Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often fix plenty of machine issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you are able to sort out the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

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

Testing 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 machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your dishwasher not to start, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can investigate that could 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 components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

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

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

Plus examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the expense 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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