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 phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and often fix many dishwasher problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may realise you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement machine there are a number of common faults you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues make sure that it hasn’t beenaccidentally unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the machine may have lights yet will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

  1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Check the timer.
  3. Check the selector switch.
  4. Test the motor relay.
  5. Check 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 test the resistance plus check the components are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are operating 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 parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while connected, 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 machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the machine not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your machine not starting, and this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test this you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse 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 should be able to investigate that may stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

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 electrical components then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the expense may be less than you were expecting.

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