Why Your Dishwasher Keeps Tripping A Circuit Breaker

Why Your Dishwasher Keeps Tripping A Circuit Breaker

Stuck trying to stop your dishwasher from tripping the breaker?

Unfortunately, this is a known issue and can be super frustrating when it happens. After all, dishwashers should make our lives easier, not the opposite.

If your dishwasher keeps tripping the breaker, there’s a good chance you’re using GFCI plugs, or you have loose circuiting connectors. Having a faulty heating element, motor, or circuit board could also explain the issue.

Don’t worry, though. You’ve come to the right place to fix all of these problems.

Keep reading to learn more about the different ways to get rid of the issue!

5 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Keeps Tripping Your Circuit Breaker (With Fixes)

Although dishwashers are great, if one or more of their components are damaged, you’ll experience all sorts of issues while trying to use them.

This is why I’ve prepared a list of the most common reasons why your dishwasher keeps tripping your breaker. These are:

#1 Power Issues

Before doing anything else, I recommend checking what type of plug your dishwasher is plugged into, or if it’s hard-wired into the wall.

While dishwashers are typically own their own 15AMP circuit, they may also share a plug/outlet with a garbage disposal.

If your dishwasher is on a ‘GFCI’ outlet, then this is designed to detect changes in current, such as surges or interruptions in the power, so that it can safely turn off 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, which means that it will cause issues and might end up causing the GFCI socket to trip the circuit breaker.

If you have continual problems with the GFCI tripping – consult a qualified electrician for recommendations.

#2 Heating Element Issues

You may not know this, but your heating element is on the bottom of your dishwasher. It is exposed, so it can get hit by dishes.

If the heating element is not working well or is damaged, it can trip the breaker and cause other performance issues.

This is why you need to test it with a multimeter, and if it’s defective, please replace it. This isn’t a simple task and not something we can outline here, so please contact a qualified appliance technician if you’re not confident in your repair skills.

Issues with the heating element can also cause the dishwasher to display error codes, flashing lights, or 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.

#3 Loose or Short Circuiting Connections

Your dishwasher uses a range of different electrical connections that allow it to function. These supply 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 a fire.

A short, i.e. dead short to ground, will often immediately trip a breaker and the breaker will not stay reset. 

If the dishwasher trips only during a certain portion of the cycle, it could be a failed component such as washer motor, drain pump or heater that is failed. When this component engages it will draw a large amount of amperage, which is when the breaker will trip.

One 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 or that they are damaged or 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.

#4 Shortened Transient Voltage Suppression Diode

The transient voltage suppressor 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 lightning strikes or when the house shorts. In some cases, the transient voltage suppressor can become shortened and can end up causing issues.

It can damage the dishwasher, trip the circuits in your home, and cause a power outage.

To fix this, you do need to make sure you are reading the manual and paying attention to the particular transient voltage suppressor 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 further trouble.

If it 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.

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! Also, don’t touch the metal probe yourself as you’ll become part of the circuit.

#4 Faulty Wash Motor

Having a faulty motor could also explain why your dishwasher keeps tripping the breaker.

You see, all dishwashers have a motor that helps to move the water up and around the dishwasher. However, if this is damaged, it can draw more power than normal, which can then cause the circuit board to trip.

The easiest way to repair this is to replace the wash motor. To do it, you’ll need to turn off the electricity. Then, you can access the motor through the bottom of the dishwasher and drain all the water.

Once you’ve done that, please replace the motor.If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, please call a professional.

#5 Issues with Control Circuit Board

If you tried all the fixes above, but your dishwasher is still tripping the breaker, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a faulty circuit board.

The circuit board is the computer that is responsible for all the functions of the dishwasher.

If your dishwasher is old, it’s common to have a faulty circuit board as the relays and other components may be failing with age.

As long as the body of the dishwasher is still in good shape, I recommend calling a professional, so they can help you replace the circuit board.


That about covers it! Hopefully, with the help of the five fixes above, you’ll be able to stop your dishwasher from tripping the breaker.

Thank you so much for reading this article. If you ever experience a different issue while using your dishwasher, please check out our related posts below.

Have a great day!

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more