Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and often resolve a number of dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the machine might have lights however will not start, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from starting and operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other components the machine requires to operate including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate this you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed and tested with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are yet to find the issue the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from running 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 components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will need to call a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included and so the costs may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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