Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often resolve many dishwasher issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you can resolve the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement machine there are a number of simple problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual to do this as models are all different however the child lock is often quite easy to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

  1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Check the timer.
  3. Test the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Examine the thermal fuse.
  6. Examine the drive motor.

To examine these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as test the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from starting as well as operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to run including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your machine not to start, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to find the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed and tested using a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that could prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered and so the expense might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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