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 have to deal with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and even sort out many machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a few simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite easy to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher might have power however will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues 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. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

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

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can result in your machine not starting, thus this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present 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 could test that may prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be included and so the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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