Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix plenty of machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least 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

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of possible faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the user guide for this as models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher may have power however will not run, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

Once 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. Check the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as 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 before removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

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

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to start.

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

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your machine not to start, and this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there 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 should be able to test that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to fix the issue without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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