Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s often easy to diagnose and often fix a number of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to sort out the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a new dishwasher there are a few possible issues you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely need the manual to do this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine might have power yet will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and 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 accidentally run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting and running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be checked 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 chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your machine not to run, so this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter, if broken it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part of the dishwasher to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to check that could stop 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 and 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 access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact 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 an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included which means the expense could not be as high as you think.

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