Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person and staying home to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often fix plenty of machine faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a replacement machine there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your machine for issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the manual to do this as models are all different however the child lock is usually quite simple to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Check 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 operating as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To check this you need to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included and so 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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