Dishwasher Gives Shock – What to do?

If your dishwasher has started giving the person who touches it a shock, it is time to call in a skilled technician to do some maintenance checks immediately.  If you notice that your appliance is sending out any form of electric shock, no matter how mild, immediately switch off the power socket and remove the plug from the socket. It is best to also wear rubber-soled shoes when removing the plug.

Here is what could be causing the kitchen dishwasher to pass an electric shock when in use:

  1. An internal live wire may be touching the appliance chassis. Another electrical appliance with a loose wire, placed near the dishwasher, may also cause the problem.
  2. The switch used to power the dishwasher may have a loose connection or the earth wire around the socket may be broken. Have a technician use a socket-tester to rule out the problem.
  3. It is possible that the insulation around the heating element has deteriorated. Have a technician check the heating element in the dishwasher.
  4. If your dishwasher is giving an electric shock, it may mean that the safety device called the ‘trip switch’ is not working. Since electrical kitchen appliances operate in a wet area, they come with a built-in safety device to automatically cut-off power in the event that a fault leads to a shock. Unfortunately, even very well made electric appliances can malfunction.

Here is what could be causing the kitchen dishwasher to pass electric shock when NOT in use:

  1. If the dishwasher is off and you still get a voltage when you touch it, there could be an earthing fault with the electrical supply. In case of an earthing problem, even a malfunctioning appliance in your neighbour’s house can give you an electric shock. Consult an electrician immediately.
  2. Getting a shock from the dishwasher when it is off could also be due to a faulty capacitor or suppressor.  These parts hold charge for up to 5 minutes after the appliance is unplugged and can give you a nasty shock.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance or harm to you or others.