Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often resolve plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could find you can resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a few simple problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential problems ensure that it hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely need the user manual for this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate accidentally. Similarly, the dishwasher might have power however will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To test these components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus test the components are operating as they should.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to run including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested 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 could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your machine not starting, thus this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part of the machine to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

If you have checked the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit 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 with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With 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 a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

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