Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional as well as staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often sort out a number of dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your machine for issues ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the user guide to do this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to put on without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that may prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

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 sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the issue without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And check your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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