Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often sort out many machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you can resolve the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of common problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that it hasn’t been switched off, and 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 as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your machine not to run, and this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To check this you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out plus tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues and are yet to find the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will need to call 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 resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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