Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person and taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

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

You may discover you can resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of possible faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user guide for this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

To check these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and test the electrical components are working 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 plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover 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 check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair man.

Checking 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 and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To investigate this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed as well as checked with a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next component 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 the fuse is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem particularly 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 then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

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

And check your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the costs might not be as high as you think.

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