Does Your Dishwasher Keep Stopping Mid Cycle? 6 Causes

Woman looking angry at her broken dishwasher

Does your dishwasher keep stopping?

You’re not alone! I know how frustrating it can be when your dishwasher stops working, especially when you have a pile of dirty dishes.

If your dishwasher stops mid-cycle, there’s a good chance you have a damaged latch, a tripped fuse, or a blown thermal fuse. There’s also likely a problem with the motor, control board, or vent.

Keep reading to get sparkling clean dishes again!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and James Blackford.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016. James is one of our resident appliance experts with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair business.

Here’s Why Your Dishwasher Keeps Stopping Mid-Cycle

Most dishwashers start and stop whenever they drain. However, if your dishwasher stops mid-cycle, there’s likely a damaged component.

Let’s go through the components I recommend checking:

#1 Damaged Door Latch

In my experience, when a dishwasher starts and stops, it’s likely because the door latch is damaged.

The door latch is responsible for locking your dishwasher door during operation to prevent water leaks. It also has a sensor that automatically stops the cleaning cycle whenever the door is opened.

So, if your dishwasher stops mid-cycle, I recommend checking whether the door is fully closed.

Dishwasher door latch
If your dishwasher is not finishing the cycle because it keeps stopping, there’s likely an issue with the door.

Dishwasher doors fail to close properly when:

  • The dishes are sticking out: Rearrange your dishes so the door can close. Ensure the dishes are facing toward the center and place pans and other large items at the back.
  • Your dishwasher isn’t properly installed: If your dishwasher is slightly tilting in any direction, the door will keep hitting the cabinet and won’t close properly. Check your dishwasher to ensure it’s on a leveled surface; if not, move it to a better location to ensure it no longer stops mid-cycle.
  • Loose screws: If the screws securing your dishwasher door come loose even slightly, they can prevent it from closing. I recommend tightening the loose screws and trying to close the door again.
  • The door latch is misaligned or damaged: Although typically durable, banging your dishwasher’s door too hard can cause door latch misalignment. Try to reposition it and close the door.
  • The door latch is damaged: Like any other electrical component, a dishwasher door latch also wears out over time. If your dishwasher’s door closes, but the latch won’t activate, it’s probably faulty or just worn out. In that case, I recommend replacing the latch. Ensure you refer to your dishwasher user manual while at it.
  • The strike plate is misaligned: The strike plate is the part your dishwasher’s latch goes into when you close the door. Similar to the latch, it can also get misaligned when you consistently bang your dishwasher door too hard. Strike plates rarely get damaged, so the only fix here would be to loosen the screws and reposition them. 
  • Worn-out or damaged dishwasher door seal: The door gasket is the rubber fit around your dishwasher’s door. It provides a watertight seal and, when it’s worn out, ripped, or damaged in any way, prevents the door from shutting tight. Inspect the gasket for damage, and if you notice any, please replace it to keep your dishwasher from stopping mid-cycle.    
A diagram of where a dishwasher's door strike is located
The door strike and latch work together to ensure a good seal

#2 A Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your dishwasher keeps stopping mid-cycle, then there’s a good chance your circuit breaker tripped.

Your home’s circuit breaker will automatically trip when a single appliance is consuming too much energy to prevent potential electrical hazards.

So, if the door seems to be in perfect working condition and your dishwasher has never stopped like this before, I recommend checking whether your dishwasher status indicator lights are on. You can also power your garbage disposal.

In my experience, dishwashers and garbage disposals typically share the same circuit. So, if your garbage disposal isn’t turning on, please go to the breaker box.

Home Circuit Breaker
Your dishwasher can stop after 2 minutes if the circuit breaker trips.

Make sure the switch is in the “on” position. If it is, turn it off and then back on to reset the circuit breaker.

Although a tripped fuse is easy to fix, it can damage your dishwasher and other home appliances if it keeps tripping. Consider reducing the loan on that circuit by unplugging other appliances, or having your home’s wiring inspected if it occurs again.

#3 Motor Issues

When fixing a dishwasher that stops after 2 minutes, I always recommend checking the motor.

In my experience, a damaged motor fails to produce enough water pressure, causing your dishwasher to stop during the cleaning cycle. Faulty dishwasher motors are usually a result of excess soap buildup or problems with the circulation pump. 

If nothing is done, the motor will deteriorate over time and cause seal damage resulting in water leaks. It’ll also fail altogether. Replacing it is the most efficient way to solve the problem and prevent your dishwasher from stopping after 2 minutes.

However, keep in mind that it’s best to call a qualified technician, as replacing the motor can be a tricky job.  

#4 Vent and Fan Issues

If you’ve tried the fixes above, but your dishwasher keeps stopping, then there’s likely an issue with the vent and fan.

The vent and fan keep your dishwasher running at peak performance by forcing hot air out during the drying process.

But when the fan fails, the air is accumulated, preventing dishes from drying and causing your dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. The control panel will also go blank.

In such cases, I recommend checking the manufacturer’s manual and replacing the vent and fan.

If you want to get any replacement part – or see how much one would cost – click to enter your model number in the search bar below. Our partners at AppliancePartsPros stock almost every part with free guides on how to install them.

#5 Problems With the Control Board

A damaged control board can also cause your dishwasher to stop mid-cycle.

You see, the control board is responsible for coordinating the different functions of your dishwasher. So, if it malfunctions, it can disrupt the communication between various components and cause your dishwasher to start and then stop.

Like most defective dishwasher machine components, the best way to fix the issue is by replacing the control board. I recommend checking your dishwasher manual and calling a professional to do it.

Please keep in mind that replacing your control board can be expensive, ranging from $80 to $300! So, don’t forget to check if your dishwasher is still under warranty. I also recommend considering your dishwasher’s age to determine whether replacing the whole unit is best.

#6 Blown Thermal Fuse

In my experience, when a dishwasher keeps stopping or doesn’t turn on, there’s likely a blown thermal fuse.

The thermal fuse protects your dishwasher from overheating, and it’s typically part of the control board or power filter board (this is especially true for Samsung, LG, and Bosch dishwashers).

However, if your thermal fuse has blown, it’s a sign of a deeper problem. Investigating and repairing the issue will require professional help.

Bear in mind that the costs of repairing a blown thermal fuse can add up quickly. Remember, if your dishwasher is over 10 years old, it’s best to consider getting a new model!

Don’t forget to check out our  Maintenance & Care Guide to prevent your dishwasher from stopping again!


A dishwasher stopping mid-cycle is annoying and frustrating, to say the least. On the bright side, it’s a problem you can easily solve by trying out the above fixes. 

Remember to check the door latch, circuit breaker, motor, and control board. I also recommend inspecting the thermal fuse and fan to keep your dishwasher from stopping again.

I hope this article has helped you today. If it has, please explore our other articles for more money and stress-saving guides.

Good luck!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more