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FIXED WDF520PADM Dishwasher Died after Burning/Hot Smell

j2brew

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Oklahoma
Model Number
WDF520PADM7
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
My Whirlpool WDF520PADM dishwasher (several years old, exact age unknown as it came with the house) started giving off a hot electrical smell several days ago while running. It wasn't very strong at first. Upon sniffing around the dishwasher the smell was isolated to the upper-right hand corner of the door, where the controls are. It was not smelled under the dishwasher or out of the vent.
I looked inside the dishwasher and the heating element appeared to be working as it was hot inside and there were no dishes or debris on the heating element or any obvious markings or defects.

I took the door apart and accessed the control panel under the door controls. See photos below (though taken later, see later in the post). I saw no obvious burn marks on the wires or the board. I tried continuing to use the dishwasher under close observation and the smell continued. A couple of runs later it was running and then began making some erratic sounds and then completely died (I have checked the breaker and outlet and they are working). No indicator lights will show on the door controls. Upon re-examination of the control board and wires I still saw no burning marks, but with the smell coming from that portion of the dishwasher door it seems like a likely source of the issue.

IMG_1509.jpgIMG_1510.jpgIMG_1511.jpg

I have found what appears to be the correct board: W10906426
But, given the price of the board ($176-$236) and the price of this dishwasher new ($328) I would like to have a reasonable certainty that this will fix the issue before spending the money on the control board.

Does anyone have thoughts on if this seems like a likely root cause of the problem or merely a symptom or if replacing the control board could fix the issue or any other troubleshooting I can attempt to verify the problem?

Thanks!!
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
110,909
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Here's the tech. data sheet for your model: https://drive.google.com/open?id=10bgcDU_RcsLCRkmRYiSyskxL4y9qhSmg

Do this below to see if the control board is bad.

Fuse Resistance Check:
Unplug dishwasher or disconnect power.
Measure resistance of fuses F600 and F601.
a. Disconnect wash pump motor wiring jumper P5 from the control board.
b. Using a resistance meter(multimeter), measure the resistance between control board connection pins P5-2 and P6-3.

See “Control Pinout” diagram.

--->If resistance is <3 W, both fuses are OK.

--->If resistance is >3 W, replace control board.

Yes, your control board is W10906426

Jake
 

j2brew

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Oklahoma
--->If resistance is <3 W, both fuses are OK.

--->If resistance is >3 W, replace control board.
Thanks!
I checked the pins P5-2 to P6-3 and measured 0.4-0.8 ohms, so the fuses appear fine on the control board.

I tried to go through every troubleshooting item on page 10 for "Won’t Run or Power Up (“Dead” Keypad/Console)".
1. I checked there is power available to the dishwasher at the wall.
3. I checked the door switch and with the switch closed the resistance is at or near 0 ohms and with the switch open it measures open on my multi-meter.
4. The fuse check you suggested seems to indicate the control board might be OK, even though the smell was coming from near there.

2. This is the one I wasn't sure about. When they say to check the continuity of the power connections to control, I'm not sure what they are referring to. Do you what they are indicating I should measure the continuity of? With power to the dishwasher I tried measuring voltage across pins P4-1 and P4-2, as it appears that is where power enters the board. I didn't measure any voltage there, I tried both DC and AC as I wasn't sure if it would be rectified yet or not. Is this the right place to measure and should I be getting any voltage across those pins?

Any assistance is appreciated in figuring out what continuity to measure for power in #2, or which pins to check for power to the control board (and what to expect), or if no power is measured coming to the board where that might indicate the issue lies.

Thanks!
Jim
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
110,909
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
P4 connector on the control board is the power that comes into the control board.

P4 Pin 1(White wire) is N(Neutral)
P4 Pin 2(Black wire) is L(Line)

Put your meter probes on those two and you should have 120 volts AC.

So you got nothing there?

I'd first verify your getting 120 volts in the main junction power box underneath the dishwasher. Where you house power line connects to the main electrical of the dishwasher, Across Black and White should read 120 volts. There should be 2 wire nuts that connect the main power line to your dishwasher in the junction box underneath the dishwasher.

Just remove the very bottom access panel and you will see that junction box.

I've seen those wire nuts come loose and/or burn arc and cause this NO POWER problem, when the installer doesn't tighten them properly.

Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

j2brew

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Oklahoma
So, I pulled the junction box open from underneath the dishwasher, I didn't realize that is where it was before. And this image is what I found. It looks pretty melted, I would guess this is my problem. To fix this, can I just pull off the old connectors, strip back to clean wire, and neatly and tightly put new wire nuts on there or is this possibly indicative of a larger problem?

IMG_1516.jpg

Thanks again for all your help!!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
110,909
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yup, you nailed it.:)

Seen that happen many times on my service calls.

Yes, cut the burnt wire off and strip the insulation off about 3/4" then wire nut it back together.

The reason this happened is whoever installed your dishwasher didn't tighten those wire nuts tight enough, thus they become loose and arc overtime.:)

Jake
 

j2brew

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Oklahoma
Thanks for your help! I re-wired it and have run multiple loads without a problem. Hope this solves it long term.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
110,909
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Excellent, good job.:)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 
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