Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and often fix a number of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of possible issues you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the manual to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting as well as operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to run including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test 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 it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

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.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the issue without assistance. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means 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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