Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, especially 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 determine the problem.

The good news is it’s very feasible to determine and often resolve a number of dishwasher faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

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

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a few possible issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often require the manual for this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and completing a cycle. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get 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 and door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be checked while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to unplug the dishwasher and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, so this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

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

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. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the expense could not be as high as you think.

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