Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and even fix plenty of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new dishwasher there are a few possible faults you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

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

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher may have power but will not run, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged 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 faulty you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to start.

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

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your machine not to run, and this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test this you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be removed plus tested with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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 dishwasher you should be able to check that might stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus check your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense could 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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