If your dishwasher is turning out dirty or wet dishes, this could be a symptom that the heating element has gone faulty. When this happens, your dishwasher will not be dried properly if you utilize the optional heated dryer option. This only applies to American designed dishwashers, European designs like Bosch and Miele, do not utilize an exposed heating element like this for drying the dishes.
To replace a faulty heating element in your dishwasher, start by disconnecting the dishwasher from power at the circuit breaker and shutting off water to the appliance. You will also need to remove the bottom dish rack to access the heating element.
In most dishwashers, at the bottom of the tub is a visible calrod element, this is the drying/heating element. Next, you will want to note where the heating element connects to your dishwasher. If it connects more towards the front, you will only need to take off the kick plate. If the terminals are near the back, you may have to pull your dishwasher out and tilt it up to access the terminals.
Once you remove the kick plate or have access to the bottom of your dishwasher, locate the two terminals on the heating element. You will want to grab the connectors and put the wires off. Finally, the heating element is held on by locking bolts that will need to be removed with a wrench. Now you can pull the heating element out of the dishwasher tub and install the new one. Once the new element has been inserted, install the locking bolts first before reattaching the wiring. Once done, your dishwasher can be reassembled and you can run a test wash to make sure the new heating element works properly.