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  1. Repair

Dishwasher burning smell

Common reasons your dishwasher burning smell

The most common reasons your dishwasher has a burning smell are a defective electronic control board, damaged user interface control or a faulty pump and motor assembly.

  • 62%

    62% of the time it's the
    Electronic Control Board

  • 15%

    15% of the time it's the
    User Interface Control

  • 12%

    12% of the time it's the
    Pump and Motor Assembly

  • 11%

    11% of the time it's the
    Something else

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    Common dishwasher repair parts you may need

    Replacing one of these dishwasher parts may fix your problem.

    Electronic Control Board Replacement

    If you notice a burning smell coming from your dishwasher, it might be due to a faulty electronic control board. This board contains numerous wires and small components that can short out and emit a burning odor. Additionally, a defective electronic control board may send electrical current to the heating element at inappropriate times, resulting in a burning smell from inside the dishwasher tub. If you detect a burning odor from your dishwasher, it's advisable to have a Sears Home Services Repair Expert come to your home and replace the electronic control board if it's defective.

    User Interface Control Replacement

    If you notice a burning smell from your dishwasher, it might be due to a damaged user interface control. An electronic part on this control component could short out, creating an electrical burning smell. If you detect this smell, turn off the power and have a Sears Home Services Repair Technician inspect your dishwasher's controls and components at your home. If the user interface control is damaged, the technician will replace it.

    Pump and Motor Assembly Replacement

    If you notice a burning smell coming from your dishwasher while it's in operation, it could indicate a problem with the pump and motor assembly. The wiring inside the pump motor may emit a foul smell as the insulation heats up and begins to smoke. Additionally, a faulty motor bearing can produce a metallic burning smell. If you detect these odors from your dishwasher, it's important to schedule a service call and have a Sears Home Services Technician inspect the dishwasher. If the pump and motor assembly is found to be faulty, they will replace it.

    What to expect when you experience a dishwasher burning smell issue

    How to fix a problem with a burning smell in the dishwasher

    Fixing most issues related to burning smells typically requires replacing either the electronic control board, user interface control, or pump and motor assembly. However, since there are numerous possible causes, a thorough diagnosis is crucial for resolving the problem. It's important to get an accurate diagnosis to understand the cost of the repair.

    Use these Sears Home Services recommendations to resolve a dishwasher burning smell

    When you discover that your dishwasher has a burning smell, there could be several reasons behind it. To prevent unnecessary part replacements, we suggest having a Sears Home Services professional conduct diagnostic tests to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Our technicians have extensive experience in diagnosing all types of dishwasher failures.

    What to be aware of with a dishwasher burning smell problem

    Identifying issues with modern appliances can be hard without the right knowledge and training. Trying to fix your dishwasher problem without using proper diagnostic techniques might mean just guessing and changing parts. Appliances, especially in the last decade, have become very advanced, with lots of electronic parts that are tricky to test. Fixing the latest appliance models yourself is getting harder and harder.

    What our customers say about us

    With more than 1.3 Million 5 Star Reviews, you don't have to take our word for it


    James called to give an estimated arrival time. He was professional and personable. He had 2 professional ideas of the problem and found 1 was correct, but he didn't stop there. He did a thorough check of the appliance. 1 small part was needed. He ordered the part to my house. Fortunately, he was able to schedule for the next week, just before Thanksgiving. As before, he called ahead, arrived and quickly fixed the problem. My appliance is working perfectly.

    Kirsten A, Oxford, PA

    Service Call

    Luke was great. Polite and knowledgeable even though the dishwasher was older than he!

    James G, Hillsboro, MO


    Daniel went above and beyond to fix my dish washer. Very pleasant to deal with.

    Paul F, Hghlnds Ranch, CO

    Additional resources to help you fix your dishwasher

    Should You Repair or Replace Your Dishwasher?

    If you’re not sure whether to repair or replace your broken dishwasher, consider the age of the appliance, usage, repair cost and the cost of installing a new dishwasher in your home.

    How to Fix Your Dishwasher When it Won’t Power Up

    When your dishwasher won’t power up, the problem could be as simple as checking the power source – sometimes even as simple as flicking on that light switch next to one you use for the garbage disposal.

    woman in the kitchen with dishwasher
    How To Help Your Dishwasher Run More Efficiently and Troubleshooting Tips

    Is your dishwasher cycle running too long? Watch our video, which explains the average cycle time, water temperature and helpful dishwasher troubleshooting tips.

    Does it feel like your dishwasher takes an eternity just to complete one measly cycle? While there are certain settings that may be the culprit — we’re looking at you, SaniWash — if it’s running for hours and hours, there’s probably a more serious problem at hand.

    Remember to consult your owner’s manual first for information on how to properly care for your specific dishwasher. Thankfully, there are a few things you can try first that may help your dishwasher run more efficiently. Watch our video for the best tips on how to reduce its cycle time — because no one wants to be stuck doing dishes forever.

    Common dishwasher symptoms to look out for