The only sure way of checking if an element is gone is with the correct testing meters. Either a resistance meter across the terminals of the element to check if its not open circuit OR an insulation tester to check the insulation resistance , which with the fault you describe may be whats required. Plug out before any testing or poking about but you'll probably need an engineer to test it fully (or take a punt and change it anyway).
How do I check a dishwasher element.?
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