My Dishwasher is Stuck in the Wash Cycle

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A faulty thermostat can prevent the dishwasher from advancing out of the wash cycle.
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Normally dishwashers operate smoothly, advancing through cycles with clock-like precision. However, dishwashers have occasional glitches, such as not advancing past the wash cycle. This can be caused by a malfunction in one of several components, including the water heating cycle, the thermostat or the timer, and could also be caused by a malfunctioning float or float switch.

Water Heating Cycle

A malfunction in the water heating cycle can keep the dishwasher stuck in the wash cycle. After the dishwasher fills with water, it will pause until the water has been heated to the proper temperature to ensure a thoroughly cleaning. However, a malfunction with the heating element prevents the dishwasher from advancing to the next cycle.

Thermostat

In addition to the water heating cycle, a problem with the thermostat can cause the dishwasher to remain in the wash cycle. Besides regulating the temperature of the dryer, the thermostat also regulates the water's temperature. A faulty thermostat will not allow the water to reach the correct temperature, so the cycle cannot continue.

Timer

Problems with the timer can also lock the dishwasher in the wash cycle. The timer determines when and how long electricity is sent to the other parts of the dishwasher. However, if the timer is faulty, the dishwasher will not stop the wash cycle or advance to the next step.

Float

A float or float switch malfunction can prevent the dishwasher from advancing out of the wash cycle. As the dishwasher fills with water, the float rises also and stops the water when the appropriate amount has been released into the machine. However, a problem with either the float or the float switch will render the mechanism incapable of determining when the water should be stopped, and this will stop the wash cycle from ending.

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Terri Williams

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, serving as media manager for a large nonprofit organization where she also edited books and created promotional content. She has written extensively on business communication, ethics, leadership, management, education and health. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.