Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often sort out many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may discover you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a few simple problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems ensure that it hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the solution may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the 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 obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting plus running. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and ascertained they are working correctly the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested 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 part of the dishwasher that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your machine not starting, and this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could test 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.

Once you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional.

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

Plus check your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

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