How To Test Dishwasher Circulation Pump With Multimeter

If you suspect that your dishwasher’s circulation pump is not working properly, testing it with a multimeter can help troubleshoot the issue. But if you’ve never used a multimeter before, it may seem daunting. Luckily, by following these instructions on how to test your dishwasher circulation pump with a multimeter, you will be able to determine whether or not the circulation pump needs replacement—saving you time and money in the long run! Read on for some easy-to-follow steps for testing your dishwasher’s circulating pump.

What is a dishwasher circulation pump?

A dishwasher circulation pump is an essential component in the operation of a dishwasher. It pumps water from the lower and upper spray arms to help clean dishes from top to bottom, as well as recirculate hot water through the machine for optimal cleaning results. The circulation pump is made up of several parts including a motor, impeller, shaft seal, and bearing.

Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, it may require periodic replacement or repairs when not operating correctly. If your dishwasher isn’t properly washing dishes or making strange noises during its cycle, it could be due to a faulty circulation pump. It’s important to inspect this part and replace it if necessary in order to maintain your dishwasher’s performance.

Common problems with dishwasher circulation pumps:

Deteriorated impeller blades:

If a dishwasher circulation pump has been in use for some time, its impeller blades can become worn down and brittle, reducing efficiency and potentially leading to motor failure.

Clogged intake filters:

Intake filters prevent food particles from entering the circulation pump. Over time, they can become clogged with debris, blocking water flow and causing mechanical problems.

Loose or corroded connections:

Electrical connections to a dishwasher’s circulation pump are critical for proper operation; if they become loose or corroded, it may cause the motor to overheat and fail prematurely.

Incorrect wiring:

If a dishwasher’s circulation pump is wired incorrectly, it can cause the motor to draw too much power and become damaged.


Malfunctioning seals or gaskets can lead to leaking around a dishwasher’s circulation pump, compromising its ability to move water effectively and leading to premature failure of the motor.

Debris in hoses:

Food particles or other debris that accumulates in the input and output hoses of a dishwasher’s circulation pump can block water flow and reduce efficiency.


If a dishwasher’s circulation pump runs for too long without sufficient cooling, it will begin to overheat, potentially causing permanent damage to its internal components.

Wrong motor type:

If a dishwasher’s circulation pump is not compatible with the model of the dishwasher, it may cause unexpected problems or fail entirely.

Overloaded motor:

If a dishwasher’s circulation pump is taxed beyond its capacity, it can cause mechanical wear and tear on the motor that can lead to failure.

Excessive vibration:

Vibrations caused by misalignment of the impeller blades or other components of a dishwasher’s circulation pump can result in premature failure of the motor and other parts.

With regular maintenance and proper installation, these problems can be avoided and your dishwasher’s circulation pump will continue to operate correctly for years to come.

How To Test Dishwasher Circulation Pump With Multimeter

Tools You Will Require:

  • Screwdriver
  • Multimeter
  • Pliers

Testing the circulation pump of a dishwasher is important to determine if it needs repair or replacement. A multimeter can be used to test the continuity of the system’s wiring and connections.

Resistance Testing:

To proceed, you must turn on the dishwater’s power. Check to see that the Multimeter is set to measure resistance (Ohms).

  • Locate the electrical windings of the pump and access it as safely as possible.
  • Connect one of the probes from the multimeter to one end of the electrical winding and another probe to the other end.
  • Readings will appear on the display of the multimeter, usually in the 4-6 ohms range which is a normal resistance reading for wire resistance.
  • If no readings appear or if you see a zero on your multimeter’s display, this indicates a short circuit in that particular circuit and must be fixed by replacing any faulty wiring or components before proceeding further with testing any other components connected in that particular circuit.
  • To confirm if resistance tests have been successful, re-test the circuit again and check for any changes in readings.
  • Now that the resistance has been tested and confirmed, you can move on to testing other components related to the dishwasher’s circulation pump.

It is important to ensure safety when carrying out these tests and it is recommended that a professional be consulted if necessary. If there are any doubts about your ability to perform the test correctly, do not hesitate to contact an expert for assistance.

