Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often sort out many dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You may find you are able to sort out the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible faults you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start investigating your machine for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you should also check that the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine might have power however will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

  1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Examine the timer.
  3. Check the selector switch.
  4. Test 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 test the parts are operating as they should.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not running, and this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the fault the next part to test is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to test that might stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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