Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person as well as staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and even sort out a number of machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may realize you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a few possible issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start checking your dishwasher for faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus 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 as well as try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the manual for this as machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To test these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as test the parts are working 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. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on as well as running. You may wish to test the switch using 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 taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be checked while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

If you have checked the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And check your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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