Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and even sort out plenty of machine faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a new machine there are a number of common faults you can identify without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start checking your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on accidentally. Similarly, the machine could have lights however will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

To test these electrical components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as test the parts are working as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as running. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to run including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while live, 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 dishwasher that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your dishwasher not running, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test this you need to find the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be removed as well as checked with a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse 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 dishwasher you should be able to test that may stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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