Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person and taking time off work to let them in just to determine the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and often fix plenty of dishwasher problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you can resolve the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new machine there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the user guide for this as models are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, the dishwasher could have lights yet will not start, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. 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 disconnected before accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your machine not running, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be removed as well as checked with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that may stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other parts yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the costs may not be as high as you think.

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