Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s often easy to determine and often fix a number of dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement machine there are a few common problems you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the 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 to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might need to be checked while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can result in your machine not running, so this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be removed and tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next component to investigate would be 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 part of the dishwasher you can check that may prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the expense could 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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