Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often fix plenty of machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple issues you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual for this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher may have lights but will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To examine these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and test the parts are operating as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while connected, 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 contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not running, and this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the motor.

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

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If 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 should be able to check that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access 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 Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And check your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

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