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 are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often fix plenty of machine faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may realise you can resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start checking your machine for problems ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus 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 plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the manual to do this as models vary but the child lock is usually quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power however will not run, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to run including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be checked 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 cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your machine not to start, so this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could test that could prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

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

And examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the expense might not be as high as you think.

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