Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the fault.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve a number of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to sort out the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of common issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

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

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual for this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is usually fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher might have lights yet will not run, in this case the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real investigations to start.

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

To examine these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance and check the parts are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

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

Make sure the machine is unplugged before taking off the door panel plus testing 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 the latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to gain access to 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 may result in your dishwasher not starting, so this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be removed and tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are still looking for the fault the next part to investigate is 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 can investigate that could stop 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 but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the costs may 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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