Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often fix many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock is usually fairly simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher could have lights however will not run, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Examine 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 as well as test the parts are operating as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the program and 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 cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may have to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could cause your dishwasher not to run, so this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so know that there is power running to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor and find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if broken it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to investigate that could prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional 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 issue without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included which means 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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