Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and often resolve many machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You could discover you are able to sort out the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new machine there are a number of common faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user guide for this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, the dishwasher may have lights however will not start, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

    1. Investigate 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. Examine the drive motor.

To test these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance plus check the electrical components are operating as they should.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting as well as running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off 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.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to 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 component that may cause your machine not to start, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues yet still haven’t found the issue the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could investigate that could prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning the costs may not be as high as you think.

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