Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional as well as staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and even fix a number of machine problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might discover you can fix the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start considering a new machine there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

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

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual to do this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the machine could have power but will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting and completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your 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 result in the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

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

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can check that may prevent your dishwasher 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 electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

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

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

Don’t forget to examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the expense 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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