Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s very feasible to diagnose and even resolve many machine problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably need the manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

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 start if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is unplugged before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

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 not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the connections 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 running, so this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so know that there is power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be removed as well as tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

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

You can usually access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using 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 be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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