Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix a number of machine problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the manual to do this as models vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are operating as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while plugged in, 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 dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To test this you need to locate the motor and find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be removed and tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that may stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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