Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and even sort out a number of machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can sort out the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new machine there are a few simple problems you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and 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 plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user guide for this as machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights yet will not run, in this case the solution might be as simple 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. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

To test 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 working as they should.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could need to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your machine not starting, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are still looking for the fault the next part of the machine to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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 part of the machine you can investigate that might stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then 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 issue without assistance. However if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included which means 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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