Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix a number of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

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

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few common problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that it hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the user guide for this as models are all different but the child lock is often quite simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Check 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 and check the components are operating as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel as well as 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 to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different components the machine needs to run including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may result in your machine not running, thus this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be removed and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If the fuse is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

When you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the costs could not be as high as you think.

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