Dishwashers are a great tool that can make such a huge difference in how much time and effort you are spend doing dishes. They can also be temperamental if they are not cared for properly or if they are dealing with issues. There are a few different reasons why your dishwasher might be tripping your circuit breaker and knowing what they are can help remedy the issue.

These Are Some Of These Reasons:

GFCI Plugs

The first thing you should do before you do anything else is to check what type of plug your dishwasher is plugged into. A GFCI plug is designed to detect changes in current such as surges or interruptions in the power. The issue with a dishwasher is that it does not get a constant flow of power while it is being used.

Instead, it does draw more power during certain cycles and specific timing in the cycle, this means that it will cause issues and might end up causing the GFCI socket to trip and to shut off the circuit breaker. This is a typical issue and if your dishwasher is plugged into this type of plug, you may want to change it to a regular plug or rewire that particular socket to a normal socket.

Heating Element Issues

Your heating element is on the bottom of your dishwasher and is located in the basin of the dishwasher. It is exposed so it is liable to get hit by dishes, to get knocked into and to be potentially damaged. If the heating element is not working well or that is damaged, it can trip the circuit breaker as it is a hazard and a faulty heating element is going to make it difficult for your dishwasher to work well.

If the dishwasher does have a faulty heating element, you can replace them rather easily. The heating element is easy to pull out and replace. You first need to turn off the dishwasher and cut off power to it entirely. You can then remove the old element and put in the new one and then turn it back on and see if the issue is taken care of. Issues with the heating element can also cause the dishwasher to stick in one more or to not go from one cycle to the next.

Dishwasher Heating Element
That black heating element at the bottom of this dishwasher is what’s traditionally been used to dry dishes.

Loose or Short Circuiting Connections

Your dishwasher uses a range of different connectors and electrical connections that allow it to function and that supply it the necessary power to move through each wash cycle. Connectors that are not hooked up properly, that have faulty wiring, or that are short circuiting can cause the entire circuit to trip to help prevent things like fire.

The best way to take care of this issue is to take a look at the connectors themselves. If you notice that the wires are not connected properly, that they are damaged, or that they are loose, you should either replace them or repair them. If you are not sure if you can do this on your own, it may be best to hire a professional or to get someone that is experienced in repairing this type of issue on hand so that they can help you get your connections working well and well connected again.

Shortened Transorb or Transient Voltage Suppression Diode

The transorb is a piece of electrical wiring that is used to help protect the dishwasher from spikes in voltage that could cause major damage to the machine. This kind of spike usually happens when something like lightning strikes or when the house shorts. In some cases, the transorb can become shortened and can end up causing issues. It can damage the circuit board, it can damage the dishwasher and it can trip the circuits in your home and make your power shut off.

To fix this you do need to make sure you are reading your owner manual and making sure that you are paying attention to the particular transorb that works for your dishwasher. Your manual is going to tell you where to find it and where to replace it.

This is a repair that is almost always best to leave to a professional or to someone that has done this type of work before and is therefore able to repair it without a ton of issue. You can get this repaired by a professional and then try it again to see if it works. If the transorb is shortened or damaged it does need to be replaced in order to make sure that it is going to work properly and that it is not going to damage the dishwasher or cause more problems with your home.

Man Fixing Electric Problems From Dishwasher
Be careful not to touch the bare probe tips together while measuring voltage, as this will create a short-circuit!

Faulty Wash Motor

All dishwashers have a motor that helps to move the water up and around the dishwasher. If this motor is not working well or not working at all, it can cause surges in power that might then trip the circuit. If your wash motor is faulty and it not working well, it can cause the motor to draw more power than normal which can then cause the circuit board to trip.

The easiest way to repair this or to stop this issue is to repair or replace the wash motor. Replacing the wash motor is going to be the easiest way to fix this issue. You can access the motor through the bottom of the dishwasher and drain all the water. After you drain the water and turn off the electricity to the dishwasher to prevent shock. You can then remove the bottom of the washer and access the motor and then replace it as needed.

If you are having issues with the motor you are going to need to replace it and to make sure that it is replaced by someone that knows what they are doing and that can replace it efficiently and make sure that it is hooked back up properly.

Issues with Control Circuit Board

The last problem that you are likely dealing with is a faulty circuit board. The circuit board is the computer that is responsible for all the functions of the dishwasher. The circuit board is likely to malfunction with age and can even be defective based on issues from the manufacturers. With a circuit board that is faulty, it is certainly going to be best to get the circuit board replaced rather than trying to repair it or trying to work on it yourself.

As long as the body of the dishwasher is still in good shape, it is not going to be that difficult to have a technician come out and replace the circuit board so that you can keep using your dishwasher and can keep washing your dishes with it. Dishwashers can be picky and even a small malfunction with the circuit board can cause the entire dishwasher to short circuit which can then cause the circuit breaker to flip and the power to shut off.