Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out 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 calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and even fix many machine problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new machine there are a few simple issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and 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 and try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user guide for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is usually quite simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine could have power but will not start, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

To examine these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as test the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to run such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your dishwasher not to run, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to investigate that could stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and 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 be better off calling a professional.

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 not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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