Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could find you are able to sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for faults ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user guide to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have lights yet will not run, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Test the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Check 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 measure the resistance and check the components are operating as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out plus tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

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 are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered which means the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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