Your dishwasher runs on a cycle of cleaning and drying. When the washer will not switch over from one cycle to the next, it may run continuously until you either unplug the unit or open the door of the unit. A dishwasher that continues to cycle may have a bad heating element or timer motor. Both of these devices signal the dishwashing unit that the job for one cycle is done, at which point it moves on to the next task.
Unplug the dishwasher or turn off the power to the dishwasher at the circuit breaker.
Remove the control panel face from the dishwasher unit. Remove all the screws from the control panel. Remove the two screws from the latch. Open the door of the dishwasher and remove the screws from the door panel. There are usually six, but this may depend on your model.
Locate the timer motor. Remove the two wires from the terminal connectors at the top of the unit. Pull the wires out by the connectors and label them with tape so you know which terminal they fit in. Turn on your multitester to the X1000 setting. Touch one probe to each terminal. You should receive a reading between 2,000 and 3,000 ohms. If not, remove the motor by removing the retention screws and replacing the unit with a new one.
Turn off the power to the unit.
Locate the heating element, which is a thick metal rod at the bottom of the unit. If the heating element is covered, remove the screws holding down the cover and lift it out.
Remove the lower panel at the front of the machine and find where the heating element comes through the tub and down to the lower access area. Find the wires connected to the heating element. Pull on the wire connectors to remove them and label the wires with tape.
Set your multitester to the X1 setting and touch the probes of the tester to the terminals. The reading should be between zero and infinity.
Remove the broken heating element by removing the lock nut holding down the heating element with a wrench. Lift the element up and out from inside the dishwasher unit. Drop in a new one and tighten it down. Connect the wires.