Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to determine and often fix plenty of dishwasher issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You may find you can sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new machine there are a number of common problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is often quite easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

To examine these parts 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.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus operating. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected before taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the dishwasher and access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can result in your machine not starting, and this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the main pump.

To check this you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed plus checked using a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the dishwasher to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to investigate that could stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit 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. Check it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. However if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And check your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning 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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