Continuity Testing:

Testing the continuity of the dishwasher’s circulation pump is a simple process. Begin by activating the Continuity Test mode on your Digital Multimeter:

  • Disconnect the power from the appliance before beginning any work, and wear gloves for safety.
  • Test the continuity of the pump’s solenoid by connecting the two test wires to its two bare wire terminals or ends. If required, use your hands to make better contact with the test leads and wire ends
  • Set the multimeter dial to Continuity Test mode, which should be indicated by a diode symbol on your device
  • When testing for resistance (continuity), if there is no continuity, the multimeter will not move from its current position on the scale. If there is good continuity, however, then you will see it travel toward the right side of the scale and remain constant on that reading
  • If when closing a switch there is little to no resistance (excellent continuity) then the solenoid is in good condition, however, if the meter only moves very slightly and remains on the left side of the scale, then it should be replaced.
  • After performing the test, double-check all connections are secure and that all tools have been removed from the area before re-applying power to the appliance. This guide provides a comprehensive overview for testing continuity on your dishwasher’s circulation pump with a digital multimeter.

Always exercise caution when carrying out any electrical work, and make sure you refer to your appliance’s manual before attempting any repairs. Failure to follow these instructions could result in damage to your property or injury to yourself. If you need assistance with this task, please consult an experienced professional electrician.

Tips for maintaining your dishwasher circulation pump:

  • Check the circulation pump regularly for any unusual sounds or vibrations, and replace it if required.
  • Ensure that all filters in the circulation pump are clean and free of debris to ensure proper operation.
  • If possible use a water softener when washing dishes as hard water can cause mineral deposits to build up in the circulation pump, which may lead to reduced efficiency and eventual failure of the pump.
  • Inspect your dishwasher’s hoses periodically for signs of corrosion or wear, such as cracks or splitting, and replace them if necessary.
  • Ensure that all hose connections are secure and not leaking, as this could lead to leaks inside the machine or into your kitchen cabinet/countertop areas.
  • If your dishwasher has a spray arm, make sure it is free of obstructions and spinning correctly to ensure proper cleaning power.
  • Periodically clean the interior surfaces of the dishwasher with a mild detergent or vinegar/baking soda mixture to remove any built-up grease and grime that can reduce circulation pump efficiency.
  • If your dishwasher model has an adjustable water temperature setting, set it to the highest temperature possible for maximum washing performance without damaging dishes or consuming excessive energy.
  • Consider adding a descaling agent to the wash cycle from time to time in order to help prevent mineral deposits from building up inside the circulation pump and other parts of the machine.
  • Scheduling regular maintenance check-ups by a certified technician can help ensure that your dishwasher circulation pump is running smoothly and efficiently. This will also alert you to any potential problems before they become more serious and costly to repair. Maintaining your dishwasher’s circulation pump in top condition will help keep it working better for longer, saving you time and money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I tell if my circulation pump needs replacing?

If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning or rinsing your dishes effectively, then it could be a sign that your circulation pump isn’t working properly or needs replacing entirely. Other signs include unusually loud noises, water leaking from underneath the machine, or an airflow that seems to be blocked. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to replace your circulation pump.

How can I test my circulation pump?

To check if your circulation pump is still working correctly, run a hot water cycle without any soap or detergent in the machine first. If the dishes are still not coming out clean and there is no airflow coming from the machine, then it could be a sign that your circulation pump has failed. You can also test the pump itself by removing it from the dishwasher and checking if it’s spinning freely.

What should I do if the circulation pump needs replacing?

If you’ve determined that your circulation pump needs to be replaced, you should shut off all power to the appliance and unplug it before beginning any repairs or replacements. Once this is done, you can then proceed with taking out any screws holding down the old unit in place and replacing it with a new one. Be sure to follow all installation instructions carefully when doing this to ensure that the new unit is installed correctly.

What can I do to ensure my circulation pump lasts longer?

Proper maintenance and cleaning of your dishwasher are important for maximizing the lifespan of your circulation pump. Make sure to clear out any food or debris from the filter regularly, as well as monitor the water levels in the machine and clean it if necessary. You should also make sure to use proper detergents with your dishwasher, and avoid overloading it as this could cause undue strain on its internal components, including the circulation pump. Taking these steps will help keep your dishwasher running smoothly and extend the life of its components.

Final Note:

Testing a dishwasher circulation pump with a multimeter is not a difficult process, and the right tools can help identify and repair common problems quickly and easily. With all safety protocols and consulting with professionals when necessary, most issues can be resolved without much effort or expense. With this knowledge in hand, you now have the confidence to take on any challenge that comes your way.

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