Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often fix a number of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you can sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a number of simple problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your dishwasher is plugged in.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start checking your machine for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the manual for this as models are all different however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have lights yet will not start, in this case the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

To check these electrical components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance and check the electrical components are operating as they should.

Testing 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 not designed to run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may cause your dishwasher not to run, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To test this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This could then be removed plus checked with a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that may stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered which means the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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