Ohmmeter first as the heater circuit operates at 120V AC

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Thank you so much


Hi Jayeff,

How can I check dishwashers heater circuit?

I changed my thermostat and also heating element. still not heating.




I mentioned that in my answer. The heater circuit is shown on p.4

You need to disconnect the power to the dishwasher and then use an Ohmmeter and follow the circuit path to prove continuity from the control board to the hi limit thermostat to the heater, through the heater and on to the board again. Basically from control board connector P4 pin 3 to P4 pin 4

It should test between 8-30 Ohms. Disconnect the P4 harness cable from the board and check directly on the harness plug not the board. If no good then you have to find out where the problem is in the circuit path e.g. check from P4/3 to the hi limit thermostat, if OK from the hi limit thermostat to the heater etc.

If continuity is OK then it is a bit hard through the board as the relays need to be operated but then maybe you can check by having the power connected again and run the dishwasher and check if voltage gets to the heater or not.

Be aware that this involves testing for lethal AC voltage


My dishwasher shows code 7-1. The heating works after running the diagnostic check. But after a few runs it goes back to not heating. I’ve changed the heating element a while ago and also the thermostat.

Many times it sounds like it works, but ultimately when the cycle is done the soap is on the bottom of the washer, and everything is wet.

Other times, when I start the cycle there’s no sound as if it just isn’t working at all.

This is really frustrating.

Could this be the board?



What is the make and model number of the dishwasher?

Place both of the spray arms in a remembered position i.e. side to side or front to back and then turn the dishwasher on.

Allow it to fill and after a few minute or so when it starts to wash open the door and check the position of the arms to see if they've moved.

If they haven't moved, turn off the dishwasher and feel the temp of the water at the bottom under the lower spray arm


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Hi @frustrated21702 ,

As you said a 7-1 error code is a heating problem.

I realize that you said that you replaced the heater element and also the hi limit thermostat so if the water is still not heating you need to check that the thermistor on the control board is OK and also that the heater circuit* is OK i.e. harness wires no corrosion on pins or loose broken wires in the circuit.

Here's the tech sheet for the dishwasher.

On p.5 there's the Water Heating/Heat Dry and Water Sensing with O.W.I. Sensor (Water/Air/Soil/Temperature) wiring diagram* which shows the circuit path for the heater. It also shows where to test the thermistor on the control board.

There's also a wash/rinse circuit showing the wash pump circuit and a diverter valve circuit. If the spray arms aren't moving check that diverter valve as it redirects water away from the spray arms and to the drain pump when draining is required.

Just some things I would check

Be safety aware and disconnect the power to the dishwasher and use an Ohmmeter to test as much of the circuit path as possible. The circuit operates at 120V AC.

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Hi @frustrated21702,

I was composing my answer above when you commented.

Running the diagnostics resets everything and it has to recalibrate a few things first and then after that it should work if everything is OK. This is why it maybe took longer than normal.

Given the noise mentioned earlier there may have been something stuck in the diverter valve preventing it from being in the correct position (or even a faulty - sticking? valve) and therefore no water could flow through the arms., but this is just a guess.

Here's a link showing the diverter valve location and a video on how to replace it.

If you suspect that it is faulty search online using the "manufacturer's part number" to find suppliers that suit you best


Hi @jayeff.

Thanks for the suggestions and I'll give it a go, though it seems very technical (maybe too technical for me...?)

But what I still don't get is that last night, after running the diagnostic test, it worked perfectly. So if it does work, wouldn't that suggest that there is no corrosion anywhere and maybe it's just a faulty board and I should replace it entirely?

One other thing that I do see on the heating element, though I replaced it a few months ago, is that it looks as if it's rusted... could that be it?

Thanks for you continued help on this!! :)



It does sound more like a loose connection than corrosion then.

Check the wires that are used for the heater circuit and see if they're "crimped" properly in their plugs.

By this I mean try to gently pull the wires out from the back of the harness plug that they're in. They should not come out at all. Do NOT pull too hard though.

Sometimes the colour of the heater element can change just due to heat.

You could try changing the board but it depends on how often it fails now I suppose.

Try to find a supplier who gives refunds in case it is not the problem.

Intermittent problems are a pain. It would be better if it didn't work at all.


@jayeff thanks! Yeah it’s failing quite often and then works for a few days and then again.

I’ll check for a new board.

Thanks for all of your help so far!


Hi @jayeff so I swapped out the control board and and it worked perfectly for one cycle… ugh. The second cycle it seemed to be heating and the dishes came out dry but the soap capsule (liquid soap wrapped in cellulose or whatever) was intact, lying on the bottom of the washer…. What else do you think could be the problem?


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Ali wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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