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How to Test a Dishwasher Timer

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The timer works like a brain in your dishwasher. It controls sequence of cycles during the dishwasher cycle. The dishwasher timer consists of a small electrical motor, a pinion gear, a drive gear, series of cam wheels, and a series of switch levers. When the motor runs, the gears and cam wheels start to work. The wheels make the switch levers to put them in ON or OFF position depending on the dishwasher cycle. When a particular switch leaver is in ON position, it establishes a complete circuit for a cycle (fill, drain, etc). If you think that the timer is causing any problem in your dishwasher, you can follow the steps below to test the timer.

  1. 1 Locate timer assembly: Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker panel or unplug the power cord. In general, the timer assembly is located in the control panel. Remove the control panel. The control panel is normally held by some screws located inside the door. In some models, you may need to remove the door handle or the door panel to remove the control panel. Be careful not to damage any wires. Now, you should be able to reach the timer assembly.
  2. 2Test timer motor: You should see two wires connected to the timer motor. Follow the wires until you find the connectors. Label the wires for future reference. Disconnect the wire connectors by using needle nose pliers. Use the user’s manual or the circuit diagram of your dishwasher to find out the resistance across the timer motor. Set your volt-ohm-meter to measure resistance. Touch the motor terminals with the meter probes; you should get a reading in the range of 2000-3500 ohms. Compare the reading with the number that you found from either user manual or the circuit diagram. If the reading is significantly different, the timer motor is bad and you need to replace it. If you find any corrosion in the wire connectors, they need to be replaced or cleaned. Refer to how to replace dishwasher timer if you need help in replacing the timer.