Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and even resolve many machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin searching for a new machine there are a few simple issues you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely need the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock is often quite simple to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the machine could have power however will not run, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Check 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 components are operating as they should.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel plus checking 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.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and ascertained they are operating as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while plugged in, 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 selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your dishwasher not running, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To test if this is the case you need to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the issue the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that may prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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