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How to Test a Float Switch

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The float switch is a safety device. It prevents overfilling the dishwasher with water and flooding the kitchen. If every component is working correctly in the dishwasher, the timer stops the water flow to the dishwasher. If the timer is defective and fails to stop the water fill, the float switch works as a safety device, and breaks a circuit causing the water supply to cutoff. If you think that the float switch is causing any problem in your dishwasher, you can follow the steps below to test the float switch.

  1. 1 Locate float and float switch: Open the dishwasher door. The float is a dome-shaped plastic component normally located at one of the two front corners. The float switch is directly beneath the switch.
  2. 2 Test float: Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker panel. Remove the lower dish rack. Try to move the float up and down. If it appears to stick, try to pull it from its stem. If the float does not come out easily, there may be a plastic top. Remove the plastic top from the stem and pull it off its stem. Clean both the stem and the float. Install the float and stem in their original position. . Check if you can move the float up and down freely. Turn ON power at the circuit breaker. Run the dishwasher and see if the suspected problem associated to the float is resolved. If not, you need to test the float switch.
  3. 3 Test float switch: Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker panel. Make sure that there is no electricity flowing to the dishwater. With the power off, if you try to run the dishwasher, it should not response in any setting.

    Remove the kick panel to get access to the float switch. Pull off the wires from the float switch terminals. Remember to label the wires by pulling them one by one. This will help you if you need to replace the float switch. Set the switch in ON position by pulling down the lever. Set your VOM (volt-ohm-meter) for reading resistance and testing for continuity. Hold the probes of the VOM at the switch terminals. Your VOM should read zero or slightly above zero. If you get any other reading, you have a bad float switch. Buy a new float switch and replace the old switch with the new one.