Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and often resolve many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may find you can resolve the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of checking your dishwasher for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, 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 and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user guide for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock is often fairly easy to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing 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 the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the other parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test this you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out and tested with a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the cause of the problem 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. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included which means the costs may 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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