Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken 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 staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and even resolve plenty of machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently 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 plus try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher may have power however will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You can check 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 machine before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, so this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To check this you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are still looking for the fault the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that might stop 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 aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

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 a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered which means the costs might 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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